Wondering....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RockinChickenFarm, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. RockinChickenFarm

    RockinChickenFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    We have 8 baby chicks that are 4 weeks old and are wondering how long we should keep them on medicated chick starter. Also wondering when the mamas will start laying again. Or will they now due to shortened days? We are in Ohio. [​IMG]
     
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] to the BYC

    My 20 week girl is on chick starter with the 10 week kids. I have a older hen and have not changed food but put down some Oyster shells I crush up a bit
     
  3. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    My Coop
    Quote:The info says to keep them on until 8 weeks old - then switch to either grower for layers or grower for meat chickens, but if you have a mix of ages you may want to keep them longer if there are going to be more babies around. I keep my brooder chicks on MannaPro medicated until 4 weeks old and then I move them outside to the brooder in the coop and they get the Purina Start and Grow for up to laying. I'll be keeping everyone on the Purina for several extra weeks while my newest hatchlings (2 weeks old) catch up and start laying - I'll supplement with oyster shell for the layers. Then I can switch everyone to the layer food once the youngest are laying.
     
  4. wyododge

    wyododge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We don't ever use medicated feed, but we always herd it was best to wean them from it gradually to allow their gut to seed. The medicated feed suppresses the good bacteria they need as well, so it is best if they are on it, to reduce the medication over time. I would do it over three bags 25-75, 50-50, 75-25, 0-100.

    BUT!!! We don't use it, this is just what I have been told by others who do.

    As far as laying, pullets tend to react less to light conditions as much as mature birds. Light will affect laying, but not nearly as drastic. FWIW, we add light for our pullets in the morning, turns on around 4 AM and off after sunrise.
     
  5. RockinChickenFarm

    RockinChickenFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 29, 2011
    Thanks for the advice. I forgot, but I have heard about weaning them off the medicated slowly also. Thanks for reminding me. I didnt know about the light affecting pullets less than older hens. The mamas are only seven months old, so that is good to know. Thanks, again, everyone!
     
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I just was about finished with the second bag of medicated chick feed I mixed the rest of the bag together with the regular maintenance and then go to regular 16% developer feed. Feed them that until 20+ weeks and then go to layer feed with more calcium in it.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The medicated chick starter is probably medicated with Amprolium. It might have something else with it or it may actuallty contain some other product rather than Amprolium, Amprol, or some similar product. You need to check the label to see what the medication is so you actually know what you are dealing with.

    Amprolium is not an antibiotic. It will only have an effect on the protozoa that causes Coccidiosis. It will not affect other things. You really do need to check the label to make sure that it truly is Amprolium and only Amprolium so you know what the effects are. But if it is only Amprolium, don't worry about anything else.

    Coccidiosis is caused by protozoa that can live and reproduce in the chicken's intestines. It can and does also live in the ground. A chicken can and will develop an immunity to specific strains of this protozoa, but there are several different strains of this protozoa. Immunity to one strain does not give immunity to all strains. The chicken develops this immunity by having the protozoa live and reproduce in its intestines. The younger the chicken is when it is introduced to this specific strain of protozoa, the easier it is for the chick to develop this immunity. The Amprolium content in the medicated feed does not eliminate all the protozoa in the chick. It reduces the number present by limiting the reproduction, but the chick can still develop that immunity.

    Some protozoa in the intestines is not a problem at all. The problem comes when the number of protozoa gets out of hand. The protozoa can also live and reproduce in wet manure, not just inside the chicken. Normally, the problems come when the chickens are in a wet environment, where they eat the wet manure and add those protozoa to the others already in their system. Normally, you can control Cocci by keeping the chicks and chickens in a dry brooder or run. And with the protozoa present, they will develop that immunity so you don't have to worry too much if you get a spell of wet weather in your run.

    With all that said, I don't think most of us NEED medicated feed. There are some strains of that protozoa that are a lot stronger than others. That's why I said most of us. It does no harm, but the time it is most likely to be useful is when the chicks are first introduced to it. Some of us introduce the chicks to it at a very young age, either letting them play outside on the ground or bringing in dirt and stuff with treats or as grit. But for many, the first introducton is when they leave the brooder and are first put on the ground.

    If you feel better about it, I'd suggest you feed Amprolium medicated feed for about 3 weeks after they first hit the ground. I don't feed medicated feed at all but I introduce my chicks to the dirt from the run about two days after they are first put in the brooder. Even if you feed medicated feed, they can still come down with Coccidiosis so you need to look up the signs so you will recognize it.

    I don't know of anybody with a medical background that says it is OK to feed laying hens with a feed containing Amprolium. Where you get a lot of controversy, even among medical professionals, is whether it is safe to eat eggs from hens as soon as they have quit eating that feed. Some say you do not need a withdrawal period. Some say you need as much as a 4 week withdrawal period. I am not a medical professional so I don't know who to believe. But I did read one bird vet that said he did not think there was much risk because Amprolium is not that easily absorbed through the intestinal walls. But because of the controversy and varying opinions you get from from other medical professionals, he thought a one week withdrawal period was reasonable.

    Sorry about this being so long, but hopefully it helps clear up some of the misinformation being spread about medicated feed. Good luck!!!
     
  8. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nice info RidgeRunner [​IMG] Enjoyed the read. THX
     

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