Something to consider; Medicated Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering' started by VIVI, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. VIVI

    VIVI Country Gurl

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    [FONT=&quot]Something to consider;[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Many of us feed medicated starter, Vit D mal-absorption/depletion occurs with its use. Vitamin D3 is absorbed through foods, which are consumed by the chicks. Only 10% of the chicks Vit D daily needs are absorbed through food. The body creates the other 90%. Now without proper Vit D the chick’s body can only absorb 10 to 15 % percent of the calcium in food. [/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Although Vit D3 is available from sunlight many brooders are indoors which is detrimental to our birds. So you say what is the answer, many say no medicated feed or supplement with medicated feed. I use Mother Nature she knows best, and feed my medicated feed.[/FONT][FONT=&quot] To each their OWN.[/FONT]
    VIVI


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  2. Sundancers

    Sundancers New Member

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    I agree ... To each their own. :)

    No medicated feed for me (or my fowl)

    I'm one of the strange odd folks that thinks we use to much medicated this and that. (sorry)
     

  3. HomeSkillet

    HomeSkillet New Member

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    I made the decision to go non-medicated and my chicks have all done fine so far (knock on wood).

    Choice is good, caring enough to debate options is good too!
     
  4. Pathfindersfarm

    Pathfindersfarm New Member

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    All it takes is losing an entire pen full of chicks to cocci and you might rethink the decision on not to use medicated feed.

    Remember, "medicated" feed is not filled with antibiotics, the "medicine" is actually a thiamine inhibitor, which slows down the cocci's ability to replicate. All chickens will have cocci in their systems, the key is to allow chicks time to get used to having it in their systems. If their systems are overrun with it, they will die.

    Some areas have more cocci than others. If you are raising chicks someplace that has had chickens previously, you may have cocci already in your soil and not know it (which is what happened to us when we moved here in '03.)

    I am actually a pretty granola/crunchy girl: I'm a lay homeopath, an amateur herbalist, and a Reiki Master/Teacher, and the last thing I thought I'd want to do is use "medicated" anything. So I went with just plain chick feed, and lived to rue the day. I lost quite a few chicks to cocci, and it was awful. Sulmet didn't work. I didn't know to use Amprolium (which is much more effective than Sulmet), and it was heartbreaking to see the poor wee ones die.

    I then did a lot of research on cocci, and decided to switch to using medicated feed. It doesn't stay in their systems, there is no withdrawal time for meat or eggs because you switch off of it long before you butcher or the birds begin to lay (you don't use it for Cornish Cross meat birds, they don't live long enough to bother.) It's not an antibiotic, as I said, it's just a thiamine inhibitor, and does it's work that way.

    So for me, it's a no-brainer. All my chicks are on medicated feed until they are about 8 weeks old and put out on grass in pens I can move around daily or every other day. I watch their feces like a hawk, and if I see signs of cocci, I use Corid, which is the commercial form of Amprolium, which I keep on hand.
     
  5. twentynine

    twentynine New Member

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    Medicated here.

    I also supplement with a vitamin/electrolyte product added to their water.

    I don't have to be hit in the head to understand fatalities in chicks.
     
  6. Pathfindersfarm

    Pathfindersfarm New Member

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    I too add a pinch of the electrolytes I get at the feed store to every gallon of water I give chicks. About, oh, a 16th of a teaspoon. Just enough to color the water slightly yellow, no more. One bag of the stuff lasts forever.
     
  7. 7chicks

    7chicks New Member

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    I raised my girls on the medicated starter food too. Wasn't taking any chances being I was so new to chickens. I think perhaps the companies use of "medicated" starter food is a bad term to use for description of the product.
     
  8. Apyl

    Apyl New Member

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    Yup to each their own. I do not and will never use medicated feed. I have my flock to provide me with meat and eggs that I know are pure, I do not medicate at all. I dont want it in my meat or eggs that we eat.
     
  9. Pathfindersfarm

    Pathfindersfarm New Member

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    Apyl, medicated feed, if used as directed, will never be in the meat or eggs you consume.
     
  10. Queenie

    Queenie New Member

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    I know this thread has been posted for awhile, but I've got questions. My three little ones are 4 weeks old today. Due to the continuous rain that we've been having, (every day for the past month), I have them in a playpen in the chicken house. I have been giving them medicated chick starter because of our weather. I'm ready to open the pen up and let them start coming and going, but once I do - the adults will be getting in and eating their chick feed. Are they past the stage where cocci will be a problem for them? And is it ok for them to graduate to layer feed now?
     
  11. Bee

    Bee Active Member

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    I feed all my chick unmedicated chick starter or even just layer mash for the first few weeks and then they are free ranged with the big flock and eat what they eat...layer ration and whole grains or just layer ration.

    No, it's not a no brainer that one will have their whole flock die if they don't use medicated chick feed...that's a knee jerk reaction to having not exposed chicks to the normal loads of cocci in their native/area soil in a prudent fashion and then blaming the non medicated food as being the reason.

    Unfortunately, the same thiamine inhibitor that slows the growth of cocci oocysts will also slow the growth of other, more beneficial bacteria/yeasts, that should be growing as well. It creates the same action as feeding an antibiotic in the effect that it has on the healthy flora in the bowel...so the chicks are started out with a thiamine deficiency, a stripped bowel and low calcium uptake.

    It's as simple as throwing some of the soil on which they will be living, eventually, into the brooder and letting it inoculate their bedding with a low level of the bacteria that will be in their environment so that they can form immunities for them.

    You can also populate their bowels with healthy bacteria by feeding fermented feeds, mother vinegar or buttermilk in their feeds the first week. It's not tough to turn out healthy chicks.

    I've been raising chickens for a longtime and never had "a whole flock die out" because of cocci...never had illness in the flocks at all. Never used medicine on the birds. Medicated feeds are formulated for commercial ag businesses so they can raise many birds in a small space, in a short amount of time, to make the biggest profit.

    Backyard flocks do not have to be raised in that manner, so we are at liberty to explore more healthy ways to raise our animals..reaching for medicine should be the LAST resort, not the first one.

    But..as was said..each to his own. The proof is in who is losing livestock and who is not. If I were new at this, I'd be listening to those who are not killing off whole flocks of birds. ;)
     
  12. Queenie

    Queenie New Member

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    Thanks Bee. I never realized that was the effect of the medicated feeds. You've educated me and have been alot of help. Tomorrow, we start mussin' up the little ones' housekeeping a bit. :D
     
  13. Itsacutefuzzball

    Itsacutefuzzball New Member

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    How do you tell if your chicken has too much cocci?
     
  14. Bee

    Bee Active Member

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    They will not produce well, they will not maintain good condition, they will have diarrhea if it's bad enough, can often have blood in the stool and they can sicken and die. They will have dull, ragged feathering and will not display bright eyes and good activity levels. They are more susceptible to parasite infestation, both internal and external because of their lowered immune system and constantly trying to fight this infection.

    All chickens have cocci in their bowel flora...and they have salmonella, e.coli, etc. as well. These are naturally occurring in their bowels and normally never present a problem unless they are allowed to proliferate and go into an overgrowth, in which they attach to the bowel walls preventing nutrient absorption, cause inflammation and contamination of the blood by these pathogens and also prevent good flora from establishing in the bowels and inhabiting the intestinal walls.

    The good news is that, though cocci reproduce quicker than more beneficial bacteria, they are not as strong as they are, so if one provides healthy bowel bacteria the opportunity to thrive, they will attach to intestinal walls and provide no place for the harmful bacteria to reproduce and populate in great numbers. They also produce certain by-products of their reproduction that actually inhibit the overgrowth of cocci, e.coli, salmonella, etc.

    When you take a stool sample to the vet and they say they have cocci, what they are saying is that they have a large enough population of cocci in the stool to indicate an overgrowth...not that they shouldn't have any cocci at all, because that is naturally occurring for livestock and in the soils and cannot be entirely killed off.

    There are safe loads of these bacteria to carry and the lab will go on the number of oocysts of cocci in the stool sample to determine if they are at dangerous levels~ in an overgrowth state.