Do you do Medicated Chick Feed? Also an EGG ? - Mothering Forums
Country Living / Off the Grid > Do you do Medicated Chick Feed? Also an EGG ?
MrsJewelsRae's Avatar MrsJewelsRae 06:43 PM 08-26-2010
So my dh informed me he squeezed us in on the last chick day for 30 white rocks for meat birds. (and chickens were originally my venture!) In the spring we got 20 days olds dual purpose chicks (RRIs and barred rocks)- 10 went in the freezer and 8 are left for laying (plus 2 roos cause they were too pretty and I'd like to see if we can breed our own stock). Anyhow, our first time around we did medicated chick feed, which I wasn't keen on but the feed store was quite insistent we aught to do. All 20 survived and thrived so far, the remaining 10 are 4.5 months but I'm still waiting on eggs. So, for these 30 white rocks I'd really like to go unmedicated and organic or natural as possible. These will all be meat birds, btw.

Also, our chickens have not layed an egg yet, which I think is normal, as they're only 4.5 months. But they do not nest at all, they will not go in their nesting boxes. In the day they are somewhat free range in a very large fenced in yard of their own, they can go in and out of the hen house at will which is where the nesting boxes are. At night they get locked into a more secure pen where they roost. They won't use the nesting boxes at all, when we try to put them in there and pet them to get them to relax they get all flustered and run away as soon as we let go. Will they start nesting on their own when they are ready to lay eggs, or do I have to train them to use the nesting boxes. BTW, I cannot fit the nesting boxes into their night pen and I have to lock them in there at night because the main part of the hen house is not secure enough as it is an old barn. I guess I could cut apart one set of nesting boxes and place them in the pens at night, if y'all think this is necessary.

FarmerCathy's Avatar FarmerCathy 09:48 PM 08-26-2010
I would do unmedicated feed esp. if your consuming products from your chickens. I'm going to start sprouting grains and all that for mine, but it is more labor intensive and more expensive. So far, I'm giving them some kefir every other day and they it. Let me know if you want the info that was sent to me from another egg farmer.

Forgot to say. I would probably put nest boxes in where they roost at night. They start laying pretty early in the morning and yours should start laying soon, in the next month or two.
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 10:50 PM 08-26-2010
If you can get organic chick feed go for it, by all means IMO the medicated is only really needed if your raising hundreds (thousands?) of birds in close confinement. Otherwise its just overkill. We fed our chickens organic feed as long as we could get it...
1jooj's Avatar 1jooj 01:30 AM 08-28-2010
Not directly on topic, but I got an infection in one finger this summer. It was really gross and extremely painful, and very hard to get rid of--taking two rounds of abx (the second round was a scary and expensive kind) to clear. Three doc visits, two lancings. Just terrible. But, before prescribing the abx that worked, the doc asked me if I fed medicated feed to any of my livestock.

I don't--and the doc was very happy/relieved to hear it. Not only do we not need the residues in the animal products we're eating, but we don't need to be encouraging the growth of resistant bacteria. We usually raise about 50 chicks at a time, and they do all right on unmedicated feed.
tayndrewsmama's Avatar tayndrewsmama 05:06 PM 10-18-2010
So is that really what medicated feed is? Antibiotics? I guess I should have known this, but I never considered medicated feed for a minute so I never looked into it.
Hibou's Avatar Hibou 11:34 PM 10-22-2010
FWIW, dandelions are an old-time remedy against coccidiosis. We've never gone with vacc'ing our birds or giving medicated feed. We just chop up some dandelion greens for them once they're a couple days old (chopped very fine) and add it to their feed.
FarmerCathy's Avatar FarmerCathy 08:30 AM 10-23-2010
Originally Posted by Hibou View Post
FWIW, dandelions are an old-time remedy against coccidiosis. We've never gone with vacc'ing our birds or giving medicated feed. We just chop up some dandelion greens for them once they're a couple days old (chopped very fine) and add it to their feed.
That is awesome. I need to feed that to the baby goats too when they start eating stuff after they arrive. Babies here soon, mama is huge.
MrsJewelsRae's Avatar MrsJewelsRae 07:13 PM 10-27-2010
Great tip! Thanks! We went with unmedicated and so far have not had any problems! Our white rocks are ready to be slaughtered in 2 weeks and we haven't lost any! I will not do medicated feed again.

Oh and my older chickens started laying just a few days after the original post. They are CHAMPION layers, I am just amazed! We have 8 and we collect at least 5 eggs every single day and have even gotten 8 eggs a day several times, inlcuding a massive double yolker!!! Yay! The excitement of egg hunting has still not worn off for the kids and it's been almost 2 months.
Erinz's Avatar Erinz 06:07 PM 10-28-2010
We always do unmedicated. I feed our hens mostly whole grains (unless I forget to put the bulk order) so I just sprout them for the babies. Mama hens show their own chicks what to do anyway.