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Why Mediated vs. Non-Medicated Chick Starter/Grower?

Written by: Mary - Staff Writer at NatureServe March 2022

During spring time chick season, we sometimes get consumers asking for my opinion on which NatureServe feed is best to choose for their baby chicks. When it comes to chicks, NatureServe feed has two options – medicated and non-medicated chick starter/grower.

At this young age in a chick’s life, the chick needs are different than adult chickens because they typically need more protein and a balanced nutrition made specifically for chicks that’s fortified with vitamins, enzymes and minerals needed for

healthy growth, strong bones and sound development. Whether you decide to buy the medicated vs. the non-medicated feed, it may be easier for you to make your decision by learning the benefit and background of adding medication to the feed so we’ll talk about that next.

Our medicated chick starter/grower contains the benefit of Amprolium as the medication. The Amprolium medication is added to the feed to help prevent

coccidiosis, also referred to as coccidia, which is a common intestinal parasite that can affect young and adult animals and can potentially spread quickly within a coop and to new chicks even if you had chickens with coccidia in the past since it could still be present in the coop.

When you order chicks or pick up chicks from a retail store, the chicks typically don’t receive the vaccine for coccidiosis unless requested. Let’s say if you have the scenario where they’ve had the vaccine, doubling coccidiosis avoidance by feeding medicated version is not necessary to do so and could possibly cancel out the protection, leaving chicks unprotected. Perhaps you decide that you don’t want the vaccine and you choose non-medicated feed, that may also work for you depending on your coop situation since everyone’s coop set up is different as well as their own personal preferences. If you choose to go with the medicated feed for your chicks, note that the medicated version doesn’t treat the coccidia, but instead prevents it as it’s a preventative medication. If you have coccidiosis in your coop, your veterinarian can provide you with solutions for treatment.

Happy Chick Season and remember that by choosing NatureServe feed, you’re feeding the same essential oils as the preferred feed brand of Hoover’s Hatchery. The essential oils help support immunity in baby chicks and these same essential oils can be found in all of our flock feeds.

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