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 Post subject: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:02 am 
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Hello. Just wondered if anyone else who can't buy unmedicated starter nearby would care to comment on the recipe I've put together?

The protein content of this should be 22%... Erring on the low side just in case.
Any thoughts on the recipe would be welcome. :) I'm not hardline, not against meds, but don't need them in my present setup.

2 parts cracked wheat
1 part lucerne chaff soaked in molasses water
1 part cornmeal
1 part rolled oats
1 part meat meal
1 part soy meal
half part sunflower kernels
quarter part skim milk or whey powder

+ chopped baby wheat greens (once daily) or other finely chopped greens (dandelion, spinach, chickweed, occasionally comfrey)


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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:49 pm 
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Sounds good. To be honest, what you have made up would be a lot better than commercial starter. If you keep the chicks on fresh ground, you will probably get away without needing the coccidistat medication, especially early in the hatching season.

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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 10:58 pm 
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Been thinking along similar lines, maybe with kelp powder, and substituting dried duckweed and nettle for soy.30%-50% protein.


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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:22 am 
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I dont understand taking the risks with unmedicated starter. The mix seems fine but coccidiosis is endemic in australia. It comes in with wild birds and is all over the ground. At some point before maturity they will come into contact with it with little or now developed immunity against it.

Yes, keeping the brooders and grower pens absolutely dry and strictly clean will reduce the risk of a severe outbreak as chickens to my mind its introducing an unnecessary risk.

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:50 am 
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Location: Hurstville, NSW
I raised one batch of chicks on unmedicated chick starter. They loved the feed and grew nice and big. At 8 weeks old they got a really severe dose of coccidiosis. Lots of blood in their poos. It was frightening. After reading posts on BYP about the poor survival rate of chicks with really bloody poos I expected to lose a few.

Luckily I had coccidiosis medication on hand which I administered immediately and they recovered within a week. These chicks were kept in large brooders in a spare room in my house so they hadn't even stepped outside let alone touched the ground. How did they get coccidiosis?

Anyway they all survived and they have grown into lovely, healthy hens but on balance I have decided not to risk the unmedicated feed again.

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Last edited by konopiste on Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:57 am 
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Unmedicated feed can work, but I wouldn't recommend it for a newbie to rearing chicks. You need to control the exposure and it takes some experience to do that reliably. It can be done though.

If somone hasn't seen a lot of chicks being reared and getting sick, it's going to be easier and more reliable to use the medicated option. Fewer tears, especially in damp weather.

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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:36 pm 
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Golden Robin
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Location: Tuross Head, NSW fsr south east coast
konopiste wrote:
. How did they get cocci?

Anyway they all survived and they have grown into lovely, healthy hens but on balance I have decided not to risk the unmedicated feed again.


Basically if you have other chooks then you have coccidia around. You walk it in on your hands, feet, food containers etc etc. That is unless you have strict barrier control and hygeine.

Waiting until they get coccidia to treat them is very risky because some strain don't readily respond and the coccidia actively attacks the the intestinal lining causing a loss of blood loss. A lot of the time you effectively kill the coccidia with medications but the damage that already has been done is so great that the chicken dies of blood loss and other complications from the damage. Apart from anything else it dramatically disrupts the digestion of food and recovering chickens can literally starve even if it is drinking and eating.

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 8:51 pm 
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Our farm is certified organic-we only have a few chooks for ourselves, and don't breed every year but haven't had bloody poos or un explained deaths for a long time. early days we lost some, but as I've heard other farmers say 'we worm our animals with lead'. Healthy animals get to hang around. We are considering increasing our flock size so it will be interesting to see what health problems may arise. Looking into oil of oregano at the moment, plenty of studies being done.


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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Yes, that's a good reason. I've also read some interesting material about oregano. It has a helpful effect although not as effective as other 'medications'. In combination with other practices it could be a good option for organic people. I have used tumeric and a few other herbal supplements. They get very expensive. If they were more affordable in bulk, I would use them more.

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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:05 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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There is an organically-certified product called Oregostim (or some name like that) made from oregano essential oil. It is claimed to give effective levels of coccidiosis control. You might like to investigate that option rather than leave the chicks exposed to what is a horrible pathogen??


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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:54 pm 
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Indeed! I've read some studies testing orego-stim against conventional alternatives and one indicated it may be a realistic alternative on a broad scale, not just in organic systems. good news. As I said, i'm looking into it. Oregano oil also seem s effective against internal parasites in our goats, according to my (pretty amateur) faecal testing. My microscope won't see oocysts though, unfortunately. Either that our there's NONE in there :o but I doubt it.


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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:09 pm 
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There's a few studies that do seem to indicate that turmeric MAY provide some cocci support in suitable doses, when mixed with feed. Chicken07 compiled information here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7984943&p=345579

Heaven knows what colour it might turn white chicks though :)

I use unmedicated crumble (Red Hen chick - not organic though) as the medication in the medicated stuff doesn't seem to be effective against my strain of cocci. I instead use Amprolium in the water at preventative doses, as appropriate.

However, I have also found that warmth, cleanliness, and space are basically the main way to prevent cocci without using drugs. Give the (hen and) chicks enough space that they're never treading in their own wet droppings, clean out their sleeping area _regularly_, and provide them with a separate "sunroom" area to sunbake without breezes, and I can raise an entire batch without medicating once, and with minimal losses (1-2 per 30, say - and they were Marans anyway!).

(And anyone who knows my ongoing cocci issues knows what sort of miracle that is!).

However, when I say space, I'm talking an orchard for at most 20 chicks. 20 x 20m sort of things. Basically, raise your chicks in a paddock with lots of shelter, greenstuff, and a portable sleeping area that can be shifted weekly to a new, clean spot, plus excellent feed support, vitamins in the water, and add in turmeric/oregano/whatever else, and I reckon you could raise chicks organically and with minimal losses.

I've been collecting ute covers and using them as the "sunrooms" for the chicks - works brilliantly. They don't tend to sleep in there at night, interestingly, but they love hanging out there during the day. I put food and water underneath and on cold, wet days, they may not move all day :). So I just shift them to a clean spot every week or so.


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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:36 pm 
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yes- that natural remedy thread is what led me here to byp in the first place! fantastic body of info. :thanks: i started writing some things i'd found out about oregano. according to my baby it's a supremely unimportant task- she tends to crack it within minutes of me starting.
do you use ute covers on their original frames or build new onese? i have a few covers from non-flat tray utes, which i've used over poly pipe domes for single roosters or wot not.
I like what you are saying, it makes a lot of sense. We hate having sick animals, or sick soil. We learned that understocking is the easiest way to avoid those things. our accountant thinks we are a joke however.. :biggrin:
luckily that doesn't keep me awake at night


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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:52 am 
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Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
I never take proper photos of my shelters but you can see part of the ute cover below:

Side shot, Leghorn cockerel in front.
Image

"rear" shot - this would be the end above the ute tray. The hydraulics no longer work so I hold the "door" up with a tomato stake. It works well, actually - I can adjust the height depending on the temperature and weather, thereby closing off the interior more or less. Here the door is almost straight, meaning you can barely see it. But you can see the feeder underneath. Random Barnacanalorp pullets in front :)

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 Post subject: Re: unmedicated starter
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:05 pm 
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I love it!

perfect for winter Tassie weather.
Thanks for taking photos! Lucky chooks.


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