One of the nastiest diseases that commonly hit chickens is coccidiosis, an infection that can be acquired in almost all types of environment. in order to combat this illness, coop owners have the option to feed their chicken with medicated chicken feed containing coccidiostats and antibiotics. Although coccidiosis is really hard to prevent and medicating chickens seems a good way to combat the disease, this is not a good move if you are attempting to raise chickens for organic meat and eggs.
Here are the pros and cons of using medicated chicken feed:
Why Use Medicated Chicken Feed?
Feeding chicks with medicated food ensures that they do not contract the dreaded disease at such a premature stage in their development when their immune system is still developing. Since coccidiosis can strike almost anywhere at any time, having your chicks protected via medication ensures that they grow to become healthy chickens that provide good meat and eggs. using medicated chicken feed is also ideal for big chicken factories where it is too difficult to maintain a dry and clean environment at all times.
Why Avoid Medicated Chicken Feed?
However, if you are aiming to sell organic chicken meat and eggs, it is best to skip medicating your chickens’ food as doing this may lead to dangerous consequences. first off, continuously feeding antibiotics to chickens will create bacteria strains that are resistant to medication. in addition, good bacteria naturally found in the digestive track may be destroyed, hindering the proper absorption of nutrients from digested food.
Another disadvantage of using medicated chicken feed is the big possibility of contamination. Chemicals can remain in the meat and eggs produced by medicated chicken, endangering the health of those who will consume these products.
Guidelines in using Medicated Chicken Feed
Should you really deem it necessary to feed your chickens with medicated food, exclude those chickens that have already been vaccinated against coccidiosis. once vaccinated chickens are fed with medicated food (containing coccidiostats), they lose their resistance against the disease due to the nullified effect of double medications. one week prior to the slaughter of the chickens, they should be placed off medicated food and be fed with regular chicken feed to avoid drug contamination of meat.
Should you choose not to give your chicks coccidiostats, you can opt to give them starter feeds that contain amprollium. This medicine is not a treatment for coccidiosis, but serves to strengthen and enable babies’ immune system to fight cocci oocysts.
Alternative to Medication
If you don’t want to resort to medication but are still concerned about your chickens’ health, you may make use of fossilized plant cells called diatomaceous earth. This contains trace minerals that serve to fight off coccidian and intestinal parasites. You end up with healthy chickens that do not have a single trace of drugs in their meat or eggs.
Maintaining the health of chickens without medication is still possible, but much attention should be given to maintaining a clean and spacious environment for them in order to lessen the possibility of diseases. Giving your chickens sunshine, ample exercise, balanced diet, and sanitary environment is still the best method you can employ.