Raising Chickens With Medicated Chick Starter

Reader Contribution by Staff

Is there a way to raise chicks without using medicated chick feed and vitamins in the water? 

Robert Engelbert
Wichita, Kansas

Medicated chick starter is aimed at a single disease, coccidiosis (intestinal parasites). This is a serious problem with brooder-raised chicks (it’s unlikely to be a problem with hen-hatched chickens). I recommend that beginners who are raising baby chicks use medicated chick starter because the symptoms of coccidiosis are often hard for beginners to spot, and your chicks can be permanently stunted or killed before you know what has happened. Wait until you’ve raised a few broods of chickens before giving up the training wheels that medicated starter provides.

I never use vitamins in the water myself. Any competently formulated chick starter will have plenty of vitamins. Use the right feed, keep the chicks warm, and never let them run out of food or water, and they should do fine.