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Country Discussion Topics
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Chickens and eggs
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Dave    Posted 05-25-2003 at 20:05:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Someone told me to feed the starter/grower feed until I get an egg then switch to layer. Well, isn't starter/grower medicated? Is there a withdrawal time that I have to feed regular feed before I can slaughter birds and eat eggs? The feed bag doesn't say anything about it. It does say that the feed contains "Amprolium & Bacitracin Methylene Disalicylate"

Ron/PA    Posted 05-26-2003 at 03:43:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Dave, the idea of using starter/grower until producution begins is based on the crude protien level of the feed. Growing pullets need a fairly high protien level to maintain body developement. However too high of a protien level will push the birds developement, and add weight before the bone structure is developed enough to handle the weight.
Check the feed lables and if the protien level drops of a bit in the layer mash, and the calcium level increases or stays fairly high, you can switch at about 12 weeks of age.
Amprolium, is used to treat coccidiosis, Bacitracin is used to treat Ulcerative Enteritus, In the real world of commercial production both of these are used as treatments, and not preventive medicines, as is the case in back yard flocks, treatment is more practical, as mortality can run as high as 100%.
Both are listed as 3 week treatment periods. No harm in continued use, and neither one have any withdrawl period at all before slaughter, or egg consumption.

Dave    Posted 05-26-2003 at 08:04:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Thanks Ron & Tom, I will switch feeds this week as they will be 16 weeks on Wednesday. We may be roasting one later today. We were given a couple of baby Bantams that will finish off the starter. My mawinlaw "cought" them last week and she may "catch" some more this week. She is covered up with "wild chickens" ;)

Thanks Again!!

Tom A    Posted 05-26-2003 at 03:11:37       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Some, but not all starter is medicated. We use one by Purina that is *not* and there are several others if you ask your dealer. I don't believe antibiotics they're needed.

I think waiting until you get eggs is too late to switch to layer. We usually switch when the chicks are about 16-18 weeks old (the layer ration bag is labelled for a "not younger than" age. On our old breeds, which don't grow quite so fast as the newer ones.

If the label on the package doesn't list withdrawal time, and doesn't say how long to keep the chicks on the feed, then I'd guess there isn't any, but you should ask your dealer to make sure...what you say is listed is an antibiotic.

Tom A

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