UCP Episode 011: Medicated Chick Feed or Not – What Is Best For Your Baby Birds?

Laura Haggarty & Family of Pathfinders Farm

Laura Haggarty & Family of Pathfinders Farm

Many people take up chicken keeping for the particular purpose of having more control

Laura Haggarty, Pathfinders Farm's Buckeye Chickens

Laura Haggarty, Pathfinders Farm’s Buckeye Chickens

over this food source of eggs (and sometimes meat) in a direct response to the world of large agribusiness.  These individuals want hormone and antibiotic free meats and try to raise their birds as naturally as possible.  This raises the question, can you raise healthy, natural birds and eggs if you start the hens with medicated chick feed?  Laura Haggarty of Pathfinders Farm joins the Urban Chicken Podcast today to discuss this very issue.

Laura Haggarty, Pathfinders Farm's Buckeye Chickens

Laura Haggarty, Pathfinders Farm’s Buckeye Chickens

Medicated chick feed is specifically treated with a medicine called Amprolium.  The purpose of adding Amprolium to the feed is to slow down the growth of the Coccidiosis protozoa in baby birds.  Slowing the growth of Coccidiosis protozoa gives the birds’ bodies a chance to adjust to this creature living in their system without overwhelming their tiny bodies and killing them.  Despite this benefit to the birds, use of this drug begs the question – how long does Amprolium linger in a bird’s system?  On today’s show, Laura Haggarty addresses the issue of the effects of Amprolium in your baby chickens and the benefits of using medicated feed.  She also provides useful, actionable tips to follow if you decide to not use medicated chick feed with your flock.

Miranda Lowry's Chicken Coop in Texas

Miranda Lowry’s Chicken Coop in Texas

In Sally’s Sidenotes, I discuss a recent email message that I received from listener Miranda Lowry, who lives in Texas.  Ms. Lowry recently wrote to me the following lovely email:

Hi! I just started a backyard chicken coop in Dripping Springs, TX and wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed your podcast! Keep up the great work!


Miranda Lowry's Lovely Cuckoo Maran Hens -- They lay dark brown eggs!

Miranda Lowry’s Lovely Cuckoo Maran Hens — They lay dark brown eggs!

Mandy and I emailed a little bit and she shared pictures of her new chicken coop and her flock. She also gave me a terrific idea for a show topic and I am going to turn her suggestion into a show in the near future.  You should follow Mandy’s lead and email me your photos, chicken stories and show topic ideas.  I take very seriously your input and ideas.   Thank you Mandy for writing to me.  I am very much looking forward to turning your suggestion into a show!

See a short video of Mandy’s Cuckoo Marans clucking about their coop below.

Miranda Lowry's Chicken Coop

Miranda Lowry’s Chicken Coop


Show Resources:

      • Laura Haggarty’s Pathfinders Farm LINK
      • Laura Haggarty’s recipe for herbal chicken mash to treat viral illness LINK
      • Laura Haggarty’s Pathfinders Farm Twitter
      • Laura Haggarty’s Etsy account of retro, vintage cards and gifts LINK
      • Laura Haggarty’s Buckeye Chickens LINK
      • Utne Reader article “Photographing the Standard of Perfection” LINK
      • First State Vet Supply for Amprolium medicine (powdered or liquid) LINK
      • Backyard Chicken Forum (“The BYC” as Laura calls it) LINK
      • Ira Glass and Tamara Staples’ Book The Magnificent Chicken: Portraits of the Fairest Fowl

Sally’s Sidenotes:

  • Brief Video of Miranda Lowry’s Lovely Cuckoo Maran Hens                                                          
  • Miranda Lowry is raising Cuckoo Maran chickens.  These are lovely birds that lay very dark, chocolate brown eggs.  Here is more information about the Cuckoo Maran LINK
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