QMany starter feeds for chickens are labelled as ‘medicated’. What is the medication and why is it in the feed? ANDY SAYS:
Without knowing precisely which brand of feed you are referring to, it is not possible to answer specifically. However, generally speaking, ‘medicated’ tends to refer to feed containing amprolium, which is an additive that helps to prevent coccidiosis.
Coccidiosis is a parasite that lives in the gut of many animals and it requires a chemical called thiamine to multiply. Amprolium is a thiamine blocker and it therefore restricts the growth of the parasite during the early weeks while the chick is growing until it reaches a more self-resistant stage of its life. (See also page 16.)