We’ve said it before: Preventing disease through proper husbandry and biosecurity practices is the best approach toward keeping backyard chickens healthy. However, when birds do begin to exhibit signs of an illness, such as sneezing, coughing, bloody diarrhea or an inability to move normally, the cause can either be infectious or noninfectious, and antibiotics are not always the appropriate remedy.
Noninfectious diseases can be caused by nutritional and reproductive disorders and aren’t contagious. Infectious diseases, however, are caused by viruses, parasites and bacteria. Because of the relatively easy access to over-the-counter antibiotics from feed-supply stores in the past, some poultry keepers just blindly gave their birds medicine before they knew what was causing the disease. If the clinical signs are caused by noninfectious processes or infectious diseases that are not bacterial, administering antibiotics is wasteful and can contribute to antibiotic resistance.
In order to address the inappropriate use of over-the-counter antibiotics in animals, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently updated the Veterinary Feed Directive section of the Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996 in order to eliminate over-the-counter access of selected drugs. Here, we’ll explain the new feed directive and how it may affect you and your backyard flock.
Features of Over The Counter Antibiotics For Chickens
- is palatable and readily accepted by cattle
- Treatment: 16 oz. to 100 gallon water for 5 days
- Prevention: 8 oz. to 100 gallon water for 21 days.
Major classes of antibiotics
- Aminoglycosides (e.g., gentamycin, neomycin, spectinomycin, and streptomycin)
- Bambermycins (e.g., bambermycin, flavophospholipol)
- Penicillins (e.g., penicillin and amoxicillin)
- Cephalosporins (e.g., cefotaxime)Glycopeptides (e.g., vancomycin—not approved for animal use)
- Ionophores (e.g., monensin)
- Lincosamides (e.g., lincomycin)
- Macrolides (e.g., erythromycin, tylosin)
- Polypeptides (e.g., bacitracin)
- Quinolones (e.g., fluoroquinolones)
- Streptogramins (e.g., virginiamycin)
- Sulfonamides (e.g., sulfa drugs)
- Tetracyclines (e.g., chlortetracycline and oxytetracycline)
Prices of Over The Counter Antibiotics For Chickens
$24.95 – $30.99