To medicate, or not to?

Dealing with sick chickens can be frustrating, and difficult to do when you are just starting out to raise fowl. There are books you can purchase, like Gail Damerow’s “The Chicken Health Handbook”, and with the internet now, there are great forums online just for raising poultry, like the Ultimate Fowl Forum. The question I am putting to you today is, should you medicate your sick birds? Sounds funny right? Why would I say this kind of thing? Of course you want to heal your sick birds, we all do. The thing is though, with some sickness’s, there are no cures, and you can only cure the symptoms, like CRD. By treating these symptoms, then breeding these birds, you will actually weaken your flock. Let me explain. If you only breed strong healthy birds, that can get over illness on their own, you will get the same kind of birds from them. If you breed birds that have trouble with illness, you will get birds that are more likely to get sick. Both methods will continue to compound themselves over time, and eventually will give you a much healthier, or weaker flock. So now you ask, what should I do if I decide not to medicate my fowl? My answer would be to take birds that show sickness and isolate them, to keep the problem from spreading throughout your flock. After this, provide vitamins, and electrolytes along with lots of fresh water, and good quality feed. Now you just have to let the bird deal with it on its own, or if it doesn’t look as if it will, to cull it out. I know this sounds harsh, but in the long run, will give you a much stronger flock. Now, saying all of this, there are things you will have to medicate like Coccidiosis, and parasites like worms, and mites, so I am not saying you can’t medicate, but give some thought to the method I described above, before reaching for the antibiotics, and you will see less sickness in your flock over time, and much stronger, healthier birds! Good luck!



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