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Medicated chicken feeds

Poultry feeds are available
with several types of medications for preventing or treating diseases.
Coccidiostats and/or antibiotics are the two most common medications added to
feeds.

Coccidiosis is hard to
control by sanitation practices alone. It is best prevented by feeding a
coccidiostat, which is a drug added to feed at low levels and fed continuously
to prevent coccidiosis. Feed broilers a ration containing a coccidiostat until
the last week before slaughtering. Feed an unmedicated feed during this last
week.

Mature chickens develop a
resistance to coccidiosis if allowed to contract a mild infection of the
disease. Birds raised for placement in the laying flocks are fed a coccidiostat
feed until about 16 weeks of age. The medicated feed is then replaced with a
nonmedicated feed. Spotty outbreaks of the disease can be controlled by
treating in the water with an appropriate coccidiostat. Examples of
coccidiostats added to the ration include Monensin sodium, Lasalocid,
Amprolium, and Salinomycin.

Antibiotics may also be
added to some poultry feeds. Antibiotics aid broiler performance and maintain
healthy birds. They are usually added at low (prophylactic) levels to prevent
minor diseases and produce faster, more efficient growth. Higher (therapeutic)
levels are usually given in water or injected into the bird. Examples of
antibiotics fed in the feed are Penicillin, Bacitracin, Chlortetracycline, and
Oxytetracycline.

Follow the recommended
medication withdrawal periods before eating meat or eggs from the treated
birds. Follow all warning instructions listed on the feed label.

By the Mississipi State
University Extension

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