The use of antibiotics in one day old chicks
This means that if the chicks come from a good quality hatchery on a farm with good management, which is disinfected after the last round, chicks should be able to develop a healthy gut flora. A healthy gut flora acts as a natural barrier against disease, which makes the use of antibiotics in one day old chicks not necessary.
In the article “Perturbation of microbiota in one-day old broiler chickens with antibiotic for 24 hours negatively affects intestinal immune development” (Schokker et al., 2017), the effect of giving antibiotics to one day old chicks is researched. The research states that antibiotics given in the first 24 hours have a negative effect on the development of a stable gut flora. Furthermore, it has a negative effect on the development of the immune system. So in other words: giving antibiotics to healthy one day old chicks, doesn’t benefit them, it is bad for their development. It is better to offer good quality feed and a clean environment to healthy chicks, instead of using antibiotics in the first 24 hours. To help chicks develop a good immune system, it can be helpful to give extra vitamins, like Powervit wsp or Vitamino Trace Oral. Why are we giving antibiotics to one day old chicks if it is bad for them?
This is mainly because, in many cases, chickens can have vertically transmitted diseases (image 1), or because of hatchery infections.Vertically transmitted diseases are diseases which go from the adult hen through the egg to the young chick. This means, the chickens are born with the infection. These diseases can be:
- Avian Encephelomyelitis
How do you know if you have chicks with vertically transmitted diseases or hatchery infections?
This is very difficult to find out. You can inform at your hatchery if they are Salmonella, Mycoplasma and hatchery infection free. Hatcheries in Europe usually have certificates to show that they are confirmed disease free.
Which antibiotics are suitable for one day old chicks?
When you need to treat your chicks it is very important to choose antibiotics which do least harm to the gut flora. Besides that, it is important that the antibiotics only...
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