Anyone know about feeding oxytetracycline to one layer?

dustbath

Songster
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
257
0
129
Washington County, NY
I lost a hen yesterday very suddenly. I want to dose the remaining flock (7 layers) with oxytetracycline (the only antibiotic for chickens available around here) but would like to make sure they are each getting the correct dosage. I don't want to add it to water or feed because I would have to keep them locked in the coop all day to make sure they only drink/eat what I give them and it is really too hot to do that. What I would like to do is to hand feed them a treat with the antibiotic mixed in so I'm sure they are each getting a full dose.

My questions are: 1) is it safe or advisable to mix an antibiotic designed to be added to water in feed? 2) anyone know how much 1 layer should get? 2) is it problematic to give them one or two concentrated per day rather than have them consume it gradually in water throughout the day?

If anyone has any insights into this, I would really appreciate it! I have no idea what killed my hen but don't want to risk losing the flock.

Many thanks!!
 

dustbath

Songster
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
257
0
129
Washington County, NY
Thank you very much for the link. Apart from everything else, it looks like I'm way under-dosing them. I did some complicated arithmetic from the package instructions for large-volume metered waterers and got 1/2 tsp per gallon.

I don't have Terramycin, my brand is Tetraoxy HCA 280, but it looks as if the concentration is about the same.

There's lots of water around in puddles and mud. I guess I'm just going to have to keep them inside.
 

KayTee

Songster
7 Years
Sep 21, 2012
941
224
181
South West France
I have found that dosing in water is extremely unreliable - dosing in food is a much more certain way of ensuring that a bird gets the required amount of any medication.

I have a five bird flock, and when one of my girls was extremely ill with clostridium perfringens I gave her a course of amoxycilin (the only antibiotic I could easily get hold of in France). To get her to eat it I sprinkled it onto her favourite treat - plain boiled rice. I then kept her in the coop when I let the others out to free range in the morning, and gave her the bowl of rice, which disappeared in 5 minutes flat! Once it was gone she was let out with the others in the garden. Since I had a pack of antibiotic powder designed to dose a herd of cows, measuring a dose for one large chicken wasn't easy - I'm certain that I gave her at least a double dose each day (possibly even a triple dose), and she ate it all in one go, but it seemed to work for her.

The dosage was given in mg/kg of live weight, which was easy to calculate, but it meant that I needed only three grams of powder per day for a 3.5kg chicken. To make life easier I measured out 10 grams (about three days' worth of medication) in one go, mixed it into 30ml of water, and then sprinkled 10ml of water per day onto the treat. However, with 7 hens you will be using a larger quantity of medication per day, so you may not have so much of a problem with measuring quantities.

The only problem in doing this with 7 hens is that some will eat more than others if you just put the dose for 7 chickens into one bowl of food. If you can separate them into two or three groups just long enough for them to eat the dosed food, they are more likely to get a more even amount each. The ideal would be to feed them one at a time, but I appreciate that it is not always easy to do - it depends how easy your girls are to catch and keep apart. As long as you put it onto a treat that you know they will eat completely in a short period of time, you know that they will get the full amount.

Good luck!
 
Last edited:

keesmom

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
9,709
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MA
Can you get your hen necropsied? She may very well have died from something non-bacterial.
 

dustbath

Songster
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
257
0
129
Washington County, NY
Thanks so much for this suggestion! As long as the dose isn't huge, I'm pretty sure I can give treats to each individually. My real problem is I can't find an antibiotic designed to go in feed. The package for the in-the-water kind only talks about adding it to water and I'm concerned that if I give them a daily dose all at once, when it designed to be spread out throughout the day, it will be too much for their systems. I wonder if anyone knows anything about that?
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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If you were treating with an antibiotic such as amoxicillin or Baytril, you would give 2 or 3 doses per day of a certain amount depending on weight. Tetracycline also comes in a capsule if you could get it from a vet.
 

KayTee

Songster
7 Years
Sep 21, 2012
941
224
181
South West France
The amoxicillin I used was designed to be mixed into the water, but also gave a dosage per kg live weight per day. When I worked it out, I knew that my girl would never drink enough water to get the full dose (plus I only wanted to treat 1 girl, so I would have to isolate her for a week) so I just calculated the amount for 1 chicken and added it to the feed.
 

dustbath

Songster
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
257
0
129
Washington County, NY
Are the weight instructions for the amoxicillin specifically for poultry? The tetracycline is the only poultry-specific antibiotic I can get around here and is only described for adding to water. There are other antibiotics available for cattle but I don't know if the dosage would be the same per kg.
 

casportpony

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Jun 24, 2012
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Are the weight instructions for the amoxicillin specifically for poultry? The tetracycline is the only poultry-specific antibiotic I can get around here and is only described for adding to water. There are other antibiotics available for cattle but I don't know if the dosage would be the same per kg.
Different animals get different amounts. Baytril is one example... Cats get *no* more than 5mg/kg per *day* as more than that can cause blindness, but birds are some time prescribed up to 20mg/kg per day.

-Kathy
 
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