I am new to BackYard Chickens but have been a happy chicken owner for several years now. I am also a practicing veterinarian and an ardent herbalist. After reading through some of the posts on this forum, I have to admit to doing a bit of cringing at a lot of the drug advise. Don't get me wrong, I am certain that there are a number of people on this site that are much, much more knowledgeable on poultry than I. I had to go out of my way to get any information on birds in general when I went through vet school, the average student that wasn't interested could go the whole way with practically no exposure at all. Avians are about as different from dogs and cats as you can get. Metabolically, physically they don't quite work the same or use drugs the same. Size is a huge factor here. Most drugs are usually set up to dose in Kilograms. That works out to a little over 2 pounds. It is much more difficult to dose a tiny, newly hatched chick that will only weigh a few grams than a 15 pound rooster with a drug intended for a much larger animal. I do know how to use drugs in general & where to find and understand dosing those drugs. I wouldn't mind writing up a short formulary but but don't want to put it here and haven't figured out how to write an article on this site yet. I'll think about it tomorrow. That said, I personally feel that antibiotics are both a blessing and a curse. When you need them you really need them and at times will be the only thing to save that chick that can't breathe or eat. However, their inappropriate or indiscriminate use, especially in commercial poultry operations is beginning to undermine our own health and environment. It's way too easy to just keep medicating the whole room and if you look at the research it seems that they are much more interested in the bottom line than the long term health effects. All of the research in poultry is understandably geared to the large commercial outfits and herbs don't make money for the Pharmaceutical company so you won't see their use well represented in research projects sponsored by them. This site is huge and could represent a really respectable pool for at least antidotal research on a subject near & dear to my heart - herbal remedies. Not having written up any formal research projects, I would have to look into structure and reporting, and with the variety of environments & subjects in this pool it may not turn out publishable results but would be much more informative than just my little 6 hen coop. I'm not interested in hard line research, if that bird is really sick then pull out the drug it needs & try to fix it, even if you'd really rather use herbs. I won't intentionally sacrifice any animal for the sake of a study. Anybody interested in tackling medicated chick starter? I have an herb in mind for that.