Sulfa treatment in Layers

adventureben

In the Brooder
9 Years
Sep 26, 2010
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My chickens were having runny red diarrhea and I foolishly treated them with Sulmet (sulfamethazine sodium 12.5%). The feed store recomended it to me when they were having similar problems as chicks. Only now did I realize that its not for use in laying hens over 16 weeks (my birds are about 20 weeks). Only one of my four birds was laying, and she hasn't laid an egg since started treatment.

Why is this drug contra-indicated for layers? Will egg production ever resume? Will the eggs be safe to eat again if it does? Is there a recommendation for treatment of red/ora frothy diarrhea that doesn't interfere with egg production?

Thanks for your help!
 

Miss Lydia

~Gift of God ~ Eternal Life ~John 3:16
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Oct 3, 2009
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That is a hard question. Read the label for your product- if you bought one of the sulmets that actually has chicken mentioned on the front- if you read the back it will say something like this:
WARNING: DO NOT MEDICATE CHICKENS OR TURKEYS PRODUCING EGGS FOR HUMAN CONSUPTION. TO AVOID DRUG RESIDUES IN EDIBLE FLESH- WITHDRAW MEDICATION FROM CHICKENS AND TURKEYS TEN (10) DAYS PRIOR TO SLAUGHTER FOR FOOD.
TREATED CATTLE MUST NOT BE SLAUGHTERED FOR AT LEAST ( 10) DAYS AFTER THE LAST DOSE, EXCEEDING FIVE (5) CONSECUTIVE DAYS OF TREATMENT MAY CAUSE VIOLATIVE TISSUE RESIDUE TO REMAIN BEYOND THE WITHDRAWAL TIME. DO NOT USE IN CALVES UNDER ONE (1) MONTH OF AGE OR CALVES BEING FED AN ALL MILK DIET, USE IN THESE CLASSES OF CLAVES MAY CAUSE VIOLATIVE RESIDUES TO REMAIN BEYOND THE WITHDRAWAL TIME. DO NOT USE IN FLMALE DAIRY CATTLE 20 MONTHS OF AGE OR OLDER, USE OF SULFAMETHAZINE IN THIS CLASS OF ANIMAL MAY CAUSE MILK RESIDUES.
WITHDRAW MEDICATION FROM SWINE FIFTEEN (A5) DAYS PRIOR TO SLAUGHTER FOR FOOD.

What these statements in general mean is that the company knows via drug residue testing that the drug will be gone out of the MEAT in chickens. Either the drug is not gone, or they do not know/didn't do the residue testing for eggs. So in the eyes of the FDA and FARAD- the answer to your question is NEVER. You should never eat them (eggs), never sell them (eggs), and never sell the bird as an egg layer without telling the buyer your used an off label drug. Does the average joe pay attention to the drug label beyond reading for a dosage for the species? Not usually. Most people use the OTC drugs without actually knowing what they are treating, they are guessing they have cocci or coryza and using sulmet, and they go and eat the eggs after 2 or 3 weeks as that is the time frame from ripening of yolk to laying the egg- but all of the actual ova a hen has the potential to lay are already there from the day she hatched. So if drug residue gets into an ova in her ovary- I suppose it could remain there. If the company that produces sulmet knows the answer, they are not forthcoming to the general chicken keeping public. Commercial farms are very strict about not using drugs off label because of the liability involved. People buying eggs from the store- like the labels that say not antibiotics/hormones used in the production of said eggs.... ivermectin, baytril, sulmet, all of the tetracyclines- are ALL off label for laying hens. So NO published withdrawal times for egg layers. Not what people want to hear, I know...
jess
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Well, I am still walking and I never stopped eating the eggs. Granted I never gave the birds the full dose, only enough to cure them, gave it for 3 days and assumed that at that point it would give their bodies that boost they needed to help themselves. Everyone is happy and healthy a few months later.
Call you vets office and perhaps they can help you.
Northern New England Bird Fanciers Association http://northernnewenglandbirdfanciers.webs.com/
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Just
a little info that I looked up for ya. hope it helps.
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
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Apr 15, 2009
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I have used Sulmet on my 2+ y.o. layers and had no ill effects from it. On the contrary, the Sulmet cleared up the raging case of cocci I had in my girls. Chances are good that your girl stopped laying from the stress of the illness, not the treatment. The eggs will be safe to eat 10 days after the last dose of Sulmet. You will need to discard eggs, not feed them back to the birds because you will still be giving them Sulmet through the eggs if you feed the eggs back to the birds. If you don't care to use Sulmet for bloody stools then you should try using Corid. No withdrawal using Corid, so no tossing eggs for 10 days.

Good luck.
 

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