The fragile nature of chickens has made their production a meticulous one. Chickens need adequate care and attention to enhance their productivity. Irrespective of the type or nature of production, a poultry farm must have a medication schedule that shows different drugs to be administered in a certain period. Part of this schedule is the use of antibiotics and other immune-boosting poultry drugs.
The use of Antibiotics is part of poultry production medications. An antibiotic is a drug that inhibits or kills the growth of pathogenic bacteria within the chicken. It is used to treat diseases and respiratory infections that maybe be caused by bacteria. The use of antibiotics in poultry production has been regulated to conform to the healthy living of human consumers and also to reduce toxicity in the chicken. There are different types of antibiotics used in poultry; some have been observed to have detrimental effects on human’s health owing to their residual effects but under control, some have been approved for use in poultry production.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are microbial in nature, they are chemical substance produced by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. There are two kinds of antibiotics, considering their mode of action. They are:
- Broad spectrum antibiotics
- Narrow spectrum antibiotics
Broad spectrum antibiotics are antibiotics that are effective in treating a wide range of infection. The narrow spectrum antibiotics are another kind that are effective against only a few types of bacteria.
Drugs that act on bacteria are classified as:
- Bacteriocidal: They are drugs that kill bacteria.
- Bacteriostatic: These are drugs that slow the growth of bacteria.
Here is the list of common antibiotics used in poultry.
- Aminoglycosides: These compounds are derived from species of Streptomyces bacteria. These antibiotics block the synthesis or formation of the protein that aid bacteria growth. The growth of such bacteria will threaten the immune system of the chicken. Examples of antibiotics that contain Aminoglycosides are Gentamycin, Neomycin, Streptomycin, and Spectinomycin. They are effective in treating enteric infections.
- Beta-lactams: There are two major types of these antibiotics: Pencillins and Cephalosporins. Pencillins are the first antibiotics to be discovered; they are made by the molds of Penicillium notatum. Penicillins are bacteriocidal; they kill bacteria by inhibiting the formation of the cell wall of the bacteria, hence, exposing the content present in the cell. Examples of penicillin antibiotics are Ampicillin and Amoxicillin. Penicillins are antibiotics for chickens with respiratory infection; they are very effective at treating various poultry diseases such as sinusitis and chronic respiratory diseases in poultry.
- Ionophores: Ionophores have both antibiotic and coccidiostat properties as are best used as feed additives to treat coccidiosis in poultry.
- Lincosamides: They are produced by Streptomyces licolnensis. Lincosamides antibiotics penetrate into the tissue, including the bones. They are very effective in treating bone and joint infections and necrotic enteritis. Example of antibiotics that contains these compounds is Lincomycin.
- Macrolides: These are bacteriostatic antibiotics; they inhibit protein formation in the pathogen. Example of macrolides antibiotics is Tylosin. Macrolides are effective in treating necrotic enteritis.
- Bambermycins: These are gotten from some species of Streptomyces bacteria. These antibiotics inhibit the synthesis of the bacterial cell wall. Examples of Bambermycins antibiotics are Bambermycin and Flavophospholipol. They are effective in treating gram-positive pathogenic bacteria.
- Polypeptides: Polypeptides are antibiotics effective at treating various poultry diseases like E coli. Salmonella and Pasteurella. Examples of antibiotics that contain polypeptides are Bacitracin and Polymyxin E.
- Quinolones: These are synthetic antibiotics, they are not derived from microorganisms; they prevent bacteria from multiplying. They are broad spectrum antibiotics. Chicken antibiotics with these compounds are Difloxacin, Norfloxacin, Flumequine, Enroflaxin, and Danofloxacin. They are effective in treating various poultry diseases like Fowl cholera, Salmonellosis, Colibacillosis etc.
- Streptogramins: Produced by Streptomyces spp. They are bacteriostatic; they inhibit the protein synthesis and cell wall formation of the pathogen. Virginiamycin is an example of Streptogramins; it is good at treating necrotic enteritis.
- Tetracyclines: Tetracyclines are another antibiotic produced by bacteria Streptomyces spp. They are broad spectrum bacteriostatic. Tetracyclines prevent the pathogen from multiplying within the host. Examples of tetracycline antibiotics are Chlortetracycline and Oxytetracycline.
- Sulfonamides: These are broad-spectrum antibiotics and are bacteriostatic in nature. They distort the nucleic acid, DNA and RNA, which are responsible for cell growth and replication. Example of Sulfonamide antibiotics is Trimethoprim; which is very effective against E. coli, Pasteurella, Salmonella, and Streptococcus etc.
One of your duties is to take a glance at the active ingredient of every drug you serve your chicken. These are the approved and recommended antibiotics you can use in fighting infection in your poultry farm. They are inorganic but very effective at dealing with targeted infection.
They are more recommended for commercial poultry production. Chicken antibiotic dosage must be noted to avoid overdose or indiscriminate use of a drug. Adhere strictly to the instruction embedded in the pack to enhance the effectiveness of the drug.
There are other natural antibiotics for chicken, such as garlic extract, ginger extract and other herbs used for chickens. These are basically used for organic chicken production.
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