Amoxicillin for Chickens: Dosage, Side Effects, and More

You cannot be rearing chickens without having the necessary medications. As I tell most poultry keepers, you need to have a medication schedule to help maintain healthy chicken. One of the most important medications to have is Amoxicillin antibiotics.

Amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that falls under the penicillin family. It is one of the most commonly used antibiotics for poultry and is effective in treating a variety of bacterial infections.

Using antibiotics in chickens has become a standard practice in poultry production for disease prevention and growth promotion. When used judiciously under veterinary supervision, antibiotics like amoxicillin can help keep your chickens healthy.

Amoxicillin for Chickens


Amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is commonly used in chickens for the following purposes:

Treating Common Infections

Amoxicillin can be used to treat many common bacterial infections in chickens, such as:

  • Respiratory infections like mycoplasma gallisepticum (chronic respiratory disease), avian influenza, and infectious bronchitis
  • Salmonella and E. coli infections
  • Infections of the reproductive tract
  • Infections of the digestive tract like necrotic enteritis caused by Clostridium perfringens

Amoxicillin is effective against Gram-positive and some Gram-negative bacteria. It works by inhibiting bacterial cell wall synthesis, leading to cell lysis and death.

Preventing Infections

In some cases, amoxicillin may be used prophylactically to prevent infections in chickens that are at high risk or during disease outbreaks. This can help limit the spread of disease when used appropriately.

For example, amoxicillin may be administered to newly arrived day-old chickens on a farm to prevent them from developing respiratory infections. It could also be used in a flock that experienced a disease outbreak to prevent further spread. However, routine prophylactic use can contribute to antibiotic resistance, so this should be limited.


Amoxicillin dosage for chickens depends on the infection being treated and the severity of the infection. Also, the age of your chickens is often considered in amoxicillin dosage. Some general dosage guidelines include:

– Recommended dosage: The standard dosage of amoxicillin for chickens is 10-20 mg/kg body weight, given orally every 12-24 hours. For a 1kg chicken, the dosage would be 10-20mg per dose.

– Dosage forms: Amoxicillin for chickens is available in powder, liquid, and tablet/capsule form. The powder is commonly mixed with drinking water, while the liquid and capsules can be given orally via syringe or crop tubing.

– How much to give: When giving amoxicillin via drinking water, aim for a concentration of 200 – 400 mg per liter.

To achieve this, first calculate the total daily dosage needed for the flock weight. Then mix this amount into the amount of drinking water the chickens will consume in a day. It’s important to properly estimate flock water intake so the full therapeutic dosage is achieved. Underdosing can lead to treatment failure and antibiotic resistance.

Tablets or capsules can be directly given to individual birds based on their body weight. Liquids are dosed using an oral syringe or crop tube. Follow product label instructions for proper dosing.

Properly administering amoxicillin allows it to work effectively to treat bacterial infections in chickens while preventing under-dosing and resistance. Consult a veterinarian if ever unsure about giving medications.

Potential Side Effects

When used correctly, amoxicillin has few side effects in chickens. However, some potential side effects include:

– Diarrhea: Amoxicillin can disrupt the normal gut bacteria in chickens, leading to loose droppings or diarrhea. This is usually mild but can lead to dehydration if severe. Reducing dosage may help.

– Reduced egg production: In rare cases, amoxicillin may temporarily reduce egg laying in chickens. It’s unclear why this occurs, but production should return to normal once the medication stops.

Related: 5 Herbs To Increase Egg Production In Chickens

– Allergic reactions: Some chickens may experience allergic reactions to amoxicillin like rashes, facial swelling, or anaphylaxis. This is not common but can occur. Immediately stop medication if apparent.

– Meat and egg residues: Traces of amoxicillin may be found in eggs or meat from treated chickens. However, when proper withdrawal periods are followed, residue levels are considered safe for human consumption per FDA standards.

– Antibiotic resistance: Overuse of amoxicillin can lead to drug-resistant bacteria. It should only be used when needed and under the guidance of a vet. Alternating medications can help reduce resistance.

Generally, amoxicillin is considered safe for chickens when given at appropriate therapeutic levels. Monitor birds during treatment and discontinue use if severe reactions appear.

To avoid antibiotic residues, strictly follow the prescribed withdrawal period before consuming eggs or meat.

Withdrawal Period

Before slaughtering chickens or consuming eggs from chickens treated with amoxicillin, it’s crucial to follow the medication’s withdrawal period. The withdrawal period refers to the amount of time needed for the antibiotic to clear from the bird’s system.

For amoxicillin in chickens, the withdrawal period is typically 5 – 10 days. This means you’ll need to wait at least 5 days after the last dose before slaughtering the chicken for consumption. Additionally, discard all eggs laid within 10 days of the last amoxicillin dose. DO IT!

Adhering to these withdrawal times ensures no antibiotic residues remain in the meat or eggs. Consuming amoxicillin residues through chicken products could promote antibiotic resistance in humans. It may also cause hypersensitivity reactions in sensitive individuals if consumed.

Strictly following the medication withdrawal periods is essential when using antibiotics like amoxicillin responsibly in chickens. Waiting for the full duration allows the chickens’ systems to eliminate the medication. Consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about appropriate withdrawal times.

Interactions with Other Medications

When giving amoxicillin to chickens, it is important to avoid administering certain other medications at the same time, as they can interact with amoxicillin and cause adverse effects.

Specifically, amoxicillin should not be given along with:

– Tetracyclines like oxytetracycline: These antibiotics can bind to amoxicillin, rendering both medications ineffective. There should be a 5 – 7 days period between administering these medications.

– Erythromycins like tylosin: These macrolide antibiotics compete for binding sites, so they should not be given together. Have at least a 2 days gap between administering amoxicillin and erythromycins.

– Certain coccidiostats like amprolium: The combination can potentially lead to neurological impairment and even paralysis in chickens. If being treated for coccidiosis infection, discontinue the use of amprolium for a few days before giving amoxicillin.

– Anti-inflammatory drugs like flunixin or phenylbutazone: These can interact to increase the risk of kidney problems. Separate administration by 1-2 days. 

In general, always check for known medication interactions before giving amoxicillin alongside any other drugs. Also, space out administration times appropriately to prevent reduced efficacy or potential toxicity. Consulting a veterinarian on the ideal treatment regimen is recommended.

Alternatives to Amoxicillin for Chickens

While antibiotics like amoxicillin can be effective for treating bacterial infections in chickens, there are some concerns about antibiotic resistance and antibiotic residues in poultry products. For flock owners looking for alternatives to antibiotics, there are some options to consider:

– Probiotics: Adding probiotic supplements to feed or water can help promote healthy gut bacteria and strengthen chickens’ immune systems.

Common probiotic strains used in chickens include Bifidobacterium, Lactococcus, Lactobacillus, Bacillus, Streptococcus, and yeast such as Candida. Probiotics may help prevent and treat mild infections.

– Prebiotics: Prebiotics are non-digestible carbohydrates that feed beneficial gut bacteria. They are found in ingredients like garlic, onions, leeks, and Jerusalem artichokes. Adding these to chicken feed can support a healthy microbiome.

– Immune boosters: Ingredients like oregano, thyme, echinacea, and astragalus have natural compounds that can help stimulate chickens’ immune systems. They are often available as supplements.

– Electrolytes and vitamins: Providing chickens with electrolytes and vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin E during times of stress or illness can help strengthen their immune response.

– Herbal remedies: Some herbal remedies are thought to have antimicrobial properties, like oregano oil, ginger, and garlic. However, research is limited on herbal remedies for chickens.

Related: 10 Recommended Herbs For Chicken’s Healthy Growth

– Vaccinations: Vaccinating chickens against common diseases like fowl pox and infectious bronchitis is important for flock health and reducing the need for antibiotics.

– Sanitation and biosecurity: Maintaining clean housing, providing good ventilation, practicing good hygiene, and limiting outside contamination can go a long way in preventing illness and the need for antibiotics.

While antibiotics have their place in poultry medicine, focusing on prevention and supporting chickens’ overall immunity and gut health can reduce reliance on antibiotics for small backyard flocks. Consulting with a poultry veterinarian can help determine the best options for keeping chickens healthy without antibiotics.

Related: How To Make Organic Antibiotics For Chicken In Poultry Farm


I hope you have improved your knowledge of how to use Amoxicillin for chicken. amoxicillin is a valuable medication for chicken health when utilized responsibly. Always consult a veterinarian if you have any concerns about using amoxicillin in your flock.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Content is protected !!