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Feed Antibiotics - Can We Get Along Without Them?

by 5m Editor
1 August 2003, at 12:00am

By S.E. Watkins, Extension Specialist, and F.T. Jones, Extension Section Leader, University of Arkansas, published by Avian Advice. This article looks at an experiment to determine the possible performance and economic consequences of raising broilers without antibiotics.

Introduction

Regulatory, medical and government officials have stated for decades that antibiotics should not be fed to farm animals for growth promotion. While there is still not conclusive evidence that use of antibiotics for growth promotion increases drug resistance among human pathogens, it appears likely that the use of antibiotics for growth promotion will be phased out. The prospect of raising poultry with no feed antibiotics has raised concern in the minds of many growers. In view of this situation, an experiment was undertaken to determine the possible performance and economic consequences of raising broilers without antibiotics.

Procedures

Four broilers houses (40 x 400') were used in this study. Two houses received feed with antibiotics while the remaining two houses received feed that had no antibiotics, but did contain coccidiostat. Birds were placed at approximately the same density in each house and feed treatments were continued for approximately a year (5 flocks). Data were then compiled and averaged.

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(University of Arkansas - Avian Advice newsletter - Fall 2002)