If you keep chickens and haven't yet heard about the FDA's recent rules and standards changes please take a moment to read them. In this post, we'll provide some small flock guidelines and reminders to help you understand what this means for your pet chickens. New rules set in place for increased food safety and security have changed the accessibility of many medications for your backyard chickens. Previously, you might go to your local farm and feed store to pick up antibiotics, but now, a licensed veterinarian is required to diagnose your chicken/s and prescribe antibiotics for your flock.
The changes and rules that make it easier for factory farms, now present challenges to small farms as well as people who keep pet chickens in microflocks. Veterinarians who see poultry are not easy to find in many locations. Many small flock owners are now realizing they may not have a vet service to go to in case of flock illness. So what to do if your flock becomes sick? Before we get to the small flock guidelines, keep in mind your flock may never have a need for a vet visit. And there are lots of great ways to be proactive in keeping your flock healthy. My Pet Chicken provides wonderful information---for free---to help keep a healthy flock going strong. There are also medications available you can get without a licensed vet---be sure to read the directive at the link above. But there are also things you can do to increase biosecurity and improve the healthfulness of your flock's environment.