A Seasonal Trifecta

Published on Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:43am


 There are several items I would like to share this summer. First, summer brings new challenges to your backyard flock. One challenge is making sure your flock is getting the proper nutrition it needs to stay healthy. During the hot summer months, chickens will drink more and eat less, meaning they will consume less of their balanced feed with the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids they need for a healthy life. Because of this, consider adding some vitamins and electrolytes to their water. You can read more about vitamins, electrolytes, and when to use them in the summer 2014 issue of Chicken Whisperer Magazine. Because they will be drinking more, it’s crucial to make sure you're providing cool, fresh water to your flock. Chickens will drink more water when it's cool rather than warm. If the water temperature approaches the their body temperature, chickens may stop drinking altogether. Read more about water quality and the importance of cool water in our fall 2015 issue. Watch your flock closely this summer and do what you can to help prevent heat related illnesses—heat can be far more detrimental to chickens than cold.

Second, if you're used to medicating your flock with water-soluble antibiotics, your days may be limited due to some new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. According to the FDA website, “(The FDA) has amended the new animal drug regulations to implement the veterinary feed directive (VFD) drugs section of the Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996 (ADAA). On June 3, 2015, the FDA published in the Federal Register the final rule revising the VFD regulations in 21 CFR Part 558. A VFD drug is intended for use in animal feeds, and such use of the VFD drug is permitted only under the professional supervision of a licensed veterinarian.” Some of the more popular water-soluble antibiotics currently used by backyard chicken keepers that will become prescription-use only in January 2017 include Neomycin, Tylosin, Chlortetracycline, and Oxytetracycline. On a recent Chicken Whisperer podcast, I welcomed chicken veterinarian Dr. Maurice Pitesky, DVM to explain in detail all about these new regulations. You can find the podcast here: blogtalkradio.com/backyardpoultry.

Finally, I have some fantastic news to share with all my readers: I have just been offered a two-part book deal! There will be an second edition of my first book, The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens that will be released in spring 2017. The second book, The Chicken Whisperer’s Fact or Chicken Poop Collection (the current working title), will be released in spring 2018. I’m really looking forward to getting to work on both of these projects. It has always been my passion to share the most science-, fact-, and study-based information available to my fans, and this will be another resource for chicken keepers that want just that. I look forward to sharing updates as they become available. I hope that you and your flock have a wonderful summer.

Stay cool and stay healthy!

Andy G. Schneider, aka The Chicken Whisperer