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Cooperative Extension: Livestock

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Poultry - Drug Use in Layers and Other Livestock

Drug Use in Layers and Other Livestock

By Anne Lichtenwalner, DVM, PhD, University of Maine Extension

Did you know …

Even if you can buy them over-the-counter, virtually no animal drugs (such as wormers and antibiotics) are okay to use in laying hens. Read the label carefully before you buy! If it is okay for you to use in your layers, then it will specifically state that it is for use in laying hens. If so, then it should also give you a “withdrawal time” to wait before eating the eggs. If it does not, there is no “safe” time established for use of the eggs.

What are your other options?

If your vet diagnoses the problem, then he or she can prescribe the use of an appropriate “off label” drug, with specific directions to you about its use and the right “withdrawal time” to wait. Sometimes it is worth the money to involve your vet early, so that you can avoid long withdrawal times, or even the loss of your flock due to disease. If you or your vet would like support from the University of Maine Animal Health Lab in the diagnosis of poultry disease, call 207.581.2789.

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Image Description: poultry; photo by Edwin Remsberg

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University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Contact Information

Cooperative Extension: Livestock
5741 Libby Hall
Orono, Maine 04469-5741
Phone: 207.581.3188, 800.287.0274 (in Maine) or 800.287.8957 (TDD)E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System