NOTE: CDC has reported 8 outbreaks of human salmonellosis related to backyard poultry flocks. There have been 611 people affected in 45 states, including 35 cases in Kentucky.
NOTE: January 1, 2017 there will be restrictions on the purchase of over-the-counter medications for poultry.
- Concerns over the development of antibiotic resistance in human medicine have led to the development of new regulations controlling the use of antibiotics in animal feed. Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) drugs are medically important antibiotics whose use is regulated. New guidelines for these drugs become effective in January 1, 2017. Some of these drugs have been used in poultry medicine.
- How will these changes affect small-scale poultry producers? After the end of 2016 a veterinarian prescription will be required to get medicated feed as well as purchase what were over the counter drugs. Over the counter drugs now available online or in feed stores will no longer be available without a VFD. The VFD must be issued by a licensed veterinarian and there must be a veterinarian-client relationship. Small scale poultry producers need to develop a relationship with a veterinarian so if their birds get sick they can obtain the needed drugs.
There are many reasons an individual or family may want to raise poultry:
- For profit through the sale of meat, eggs and/or chicks
- For family consumption of meat and/or eggs
- As a control for pests
- As a hobby and/or for poultry exhibitions
- As a 4-H or FFA project
A small poultry flock is relatively inexpensive, requires less space than most animal enterprises and doesn't require much time. In addition, raising a small poultry flock is also a good way to introduce youth to animal agriculture (for food or fiber) and to help build a sense of responsibility (since animals need to be taken care of 365 days a year).
The purpose of this website is to serve as a resource guide for small flock and backyard poultry owners.