Medicines for animals in the UK are categorised as follows:
POM-V Prescription Only Medicine - Vet.
A medicine, to be supplied on prescription. It must be prescribed (orally or in writing) by a vet to animals under his care following a clinical assessment, and which may be supplied by a veterinarian or pharmacist in accordance with the prescription.
I am a lay-man when it comes to veterinary science and have no qualifications in this field so this information should, naturally be taken as a 'view' and part of your overall research into what is best for your poultry.
Antibiotics are a fairly common treatment given to poultry on prescription to treat a variety of infections. Baytril or Tylan are often given to chickens with respiratory problems for example (and seem to work well for this complaint) but what is the risk is to our health when we are using antibiotics in animals that are producing food for human consumption?
The backyard poultry market is growing rapidly but many novice poultry owners are unaware of simple preventative health routines that can significantly improve the health and wellbeing of their birds.
Worms are not always visible and infection can be asymptomatic but worms can also affect egg quality and yield - fewer, smaller, paler, brittle eggs can result. Affected poultry can suffer ill thrift, anaemia and even death. The non-specific nature of the condition can make it hard for novices to identify.
Ivermectin is an anti-parasite medication, effective against most worms (not tapeworm), mites and some lice including scaly leg mite and northern fowl mite. Ivermectin pour-on / drops is applied to the skin.
Ivermectin Drops are usually sold under the Small Animal Exemption Scheme for use in rabbits, Guinea Pigs and ornamental birds. Products licensed under the Small Animal Exemption Scheme are not licensed for use in food producing animals such as chickens and it is for that reason that there is no information relating to the withdrawal period for eggs or meat following use of Ivermectin Drops on poultry. Where there is a licenced alternative, vets will prescribe the licenced product. To treat worms - Flubenvet is the (only) licenced in feed product.
Coccidiosis is a disease caused by internal parasites called Eimeria. These live inside the cells that line the birds intestine. As they reproduce, they cause bleeding and swelling in the intestines. Birds lose a lot of liquid and cannot absorb nutrients from their food and will soon die if left untreated.
Flubenvet 2.5% poultry wormer is a medicated feed supplement commonly used to worm chickens, turkeys and geese. It is not licensed for use with ducks although many people do use it. There is separate information on Worming Ducks here.
Flubenvet Intermediate (pictured right) is active against mature and immature nematodes (commonly known as worms) of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract. There are 3 major worms that usually affect chickens - these are roundworms, gapeworms and tapeworms. Birds that are suffering from large worm infestations will look ruffled and their combs and wattles will go pale and they can look as if they have little or no flesh on the breast.
Baytril is a broad spectrum antimicrobial antibiotic that is effective against primary and secondary bacterial and mycoplasma pathogens associated with chronic respiratory disease in chickens and turkeys.
Baytril is not licensed for use in hens producing eggs for human consumption. You can only buy Baytril on prescription from your veterinary surgeon who may decide in the absence of any other licensed products to prescribe it. If this is the case, you will need to follow their advice for egg withdrawal periods. Be warned, some vets are now advising that you should never eat the eggs from hens treated with Baytril.
Tylan is a broad spectrum antibiotic that treats diseases in the respiratory tract of bacterial or mycoplasmal origin in chickens and turkeys.
Tylan comes as a soluble powder but there is also an injectable form that vets will sometimes give. The injectable form is not licensed for use in hens producing eggs for human consumption in the UK. The following information is about Tylan Soluble (powder).
Frontline® products come in a spray or droplet (spot on) applicator. It is licensed for the treatment of fleas, ticks and biting lice in cats and dogs, it will fully control infestations of lice within 48 hours.
Frontline does not however kill lice eggs and is not licensed for Mites (and will not kill them). Frontline is not licensed for use on food producing animals but you may find your vet will prescribe it 'off license' to you to kill lice on your chickens.
Panacur is not licensed for use in Poultry in the UK. It is a wormer that is commonly used for cats and dogs but is a broad spectrum wormer that many vets will prescribe for poultry, often because they don't stock Flubenvet.
If you take your chickens to the vets for worming they will probably be given Panacur.