Country Smallholding - - Vet’s Forum -

QIhave an ex- bat hen that has an in­fected tail area. Bathing this with dis­in­fec­tant has not sorted it. Can I get an­tibi­otics to give to her? She is still lay­ing some eggs and we do eat them.


If you want to use an­tibi­otics in a lay­ing hen there are few that are not only li­censed but have nil egg with­drawal: Ty­lan Sol­u­ble is one. You will need to take your hen to your vet to ob­tain some of the pow­der, which can be dis­pensed in small quan­ti­ties for just one hen, so don’t get charged for the whole bot­tle! You may need to phone them first to en­sure it is in stock. It goes in the drinker (plas­tic only to avoid zinc tox­i­c­ity) and must be dis­solved by vig­or­ous shak­ing in a small pot be­fore adding to the wa­ter, oth­er­wise it sits in the base of the drinker and does not get to the hen. It needs to be given for five days; the dose is 1g of pow­der in 2L and if some of the so­lu­tion has to be dis­posed of at the end of it for just one hen, so be it. It may be that the ‘in­fected tail area’ could be an in­fected or blocked preen gland. This is sit­u­ated just be­hind the tail on the back (small and shaped like a biro point with a tiny feather tip) and may need squeez­ing gen­tly. This is used by the hen to put the oily gland ex­cre­tion on her feath­ers by wip­ing her beak on it be­fore preen­ing to put in­ac­tive vi­ta­min D on the feath­ers which then turns to ac­tive D3 in sun­light, the hen preens again and in­gests the ac­tive vi­ta­min. If you are feed­ing maize, this makes hens ag­gres­sive in warm weather, so sep­a­rate this hen and only feed a lit­tle whole wheat to them all to avoid feather peck­ing and fur­ther dam­age.

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