It’s no secret that more chickens are coming to roost in both rural and urban areas these days – not only as pets to keep in the backyard, but also for the gathering and selling of their eggs. Hand in hand with that rise in popularity is the rise of requests by clients for their small-animal veterinarian to treat these backyard chickens. And while veterinarians certainly were educated on poultry medicine in veterinary school, the nuances of poultry topics, including federal food-animal drug rules that apply even for so-called “pet” chickens, can be a paradigm shift for small-animal practitioners who might otherwise only treat household pets.
Based on member requests for a go-to resource on poultry medicine, we’ve developed an online resource, Backyard Chickens 101: A Quick Guide for Small Animal Veterinarians. The resource provides short synopses on topics ranging from extralabel drug use to some common diseases in chickens. Perhaps even more helpful is that this can be used as a one-stop shop of web links to expert groups and to detailed subject matter resources.
We hope this resource is helpful for our small-animal member colleagues. As always, we invite your feedback and your ideas on other information needs that would be helpful for AVMA members.