Can Chickens Take Amoxicillin?

Responsible use of Amoxicillin on chickens keeps them happy and healthy. Antibiotics use in animals started way back in 1910 when riots and protests hit the US because of meat shortage. Scientists responded by using antimicrobial agents to produce meat relatively cheaper.

However, with a universal challenge of antimicrobial resistance and increased treatment fails, some countries like Sweden, the Netherlands, and Denmark have already banned antibiotics on animals.

All in all, Amoxicillin has plenty of benefits if used right. In reality, compared to decades ago, they have played a significant role in promoting rapid growth and increasing meat and egg production. Based on this information, this piece will shed more light on the importance of Amoxicillin in the chicken world.

What does Amoxicillin Treat in Chickens?

Amoxicillin is a comprehensive penicillin antibiotic used to treat various infections in poultry. The drug works against some Gram-negative bacteria and penicillin-sensitive Gram-positive bacteria such as Clostridia and Staphylococci species plus alpha & beta-hemolytic streptococci.

Amoxicillin is also effective against E.coli and Salmonella strains. Qualified vets also consider the antibiotic in preventing pasteurellosis or fowl cholera mainly caused by predator’s scratches or bites. In essence, Amoxicillin and other antibiotics work by halting the growth of bacteria in a chicken’s body. For this reason, they only treat a whole load of bacterial infections.

Unfortunately, most respiratory ailments mainly caused by viral infections often get misdiagnosed and wrongly treated with antibiotics. It is usually not easy to tell the difference without microscope testing. Still, you can make basic observations to settle on the right treatment plan.

For instance, water discharge from the eyes or nose indicates bacteria presence which you can treat successfully with Amoxicillin.

How Much Amoxicillin Can Chickens Take?

The recommended Amoxicillin dosage is 10-15mg/kg body weight. In a study on eight broiler chickens, experts gave a prescribed amount of 10 mg/kg of body weight orally or intravenously.

Then, they monitored plasma concentration within 24 hours after every administration. Take into account that calculations of Amoxicillin concentrations happened through practical liquid chromatography.

On the other hand, experts used a two-compartment open plan to measure Pharmacokinetic variables. The outcome points out that an oral dose of 10 mg/kg works better in treating several infections in birds. However, a healthy drug reaction depends on a proper dosage guided by the body weight. Also, the severity of a condition determines the correct dosage.

How to Give Your Chickens Amoxicillin?

The best way to administer Amoxicillin is through drinking water, food rations, or injections. Prepare the solution with fresh running water slightly before use for a drinking water dosage. Once you open a sachet, use the contents right away and discard any unused solution (not stored in a refrigerator) after 12 hours. Other than that, you can mix Amoxicillin powder with dry feed.

Farmers should always keep all Amoxicillin medications, whether powder, tablets, or capsules, at room temperature and in tight containers. Soon after reconstitution, store the oral suspension in a fridge and discard unused concoction after 14 days.

Remember that the injectable solution can stay stable for at least three months at room temperature. The good news is that it can last up to 12 months when frozen.

For How Long Can Chicken Take Amoxicillin?

Courses of Amoxicillin treatment may vary depending on the clinical need. Altogether, most bacterial infections require roughly three to five days to clear. Following proper dosage in chickens is indispensable in guaranteeing appropriate treatment and preventing severe adverse reactions.

Remember that Amoxicillin, like other anti-bacterial, tends to destroy good and bad bacteria in the body. Therefore, take precautions on dosage requirements to prevent harming your bird.

Moreover, use antibiotics dosages for their intended purposes. For instance, do not use antibiotics meant for respiratory conditions to treat diarrhea. Instead, you can use Amoxicillin together with probiotics to help clear infections in the digestive tract.

Like digestive tract ailments, Amoxicillin dosages for respiratory issues may not work well on wounds. When in doubt, talk to a vetted veterinarian for optimal drug usage. Do not forget to inquire also about Amoxicillin interactions with other medications.

This is because high doses or interactions may lead to antibiotic resistance. In other terms, bacteria develop a genetic capability to survive even when on antibiotics treatment.

Furthermore, exposure to specific antibiotics makes it favorable for the bacteria to grow and eventually become predominant. Likewise, some bacteria put up a fierce defense by naturally resisting antibiotic treatment.

Luckily, the US Food and Drug Administration released a declining antimicrobial resistance report in 2014.  Although the matter is still not under control, responsible drug use can reduce resistance successfully.

Can Chickens Die from Too Much Amoxicillin?

Overuse of Amoxicillin may not kill chickens but can increase resistant bacteria. What’s more, affected birds may most likely develop stomach upsets and diarrhea from inappropriate use.

The bottom line is that too much Amoxicillin may become less effective to animals. The condition escalates and becomes difficult to treat in the long run, leading to an early death.

What are Other Antibiotics Safe for Chickens?

Apart from Amoxicillin, there are several other antibiotics you can use on poultry. Below are effective alternatives approved by the FDA.

– Chlortetracycline

This is a Tetracycline antibiotic mainly used in broilers to prevent and treat bacterial infections. Stakes are high that FDA may consider the drug for chicken growth promotion purposes soon.

– Bacitracin

This antibiotic is ideal in preventing necrotic enteritis, an ailment caused by a bacterium known as Clostridium.

– Penicillin

Experts recommend penicillin only to treat fowls affected by the rare gangrenous dermatitis. Similar to Chlortetracycline, FDA may phase out the drug for growth purposes.

– Tylosin

Like Bacitracin, Tylosin works perfectly in preventing necrotic enteritis in poultry. The only difference is that this is a Macrolide antibiotic.

– Virginiamycin

Another similar performing antibiotic on necrotic enteritis is Virginiamycin. Note that this is a Streptogramin antibiotic and not a Macrolide or Tetracycline.

– Bambermycin

This performance-enhancing drug works better when used in animal nutrition. Basically, it hinders bacterial wall synthesis and effectively treats Gram-positive pathogenic bacteria.


There is always a source of concern on whether available chicken meat contains antibiotics. According to federal rules slaughtering should only happen several days after antibiotics dosage. This ensures that the drug clears entirely from the animal’s system.

More on this, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, together with the FDA, works hand in hand to monitor and test antibiotic residues on meat sold in the market.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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