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.