After having had three mortally ill chickens in urgent need of medical care recently, it has become painfully apparent to me that finding trained medical professionals who treat backyard chickens is difficult, at best. More often than not, we keep our first aid kit well stocked and handle health challenges ourselves, but sometimes, that’s just not possible. If and when we are able to find any veterinarian willing to treat chickens, we consider ourselves lucky. Once past that hurdle, we just hope that they do the right thing from a treatment perspective, knowing that most vets do not have formal training in poultry care. With a recent study from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Animal Health Monitoring System projecting an increase in backyard flocks of over 400% in the next 5 years, it is time to discuss our expectations of medical care for our chickens among ourselves and with our veterinarians.
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