Keeping Drug Residues Out of Your Foodstream

Chicken CAFO

Let’s face it. One reason many of us keep backyard farm animals is because we want to decrease our levels of unintentional chemical residues that make it into our food stream. 

It’s pretty hard to learn about the conditions of large industrial animal farm operations (somewhat euphemistically called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs), and not be concerned about the affects of consuming animal products that have been exposed to megadoses of antibiotics and antiparasitics.But, as is the nature of life, sometimes even our own small backyard flocks suffer illnesses and we have to treat them to help them get better.

There are often natural remedies that backyard flock owners use, but occasionally some of us resort to using antibiotics or other chemicals with our chickens. When that happens, you should know the withdrawal period before you consume the eggs or meat of the treated animal.

The Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics published a review of the literature regarding residue and withdrawl period titled, “Pharmacokinetics of veterinary drugs in laying hens and residues in eggs.” It’s a pretty dense read, but this article has EVERYTHING you need to know about residue concentrations and withdrawl periods.

If you have a hard time understanding the information that is presented in this article, don’t despair. The kind folks at the Farm Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD) are available to help. Give them a shout if you need clarification, they will help.


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