Skip to content
black-chicken-icon-24

Broiler companies participated voluntarily and represented a large percentage of the overall U.S. broiler chicken production

  • The antimicrobial use datasets represent 72% to 93% of broiler chicken produced annually, based on the companies included in the published WATT Poultry USA list
  • The antimicrobial use data that were submitted for 2017 include information on approximately 7,900,000,000 chicks placed, 7,500,000,000 chickens slaughtered, and 48,000,000,000 pounds liveweight produced

Several key diseases were targeted by antimicrobial administration

  • Necrotic enteritis, a clostridial disease of chickens, remains one of the most important diseases of chickens that requires antimicrobial therapy
  • Colibacillosis, a broad category of E. coli diseases that affect chickens, results in much of the antimicrobial use in feed and water
  • Gangrenous dermatitis, another clostridial disease, necessitates a considerable fraction of the overall antimicrobial use in chicken production

Antimicrobial use by all routes decreased substantially between 2013 and 2017

Hatchery Antimicrobials

    • The approximate percentage of broiler chicks placed that received hatchery antimicrobials decreased from 93% in 2013 to 17% in 2017
    • Hatchery gentamicin use in broiler chicks decreased approximately 74% between 2013 and 2017

Hatchery Antimicrobial Figures

In-Feed Antimicrobials

    • In-feed virginiamycin use decreased approximately 60% between 2013 and 2017
    • In-feed tetracycline use decreased approximately 95% between 2013 and 2017

In-Feed Antimicrobial Figures

Water-Soluble Antimicrobials

    • Water-soluble penicillin use decreased approximately 21% between 2013 and 2017
    • Water-soluble tetracycline use decreased approximately 47% between 2013 and 2017
    • Water-soluble lincomycin use decreased approximately 28% between 2013 and 2017
    • Water-soluble sulfonamide use decreased approximately 72% between 2013 and 2017
    • Water-soluble tylosin use decreased approximately 46% between 2013 and 2017

Water-Soluble Antimicrobial Figures

There was a shift to greater use of antimicrobial drugs that are not medically-important

  • In-feed bacitracin remained a commonly-used antimicrobial drug for the prevention of necrotic enteritis
  • In-feed avilamycin use increased in 2017, as it is a not medically important antimicrobial drug for the prevention of necrotic enteritis

Not Medically Important Antimicrobial Figures

There were substantial reductions in the use of most medically important antimicrobials in broiler production, regardless of route of administration

  • While a reduction in antimicrobial use may be an important indicator of improved stewardship, reducing the need for antimicrobials through improved disease prevention should be considered a more holistic indicator of overall flock health and optimal antimicrobial use

Contact Us

Thank you for your interest! We are pleased to receive inquiries from potential collaborators, journalists, and those with questions about our research.