Poultry products are going antibiotic free. Unfortunately for farmers, chickens won’t magically be healthy all the time.

We humans can spend a lot of time thinking about the food that goes into our bodies. In the agricultural industry, people spend even more time thinking about what goes into our food’s bodies, says Nastassja Ortega-Heinly, Associate Director of Laboratory Operations at Charles River’s Avian Vaccine Services. One of the most important issues facing livestock and poultry producers is that the use of antibiotics to keep the animals healthy may be contributing to a larger problem.

The combination of antibiotics in livestock and the overprescription of antibiotics for people has contributed to the evolution of bacterial strains that can lead to “superbugs” and the threat of death for people whose infections used to be treatable. Consumers are also becoming aware of the problem, and are fighting back with their wallets by demanding poultry products that are antibiotic-free. 

Unfortunately for farmers, chickens won’t magically be healthy all the time. In this second podcast episode, Ortega- Heinly describes a novel approached developed by her laboratory to help commercial poultry farmers shield their chickens from dangerous bugs … without resorting to antibiotics.