Apr 12 2015

Probiotics replacing Antibiotics raising Chickens

Published by at 9:30 am under Antibiotics,probiotic supplements

Finally, Probiotics Instead of Antibiotics for Raising Chickens…
A correction that is long overdue in food production.

Before the introduction of industrial agricultural practices, chickens and other livestock were raised on open ranges where they fed on organic fields and pastures. These open ranges, still untouched by harsh chemicals or over farming, were home to rich organic soils teaming with life giving soil born organisms (SBOs) that are essential to the health of all living things. Just as the digestive tract of humans thrive and depend on these organisms for overall health, so do other living creatures, from chickens to cattle to household pets.

Over the past century, a growing world population and greater demand for reasonably priced meats in our grocery stores, have led farmers to look for ways to increase production. Open fields have been replaced by overcrowded chicken production companies. Overcrowding and dirty conditions resulted in diseased chickens, which then led to antibiotics to control the problem. But farmers found that the antibiotics did much more than control disease.  They also acted as a growth promoter that fattened chickens up faster, adding even greater profits to the bottom line.  Without even knowing it, consumers have been eating chickens injected with antibiotics originally intended for humans. “…Today, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a stunning 80% of all antibiotics sold in the United States are given to farm animals—not humans. Most of these antibiotics are not used to cure sick animals, but to accelerate their growth and compensate for dirty, crowded conditions common in factory farms…”(3)

As the public gets wiser to these practices, they are demanding transparency in how their food is produced. Advocates for public health have serious concern of an emergence of more antibiotic-resistant bacteria. (3) Additionally, there is evidence showing a link between risk of zoonotic disease (a disease that can be passed between animals and humans) and growth promoting Antibiotic usage in livestock and poultry. (7)

“…Zoonotic diseases can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. These diseases are very common. Scientists estimate that more than 6 out of every 10 infectious diseases in humans are spread from animals…” (8)


“…Fed to animals at low levels day after day, they (Antibiotics) kill the weak germs and leave behind those that are hardest to destroy. Over time, these drug-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs,” multiply and spread. Superbugs can spread from farms through air, soil, water, and people in contact with the animals. They also end up in meat at the grocery store, putting millions at risk of infections that are harder to treat or completely untreatable. At the same time, few new Antibiotics are being developed. Leading health experts agree that the intensive use of Antibiotics in animal agriculture is a key culprit in the rise of Antibiotic-resistant infections in humans, posing a serious threat to human health…” (1)

People are demanding change and alternatives to this practice. Restaurants are listening and seeking out poultry farms that raise Antibiotic free chickens. Many poultry farms, including the largest like Perdue Farms, are responding. “Perdue Farms” – the third largest chicken producer in the United States – announced that it is now raising 95 percent of its birds without Antibiotics that are important to human medicine, with the remaining use limited to treating sick chickens. These changes are largely due to increasing consumer demand for either Antibiotics-free or organic poultry products…” (1)

There is even better news! Poultry companies, including Perdue Farms, are taking it one step further and turning to Probiotics as an alternative to Antibiotics. Chickens are fed healthy bacteria which crowd out the harmful bacteria. “…The use of Probiotics has many potential benefits and include modified host metabolism, immuno-stimulation, anti-inflammatory reactions, exclusion and killing of pathogens in the intestinal tract, reduced bacterial contamination on processed broiler carcasses, enhanced nutrient absorption and performance, and ultimately decreased human health risk. The development of these factors generally can be ascribed to the ability of most Probiotic products to balance and maintain the intestinal microflora in poultry species…” (5)

A great deal of attention has been given to controlling salmonella in chickens.  “…Properly selected cultures of Probiotics, such as Lactobacillus species, can overcome those lactobacilli found in the natural flora of the birds and exert inhibitory action toward salmonella in the intestinal tract of chickens…” (4)

The positive result of Probiotic use in chickens is they stay healthier and grow faster. (3) Adding Probiotics to feed could reduce enteric disease in poultry and the subsequent contamination of poultry products arriving in the grocery aisles. They can also stimulate growth, inhibit the growth of pathogens and boost the immune response, just as it does in humans. *

Just as humans have been deprived of SBOs through pesticides and over-farming, so have our farm animals and livestock. All living beings are suffering from the same health issues.

If consuming Antibiotic free chicken is important to you, you are in luck if you have a Panera Bread or Chipolte in your neighborhood, as they both serve only antibiotic free meats. Chipolte has been doing so for over a decade, and has required their suppliers to also meet “…humane housing standards for chickens…” (2)

McDonalds has also announced that over the next two years they will “…phase out chicken raised with Antibiotics that are important to human health…” (6)  Additionally, “…Chick-fil-A says about 20% of the chicken it serves is raised without any antibiotics, and that its entire supply chain will be converted by 2019…” (5) Costco also “…aims to eliminate the sale of chicken and meat raised with human antibiotics as well…” (6)   Brands marketing products in supermarkets that are organic or antibiotic free include: Applegate, Fieldale Farms, Springer Mountain Farms, Mary’s Chicken, Murray’s, Bell and Evans, Miller Amish, Perdue’s Coleman Natural, and Harvestland. (1) 

Several studies indicate that getting rid of Antibiotics in chicken feed and water would cost only pennies per pound. The current higher retail prices for antibiotic free chicken may have more to do with other attributes of raising these birds like being free range, vegetarian fed, etc.  “…A World Health Organization analysis of poultry prices in Denmark following their ban on antibiotics found no net cost changes because the savings associated with not purchasing these drugs offset the cost associated with the reduction in feed efficiency…”1  

It is exciting to see the world waking up to the benefits of Probiotics vs. Antibiotics, something we have been advocating at Body Biotics International for years. This revolution is going to mean healthier food arriving to your table. Whenever possible, buy organic, Antibiotic free chicken and meats along with organic fruits and vegetables. If eating organic is not an option for you, daily supplementation with Body Biotics™ Bio-identical SBO Probiotic Consortia™ (encapsulated in its ancestral Prebiotic food source of humic/fulvic acid)  is the next best thing to support gut health and maintain a balance of friendly vs. unfriendly microbiota.  Body Biotics™ will help ensure that you and your family are getting a healthy supple of these life-giving friendly bacteria (SBOs) to replace those that have “gone missing” from your daily diet due to Antibiotic raised animals and chemically grown fruits vegetables.

Healthiest of wishes,





  1. http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/antibiotic-free-meats-CS.pdf
  2. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/14/276976353/americans-want-antibiotic-free-chicken-and-the-industry-is-listening
  3. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/09/22/350590488/giving-chickens-bacteria-to-keep-them-antibiotic-free
  4. http://fapc.biz/publications/flash/2004/probiotics.html
  5. http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/46/Supplement_2/S58.full
  6. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/12/us-usa-antibiotics-yum-insight-idUSKBN0M80B720150312
  7. http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=s1516-635×2003000200001
  8. http://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/zoonotic-diseases.html


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