The Many Uses of Vet Rx

by Meghan H

Published June 28, 2021

If you’ve owned chickens for any length of time, you may have already discovered that they can contract a staggering number of illnesses. We chicken keepers are constantly on the watch for any sniffles, sneezes, coughs or other signs that something may be amiss within our flocks.

One of the most popular products for poultry upper respiratory health and wellness is Vet Rx. I like to think of it as the “Vicks Vaporub” of the poultry medicine chest. Vet Rx was first developed in 1874 as a product to be used on children to treat croup. Today, the poultry formulation is widely used by many to support a healthy respiratory system in backyard chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese and game birds. 


Please keep in mind that Vet Rx is not intended to treat an active illness, only to offer relief of symptoms and for general wellness. If you have a serious illness in your flock where you have birds that are not eating, are not active, are obviously in severe distress or you are experiencing losses, please contact a veterinarian immediately. No information given here is intended to diagnose or treat an illness within your flock.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about use, is that it must be used warm. When mixed with warm water or kept warm, it flows smoothly and is much easier to work with. If mixed with cool water, Vet Rx will float on top of the water and is harder to use.

The Many Uses of Vet Rx

To help alleviate respiratory symptoms in your chickens, there are several ways that Vet Rx can be used. You can mix it into a spray bottle of very warm water and mist it over your flock, or apply full strength to individual birds by placing a drop directly into their mouth. You can also apply a drop or two topically to individual birds by placing a drop onto your hands and then rubbing it onto the bird’s head and under its wings. Vet Rx can also be used in drinking water. Even though it will float on the surface of the water, when the birds get a drink the Vet Rx will get onto the beaks to help alleviate the respiratory symptoms.

Hens Drinking Water Vet RX uses blog by Meyer Hatchery

Feed Additive

Perhaps the easiest way to use Vet Rx is by mixing it into the feed. Pour an entire bottle into 3 quarts of feed that is at room temperature. Let the mixture stand for 2 weeks, then feed 1 Tablespoon per 20 birds into the flock’s daily ration. Stir the treated feed into the regular feed very well so the chickens don’t pick it out. 

Show Prep

Vet Rx can also be used as a comb, wattles and leg dressing to bring out a natural lustre for show animals. It really makes the red stand out in the comb and wattles and gets your show bird noticed. It will also help prevent and treat dryness on the legs and toes of birds.

Litter Dressing

You can also sprinkle a few drops of Vet Rx directly onto the coop litter to fill the coop with the vapors and benefit the entire flock at once. 

We hope you find the many uses of Vet Rx to be a useful product to have in your poultry first aid kit or show prep supplies. Do you use Vet Rx in another way not mentioned above? Tell us about it in the comments.


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