In my own farm I've been reluctant to use antibiotics for any reason. Some of that is because I've been a bit skeptical about our ability (as a society) to determine which drugs are harmless. From my layman's point of view it seems that every year there's a different drug that was thought to be beneficial but turns out to be harmful, sometimes in unintended ways. Thalidomide, anyone?
So the vast majority of my animals don't see drugs of any sort. I don't feed medicated feed. I do vaccinate the animals against common diseases -- my farm is in a major flightway for wild waterbirds and it's surrounded by essentially wild land, so I vaccinate the livestock and farm dogs and myself as a precaution, but I've resisted the use of antibiotics as much as I can.
The problem is the little guy that is in the picture, above.
Click on image for larger version.In this case the piglets eye is ok, but currently has scabs that are holding it mostly shut. The wound is relatively clean, and is healing. and here's where I'm going to treat this little piglet. She's getting a shot of penicillin every day per a vets recommendation, and we'll continue that course until she's better.
No antibiotic use of any sort means that you'll watch animals that could otherwise be saved, die, or you'll be putting animals down that could have been saved.
So what will I do with this little girl? Other than the face wound, she's in good weight and appears healthy. I'm going to notch her ear to show that she's had antibiotics -- to differentiate her from the pigs that have never been treated -- and evaluate her when she's a little bigger and healed as to what I'll do.
I think that a middle ground -- medicating to save lives -- is the tact I'm going to take. I just don't have the heart to watch and do nothing.