About Us

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Welcome to the Poultry Vet Guide, a pioneering peer-reviewed resource for vets around the world to access up-to-date information for treating individual poultry in practice. The guide allows vets to check symptoms of poorly birds, diagnose and provide treatment options.

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It follows a collaboration between the British Hen Welfare Trust and US-based PoultryDVM who both had a vision to create a guide to ensure poultry received the same level of veterinary care as other pets like cats and dogs.

The guide has been produced by the BHWT and Poultry DVM with extensive input from poultry experts Sharon Evans BSc (Hons), BVSc, MRCVS and Rebecca Gounaris DVM.

PVG Creators

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Kelly Rutkowski

Kelly is a Clemson University graduate where she earned both a BS in civil engineering and an MBA. She had a very successful career as a structural engineer designing marinas in the Caribbean as well as in Dubai, but left to follow her passion of helping animals, particularly chickens. She created the website PoultryDVM.com, and founded Adopt a Bird Network (ABN), a non-profit dedicated to promoting the presence of the forgotten birds (especially chickens) in animal shelters across the United States. She has appeared as a guest, and as a chicken-keeping expert on several highly-regarded podcasts, both poultry-related and non-poultry-related. She has an elderly horse named Cash and three flocks of rescued chickens.

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Rebecca Gounaris DVM

Dr. Rebecca L. Gounaris (Perelman) is a 2016 graduate of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and is a third generation small animal veterinarian practicing at her family's clinic, Pleasantville Animal Hospital, in Fallston, MD. She is passionate about backyard poultry medicine and strives to normalize veterinary care for pet poultry. She received training in avian medicine at Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research as well as externships at LSU and other exotic clinics during her clinical year. She adores caring for her own flock of chickens and believes it has taught her so much about how to care for her poultry clients and patients in addition to her experience in the clinic. She hopes to see more veterinarians start to practice with backyard poultry, as there is such a need. She has been honored to help put together this guide and hopes it gives veterinarians the confidence they need to start treating backyard poultry. Dr. Gounaris lives in Airville, PA with her husband Brandon and her son Ezra. She has two Italian Greyhounds ("iggies"), Epi and Trig, and an always growing flock of spoiled backyard chickens.

Picture of Sharon Evans BSc (Hons), BVSc, MRCVS

Sharon Evans BSc (Hons), BVSc, MRCVS

Sharon is a University of Bristol graduate of Veterinary Medicine. She started her veterinary career in small animal practice before moving into the poultry sector. She is currently supporting BHWT projects and working with commercial poultry, whilst establishing the Chicken Clinic in Bristol. Veterinary medicine is Sharon’s second career; she previously worked as a Biomedical Scientist at NHS Blood and Transplant, preparing stem cell transplants for humans, and more recently as a QA Manager on a project investigating new antibiotics. During this time, Sharon kept pet hens and ducks and volunteered with animal charities - mainly wildlife rescue and BHWT on rehoming days as a poorly hen carer, which sparked her interest in poultry medicine and welfare, and confirmed her ambition to improve the availability of veterinary services for pet poultry. Sharon lives in Bristol with her partner Andrew, rescue dog, cat and tortoise.


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Jane Howorth MBE

Jane founded the British Hen Welfare Trust in 2005 which has gone on to rehome over 900,000 ex-commercial laying hens. She has dedicated her life to improving welfare for laying hens; she was awarded an MBE for her work in November 2015 and was presented with the award by King Charles at Buckingham Palace in May 2016. Jane lives in Devon UK with her three chickens - Chocolate, Hendricks & Lauren - three dogs - Belle, Tish & Tilly - and one cat - Gala.

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Gaynor Davies BA (Hons), RVN, A-SQP

Gaynor began her career in a multi-centre London small animal clinic where she trained and ultimately became Head Nurse. After 33 years a move to Devon led her to volunteer for the BHWT before eventually taking on the Head of Operations and Welfare role for the charity. Gaynor shares her home in Devon UK with 2 dogs - Sergei and Parsley - 8 cats, a flock of 90+ rescued chickens and 4 ducks rescued from a commercial egg farm. She enjoys singing and amateur dramatics.

Picture of David Marek BSc (Hons)

David Marek BSc (Hons)

David is an IT professional with over 20 years experience in corporate financial services with roles spanning software development, technology architecture and governance. He has been volunteering for the BHWT for over seven years and combines supporting the charity with IT consultancy with a role as a trustee, providing governance and chairing the Board. David and his wife Sarah live in Cheshire UK with their six hens and have been rehoming hens from their house for the charity since 2018.

Core Contributors

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Marcella Perversi DMV MRCVS

Marcella Perversi is a University of Turin graduate and senior small animal vet with a passion for birds, particularly chickens. She is also a qualified veterinary acupuncturist and has a keen interest in wildlife conservation. She is a trustee of the British Hen Welfare Trust. Marcella lives in Devon UK with a ‘flock’ of elderly cats and her hen Rosie and cockerel Christopher.


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Tom Dutton BVM&S CertAVP(ZooMed) DipECZM(avian) MRCVS

Tom Dutton graduated from the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine, Edinburgh in 2011. He is the Service Lead, Avian and Exotics in the only full-time specialist staffed, avian and exotic animal specific veterinary service in the Southern UK. Tom has had articles in numerous publications including Vet Record, the Journal of Avian Medicine & Surgery, Veterinary Record Case Reports and The Journal of Small Animal Practice.

Special thanks to Tom Dutton for his invaluable input and review of the UK drugs information pages.

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Changing hearts and minds

The driving force behind the years of work put into this guide is the desire to see laying hens achieve the status they deserve.

There are more hens in the world than any other animal and yet, the welfare and available veterinary support lags behind. We believe that wherever there are laying hens and, therefore, people eating the eggs they produce, there is the potential to see them revered and appreciated for the resilient, sentient, life-affirming creatures they are.

This is why our PVG is available globally, so that hens worldwide receive the care they deserve, wherever they are.