Small groups of chickens were given feed containing either avoparcin, nitrovin, virginiamycin or zinc bacitracin from the day of their purchase as day-olds. Differences between the birds receiving growth promoters and the untreated controls were observed during the last third of the 23 d survey period. The enterococcal population of the 'dosed' birds contained a greater proportion of Enterococcus faecium than did that of the control birds while the converse was true for Ent. gallinarum. This apparent selection of Ent. faecium by the growth-promoting antibiotics had an influence on the incidence of resistance to therapeutic antibiotics among the enterococcal population as a whole. This was because this species was generally more resistant than Ent. gallinarum to cephalothin, the MLS antibiotics (erythromycin, lincomycin and tylosin) and tetracycline.