A lot of people are hoping to become more “natural” in their daily life. How can you reduce toxins and chemicals? How can you eat more organically? Where can you buy products that are more natural?
This can be just as important for your animals, as well? Especially for those animals that provide food like… chickens. It can take work but you can take care of them with 100% natural chicken care.
Natural Chicken Care
As with any attempt to self-diagnosis and/or provide remedies for illnesses, it is important that you are careful and proceed with caution. In general, using essential oils with your chickens should be done carefully. Essential oils are very strong and if used, should not be administered internally to your chickens and if administered externally, the oil should be cut with a carrier of some sort. Further, if you are really, truly concerned about your chicken’s health, contact a veterinary professional.
Using dried herbs in your chicken coop(s) can be very beneficial for your flock. Not only can they provide respiratory relief for your birds but they may also repel many insects. This can be done by spreading dried (or fresh) herbs throughout the coop and mixing them in with the bedding in the nesting box. Some of the best herbs to use include catnip, oregano, rosemary, lavender, thyme, yarrow, and sweet annie.
Honey and Elderberry Syrup
When added to the chickens’ water, both honey and elderberry syrup can be used to aid respiratory issues. Elderberries are diaphoretic and diuretic, while honey has powerful antibacterial properties.
Garlic is a powerful allium. A garlic infusion in olive oil can be used to treat mites and will reduce the chance of bacterial infection. The same infusion can be administered internally to help fight parasite and worm infestations in chickens. It can also be used as a preventative. However, if you have a chicken with a late-stage parasite infestation, you’ll want to contact a veterinary professional.
Additionally, garlic can be used in natural chicken care as:
- a natural antibiotic
- a natural immune system booster
- a simple immune system maintenance supplement.
For the most benefits, provide chopped or crushed raw garlic to your chickens. If you start when they are chicks, you will have success it getting them to eat it. When working with older chickens who have never had garlic, give them little bits and work up to more. You can put it in their feed or simply add it to their drinking water.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can also be beneficial to your chickens and can be used as part of a natural chicken care regiment. ( This – Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is great to check out.)
I add apple cider vinegar (or ACV) to my poultry waterers to prevent bacterial and fungal growth. It is also thought to aid in digestion by breaking down proteins. It may also helps balance internal bacteria which leads to birds who are healthier and more able to naturally fight disease.
In general, you want to add about 1 tbsp of acv to a gallon of water. Though, honestly, I just pour some in when I’m changing water and I’ve never had a problem with my girls not drinking.
All of the measures listed above for natural chicken care will go a long way in keeping your flock happy and healthy. However, there are times when natural chicken care is not the best road to take. In that case, you might have to pull out the “bigger” guns.