The Best Medicine – Natural Supplements & Herbs for Chooks
Keeping our chickens healthy is really important. Our motto at Natural Chicken Health is ‘prevention is better than cure.’
Chickens need vitamins, minerals, good nutrition, and like us, they need low stressors and sufficient rest.
There are physical measures we can take to support the lives of our chooks and help prevent disease.
- The number of chooks to suit space available to reduce stress
- A fully enclosed sheltered coop to keep predators and wild birds out
- Clean cool water, high protein quality food and green pick daily
- Good hygiene including regular cleaning of roosts, nesting boxes and coop area.
- Access to dust baths
- Regular inspections
Supplements for Chooks
The immune system is a key defence against disease. There are reputable supplements that, when used on a regular basis, can help to promote a healthy immune system and overall health.
My 5 Fantastic Chook Supplements
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Contains vitamins, minerals and trace elements, regulates the body’s pH level and supports the immune system in times of stress. Improves digestion and helps with calcium absorption. Mild antiseptic promoting respiratory health. Reduces algae and bacteria in water.
- Probiotics – Great for gut health. Promotes good bacteria in the intestines for a strong immune system. Important in young chicks. Prevents and treats coccidiosis. Probiotics in Super Mash is made from Milk Kefir
- Diatomaceous Earth – Added to food, DE has trace minerals that improve egg production and build strong bones. Applied externally it controls parasites. Dust your chooks and sprinkle it in dust baths. Avoid inhaling dust.
- Seaweed – A nutritious superfood which has trace elements, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Aids in digestion and has ‘prebiotics’ enabling probiotics to work. Improves overall health, reduces coccidiosis and boosts resilience to parasites and disease. Increases egg production, strengthens shells and develops bright glossy plumage.
- Garlic – A natural antibiotic especially useful in intestinal disturbances. Has the reputation of being a vermifuge, or worming medicine. Repels mites, lice, ticks and other parasites by exuding from the skin. Improves appetite, quality and size of egg.
Of course these five supplements are some of the ingredients in Super Mash – a convenient way to offer an effective, natural, antiparasitic tonic to your flock!
Herbs for Chooks
Herbs are an easy to access resource that help to keep our chooks healthy naturally.
Herbs have all kinds of wonderful benefits for humans and animals and several are specifically good at targeting the respiratory system.
Most likely if you have a chicken suffering from something respiratory, antibiotics will be what’s recommended if you visit a vet, but I prefer to try the holistic route first…naturally!
Oregano, thyme, basil, clover, dill, echinacea, mint, nasturtium, rose petals & rosemary all have positive effects on the respiratory system. As a preventative measure try chopping up the fresh herbs and feeding them free-choice or using dried herbs mixed into their feed when fresh is not available.
A mixture of scrambled egg with finely chopped thyme & oregano mixed through is a tremendously beneficial feed for a chicken with respiratory health problems.
I offer my chickens fresh herbs in their own little herb garden next to the coop during the growing season and dry some to mix into my flock’s feed through the winter.
- grow herbs around the coop for your chooks to pick at,
- add to nesting material,
- chop and add to food,
- hang or strew.
My 5 Fabulous Chook Herbs
- Oregano – Easy to grow, oregano is well known for its antiparasitic and antibacterial properties. Oregano supports a healthy immune and respiratory system. Chop and add to food or hang in bunches for chooks to pick at. It is full of vitamins, calcium and antioxidants.
- Thyme – Like most aromatic herbs, thyme is an insect repellent and therefore a great addition to your chickens’ nesting boxes. Thyme also aids in respiratory health and has antibiotic and antibacterial properties, so adding thyme to your chickens’ diet is extremely beneficial.
- Wormwood (Artemisia) – Wormwood is a companion plant for chickens; as they peck it, the plant helps them eliminate internal parasites. Strew Wormwood in their nesting boxes to repel mites.
- Mint – Mint is an insect and rodent repellent making it a great choice to add to nesting boxes or dust bathing areas. Try hanging bunches of fresh mint around the run to discourage flies or planting mint around the outside of the run to discourage rodents. Of the many varieties, peppermint and spearmint are popular choices, also lemon balm and catmint are good. Chocolate mint is fun for kids to try as well!
- Lavender – An aromatic herb that makes a great repellent to bugs who don’t like the volatile oils. It’s a beautiful way to freshen your coop and nesting boxes so hang bunches in the coop or strew flowers and leaves into nesting material. Especially good under broody chooks to help keep bugs at bay and support their circulatory system.
….woops, a 6th one
- Calendula – Easy to grow from seed and best known for its healing powers, calendula makes a great salve for the treatment of wounds. It’s anti-inflammatory properties means this salve would be good for treating a prolapsed vent or helping an egg bound hen. Also favoured by gardeners to help repel insects, calendula in the coop and nesting boxes can also help repel insects. The flower petals are edible for humans (in salads) and chickens. High in oleanolic acid, an anti-inflammatory, Calendula has antibacterial and antioxidant properties. For your chooks, eating calendula petals will give a lovely orange colour to their yolks, and turn their beaks and feet a gorgeous healthy colour. Pick some petals and sprinkle in their food.
Our chooks need careful attention. We can keep our flock in good shape to help prevent health problems – prevention is better than cure!
So try using herbs and supplements with your flock and watch them become fluffier, shinier and healthier right before your eyes!
Oh and keep Super Mash up to your chooks throughout the Summer
Super Mash is a monthly treatment to help keep chickens healthy. It’s a natural antiparasitic that contains ACV, nutrients and probiotics to boost and re-vitalise your chickens in a natural way.
Find out more and order online or find a Super Mash supplier near you at https://naturalchickenhealth.com.au/
Natural Chicken Health – Super Mash is a natural feed supplement to help keep your chooks healthy all year round.
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