Using Essential Oils on chickens.
Hello! I have looked around and not found a ton of information about using essential oils for chickens, so I decided to create something about how I have used essential oils on chickens and some of my success stories.
You may need to help them open the bottles.......
My first big success story with chickens was on a rainy day. It had been raining for quite a few days, and currently had 100 broilers that were about 6 weeks old. When I went to feed them one night, I found one dead and thought maybe it just got chilled. The next morning, two more were dead. Several sounded mighty wheezy; despite the fact I had put down straw and given them 2 heat lamps. That evening, after one more had died, I knew I had something seriously wrong. I had no clue what to do, but I turned to essential oils; I put 6 drops of Oregano essential oil in their full 3 gallon water, with not much hope. The next morning, not a single chicken was wheezy. I had put some Peppermint, diluted, on the wheezy one’s feet. Nobody else had died. I continued to give them the Oregano, and everybody else stayed alive and well.
This story is a story that still blows me away when I think about it, about a little broiler that I called ‘’little guy’’. We raise our broilers in moveable chicken tractors that we pull over the ground to fresh grass. One day, I was pulling the tractor and I had a little cousin of mine in the tractor trying to chase the broilers to the front so we would not run over them. Little Guy ran past him in the excitement and the tractor was pulled over his leg. I left him alone at first, but the next day, his leg was twice the size it should have been and it was black, blue and purple, and he was getting badly trampled by the other chickens. So I took him out and put him in a small crate, and I began applying a blend of oils that I made up, it had Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lemongrass, Wintergreen, Peppermint, and Cypress. I know I am forgetting a few oils in there. His progress was sure, but slow, he was little (Hence the name ‘’little guy’’) after dealing with that for about three weeks, but after a bit, his leg was back to normal and he was turned out with the rest of the flock.
Now that I have told you my success stories, I want to hear yours! But of course you need to know how to use them before you can try them! I will tell you some safety things you will need to know before you start administering them, how to use them, and what to use when!
Broody's always benefit from essential oils!
Safety using essential oils with your chickens.
I know that there has been much controversy about using essential oils on chickens, and if you think that they are not safe for your chickens, or do not think that they will work, I respect that and will not try to change your mind and I request that you do the same for me. However, here is what I do to insure that I am being safe and responsible when using essential oils on my chickens.
Dilute-Since chickens are small doses are also small. I usually give my chickens oils internally, but if you are applying oils topically the dose only needs to be 1 drop, diluted in about 5 drops of carrier oil. Carrier oil can be Fractionated Coconut oil, (What I prefer to use) or you can also use cooking oils such as Olive oil or Vegetable oil. Ere on the side of caution when using oils on chickens, and use small doses. That is about all there is to it!
When to use them.
All the time! There is NEVER a wrong time to use essential oils and their wonderful healing powers.
I am writing my top most used oils. If you have questions about additional oils, feel free to ask, and I will do my best to answer!
Anti-parasitic, antibiotic, antifungal, properties that are thought to combat coccidia, salmonella, infectious bronchitis, avian flu, blackhead, and E coli. I put 2 drops of Oregano to every gallon of water for immune boosting.
Anti-parasitic, insecticide, respiratory health. Put diluted peppermint on the bottoms of wheezy chickens’ feet.
Stress reliever, increases blood circulation, insecticide. Put some drops on Lavender on a small piece of wood, and put it in the corner of the nesting boxes, it will help to calm them when laying eggs.
A blend of Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Rosemary for maximized immune boosting support. This is another oil that I put in chickens water, I put in 3 drops to a gallon of water.
Flying insect repellent, I mix this with Lavender, and the repellant blend for an excellent bug spray.
Feather growth (great during molts!) respiratory health, insecticide, calming. You can also add this to the bug spray recipe I have for added insect repellant, plus it will do well for feather growth! If you do not want to make the bug spray, you can add Rosemary to their water at a ratio of 4 drops to a gallon and it will also assist in feather growth.
Stops bleeding, good for wounds and battling infection, broken bones. When you have a wounded animal, you can mix up 15 drops of Frankincense and 20 drops of Melalueca in an 8 ounce spray bottle and use it as a natural wound spray.
Insect repellant. Put 20 drops on Repellant blend, 10 drops of Lavender and 10 drops of Lemongrass in a glass 8 ounce spray bottle and fill it up the rest of the way with water for an insect repellant.
Laying Stimulant, add Fennel to your chickens’ water at a ratio of 4 drops per gallon as a great laying stimulant.
You can use oils to boost egg production!
Melaleuca (Commonly known as Tea Tree)
Antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, basically anti everything. This is great combined with Frankincense for open wounds. You can also use Melaleuca to treat and assist in treating Bumble foot, and Sour Crop, just to name a couple.
Why not herbs?
I hear this question a lot, and in fact, I thought the same thing for quite some time, they are cheaper, they are more appealing to the chickens, so why not? So the beginning of this year, I set out and spent about $30.00 on herbs. I was initially excited, but as the summer dragged on, I found that is was nearly impossible to keep them happy enough I could pick them without feeling like they would die, I had to constantly water them, move them into shade, and back out again, I finally decided, you know what? I can pay a little more for essential oils and let them sit on a shelf, no attention needed, and just use them when I need them, and they are always available, even in the winter!
I hope this document has been helpful, and please do not hesitate to ask me any questions!!
Resources-Fresh Eggs Daily written by Lisa Steele. Find her book here:
If you ever need to ask anything about using essential oils for chickens, please shoot me a message!