Treating Chickens The Natural & Traditional Way

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  1. BantamFan4Life
    There are numerous problems with allopathic--or modern-day--treatments. First, medications are from obscure, unnatural sources, and often have many side-affects. Second, the animal tends to live worse off with them. Lately, there has been an increasing trend of using holistic--or natural/tradition--treatments. So, I decided to write an article going through many holistic treatments. If you are wanting to treat a sick or injured chicken, but wanting them to be healthiest in the long run, read through the treatments listed below. All of them are from natural sources.
    Note: all doses are given in terms of standard chickens, if given to a bantam, cut the dosage in half (relatively).

    Aloe Vera
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    An aloe vera plant

    Aloe vera is a commonly used gel. To remove the gel, you must break off the leaf/branch and open it. It treats the skin, facilitating healing from burns, irritation, and frostbite. I have used aloe vera to help my roosters recover from frostbite. It works well!

    Apple Cider Vinegar
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    Apple cider vinegar

    Apple cider vinegar is made from the vinegar of apple cider. It stimulates the immune system, stops bacterial growth, reduces the amount of parasites, and aids in healing. Dosage: about 1 to 2 tablespoons per gallon of water. ACV helps stop the spread of disease, prevents Botulism and other water-borne illnesses (if it is put in water), and deworms.

    Cayenne Pepper
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    Cayenne peppers

    Cayenne pepper is usually known as a spice, but it also has amazing effects on chickens. It is an amazingly good dewormer, helping eye-worm, tapeworm, coccidiosis, and many other parasites. I would recommend adding about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to couple pounds of feed.

    Chamomile
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    A chamomile flower.
    Chamomile is from the chamomile flowers, which are grown in the U.S. and are practically a weed in Germany. How is it helpful? It is anticancer, anticoagulent, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antidiarrheal affects. It is also known to help neurological disorders. Usually, it is contracted via tea, but the flowers can be eaten raw. I would recommend giving about 0.5-1 mL to a chicken. Chamomile can help chickens heal from all sorts of disease--from arthritis, to Marek's disease.
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    Chamomile flowers are dried and put into a tea.

    Copper Sulfate
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    Copper sulfate in a powder.

    Copper sulfate is a mineral that is found naturally in the environment. It kills bacteria (can stop Escherichia coli from reproducing) and fungi. MAKE SURE NOT TO OVERDOSE, IT CAN BE TOXIC. Put about one fourth of a teaspoon in a gallon of water. Change out the water over several days. It can help chickens with fungal infections, such as Aspergillosis or Favus, or bacterial diseases like Air-Sac Disease.

    Diatomaceous Earth
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    Diatomaceous earth

    Most pet-owners know what Diatomaceous earth is, but they may not know where it comes from. It is made from dead diatom cells--which are a kind of algae. These algae cells have such a strong cell wall, made of Silicon Dioxide, that they remain even when the rest of the cell dies. Eventually, these cell walls build up and crystallize. Diatomaceous earth is the extraction of the crystallized powder. It can be applied to the skin where lice, mites, tics, and fleas infest. The diatoms create a sharp edge that stabs the pests in the abdomen--suffocating them. A couple spoonfuls of DE can be added to a chickens water and it can rid the body of internal parasites.

    Echinacea
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    An Echinacea flower.

    Echinacea is an herb usually put in tea. It stimulates the immune system, may treat the common cold, and has anti-cancer properties. Dosage: about 1-2 mL per 10 kg. This may help animals from becoming ill, which can be useful when exhibiting chickens, and treat Infectious Coryza and Marek's Disease. NOTE: on rare instances, there can be severe side-affects.

    Epsom Salt
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    Epsom salt

    Epsom salt is a compound that can be found in springs. It is commonly used as a purgative, but has also been shown to help asthma/coughing and other disorders. This can be mixed in feed (1 lb per 5 lbs of feed) or water (1 teaspoon per ounce of water). It can help eliminate toxins, such as in Botulism, or help lung problems in chickens.

    Garlic
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    Garlic being crushed

    I am sure you already know what Garlic is, but you may not know the medicinal affects. It helps cardiovascular health and colds, as well as containing anticancer and wound-healing properties. There is no dosage required, but avoid super large amounts. WARNING: may make eggs taste funny. Garlic can be used to help chickens with heart problems (like broilers or turkeys), Infectious Coryza, Marek's Disease, and wounds.

    Ginger
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    A ginger plant

    Ginger is a commonly used spice, but it also has medicinal properties. It aids the gastrointestinal system, treats motion sickness and nausea, and is anti-cancer. Give about a 1/2 teaspoon of a ginger to a chicken. It may help Coccidiosis and Marek's Disease.

    Goldenseal
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    A goldenseal plant.

    Goldenseal is an herb. It has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anticatarrhal, laxative, antidiabetic, and muscle stimulating effects. Give about 100 mg of Goldenseal to a chicken. It can treat chickens with arthritis, Infectious Coryza, Cankers, Botulism, and Diabetes.

    Horehound
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    A Horehound plant

    Horehound is an herb. It is anticancer, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and helps respiratory ailments. There is no dosage for Horehound, but I would recommend giving around a mL.

    Hyssop
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    A hyssop plant.

    Hyssop is from the hyssop plant--an herb. It has cough-suppressing, stimulative, and anti-septic properties. BE CAREFUL. It stimulates the Central Nervous System so well, it can cause epileptic reactions. Give in low doses and do not use if your chickens have had seizures or are already at an increased risk of one. There is no dosing for hyssop for chickens, but I would recommend giving around 0.1 mL or so to chickens to be safe. It can used to help Aspergillosis, Infectious Bronchitis, and Marek's Disease.

    Milk Thistle
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    A milk thistle plant.

    Milk Thistle, although it may look creepy or undesirable, is an herb. It helps remove toxic materials via stimulating the liver and creating better bile flow. Give 0.5 mL daily of Milk Thistle. It can help chickens recover from poisoning, Botulism, and liver diseases.

    Molasses

    Molasses, like Epsom salts, can be used as a purgative. Add about a pint of molasses per 5 gallons of water. It can help treat Botulism and other toxin-inflicted diseases.


    Olive Oil
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    Olive oil

    Olive oil is a common cooking item, but it has medicinal value. It can help debris in the throat be removed and skin healing (from dermatitis, for example). Apply necessary amounts of olive oil to cover the infected skin or for the throat, give about 10 mL or so (until the debris is removed or stop if it does not seem to help).

    Oregano
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    An oregano flower

    Oregano is an herb. It aids the nervous, respiratory, and digestive system; has anticancer and antibacterial properties; helps sore-throats and viral infections. There is no dosage for chickens for Oregano, but I would recommend giving about a mL or so. It may treat numerous disease, including Marek's disease, Cankers, and Infectious Coryza.

    Oyster Shells/Limestone

    Oyster shells or Limestone are commonly given to chickens. I would recommend to always keep some available to chickens. They help provide proper calcium and vitamin D3 content--both minerals that chickens can suffer a deficiency from. If you free-range your chickens, do not worry about giving them oyster shells and limestone (unless they happen to have suffered from deficiencies in the past), because they usually get that via eating greens.

    Parsley
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    A parsley root.

    Parsley is an herb and vegetable. It has lots of anti-oxidants and is very high in Vitamin E, K, B9, and Iron; and it stimulates the immune system. Give chickens about a teaspoon. It may treat nutritional deficiencies, creates good health, and can stop the spread of sickness in a flock.

    Peppermint
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    A peppermint plant

    Peppermint has got to be one of my favorite herbs. Besides being well-flavored, it is antibacterial, antispasmodic, and treats Irritable Bowl Syndrome, diarrhea, abdominal and stomach pains/aches, as well as nerve and muscle pain. There is no official dosage for chickens, but I would recommend giving about 1-5 mL of peppermint oil. The leaves can also be given to the chickens. It may treat diseases like Coccidiosis, Marek's Disease, and Sour Crop.

    Purslane
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    Purslane plants

    Purslane is actually a weed, but it has medicinal value. Aside from being nutritious, it helps heal bites, stings, sores, internal bleeding, and diarrhea. Dosage: around 20g.

    Slippery Elm
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    A Slippery Elm tree

    A Slippery Elm bark has medicinal value. It has anti-inflammatory effects and stimulates the digestive system. Give about 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of the Bark to a chicken. It may help Arthritis and Coccidiosis.

    Stinging Nettle
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    A stinging nettle plant

    Believe it or not, stinging nettle is one of the most nutritious plants on earth. How is it eaten? Collect leaves with gloves and boil them in hot water, after that, they losing their stinging. While I am on the subject, if a chicken is stung by a stinging nettle, apply dandelions or baking soda to the skin. Stinging nettle leaves are very nutritious and can help relieve many disorders. This can be used to treat arthritis and keep up general nutrition for chickens. No dosing is required, but, of course, don't feed your chickens enormous amounts of it, because that could create an overproduction of a vitamin, which can be deadly.

    Sunflower Seeds
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    Sunflower seeds

    Sunflower seeds are nutritious snacks that even chickens can enjoy! Sunflowers are very high in vitamin E and selenium. If there is a deficiency in those minerals, it can lead to a disease called White Muscle Disease. Sunflower seeds are one of the best foods to prevent or treat this disease.

    Tea Tree Oil
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    A tea tree.

    Tea tree oil is an oil from the leaves of a tea tree. It is antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, and pesticidal. MUST USE EXTERNALLY. This is toxic if ingested. Apply small amounts on skin. It can eliminate external fungal infections like Favus or ringworm, and can treat lice and mite infestations.

    Thyme
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    A bundle of Thyme

    Thyme is a common herb. It is antifungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic. There are no official dosing for chickens, but I would recommend giving small amount (about 0.1mL or so of the oil). Thyme can help fungal infections, such as Favus, clean wounds, disinfecting, and diseases associated with coughing, such as Infectious Bronchitis.

    Yarrow
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    A yarrow flower (all pictures have been provided by Wikipedia)

    Yarrow is a common herb that grows abundantly in the wild. The oil from the plant has anti-inflammatory, anti-coughing, and blood-clotting effects. There are no official dosing for chickens, so I would recommend giving low dosage, such as 0.1 mL or so. It can help chickens with arthritis, Infectious Bronchitis (and other diseases causing coughing), and bad wounds.

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    Hope this article helps! If you have any other traditional and natural remedies for chickens, please PM me! I'd be happy to make a Part II.

    If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please leave a comment below.

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  1. chicken4prez
  2. Chipper Chicken
  3. Lozuufy
    This is great!
  4. Chicken Girl1
    Wonderful resource to come to! Thank you!
  5. Mountain Peeps
    Great article! Very helpful for those, like me, who are interested in keeping chickens healthy--naturally.

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