Garlic for chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lsv313, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. lsv313

    lsv313 Chirping

    Jul 23, 2010
    Everett, WA
    I have seen some information that it is very good for chickens to feed them garlic, and then I have seen other information that states that it's toxic! [​IMG] Which is it??
  2. mgw

    mgw Songster

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    I dont know the pros & cons , but I have read on here that the garlic taste will transfer to the egg.
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    The Canadian government list of toxic plants is about the best I know. When a plant has shown itself to be toxic to humans or livestock, specific incidents are cited. This is all they say about garlic: "Human allergy to garlic dust has been documented by Lybarger et al. 1982. Ingesting garlic leaves can also cause allergic reactions." There is no mention of garlic poisoning livestock. Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

    Garlic isn't on the Purdue University, School of Veterinary Medicine poisonous plants list.

    Nor, on the Texas A & M toxic plant list.

    And, "wild garlic" is listed as "Only toxic in large quantities" on the Penn State Weed Management in Pasture Systems list. That "toxicity" relates to, "tainted milk and meat."

    Clemson University did a taste study on eggs from hens fed 3% garlic and other hens in a control group. The tasters actually prefered the taste of eggs from garlic-fed hens. ScienceDaily

    Hope that helps.

  4. chicksbestfriend

    chicksbestfriend Songster

    Jul 12, 2010
    Maui, Hawaii
    Quote:I feed my chickens garlic to boost their immune system. I offer them minced garlic or I put a few cloves of garlic into their waterer to keep them healthier and free from disease. They will eat the green sprouts from the garlic as well. Do not put garlic in a water container made from galvanized steel. Garlic will eat at the galvanized steel leaching out toxic levels of zinc. I have not witnessed garlic being toxic to my flock, as I have been doing so for quite a long time. They are all heathy and I have never encountered any diseases, only have lost chickens from old age. [​IMG]
    Linda V likes this.
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Some of my personal experience:

    I have used powdered garlic (NOT garlic salt [​IMG]) in the feed of my backyard flock for the past 3 years. It is mixed in with their Flock Raiser at the rate of about 1/4 teaspoon per 1 cup of feed.

    Nothing about their eggs suggest that they are eating garlic that I can taste - no off flavor. The hens smell a little of garlic if you pick them up but that's okay. We would probably all smell of garlic if we sprinkled 1/4 teaspoon of powdered garlic on every cup of our food [​IMG]. Their coop also smells a little of garlic.

    There used to be more on that Clemson University study on the internet. The only thing I find nowadays is that ScienceDaily article I cited above. Anyway, it convinced me to give garlic a try. However, at 1/4 teaspoon per cup of feed, they are getting NOWHERE NEAR as much garlic powder as Clemson fed their hens! The researchers were not studying the health effects of feeding garlic but I feel very comfortable with adding garlic [​IMG] at the rate I am using it.

    NorthTexasWink likes this.
  6. max101

    max101 Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    newcastle Australia
    I put mince garlic in my chickens water when I think they need a boost
    Havent lost a chicken to garlic before
    I also put cayenne pepper in their food
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I have some extra cloves in the fridge... I think I'll see how my girls like it.
  8. animalbaby4everandalwyz

    animalbaby4everandalwyz Songster

    Jan 24, 2009
    West Tennessee
    i give my chickens garlic in there water... but trust me its nasty after it gets you should probably figure out a different way...

    I cant remember were i read it but its good for them in some way...and i have a friend who gives her chickens garlic also...

    Oh you can also give it to dogs ... its good for them too....
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    The concern about feeding onion family plants to livestock probably comes from the problem cows, horses and dogs have with a compound found in onions. It causes a type of anemia.

    You can read a little about what is in onions (& garlic & chives) that cause this problem with some animals here (Kansas State University Veterinary Quarterly Newsletter).

    The information is in "Plants may be hazardous to livestock this spring" article on toxic plants about half way thru the newsletter.

  10. Serama Newbee

    Serama Newbee In the Brooder

    May 12, 2011
    Unincorporated Rockford
    Thank you so much! I read basically what you just said about the health benefits and such in a chicken magazine and fed them garlic for the first time this morning. I then read the first few posts about it being toxic, and got quite a scare! lol I guess it's alright then? [​IMG]

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