Natural Practices to prevent Health issues?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by meglynnie, May 13, 2019.

  1. meglynnie

    meglynnie Songster

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    Good Afternoon!

    I want to hear some natural practices you guys do to prevent possible health issues? Is there anything anyone swears by?

    Curious to see what/if anyone has had success.

    Thank you!
     
    FWC2019, Irish1951, abcn123s and 7 others like this.
  2. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Conserve Heritage Breed Livestock

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    Not sure what you mean by "natural". But my advise consists of...

    Fresh complete feed.
    Keep treats to a minimum.
    Clean fresh water daily.
    Clean coop often.
    Check for parasites regularly.
    Quarantine new birds for 30 days.
    Know the early signs of illness and how to treat.
     
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  3. danceswithronin

    danceswithronin Crowing

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    I supplement with yogurt, apple cider vinegar, minced fresh oregano/thyme, garlic, and scrambled eggs. I chop bushels of strong smelling aromatic herbs to hang around the coop to drive off pests (I have a HUGE sage and rosemary patch for this - the herbs make the coop and run smell better in general too). I also give the chickens handfuls of fresh basil, parsley, and other herbs. I feed the chickens their own crushed eggshells back to them for added calcium. I also like to supplement live insects, both for the nutrients and for enrichment purposes.

    Dust baths are important to prevent mites and lice and other pests - I like one that is half and half wood ash and sand.

    I know a chickenkeeper who swears by manuka honey poultices for abrasions and other minor injuries for its antibacterial/antimicrobial properties. She uses them for people too.

    Lamb's ear can be used as a naturally antibacterial bandage. They also absorb blood and help close the wound.

    I think the absolute #1 top preventative husbandry practice is cleanliness. Clean coop and clean run = healthy hens. Dirty water and filthy straw = sick hens. Coop gets cleaned out once a week, run gets mucked and remulched at least once a month. This is a disgusting job, especially after any heavy rains, but it's a necessary one and part of the responsibility of owning healthy livestock.

    I put down activated charcoal to help with the smell, but since the run stays clean there isn't much.

    I follow all these rules and in two years I've never had to medicate my chickens or had any become seriously ill.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
    janiedoe, FWC2019, Irish1951 and 14 others like this.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Maintaining a closed flock. Only adding birds from NPIP flocks and putting them through a true quarantine for 30 days.
     
  5. chkva

    chkva Songster

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    I'm all about natural...

    I do ACV once a week. 1 Tbs of ACV per gallon of water. I usually let them drink it for an entire day then dump what's left.

    Few drops of 10 ppm colloidal silver every water change.

    Lots of greens like kale, collard greens, and spinach (lots of antioxidants and nutrients)

    CBD oil... I do about two drops of 700 mg once every few days in their food.

    Dandelions roots and all... Once bees have had their fill, I rip them out with the roots and all to feed to my flock. The benefits are amazing.

    Tumeric and garlic powder in food. I sprinkle both daily on my flocks food and they refuse to eat if I don't. Both have many benefits.

    Feeding eggshells back to my birds has created nice tough shells when they lay. I put egg shells on baking sheet and bake for 2 hours at 200 degrees F. Then I pull them out, crush them, and put them in a mason jar.

    I have had very healthy birds especially after adding colloidal silver! My chicks are the healthiest I've ever had (some I had years ago did not look as healthy or ran into some issues)

    My hens consistently lay every single day and haven't missed a beat! They have nice feathers and are just overall happy/healthy. Their egg yolks are a nice deep orange and keep our dogs coats nice and shiny. All of my animals pretty much receive the same natural treatments except dogs take CBD daily.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    I swear some people get chickens so they can doctor something. You need clean water, good commercial feed, and deep bedding. In years of keeping chickens, I have had one sick chicken, which I immediately separated and culled.

    Many of the so called healthy natural food remedies are based on facts for people, and some are not based on facts at all, but a chicken has a totally different digestive system. Trust me, a good commercial feed has had countless scientist measuring it, and creating it to produce healthy chickens.

    Mrs K
     
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  7. chkva

    chkva Songster

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    I'd agree if I didn't use what I know for over 5 years without a single incident. Everything I've learned has actually come from a licensed veterinarian. Not trying to be a doctor, but trying to prevent using antibiotics and harmful medications that kill beneficial bacteria and such within an animal. When a veterinarian can treat animals without meds unless it's the last option, I think this speaks volumes about the individual. He's not looking for kick backs from pharmacies or causing more disease to get more money... He's in it for the animals not his own selfish gain...

    I use commercial feed because it is a complete source of food... So agree on that part
     
  8. danceswithronin

    danceswithronin Crowing

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    I do like them having a stable nutritional foundation for their meals as a good quality commercial feed and always make sure it's on offer, but I think for quality of life purposes my chickens enjoy getting a variety of fresh greens and live foods, and it gives them a broader nutritional profile than their feed would. Since it anecdotally seems to keep them disease-free, I see no reason to discontinue. Plus I think it just makes them happier, and I think them being happy naturally increases their immune system response/makes them less susceptible to illness in the first place.

    I don't necessarily trust Big Agro scientists with regards to feed composition for quality assurance purposes, they will feed whatever they can keep chickens alive on most efficiently and at the highest possible profit margin.

    Medicinal herb lore is usually focused on people, but the chemical properties of medicinal herbs are effective on most animals and have been used a lot longer to treat livestock than most agricultural medications have. Ex. Yarrow is contains achilleine, a hemostatic (blood-clotting) pyrrolizidine alkaloid. This clotting mechanism is a styptic that works regardless of species. So it can be used to staunch bleeding in a chicken just as well as it can in a person.
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    They are your chickens, you can do it the way your want. I do trust big Ag, it has provided good food for Americans for years. People in the USA are not facing starvation as scientist have found the most efficient ways of producing food.

    Healthy animals are the most productive. That is what big Ag does. However, to each his/her own flock.

    I will agree that if a chicken out in the wild would naturally eat it, it cannot hurt to add it, but no chicken is eating ACV or yogurt free ranging. Bugs and plants, some meat, small rodents, lizards... these would and could be part of a natural diet.

    Mrs K
     
  10. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road

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    Fresh water, feed, free choice oyster shell, grit, and a good measure of cleanliness. During the rainy season, and hot months, I sprinkle a good bit of basil around. It helps prevent flies, and keeps the coop smelling good. The chickens can eat it, and it's not a problem. Other than that, I don't treat for anything unless it's needed, with the exception of each spring, I move the chickens, remove all waterers, feeders, etc, and use Martin's Permethrin to spray the coops and runs down. I've never really had a problem with mites/lice. Living in Florida, we have an abundance of bugs, with no freezing temps to kill them, so the spraying helps with ants, spiders, and a few other nasties that tend to emerge in abundance in the spring. Yes, I deworm them as needed, but only as needed.
     

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