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Natural sources of electrolytes for chickens and ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by moonhaus, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. moonhaus

    moonhaus In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2013
    Hey everyone,
    I've got a flock of week-old heritage chickens, Khaki Campbell and Rouen ducks. They are looking pretty good right now, but I'd like to have a source of electrolytes on hand for ones that might need some extra attention.
    I've seen a lot of vitamin and electrolyte mixes for poultry out there, but I'd trying to do this chemical-free, and all of these packages supplements are synthetic.

    I was hoping someone on here might be able to tell me how I can give my birds extra electrolytes naturally.
    Since electrolytes are basically salt, and a few other minerals, is there some reason why I can't just add a small amount of salt to the drinking water?

    thanks for all your support thus far!

  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009
    If I'm not mistaken Coconut water has natural electrolytes in it.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Jerah a small amount of salt is necessary for healthy ducks. Off the top of my head I do not recall the proper amount per pound of body weight, so perhaps you can find that online. Salt is an ingredient in mixed feed. But it can be overdone, and cause harm so be careful.

    Apple cider vinegar is probably a really good approach for you - just a tablespoon per gallon or two of water, do not use galvanized metal or any metal that could leach into the water with the increased acidity from the vinegar.

    If a duck is ill, you may want to give something a little more concentrated, but again, see if you can find some more specific information. But as a general tonic and source of electrolytes, I would go with ACV.

    edit to add:

    leafy greens!!!!
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013
  4. chicken-herder

    chicken-herder Chirping

    Jan 15, 2014
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I found this easy electrolyte mix on Lisa's Fresh Eggs Daily blog: "Here is a simple Homemade Electrolyte Recipe that is easy to mix up in a pinch:

    1 Cup Water
    2 teaspoons sugar
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon baking soda

    Use full strength on severely ailing chickens, otherwise mix into their drinking water as needed, a cup per gallon of water.

    Replacing the electrolytes lost during times of oppressive heat could mean the difference between life and death to your chickens.

    You can also add this electrolyte mix to water for your dogs, cats, horses and other animals. Even mix into a little fruit juice for yourself or your kids." :jumpy
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Thank you!
  6. gracestpierre12

    gracestpierre12 Hatching

    Jul 11, 2016
    Thank you so much for the recipe! My duckling had a heat stroke (we live in Florida, he ran out of water) and I gave him the electrolytes and now he is getting so much better. Thanks again!

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