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Probiotics - To give or not to give?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by PenelopeRose, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. PenelopeRose

    PenelopeRose Chirping

    Feb 18, 2015
    Hello everyone,

    I recently adopted a couple of hens and they turned out to be sick (yes, I'm new at this!). Anyway, the aviary vet sent out a mucus sample (from runny nose) and nothing major came back but high levels of Ecoli. After panicking, I read that all chickens have eColi and it's nothing to worry about as long as the eggs are cooked. He put them on antiobiotics (no egg eating during this time but one brilliant suggestion I read - perhaps here - said to cook up the egg and feed it back to the girls; thank you- that was brilliant as I felt horrible about tossing out the egg). Anywho, I also put them on a probiotic to maintain healthy gut function. They seem to like the fortefied water but nowhere on the package do I see that it is safe to give them daily on a long-term basis. I know a lot of folks give their hens yogurt but the vet told me that dairy is not good for chickens.

    What are your thoughts on daily probiotics?
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    I'm glad they are going better!

    I've read that probiotics should only be given on a daily basis if the chickens are sick or injured. Otherwise once a week is what is recommended. And as for the yogurt, that is safe and good to feed them occasionally.

    Good luck and welcome to the flock!
  3. PenelopeRose

    PenelopeRose Chirping

    Feb 18, 2015
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member 8 Years

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    By yogurt they mean plain (unflavored). Hope you hen will be back to normal soon. Welcome to Backyard chickens.

    Mr MKK FARMS Crowing Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC. [​IMG]
  6. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! Hope your hens continue to make a good recovery and are back to full health soon.
    Hope you enjoy BYC, I am sure you will :frow
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word Staff Member Premium Member 7 Years

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I am a huge fan of probiotics and give them to my birds all the time. Nearly everyday. The poultry industry has discovered that there are far less losses in the business if they give their birds probiotics from hatch to the time they go to market. 70% of the entire immune system is in the gut. This is also where dangerous pathogens tend to take hold in the body. These pathogens can't survive in places filled with good bacteria and oxygen. And this is what probiotics do...they add oxygen and all the good bacteria that feed on the bad bacteria. So add them to your birds diet!! Probiotics can keep your birds in tip top shape!
  8. deacons

    deacons Songster

    Oct 8, 2013
    New Hampshire
    I'm not a vet, not a nutritionist, but I have given daily probiotic (Probios disepersable powder) to my flock of 8 laying hens for about two years now. I had some diarrhea in the flock a couple of years ago, nothing unusual turned up on the fecal sample, but the vet who checked them over suggested the Probios wouldn't hurt. I sprinkle the powder over a small bowl of cooked rice and corn in the morning so I know they eat it- I personally felt that putting it in the water would probably lead to a lot being wasted.

    As far as yogurt, you'll hear lots of different opinions, but I have read that poultry don't digest dairy well so while yogurt has the good probiotics, many vets recommend staying away from it (mine did). Of course, there are a ton of people on here who grew up on dairies or currently milk and have had no problems giving milk and yogurt to chickens, so you just have to make an informed decision about what you want to do with yours.

    Hope they continue to get well!
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  10. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing 5 Years

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined our "flock"

    I only give my chickens probiotics when they are sick, but I don't think it would hurt to give them more often.

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