Soapbox time or Looking for like minded individuals interested in contributing to herb treatment dat

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cmeeksrfl, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. cmeeksrfl

    cmeeksrfl Just Hatched

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    I am new to BackYard Chickens but have been a happy chicken owner for several years now. I am also a practicing veterinarian and an ardent herbalist. After reading through some of the posts on this forum, I have to admit to doing a bit of cringing at a lot of the drug advise. Don't get me wrong, I am certain that there are a number of people on this site that are much, much more knowledgeable on poultry than I. I had to go out of my way to get any information on birds in general when I went through vet school, the average student that wasn't interested could go the whole way with practically no exposure at all. Avians are about as different from dogs and cats as you can get. Metabolically, physically they don't quite work the same or use drugs the same. Size is a huge factor here. Most drugs are usually set up to dose in Kilograms. That works out to a little over 2 pounds. It is much more difficult to dose a tiny, newly hatched chick that will only weigh a few grams than a 15 pound rooster with a drug intended for a much larger animal. I do know how to use drugs in general & where to find and understand dosing those drugs. I wouldn't mind writing up a short formulary but but don't want to put it here and haven't figured out how to write an article on this site yet. I'll think about it tomorrow.

    That said, I personally feel that antibiotics are both a blessing and a curse. When you need them you really need them and at times will be the only thing to save that chick that can't breathe or eat. However, their inappropriate or indiscriminate use, especially in commercial poultry operations is beginning to undermine our own health and environment. It's way too easy to just keep medicating the whole room and if you look at the research it seems that they are much more interested in the bottom line than the long term health effects. All of the research in poultry is understandably geared to the large commercial outfits and herbs don't make money for the Pharmaceutical company so you won't see their use well represented in research projects sponsored by them.

    This site is huge and could represent a really respectable pool for at least antidotal research on a subject near & dear to my heart - herbal remedies. Not having written up any formal research projects, I would have to look into structure and reporting, and with the variety of environments & subjects in this pool it may not turn out publishable results but would be much more informative than just my little 6 hen coop. I'm not interested in hard line research, if that bird is really sick then pull out the drug it needs & try to fix it, even if you'd really rather use herbs. I won't intentionally sacrifice any animal for the sake of a study.

    Anybody interested in tackling medicated chick starter? I have an herb in mind for that.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I couldn't agree more. I'm always appalled at the number of posts of someone that has a sick chicken and wants to know how much tylan, tetracycline or whatever to give the bird. Without even knowing what is wrong with it. The truth is that of all the things that can afflict a chicken, things that can be cured with an antibiotic are in the minority.
    Respiratory problems may be bacterial but are more likely viral, fungal, environmental, parasitic or even nutritional. On top of that, some of those that are bacterial, have no cure. So prophylactically or randomly medicating is a problem that I always caution against.
    I'm also disturbed by the number of replies that push drugs for a problem when the actual cause is unknown.
    You can find hundreds of posts here about an ailing bird where people recommend corid and worming as a first course of action.
    I don't use medicated starter. In most cases, I find it unnecessary. Keeping bedding bone dry and feeders full will virtually eliminate the need to prevent or treat for coccidiosis.
    Are you familiar with Molly's Herbals for herbal wormers?
     
  3. Hillaire

    Hillaire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I get it, people not veterinarians posting about what antibiotic to give a chicken isn't ideal... Here is the problem that you even explained... Vets that treat chickens are far and few between... vets that do treat chickens and don't charge an arm and a leg... yeah you guessed it far and few between... people willing to spend that kind of money on a chicken... I mean let the stars align here, right? So a lot of people have kind of gone back to the old days where vets would give their customers advice on what to do the next time something like that happened (at least our vet did when it came to our dairy cows growing up) and how to treat them and what to use... seems to me that that mind set takes place a lot with chicken owners as well...
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Good point. I was going to mention the dearth of good avian vets, let alone those with poultry experience.
    It is mostly the avian vets that own poultry themselves that are the go to people.
    The majority of poultry vets work in the commercial industry.
    Good avian vets work with birds that are worth up into the thousands of dollars each. Lots of them don't consider a $20 bird to be worth caring for.
     
  5. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with everything said!! I for one would love to find more actual information on herbal and holistic treatments.
    Many of us try based on trial and error, or trying to convert information based on humans or other animals.
    The lack of vets who specialize in birds, or are even willing to take a shot at it, is why blogs like this exist.
    Too many people are uninformed and to readily jump on antibiotics as the cure-all for everything, people or animal.
    They have their place for sure, as do wormers and Corid, but are often used unneccessarily.
    It's hard to blame people who are just trying to save their bird, and may truly have no expert veterinary help.
    No one can adequately advise when they cannot see the bird and make their own assessment, but neither does it feel OK to not try when that may be the only option some people have.
    Prevention is truly key, but it's good to know that there are others who are willing to share their experience when the worst happens.
    I look forward to seeing some future posts/articles from you!!
     
  6. cmeeksrfl

    cmeeksrfl Just Hatched

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    In defense of my associates, the only way you can survive as a poultry veterinarian is to go with the corporate jobs that see a chicken as a flock unit not an individual. That is the reason that I didn't go into large animal medicine. I can't seem to get away from viewing each animal as an independent being. As veterinarians we are expected to be able to work with both the emotional and the financial aspects of raising animals with equal aptitude. Veterinarians also don't have the luxury of being able to focus on just one species as an MD does. We are expected to be able to treat not just dozens of different species, genus, families & orders but we have to cross into Kingdoms as well. This thread isn't going in the direction that I intended. I'm looking for like minded individuals that are willing to contribute to a database on treating chicken diseases with herbs. I'm not interested in promoting individual products, just what herbs are effective and which aren't.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. MasAhora

    MasAhora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perhaps reflect the above in the title of your post?
     
  8. cmeeksrfl

    cmeeksrfl Just Hatched

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    Thank you Coach, for your comments. I am certain that people will reach for whatever antibiotic they manage to get their hands on & use it whether it's the right one or not. That's why I'll try to write up a formulary to the most common drugs I'm seeing on here & put it in the Learning Center when I get the time. Case in point, Tylan 50 vs Tylan 200. They are not the same & you can't use teaspoons of either to dose that week old chick who doesn't have enough muscle anywhere to inject it as it's manufactured to be used. In avians, subcutaneous injections are not well absorbed so with chicks you are pretty much stuck with oral or topical treatment and it's usually off label for that drug. Herbs are not the same. Sure, you can give too much of some or too little, but chickens evolved eating all sorts of plant material. Their systems are designed to use them. I personally feel that you cannot create bacterial resistance to herbs; they are much too complicated, using many different chemical and synergistic pathways that make it difficult if not impossible for that pathogen to bypass all of them. Having started with Chinese herbs, I use teas to treat animals all the time. That chick that is breathing a bit hard will get oregano, olive leaf and oregon grape tea in it's waterer & those herbs sprinkled in its feed right off the bat. I'm starting to look at some of the essential oils as well. The lung sacs in avians are basically just that, big sacks and are located all over the body. That could represent a rather potent place to medicate by nebulization especially with tiny chicks. We just need enough people willing to try it and then share their experience, good or bad and someone willing to compile that information in a usable format in a place that can be found, so we can know what may be too much or too little.

    I'm thinking a good place to start is replacing Amprolium, a B vitamin inhibitor, which is commonly used in medicated chick starter with Artemisia annua. This herb, which is also known as Sweet Wormwood or Mugwort, is currently being investigated by the World Health Association for treating malaria which is caused by a protozoan. I've used it successfully to treat giardia, another protozoan so why not for Eimeria coccidia, the type of protozoan that is targeted by Amprolium? I don't agree with using a chemical that interferes with the uptake of Thiamine in my new chicks so I don't. Unlike a lot of you, I can tell for sure whether they have coccidia or not when they first arrive by just checking the stools and treat them accordingly. Those of you who can't do this easily could use this herb, which hasn't at this point in time been associated with any significant side effects, in their feed just like so many of you do with Amprolium. Then let me know if any of your chicks come down with any symptoms of coccidia.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. cmeeksrfl

    cmeeksrfl Just Hatched

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    Excellent suggestion MasAhora. Done.
     
  10. cmeeksrfl

    cmeeksrfl Just Hatched

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    No. I usually won't try an herbal formula that I can't find the ingredient list for. If you use it and find it effective then you might try to find out what's in it. I'd love to take a look at it. They mentioned wormwood on the website. There are over 200 species of plants referred to as "wormwood" in the genus Artemisia and they will vary widely in safety and use. That's one of the problems with Western herbs, you can't use common names because there are often many that have the same name or that name will vary from place to place. If the herbalist isn't specific about or doesn't know exactly what they are using it is difficult to document the efficacy of that herb even if that specific formula seems to be effective. The more BYC people that think this or that formula is effective the more important it would be to find out exactly what's in it and include that information in a database.
     

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