Ways to Improve Health?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by spies04, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. spies04

    spies04 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! I live in Minnesota and to say our winter has started out strong is an understatement. We are supposed to have -56 degrees windchills tomorrow. We have an insulated chicken house and a few brooder lamps, but I am hoping someone can share some ideas to help stregthen or improve their ability to fight off disease during these rough winters. Last year I lost a group to a respiratory infection that I was lucky to finally get under control. But I just lost one this morning - a newer chicken and I am hoping to start off this year with some precautionary measures. I feed a variety diet of scratch and layers along with fruits (bananas, pears,) and bread items throughout the week. I had thought about adding some baby foods to their regime. But not sure if I am on the right path?

    Any guidance would be much appreciated :). Our chickens provide us eggs but are also our pets and we want to do right by them. THANK YOU!!
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Probiotics!!! AND Apple Cider Vinegar!! Both of these help boost the immune system. 75% of the body's immune system lies in the intestinal tract of all animals. And the best way to give it a boost is with probiotics. The good bacteria. The intestinal tract takes a beating and many pathogens take hold in the tract first. So combat them out with good bacteria. Bacteria don't stand a chance in oxygenated healthy environment.

    Apple cider vinegar or ACV is a wonderful tonic to good health. Try to use the stuff that is unfiltered and unpastureized, and says it has "the mother in it". All that stuff that floats around in it is good. ACV will help increase appetites, gloss up the feathers, helps prevent sour crops, contains many trace minerals and vitamins not normally in their daily diet. But the best thing about ACV is it has the ability to raise the PH of the body. ACV itself is actually not that high on the ph scale. But once the body processes it, it turns the body more alkaline. That is what you want. Bacteria, virus's and other things, can not survive in high alkaline environments. It takes time for ACV to make big changes on PH of the body, but if used long enough, over time it does wonders. 1-2 tablespoons ACV per gallon of water, changed daily if used more than one day.

    What I like to do is alternate ACV, probiotics and plain water throughout the week. I have been doing this for years and my birds seem to thrive on it.

    I get my probiotics on line here, a product called. "Probios". You can get them on Amazon...

    http://www.amazon.com/Vet-Plus-Probios-Dispersible-Digestive/dp/B001BM1QRC

    It never hurts to add a good vitamin/mineral supplement to their diet as well occasionally. Make sure they are getting outside during the winter too for fresh air and exercise. And provide good ventilation in your coop so that they are getting plenty of fresh air throughout the coop. Will do wonders for them too!

    Good luck with your birds!
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
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  3. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    If it gets really cold, I make oatmeal with milk/water & yoghurt. They seem to love the stuff! One word of caution - don't stand close by, you're liable to get hit by flying oatmeal - chickens are such messy eaters [​IMG] sue
     
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  4. spies04

    spies04 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2011
    Minnesota
    Thank you both!! I am definitely going to try the oatmeal and yogurt.

    Question on the probiotics - do you put that in their water or their food? I have no history on using it so I want to make sure I take the right steps.
     
  5. spies04

    spies04 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One other question - what supplements have you had success with? There are so many in the market and I want to make sure I buy something that others have seen good results with.
     
  6. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    I use 'Rooster Booster' vitamins/electrolytes with lacto bacillus as an addition to their water 2-3 x week. In the cold evenings I throw down a couple of handfuls of scratch or mealworms. Another high protein treat (especially around molt time) - cat kibble mushed with warm water.
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    The probiotics can go in the water or sprinkled on food. Either way you are comfortable with. The probiotics really help with poop smell. A healthy intestinal tract keeps poop from stinking. LOL
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
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  8. chick rookie

    chick rookie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    twocrows... do you think electrolytes would help get my girls through this cold snap? and its going to last all week. should I do it till the weather breaks or not?
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Electrolytes are mostly salts. Salts are more needed during hot weather when they sweat. Rooster booster makes good products and supplements. I like to use Farmers Helper Ultra Kibble. It is more a protein supplement, but it contains many vitamins, minerals, dried veggies, probiotics, amino acids, etc...has lots of good stuff in it. I make my own chicken feed and use it as one of the supplements for the birds. They eat this supplement every day. It also contains fish meal which I think is really good for the birds. If you have a Tractor Supply near by, stop in and see what they have. I do know they carry a few different supplements. Calf Manna supplement in the horse section is good for poultry as well. I have used it on horses before. It is supposed to be a great supplement for chickens.
     
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  10. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Good info - thanks! Sue
     

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