Immune Boosting Herbs for Chickens and Other Poultry
To ensure your poultry flock is healthy learn which 10 immune boosting herbs and supplements ensure healthy chickens and other poultry.
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I think it’s no surprise that I run a natural, chemical free property. Stemming from how we grow food, clean our home, and more importantly, how we naturally treat and boost the immune system for ourselves and our livestock.
Aside from a healthy, balanced diet a strong immune system is needed to ensure that your livestock, especially poultry, remain healthy. Unlike a quick fix to treat diseases or illnesses, establishing a strong immune system for your flocks takes work. Regular work daily on your part.
Many common culinary herbs contain immune boosting qualities. And luckily these items are extremely easy to grow in the garden or containers. As a matter of fact, my very first herb garden wasn’t for human consumption, but herbs which would benefit my flock.
Times have since changed, and now many of the herbs in the garden are for both livestock and human consumption. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that most of the herbs grown are for my livestock.
Keeping Healthy Chickens
Ensuring a strong immune system means knowing which herbs to offer. Keeping healthy chickens is relatively easy once you get the hang of it. But remember, even the healthiest flock member can fall ill, it is your goal to ensure the bird can make a comeback from an illness.
There are many methods in which herbs can be offered to the flock, however, some methods do work better than others. Chickens can be a bit finicky on consuming herbs, especially when other foods items are available.
When I first started keeping poultry I would pick the herbs and create a bouquet out of them. The bouquets were hung around the coop and barnyard with hopes the flock would consume from them. Unfortunately, the birds showed zero interest in the herbal bouquets.
The fresh herbal bouquets may have failed but the following methods did not!
- DIY herbal suet block
- herbal infused waterers
- added to fermented whole grains and dry feed
Suet blocks are a great boredom booster and an excellent item for getting your flock to consume herbs.
Infusing herbs in water is the easiest method for offering your flock herbs. Since the herbs need time to infuse, make it a habit to fill waterers with the herbs the evening before. One important tip, make sure to discard the herbs daily.
Adding beneficial dried herbs (even fresh) to the feed daily allows is an excellent method for keeping healthy chickens. Simply add the herbs to dried feed or mix into the fermented whole grains before serving.
10 Immune Boosting Herbs for Chickens
In truth, many herbs contain medicinal qualities. However, choosing immune boosting herbs for chickens and poultry which are purposeful to the desired goal. Meaning, select herbs which not only support the immune system but the overall health of poultry.
- astragalus* – antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory qualities
- basil – adaptogen, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory qualities
- echinacea* – antibiotic, antibacterial, aids to establish a strong respiratory system
- garlic* – antibacterial, natural immune boosting
- marjoram – anti-inflammatory, aids in respiratory issues
- nettle* – antiparasitic, high in vitamins, calcium, magnesium for strong health support
- oregano* – antibiotic, antibacterial, antioxidant, aids to establish a strong respiratory system
- parsley – high in vitamins K, D, A, iron, and folate
- sage – antibacterial. antioxidant, antiparasitic
- thyme* – antiparasitic, antibacterial, aids to establish a strong respiratory system
The Homesteader’s Natural Keeping Handbook is a great resource for those looking to raise poultry naturally.
Not only does Amy address using herbs to boost the immune system she teaches how to utilize them to address illnesses as well. In addition to this she provides recipes for utilizing herbs to freshen the coop and how to treat issues such as lice and mites.
Selecting the Best Herbs for Chickens
Even the most prepared individual will run out of the suggested herbs mentioned here, and that is okay! It happens to the best of us.
Herb and supplements for chickens are readily available online or in the bulk section of your local market.
There is no right or wrong when pairing herbs together to create an immune boosting blend. Keep in mind that the herbs listed above, especially ones with an asterisk, are quite beneficial for raising healthy chickens.
Additional Beneficial Chicken Supplements
In addition to the herbs mentioned above the following chicken supplements provide additional support to keeping the immune system strong.
- natural probiotic – raw apple cider vinegar, fermented foods or beverages. Extra kombucha SCOBY or kefir grains (milk or water) are also good to offer. Provide one item mentioned a few times per week.
- raw honey – antioxidant, add to the waterer a few times a week
- Brewer’s yeast – provides additional vitamins and mineral as well as additional niacin for waterfowl. Offer 1 scoop per feed bowl or added to homemade suet blocks
You must keep in mind, immune boosting herbs for chickens and other poultry must be offered regularly. Take the time to establish a routine. This will ensure your flock receives the immune boosting herbs.