Winning the war against disease in your chickens are often as straightforward as boosting their immune system by incorporating foods and supplements into their normal diet. A fantastic balanced diet consisting of age-appropriate feed and a never ending supply of fresh clean water is a great foundation. Adding nutritional supplements and garden fresh herbs, fruits, seeds, vegetables and grains will attract the wild cravings of your chickens and they will flock like crazy to their feeders. Though chickens have been domesticated, their inherent desire to live off the land means adding these”real” foods for their diet is a natural option. Immunity boosting foods are generally full of antioxidants including Vitamins A, C and E, contain the minerals zinc and selenium as well as carotenoids- the pigments found in plants- like beta-carotene which converts into Vitamin A.
Let us take a”peck” at some simple ways to develop your chickens’ immune system by integrating a few extras in their diet.
1. Produce Extraordinary Beautiful Beginnings
Newborn chicks have the nutrient rich yolk in the egg just before hatching, afterwards the chicks are equipped with most of the vital nutrients they’ll need for about two days. Lacking only Vitamin C, the yolk is essentially a chick’s lifeline until they take their first peck at their starter feed. One of the most nutritious additions to a chick’s diet are eggs! Scramble up an egg or two and combine in a little minced garlic as a boost due to their developing immune systems.
Whether you have brooder or Mother Hen, both will greatly benefit from a tiny extra nourishment added to their starter feed. Sprinkle a little probiotic powder, brewer’s yeast, moistened oats, finely chopped dandelion greens or chickweed in their feed and blend. Other excellent immunity boosting options comprised of cooked brown rice, sea kelp, sesame seeds, wheat germ, raw oats — that help to keep their vents free and clear of buildup- herbs like oregano, parsley, cinnamon, mint, tarragon, finely chopped bay leaves, clover, sage and Echinacea.
2. The Use of Apple Cider Vinegar
Among the primary things you can do as backyard poultry keeper would be to dunk your chicks’ beaks into water to encourage drinking, a simple waterer can be crucial in fostering your chicks’ immunity. A couple drops of Apple Cider Vinegar added to a chick’s waterer several times per week promotes resistance and give good digestion and respiratory health. Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV, is useful in preventing illness in backyard chickens and you can say farewell to pesky internal parasites! ACV produces an extremely undesirable environment for harmful parasites to take up residence. It removes toxins from the bloodstream, thins mucous to promote better respiratory health and contains antibiotic and antibacterial properties.
3. Herbs for Hen Health
Herbs provide healthy medicinal properties for humans and chickens alike! Adding herbs into your chickens’ diet is a sure way to boost their immune system and add variety to their diet plan.
Bay Leaves actually”stem” from the Bay Laurel tree and can gladly thrive indoors or outdoors in pots. Medicinally, Bay Leaves include many essential antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and are famous for their antiviral properties.
Echinacea is easily started from seeds sown indoors or implanted directly into the backyard patch in late spring. A helpful ally in warding off the frequent cold and in combating viral infections, Echinacea is a helpful healing herbal jewel for both you and your feathery friends.
Dandelions seem to flourish no matter what! This rich vibrant weed is a beautiful addition to any poultry salad that you serve up. Dandelions are high in protein, full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, AND help in digestion, enhance the function of all other organs and improve your flock’s nutritional intake.
Some other healthful herbs for overall good health include coriander, sage, spearmint and tarragon.
Herbal tea is overflowing with resistance boosting nutritional goodness and a delightful treat for chickens. Spend some quality time together with your chickens and host a feathery tea party! Simply brew some lovely herbal tea and serve-mini teacups are optional. It’s possible to stick to the conventional lemon or mint tea or mix this up a little and sip on some strawberry peppermint or ginger cinnamon tea. Leave the brewed herbs when serving as well as your chickens will no doubt peck them up!
4. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Full of essential vitamins, antioxidants and minerals, antioxidants, kiwi and papaya are a sweet treat and dietary supplement that your chickens will adore.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, lettuce and cabbage are ideal immunity boosters and young spinach or sweet baby spinach are beautiful additions to your own flock’s diet. Colorful capsicums are another crunchy treat to tempt your chickens. Garlic is an immunity boosting powerhouse! Garlic will develop your flock with the building blocks they need to resist disease.
5. Simple Seeds and Grains
For the busy health conscious foraging chicken on the move, seeds and grains are great snack pecks. Adding extra seeds and grains into your chickens’ routine diet makes great sense-foraging chickens naturally eat seeds and grains frequently, so they’re more inclined to provide these familiar foodstuffs their peck of approval.
Sunflower Seeds: Sunflowers seeds are full of vitamins, antioxidants, vitamins and protein. And a big hit with the chickens.
Pumpkin Seeds: These powerhouse seeds are full of vitamins, antioxidants and protein and are an excellent natural wormer, to boot! And, chickens can eat the pumpkin flesh also. Just make certain your pecking chickens have access to grit in order to help in the digestion of this fibrous flesh.
Flax Seeds: Flax seeds are a wonderful all around health food- packed with antioxidants, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, ginseng seeds additionally boost egg laying, improve feather condition and reduce your chickens’ chances of developing cancers.
Great Grains: Some excellent grains to pick from include oats, barley, malted grains, corn and wheat berries. Grains are a great source of carbohydrates and immunity boosting minerals. Plus, chickens adore them! Have you got a green thumb? Why not take a peek at sprouting your own grains? What a fantastic way to ensure your chickens have access to new grains throughout the entire year!
6. Proactive Probiotics and Fabulous Fermented Feed
Adding probiotics into your chicken feed is an easy way to ensure your chickens have an extra dose of immune system power. What are probiotics anyway? Simply put, probiotics are live microorganisms or good bacteria that improve an individual’s health, feathery or non-feathery, if active and present in the digestive tract to keep things moving along smoothly. Probiotics are typically available in powder or liquid form to incorporate into your chickens’ feed or water.
Another wonderful way to add probiotics in your chickens’ everyday diet is to provide them yogurt. Currently, while chickens do not have the enzymes required to digest the sugars found in milk products, somewhat plain yogurt today and then is simply fine. Yogurt, an excellent supply of protein, potassium and calcium also comprises active probiotics for your chickens.
Serving your flock fermented feed is a fantastic way to promote good health and increase resistance to illness. Fermenting feed for farm animals is an age old process. It provides many benefits to your flock-the fermentation procedure increases protein and vitamins content, creates more readily digestible feed, significantly enhances quality of eggs and tends to create firmer droppings! Garden poultry and livestock keepers have been doing this for ages.
Putting it All Together
Experiment with different combinations of components. Your chickens will be happy with glee to have such variety! Most of all, delight in the knowledge that you’re creating strong, healthy, active chickens who will be the”feather” of your eye!