Garlic for Chickens- The New Superfood?
Ancient Egyptians used garlic as a medicine, and it is still widely used as a health supplement today. What if we add this component to the feed of our chickens?
In European countries where this vegetable is consumed in great quantities by the population, they have a lower risk of cancer and are less likely to suffer from heart disease.
Chicken caretakers have been giving their hens raw garlic to treat illness, and respiratory problems, and to increase appetite for hundreds of years, if not longer.
The size and quality of their eggs, some claim, also increase. Furthermore, after a few weeks, the sulfur from the droppings will diminish, resulting in a less offensive odor in the coop and run.
Garlic’s antimicrobial allicin and allicetoin compounds are released upon crushing. This was discovered by Louis Pasteur in 1858. It has been shown to be highly effective against pathogenic bacteria while having no effect on beneficial microbes.
Despite this, many people think allicin is an effective repellent for the ectoparasite red mite because of the chicken’s blood flavor.
Some red mite remedies, such as the acaricide Breck-a-Sol, sold in the United Kingdom, contain garlic.
This vegetable is an easy and affordable way to maintain the health and satisfaction of your backyard hens and offers numerous health advantages for both people and animals.
Is it risky or even detrimental to give garlic for chickens? I spent some time looking into how it affected hens, and I’d want to share my research in this article today.
Garlic for Chickens: Can chickens eat garlic?
This vegetable is edible by chickens and is advantageous when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Garlic for chickens strengthens their immune system, improves respiratory health, and it is also believed to deter mites, lice, ticks, and other parasites from drawing blood from animals who regularly consume garlic.
Avoid consuming this item in excess, and keep an eye out for dishes that are high in garlic.
To survive, chickens require a diet that is well-balanced and contains the ideal proportions of macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Food in excess is never good.
However, hens are unaffected by this veggie. Despite their frequent association, it is not a member of the onion family; its makeup is entirely distinct.
Let’s examine the advantages of garlic for chicken health:
Increase in immunological function
Some types of white blood cells in the body have been demonstrated to respond more aggressively to viruses when exposed to compounds in garlic.
This vegetable is good medicine for your hens to feel better and will aid them in fighting any bacteria, viruses, or other diseases that may be present in their surroundings if they appear unwell and do not want to leave their house.
Reduces the smell of manure
A Clemson University study found that feeding garlic for chickens effectively hides the smell of chicken manure without altering the taste of the eggs. provides viral protection.
This component has been demonstrated to have antiviral activity against viruses that cause cholera, colibacillosis, and salmonellosis.
Aids underweight or unwilling to eat chickens
Underweight or non-eating chickens require something to increase their appetite, and garlic provides just that.
Additionally, it promotes healthy development and is an excellent digestive aid, assisting chickens in obtaining the maximum amount of nutrients from the food they consume.
Similar to apple cider vinegar, it is thought that this vegetable increases hunger and aids in the growth of your birds.
Protection from parasites
It is thought that the allicin in garlic renders chicken blood tasteless to mites and other parasites. Try using this vegetable as natural mite prevention if you prefer it.
Minerals and vitamins
In addition to all of these advantages, garlic is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, the calcium and phosphorus ratio is good!
This vegetable is well-known for being a great source of vitamin C, manganese, selenium, and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). A good amount of calcium, potassium, iron, and copper are also present.
This little but powerful vegetable is said to assist hens in producing larger, higher-quality eggs with less harmful cholesterol.
The Value of Garlic for Chickens
Even though garlic is a natural product, you should nevertheless introduce any external preparation to your bird’s food slowly and test out a little amount first.
Here are some possible applications for garlic:
- For minor scrapes and cuts, you can try using garlic as an antibacterial on your bird’s skin.
- When included in the diet, it may improve the microbiome of the digestive tract, making it less inviting to parasites (worms).
However, I must emphasize the importance of a poultry worm count to ensure the success of a natural worming strategy. It’s not meant to treat actual worm infections. Although many chicken keepers swear by it, I was only able to discover a few studies examining its effectiveness.
There are many ‘Old Wives Tales’ when it comes to poultry rearing, and some ancient texts recommend a strong solution of crushed garlic for hens, but there are also many cures offered in old books that we now know don’t work.
- It has been found in trials to lower the prevalence of Northern Fowl mites and can be used to prevent parasites like scaly leg mites by being massaged into the legs.
- Crushing a few cloves and adding them to the water for the chickens creates a tonic that may help strengthen their immune systems.
- Inhaling steam infused with (fresh) garlic is beneficial for the respiratory system
A display cage or puppy box is ideal for this, as the top can be covered with plastic without suffocating the bird, and a steaming bowl may be placed underneath the plastic outside the cage.
As an expectorant, it can help with breathing, and the potent anti-inflammatory components will get straight to the lungs to do their work.
How to incorporate garlic into the chicken diet
You may feed your bird garlic in a few different ways. To determine what works best for you and your chicken coop, you might need to experiment a little if you’re using this ingredient for the first time.
It is best to introduce garlic to hens while they are young so they can become used to the flavor.
Chickens shouldn’t have any trouble consuming fresh crushed garlic-flavored water once they’ve been raised to tolerate the flavor, or even eating the garlic alongside their regular food.
Older birds who have never consumed this vegetable before are more likely to consume it when it is blended into their feed.
As you can see, there is little doubt that giving garlic for chickens as part of their diet will be quite beneficial. But its uses go beyond internal ones.
This vegetable can also be applied to the skin to cure small burns and applied to the legs to ward off parasites like the northern chicken mite and scaly leg mite.
Use of Garlic Powder as a Supplement in Poultry Feed
If you want to introduce garlic to your flock’s diet, garlic powder is the most hassle-free and universally well-received option.
Adding no more than 1% garlic powder to a hen’s diet increased both the rate at which hens laid and the quality, including weight, of their eggs, contrary to popular belief that garlic powder lacks the potency and health benefits of fresh garlic.
This study was published in the International Journal of Poultry Science.
My preferred method of including garlic into my hen’s diet is to mix in around 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder per 1 cup of feed. They never snub their beaks at this proportion, and nothing goes to waste.
Pureed Fresh Garlic in Water
Crushing garlic releases allicin, an amino acid in garlic thought to provide the health benefits listed above. The garlic can be quickly crushed and peeled using a low-priced garlic press.
Adding one clove of crushed garlic for chickens per four liters of water will supply the recommended amount of garlic to provide the health advantages and odor reduction of the chicken’s excrement.
In the heat of summer, garlic water may soon turn foul; to prevent this, replace it daily. Always provide a plain water supply besides any flavored water you provide for your flock.
Always one picky hen will decide she doesn’t like it. Don’t overwhelm your flock with garlic at once if they seem hesitant to drink garlic water.
It’s best to avoid storing garlic or Apple Cider Vinegar in galvanized steel water containers. The zinc in galvanized steel will be leached off by garlic, which could be harmful to humans.
Free Choice Fresh Crushed Garlic for Chickens
To encourage your birds’ health, you can provide them with crushed fresh cloves of garlic for chickens in a little dish, a free- choice.
Since garlic loses its medicinal value after just 24 hours, offering a freshly crushed glove every day is recommended if you want to supplement with garlic. Because the allicin in garlic is destroyed after cooking, it is best to feed raw garlic for chickens at all times.
As chicken caretakers, we care deeply about the well-being of our birds.
You should really consider adding some apple cider vinegar to your chicken’s food as a supplement. When used in moderation, apple cider vinegar can help keep your flock healthy and strong.
How much garlic should I feed my chickens?
Remember moderation is crucial when deciding how much garlic to give your chickens. Always use only fresh, uncooked vegetables.
When giving garlic for chickens, keep the following advice in mind:
4 cloves per gallon or 1 clove every liter of water.
To eat: Crush or coarsely cut a clove twice per week.
The simplest way to add garlic to your hens’ diet is probably garlic powder, which is also the most well-liked by poultry that has never tasted garlic before.
Garlic: Is it harmful to chickens?
Although some people think adding garlic for chickens’ diet will make their eggs taste like garlic, this vegetable won’t pose any risk to chickens.
To change the taste, you would need to feed your hens a lot of garlic. Thiosulfate, a substance found in this vegetable, is known to disrupt red blood cells and, in high doses, might result in jaundice or anemia.
Garlic contains trace levels of this substance, but never enough to endanger your chickens. Onions, however, are harmful to hens because of the significant amounts of this element they contain.
Studies have shown that giving garlic for chickens significantly improves their resistance to disease. You may either sprinkle the garlic over the chickens’ meal or mix it into their water so they drink it.
Worms can still be a problem even if you use garlic, and it won’t help if you’re not following the other fundamentals of chicken farming, either.
It has also been proposed in some research that supplying chickens with garlic improves the flavor of their eggs.
We poultry farmers want to do everything we can to ensure that our birds have long, healthy lives. I strongly urge you to think about giving your chicken garlic in addition to supplements.