Inevitably when an animal get sick on the farm, it is the weekend, or a public holiday. There are some effective home remedies that you can use on your chickens to tie you over until you can get medical assistance for them.
Home remedies may give your chickens some relief and give you some time to source some more effective medication and advice.
You must be cautious when you are choosing to use home remedies for chickens (or any animal). Do not substitute for similar items and please talk to a vet as soon as possible about treating your bird.
Chicken Home Remedies for your Sick Chicken
1) Apple Cider Vinegar or White Vinegar
The acetic acid in vinegar is the active ingredient. It lowers the pH, which kills many pathogens. Vinegar can be used as a home remedy with chickens to help clear the mucous in the throat of a bird that has respiratory disease.
Vinegar can also be used to re-balance the acidity of the crop if the chicken has sour-crop. In some cases of enteritis it can also help.
50ml vinegar to 2 liters of water (1/4 cup vinegar to 1/2 a gallon of water). Give for 2-3 days as the only drinking water.
Warning: Do not give straight vinegar, it is too strong and it will burn their tissues.
2) Molasses Solution
Molasses works as a gentle laxative, as well as a mineral supplement.
A laxative is useful if a chicken has eaten a toxic plant or it has been scouring due to a bacterial illness.
In 2 quarts/liters of warm water, dissolve 1/4 cup of molasses. Offer this to the birds for 4-6 hours then replace it with clean drinking water.
3) Sugar Solution
If you have a sickly, lethargic chicken, they need some glucose to keep their energy up. This is helpful for newly hatched chicks if they have had a prolonged hatching or if they have travelled a long way.
1oz (28g) of table sugar, glucose powder or honey in 2 cups (400ml) of warm water, stir until dissolved. Give a small amount regularly until the chick is perky.
Honey helps to reduce swollen tissues by drawing out excess fluid. You can use it on swollen prolapsed tissue, to shrink it enough to be gently pushed back inside the vent.
Smear honey over the swollen area and leave for about 1 hour to reduce in size, try and keep the prolapsed chicken still and quiet while you wait.
Electrolytes help chickens to recover from illness and stress faster and better. If a bird is not eating, has diarrhoea, is over heated, or dehydrated then electrolytes in the water are helpful.
You can buy ready made bird electrolyte mixes or you can mix the recipe below. Use in place of drinking water for one week.
Chicken electrolyte recipe
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
3 teaspoons of table salt
Dissolve in 3 quarts/liters of warm water. Use in place of water for one week.
So there you are, 5 easy home remedies to help keep your chickens healthy.
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Dana is a homesteading, homeschooling mama to 3, based in the south of New Zealand.
She is a Certified Ketogenic Living Coach, and natural wellness expert, as well as a Registered Nurse, with post grad training in mothers and babies. She has struggled with infertility and PCOS and conceived all 3 babies naturally.
Dana is passionate about natural health and gentle parenting. With a background in well child / baby nursing she loves sharing what she knows with mamas, mamas-to-be and mama-want-to-be’s.
She enjoys getting out in the garden, or just sitting at the beach in the sun. Dana also blogs about fertility and pregnancy at naturalearthymama.com, coaches people through Simplyketogeniclife.com and creates meal plans for earthlarder.com