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Natural Treatments for Chicken Diseases

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Despite your best efforts, sometimes a chicken falls ill. There are many common chicken diseases that can affect your flock, but fortunately their are simple and natural remedies you can use to prevent and treat this illnesses. Here are natural treatments for the 10 most common poultry diseases.

Common Chicken Diseases

Many chicken diseases mimic one another. Often it is impossible to tell exactly why a chicken is sick until it is too late. Fortunately there are a variety of natural remedies that will help a chicken recover from a wide variety of illnesses. Let’s start by taking a quick look at the 10 most common chicken diseases:

  1. Diarrhea – Characterized by white or green loose droppings, diarrhea is caused by cold, dampness or unsanitary housing or feed.
  2. External Parasites – Mites, lice and even ticks can plague chickens and cause their production to drop. A sure sign you have chicken mites: the scales on the chicken’s legs stand up.
  3. Internal Parasites – A parasite overload can cause poor health and even death. Coccidiosis is the most common parasite problem in young chicks.
  4. Marek’s Disease – This is a generic term for a variety of respiratory viruses that affect chickens. A bird with a weak immune system is especially prone to this chicken disease.
  5. Rickets – This chicken disease is the result of poor nutrition, specifically calcium deficiency.. The bones are weak and cannot support the body weight of the bird.
  6. Vitamin A Deficiency – This nutritional problem mimics respiratory illness. Typically the distinction cannot be made until the sick chicken has died.
  7. Fowl Cholera – Susceptible birds can catch this deadly chicken disease from wild animals. Acute cases show no symptoms but sudden death.
  8. Gapes – A sick chicken with a gapeworm infestation makes a characteristic gasping. Untreated a severe infestation is fatal.
  9. Fowl Pox – A viral chicken disease, fowl pox causes raised lesions on the comb, wattle and in the throat of affected birds.
  10. Exotic Chicken Diseases – Any bird suffering a weak immune system is suceptible to various types of flus and avian diseases which cause depression, decrease production and damage the nervous system.

Natural Treatments for Common Chicken Diseases

While parasites can be treated with chemical dewormers and chemical sprays, most of these common chicken health problems are difficult to treat medically. The best option is to support a healthy immune system in all of your chickens. This helps prevent disease, and helps the birds fight illness when they are infected.

Herbs and More for the Sick Chicken

Sick Chicken Herbs

Image courtesy of abundantpermaculture.com

Try adding these ingredients to your flock’s feed or water on a daily basis to prevent chicken diseases:

  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar – A strong tonic that eliminates internal parasites and promotes health.
  • Cinnamon – Helps stop diarrhea.
  • Epsom Salts – Also a good treatment for diarrhea.
  • Chopped Garlic and Onion – Fed in small amounts on a daily basis they will help prevent parasites and boost the immune system.
  • Aloe Vera – General health food.
  • Oregano – Treats parasites and prevents reinfestation.
  • Sour Milk or Buttermilk – Supports a healthy gut. Feed a mash of wheat bran soaked in sour milk to a sick chicken to speed recovery.
  • Parsley – Chickens love this disease preventing herb which is rich in nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, E and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc.

Extended Reading

Guide to Backyard Chickens and How to Raise Chickens

See how this large farm uses oregano and cinnamon to treat chicken diseases without antibiotics.

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