Healthy Poultry Feed: Satisfying Supplements
Raw Oats or Cornmeal
Adding a bit of raw oats or ground cornmeal to your chicks’ feed can help prevent pasty butt, an affliction most common in shipped chicks that causes their vents to become stopped up with feces and can ultimately kill the chick if not cleared up. A sprinkle of either supplement on top of your chick feed is beneficial.
Probiotics aid in intestinal and digestive health and can help prevent diarrhea in baby chicks, as well as guard against coccidiosis, the most common illness to affect chicks. Probiotics also help boost the immune system.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A few drops of apple cider vinegar in your chicks’ water is another immune system booster which also works to kill the germs that cause respiratory issues in chicks.
Oregano is being studied as a natural antibiotic which combats coccidiosis, E. coli, salmonella and other pathogens. Feeding fresh chopped oregano, dried oregano sprinkled over the chicks’ feed, or steeping some fresh oregano into a tea for your chicks helps guard them from some common illnesses.
Herbs for Feather Growth
These herbs provide much-needed protein to help chicks grow their feathers: basil, chervil, dill, fennel, marjoram, parsley and tarragon. All can be fed dried or fresh chopped served free-choice.
Herbs for Respiratory Health
Chickens have intricate respiratory systems, so strong, healthy breathing is important for chicks. These herbs help with respiratory health: basil, bee balm, cinnamon, clover, dill, echinacea, rosemary, thyme and yarrow.
The following herbs all have wonderful health benefits for growing chicks. All can also be fed fresh chopped or dried: parsley for blood vessel development, cilantro for bone development, sage for nervous system development, and spearmint for overall health.