1) Add Hydrated Agriculture lime to the chicken litter to help keep down odors and deter insects and parasites. This is especially useful if you use a deep litter method. If you compost the litter it is also beneficial to the garden soil.
2) When the garden is spent, allow the chickens in to the area to rid the garden of harmful insects and to turn the soil while they add natural fertilizer. You will be amazed how quickly a flock of chickens can prepare your garden for the next season, while you are providing a free source of feed and exercise for them.
3) Make sure when using Vinegar in the chick or chicken water, that it is PURE Apple Cider Vinegar. Read the labels, the bottles look the same, but in small print, some say *flavored*. The acidity is the same, the contents are not. In addition, do not use the vinegar water all the time, there is such a thing as vinegar poisoning or the technical term: hypokalemia, octeoporosis and hyperreninemia. All of which can cause serious side effects. If you wish to make your own, it is easy and makes use of scraps of apple from pie baking or other apple desserts. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/recipes-for-self-reliance/category/how-to-make-vinegar
4) When hatching chicks in an incubator, make certain the temperature and humidity is optimum, even 1 degree either way will alter the hatch significantly. Always check the accuracy of your thermometer and hygrometer prior to setting up the incubator. Refer to the link to learn how to calibrate or know when to replace. http://justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/category/test-hygrometerthermometer If you prefer hatching chicks under a broody hen, refer to the link to help understand the broody and what you should and should not do. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/category/broody-hens
5) For landrace breeds, such as the rare breeds we raise, like Swedish Flower Hen, Euskal Oiloa~ Basque Hens, Blue Breda Fowl, Altsterier, Ayam Cemani and Icelandic, provide a higher protein feed than you might with more common breeds. (Game bird feed, Alfalfa pellets, Kelp, Calf Manna, Chia and mealworms are good sources of higher proteins) justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/banana-molt-cookies
6) In summer heat, inexpensive bamboo shades work nicely to block the suns rays to provide shelter for the flocks. It is also important during the winter, to provide a barrier from wind chill, the bamboo shades work well for that purpose too.
7) Increasing protein in winter will help keep the chickens warmer and improve laying. We do not recommend using artificial light in winter. This is a resting time for many chicken breeds, and though it may increase laying, it does have an effect on the egg-laying years. Female chicks are hatched with a predetermined number of ova, so if your chickens receive artificial light and would normally lay an average of 4 years, that average will be altered as they have already laid that pre-determined amount of eggs. For more information about a winter protein boost, refer to the link. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/winter-protein-boost
8) Increase Protein and Calcium during molt; chickens lose 85% of their protein and calcium with feather loss. That protein and Calcium needs to be replaced in a bio-available food source. Free-ranging provides some of the needed food, but always use a well balanced quality feed and provide extra proteins and calcium during molt and if there is an injury. Protein provides vitamins and minerals for speedier healing. My recipe for Banana Molt cookies will help the ladies through that stressful time. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/banana-molt-cookies
9) Never feed raw eggs to your chickens (or dogs) or you may inadvertently encourage egg eating. Scramble or boil the eggs before feeding back to your animals. The nutrients in eggs are highly digestible and a good source of protein, vitamins and essential minerals. To learn more about eggs, refer to the link: justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/fun-egg-facts-and-trivia
10) When you boil eggs, reserve the water and use that as part of the water you give your chickens. The egg water is full of calcium from the eggs, so it's a free and non-wasted resource for extra calcium. When you crack eggs for baking. Toss the shells into water, bring to a boil then turn off the heat (this pasteurizes the egg shell), Cool, and reserve the water to give your chickens. The calcium in the water is bio-available, unlike other forms of calcium that require Vitamin D for the body to absorb properly. In addition, after peeling the eggs, allow the shells to dry, crush and mix in with grains or a slurry that you prepare for your birds.
11) If one chicken becomes ill or is infested with parasites, you must treat the entire flock, not just one. Chickens, as with humans in a close environment, can be very contagious and the entire flock will succumb to the illness. Prevention is always the best line of defense.
12) If using herbs in diets and in coops, use sparingly, and do your research; overuse can harm your birds, just as over indulgence can harm you.
13) A slurry of cooked Rice and Pumpkin will help for diarrhea, it is easily digestible and good for the chickens. Always check for parasites to be sure the runny poo is not due to an infestation. Diarrhea can be a sign of many illnesses, but the most common in chicks is Coccidiosis. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/coccidiosis-in-chicks
To make a Rice and Pumpkin Slurry, refer to the link: justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/pumpkin-rice-slurry
14) If you live in a climate with extremes in temperatures, especially winter, research chicken breeds that are suitable for your climate. Typically heavy breeds with ample feathering are the best choices for winter, while more slender breeds are best for high summer heat. Winter hardy breeds usually lay through winter. By carefully selecting birds for your own climate, you will have a better chance of less illness and more egg production when other breeds have laid off. Orpington, Brahma, Australorp, Rhode Island Red, Red Sagitta, Wyandotte, Swedish Flower Hen, Sussex, Basque and Icelandic are good choices for winter hardy chickens. Chickens that are best for hot climates are Leghorn, Andalusian, Altsterier, and Legbar. Refer to our Breed profiles for further information on the breeds in Italics: justfowlingaround.weebly.com/breed-profiles
15) Providing electrolytes is important if any of the chickens suffer heat stroke, hypothermia, predator attack, shipment or transporting from one environment to another, illness or injury. The electrolytes are needed for every cell in the body. When chickens are affected by any unusual or traumatizing event, electrolytes will help restore balance in their system. Our electrolyte formula is easy to make with natural ingredients that you already have in your pantry. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/1
16) Oregano Oil is an accepted supplement to your chickens as an immune builder. A few drops added to the feed or treats can be effective in helping the chickens to ward off colds and respiratory infections. Organic Poultry farms use oregano oils as an alternative to antibiotics and is an approved method by the USDA for Organic poultry. The Oregano oil is also used for treating internal parasites, wounds and abrasions. You can make your own Infused Oregano Oil. Refer to the link for making your own. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/infused-oregano-oil For additional information on natural remedies, refer to my link on Folk Medicine: justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/chicken-folk-medicine
17) Bio Security is the most important part of raising a healthy, thriving flock and important to your family health. For an earth friendly, natural coop to kitchen cleaner, refer to my Concentrated Citrus Peel formula. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/earth-friendly-projects/concentrated-citrus-household-cleaner for additional information on Bio Security refer to my link: justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/backyard-bio-security
18) To alter the color of egg yolks to a more intense yellow-orange, provide the yellow/orange vegetables, and edible flowers such as Calendula and Marigold as a supplement. Free ranging will also make a difference in the color of the yolk. However, in spite of what you may have read or been led to believe, you cannot tell the health of an egg by the color of the egg yolk. In addition you cannot tell a commercial white egg laying egg from a white egg laying backyard chicken yolk, there is absolutely no negligible difference in the color of that yolk. A white egg layer will always have a lighter yellow yolk compared to a brown egg layer, even if free ranging or supplemented with the carotin that alters the color of that yolk.
19) Meat or Bone Broth is an excellent source of protein and can be added to chicken feed or treats. You can make your own easily either from home cooked left over chicken and bones, or rotisserie chicken. Meat broth is good for you and for the chickens. If you notice the chickens sneezing, provide some chicken broth in liquid form, for the same reason you would eat chicken soup when you begin to feel symptoms of a cold or flu. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/recipes-for-self-reliance/homemade-meat-broth
20) Molasses is a natural source of calcium. When we were kids, the troughs were periodically filled with Molasses for our dairy cows to provide the extra calcium needed for quality milk production. Chickens benefit as much as any livestock from a little molasses periodically. You can make your own healthy chicken treats with the addition of molasses to increase the highly digestible calcium. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/can-chickens-eat-corn-cob-yes
There are many ways to treat your flocks with Natural Chicken keeping. Our parents and grandparents raised chickens throughout the generations using only what was available to them. Some of those methods are tried and true, while some have fallen to the wayside as either not effective or lesser known. Because there are very few veterinarians that are trained to treat poultry it becomes even more important for you to do your own treating and to locate accurate information.
Do your research through your local County Extension center or State Agriculture college for up-to date, accurate information for raising chickens. Do not rely upon blogs or random comments to obtain accurate information. Most people that participate in forums are just like you; backyard poultry enthusiasts and information they provide may be detrimental to your flock. For a listing of State Universities refer to the link. They all have information available online. justfowlingaround.weebly.com/chicken-coop-chatter-blog/research-proper-sources
CAUTION: Normally there are few side effects, however, as with all herbs, ACV or other home remedies, use only in moderation whether for you, your family or your animals and poultry.
In addition, it is wise to consult your veterinarian about the use of any and all herbs or edible flowers. If you have questions about dosage, your holistic veterinarian is the expert that will have those answers for you. Never assume that any herbs or home remedies are safe for ingestion or long term use for you or your animals.
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