Healthy backyard chickens – that’s the constant goal around here. It is also important to me that we keep our chickens healthy in the most natural way possible – no chemicals, no antibiotics (unless completely necessary), organic/non-GMO feed, etc.
If you’ve read my post on natural chicken care, then you know there are several supplements and treatments that we use to keep our flock looking and feeling good. One of the most powerful supplements is garlic. Check out the post below to learn more about how I make and use a DIY garlic oil supplement for healthy backyard chickens here on our little homestead.
DIY Garlic Oil Supplement for Healthy Backyard Chickens
3 cloves garlic, minced **
1/3 cup olive oil – http://amzn.to/1j7dNBE
2 cups layer feed – http://amzn.to/1ozCS7A
1/2 cup scratch – http://amzn.to/1jehtBH (or cracked corn, meal worms – http://amzn.to/1j7dTZM etc. – just something a little “special” that your girls like and don’t get all the time)
1. Steep minced garlic and olive oil in a glass jar – http://amzn.to/1ozD9am in the sun for 4+ hours.
2. Combine layer feed and scratch.
3. Drizzle the feed mixture with the infused oil and stir to coat.
4. Feed to hens in their normal feeder or a feeder used for supplements.
5. Keep leftover oil in the fridge and use over the next couple days.
**You’ll want to use a bit less if you your girls have never had garlic as part of their diet. Just like it is for us, garlic can be a strong flavor and may turn your birds off from eating/drinking. Start them out with just a little and build tolerance over time.
Now, you may be wondering WHY do we want to feed this garlic oil concoction to our chickens? Well, to begin garlic oil is great for boosting your chickens’ immune systems. Additionally it can help with:
- mites and other parasites (including fleas, mites, lice and ticks). When garlic is added to a chicken’s diet, the chicken no longer “tastes” good to the parasites.
- improved respiratory health.
- deworming. Garlic is heralded as a natural dewormer.
- the smell of chicken manure. A regular garlic oil supplement will reduce the amount of ammonia in the chicken’s poop and make your manure a little less *ahem* “fragrant.”
Some people who feed their chickens garlic oil regularly comment that it changes the taste of their eggs slightly. I have never experienced this but just know that it is a possibility.
For more information, check out my post on natural chicken care or this great post on raising chickens naturally – http://gardentenders.com/members/XploreOrganics/blog/40 .
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