Welcome to Natural chicken health, an article in my series Raising Chickens for Beginners. In this article we will be covering a few ways to help keep your chickens healthy, naturally. Whether your chickens are babies or fully grown, health is an important part of their production and happiness.
Mites and worms are very common in chickens, especially when introducing new birds into your flock. You have to be very careful when bringing home new birds. First thing you should know is, don't just put them in with your other chickens. They need to be in their own pen for a minimum of a week so they can adjust to you, their new feed, and so that you can observe them for any signs of disease or weakness.
If you discover they do have mites, worms or something similar, I would suggest buying Diatomaceous Earth (aka DE) and lots of it. Sprinkle it in their dust bathing area, their food, and even directly on them, it is not harmful to you or your birds and you can still eat eggs from chickens who have eaten it. Another thing that helps with mites and worms is garlic; garlic juice, garlic in their feed, garlic in their nests, etc. Olive oil also helps with mites, I usually buy it in the cooking spray cans and spray it directly on their feet.
Keeping your coops clean is a good way to keep your chickens healthy. Regular cleaning of coops, changing bedding, cleaning feeders and waterers, and keeping feed in a metal can safe from mice or bugs are all great ways to keep your chickens happy and healthy. It is also good for your chickens if you give them a dust bathing area, it may not sound clean, but it actually helps a lot.
Sometimes you need extra food to help maintain natural chicken health. For instance if they start to peck
at each other, their feathers dull, or they just don't seem as happy
as usual, a change in diet usually helps. For example, fermenting
your feed and sprouting grains are both great ways. If your hens
start to slope off in their egg production, usually you should to
switch to feed with higher levels of calcium.
Free ranging your chickens can help them to have good natural chicken health, and it can also help you. They love to run around and eat bugs like grass hoppers, potato bugs, and tomato worms. Seriously, they LOVE tomato worms. If you have other animals such as dogs, sheep, cows, anything, they also love to scratch through their poop and mix it into the soil to help the soil.
They also eat seeds from wild grasses, but you may want to put a chicken proof fence around your garden, they love to eat things like straw berries, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, and anything else you grow in your garden. A good idea is to fence off your garden and put your chickens out far away from it, where they can't see it, they will most likely make their way their eventually, but if you close them up in a coop every night that should help.
I hope this article helps you keep your chickens' natural chicken health. Be sure to check out the other articles in my series Raising Chickens for Beginners and have fun on your chicken raising journey.
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