Oregano as a Natural Poultry Antibiotic

| 5/5/2013 7:56:00 PM

Several months ago, the New York Times that commercial chicken processor, Bell & Evans, has been studying oregano as a natural antibiotic for their chickens. They have found that oregano oil and cinnamon specifically seem to work best at keeping pathogens at bay.
The study and use of herbal medicine for humans and animals is a well-documented and time-tested practice that predates Western medicine by centuries.  Oregano is one of the most powerful natural antibiotics ever studied and has been found to be superior to many of the currently used antibiotics. The oil is more potent than the fresh or dried herb, but in any form, its hard to deny the power of oregano.  

Not many scientific studies have been done on herbal remedies for poultry specifically.  But that doesn't mean they don't work. Little by little it seems that more and more folks are seeking natural preventatives instead of turning to commercial wormers, antibiotics and other medications in an effort to raise their chickens as naturally as they can.  We eat their eggs, so even more than other animals we raise, we seem to want our chickens to be chemical-, hormone- and antibiotic-free.
It has been observed that wild birds line their nests with herbs, flowers and weeds. We also know that chickens seem to instinctively know what is good for them and what is not, what they need and in what amounts (think free-choice oyster shell or grit).
Why not grow some herbs for your chickens. (Oregano, thyme, lavender and mint are especially beneficial as well as fragrant.)  Toss the fresh leaves into your coop and nesting box and let your chickens decide.  They'll eat some of the herbs, lay their eggs on some and ignore some, letting those dry and scent the coop.  It's a win-win for you and for your chickens.
So what do you think? Can you keep your chickens healthy without the use of chemicals and antibiotics? 

Join me on Facebook and my blog Fresh Eggs Daily for more tips and tricks to raising happy healthy chickens as naturally as possible. 

5/8/2013 3:22:37 AM

Lisa, another good tip to keep the chickens healthy without dowsing their feed with antibiotics. In the culture we now live in, every thing is medicated from the food we eat to the prescriptions we take. We have become so dependant on pills and modern medicine that I have to wonder just what would happen if that supply line, for what ever reason, suddenly stopped. Very few people I know isn't on some kind of medication and the few that aren't have an medicine cabinet full of over the counter medications. I believe that natural things like you write about in your posts will be an important thing to know in the not too distant future. Have a great oregano day.

Robyn Dolan
5/7/2013 9:30:36 PM

Worth a try, but the jury's still out here. Used oregano oil and cinnamon oil on our colds the last couple times and did not seem to have any effect at all. The wild horehound tea, however was very helpful in combating the congestion. I haven't totally given up on the oils, though.

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