Raising Chickens Naturally

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Blog entry by XploreOrganics posted 01-18-2008 08:07 AM 70020 reads 8 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So you’ve decided to fill your garden with joyful chickens…Here are a few tips on raising chickens naturally…Happy healthy chickens make for healthy eggs and less hassle.


Chickens will need adequate shelter. This will depend on your climate and predators. Chickens will need a draft-free dry coop with adequate ventilation. If your climate is cold a heat source should be available for winter. A solid concrete floor or a raised coop are ideal as this will make clean-up easier and keep burrowing critters out of the coop. Your coop should have at least one nesting box and a few roosts located about 2 to 3 feet from the floor. An area for food and water is a must. I like to keep a boot mat under my hanging waterer to collect spillage so dampness won’t lie in the coop…A moldy coop will make for sick chickies.


Assessing possible predators will help in your decision for a run. Chicken tractors also a good choice if you want to move your chickens around your garden to help you with fertilization and insect control but at the same time would like to keep control of where they go…chicken in the lettuce patch is not such a good idea :)

If you have overhead or climbing predators a covered run is best.

Bedding & Cleaning:

Clean dry bedding is a must. Straw, chaff and sawdust are common choices. I use clean sawdust (be sure it is from untreated non-aromatic woods). Sawdust may not be a good choice for young birds as they may eat it but older birds usually do fine. I prefer sawdust as it makes clean-up much easier. A large kitty litter scoop a bucket and 10 minutes a day (since you have to do a daily feeding and egg collecting anyway) keeps the coop clean and fresh. I then compost my little daily bucket of droppings….Cleaning this way will only require a once-a-year major coop cleaning.

To keep the coop smelling fresh I use 10 drops of pure peppermint oil per one liter of water. A shake and a few daily squirts keeps everything mint fresh and also deters bugs.

During the spring clean we use Dr. Broners peppermint soap...
This stuff melts through any stuck on poop and sure smells great…is all natural too and safe enough to brush your teeth with! Actually this is the only soap we ever use…for everything…Car cleaning, laundry, dishes, floors, ourselves, dog shampoo…this stuff is amazing! This soap even deters flies.


For healthy organic eggs be sure to use organic solutions to pest problems. Treating roosts and nest boxes with neem oil prevents mites and lice. Feeding garlic daily also deters insects. Using food grade Diatomaceous Earth dust baths, feed, and bedding is a great pest deterrent. Even helps prevent internal pests when added to feed. A tin cat is a great tool for capturing small rodents. Regular mouse traps can harm a chickens feet and rat poisons are simply to toxic.


Chickens love to eat. A good organic layers mash is a must. Clean fresh layers Mash, oyster shell, grit and water should be available all the time. A few spoonfuls of ACV (apple cider vinegar with “mother”) in water periodically will promote a good immune system as will crushed fresh garlic offered free-choice. Chickens love scraps, greens, bread, seeds, fruit peels…they will do a great job of composting your leftovers. Of course some foods are toxic to birds so check this LIST.


My Medicine Chest

Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal adsorbs chemicals or plant toxins in cases of
poisoning, and facilitates its excretion via the feces. It basically
acts like a magnet, attracting and holding the toxicant to its
surface so that it passes through the gastrointestinal tract without
being absorbed by the body. It is administered when a bird ingests
organic poisons, chemicals or bacterial toxins. The recommended dose
of activated charcoal for all species of animals and birds is 1-3
gm/kg mixed in water to make a thick but runny paste. Activated
charcoal can be given orally on food, in water or with a large
syringe or stomach tube to prevent aspiration. Do not give Activated
charcoal to birds in Dry form as it may aspirate into the lungs.

Feeding Garlic at 3% and up to 7% of your hens diet will prevent
flees, mites, adding garlic to their water will prevent worm
infestations. Garlic boosts the immunity against many diseases and
aids in longevity. Garlic will add a delicious (in my opinion –
everyone LOVES my eggs) flavor to the eggs and also cuts down on the
ammonia content in the feces making it much easier to clean the coop.

Adding a small amount of Capsicum to your chicken scratch will
provide a non-antibiotic way of reducing food-borne pathogens.

Lactobacillus acidophilus / Bifidus
Active good bacteria can be used to cure ailments of the digestive
tract. It reduces intestinal parasites and other pathogens, Helps
poultry fight illness and disease, helps with weight gain, especially
in winter months when protein levels tend to be lower, Using Pro-
biotics in chick starter will prevent the growth of Salmonella and
Campylobacter in young chicks.

Hemp meal in chicken feed offers more nutrients such as the amino
acids, which are present in the whole seeds. Hemp seeds have long
been used as bird feed.
The nutritional content of the hemp seed is impressive, offering 30%
complete and highly digestible protein and containing over 36%
essential fatty acids, which is 16% more than flaxseed. It is the
best source of Omega 3, Linolenic acid and Omega 6, Linoleic acid, as
well as GLA, Gamma Linoleic acid (approximately 3%). Hemp seed
contains protein, lipids, choline, inositol, enzymes, vitamins,
minerals, phospholipids, phytosterols, and all eight essential amino

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar can be used to treat young birds that show non-
typical disease symptoms of poor growth. The solution can also be
given to birds suffering from respiratory diseases that produce a
large amount of mucus. This solution will help “cut through” the
mucus and allow it to be expelled easier. The tannin in the apple
cider vinegar aid in removing any mucus or coating from the mouth,
throat, or intestinal tract. Nutrients and drugs are more readily
absorbed. (4 teaspoons/gallon)

Shepherds Purse
Free ranging with the availability to eat shepherds purse may help
prevent prolapse.

1tbs organic cane sugar
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
stir into 8 oz of filtered water
Good for weak or dehydrated birds

Calc Phos and tissue salts should also be on hand for week leg chicks
or general illness

Sun Dried Kelp
Dried kelp (the leafy parts, not the stalks, which are too hard to
chop up and don’t get eaten) are kept in their coop on a sturdy clip.
They can free-choose it, letting them adjust their salt and mineral
intake. There are nearly 100 minerals on Earth. Only sea water and
sea life has them in the ratios that animals need. All blood of
animals contains these minerals, in the same proportions as in sea
water! Scientists have barely scratched the surface of understanding
all the things that these minerals do in living bodies. For optimum
health, it’s best to get all of them.

Just gather a mess of kelp off any beach that is more than 100km from
a city and take it home. At home, set it out in the yard, and in a
very short while, it will be dry and crisp.

Hard grit
(Do not confuse this with oyster shell, other shells or calcium—-
these dissolve in the chicken’s digestive system, grit does not—-
grit is used in place of “teeth”); quartz-based sand with angular
edges (not rounded, as often is found in riverbeds) can be collected
wherever you find it. Collect angular granite grit from trips to
areas that have it. Tiny chicks need tiny grit, so get a variety of
sizes. A little lasts a long time. The girls will pick and choose a
few choice pieces now and then. Fun to watch them study and try out
the different grains of grit.

Sea Vegetables & Green foods
Kelp, Irish Moss, Dulse, Wheatgrass & barleygrass are exceptional foods that are a valuable source for a variety of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes and phytochemicals. Sea vegetables contain iodine. They absorb toxins, increase and enhance metabolism and strengthen connective tissues and bones.

Common Ailments of Chickens and the Natural/Homeopathic treatments:

Other Names
Brooder pneumonia,

Preventative Measures
Avoid conditions that promote fungal growth such as wet litter and
bedding or moldy feeds
Clean and disinfect equipment and air ducts regularly with white
Frequently clean feeders and water dispensers
Provide dry, deep bedding
Physical Treatments
Remove all birds from area and scour coop and run with white vinegar.
Fumigate with a spray mixture of vinegar 1 L to 1TBS of cayenne.
Wear goggles.
Herbal Treatments
Spay a dilute mixture of peppermint oil into the air around the
birds, Add several cloves of crushed garlic to 2L of drinking water.
Homeopathic Treatments
Ant. Tartrate 30C once daily X 3 days
Drosera rotundfolia 30C once daily X 3 days

Other Names
Limber neck
Preventative Measures
Do not feed spoiled or rotten feed
Remove source of poisoning
Physical Treatments
Squirt cool water into crop twice daily
Flush with molasses or Epsom salts – molasses (1 pint/5 gal water),
Epsom salt (1 lb/15 lbs. feed or 1 lb/5gal water for 1 day
Give oral fluid therapy with activated charcoal
Homeopathic Treatments
Carbo veg. 30C for 1 dose
Nux vomica 30C for 1 dose

Broken Bones
Other Names
Preventative Measures
Handle birds gently. Do not allow children or dogs to chase birds. Do
not use traps for rodents that can snap.
Management Treatments
Remove the injured bird and treat separately.
Physical Treatments
Bring the broken parts gently but firmly together, bind with bandages
and hold in place with a couple of appropriate sized splints such as
popsicle sticks.
Moisten the bandages frequently with a lotion of 1 part tincture of
Arnica with 5 parts water
Homeopathic Treatments
Give one dose of Aconite (3 pellets) by mouth, then 6 pellets of
Hepar Sulph in the drinking water after a week has passed.
Symphytum 30C once daily for 3 days or 6C daily for a week.
Other Names
Lameness, foot lesions
Can lead to Staphylococcus aureus bacteria infection of injured foot.
Preventative Measures
Keep dry litter and avoid sharp perches.
Do not keep poultry on excessively rocky/stony/flinty ground
Eliminate sharp objects
Management Treatments
Implement all preventative measures if you have not already.
Physical Treatments
Wash feet, open abscess, squeeze out core, clean with hydrogen
peroxide, apply raw honey and wrap with gauze.
Apply warm linseed meal poultice, lance wound, wash with hydrogen
peroxide, and pack wound with gauze.
Herbal Treatments
Apply tea tree oil to cracks
Bathe feet in lotion of 1 part Calendula tincture to 5 parts water
and bind up foot.
Apply calendula cream (salve) to foot and keep bird on clean straw
Homeopathic Treatments
Hepar sulph 6C or Silicea 6C

Other Names
Campylobacter hepatitis
Preventative Measures
Control Carriers, do not allow other chicken farmers around chickens,
do not introduce new chickens to flock until fully inspected for
Natural Treatments
Use Probiotics to insure good bacteria
Homeopathic Treatments

Other Names
Avian cholera, fowl cholera, avian pasteurellosis
Preventative Measures
Purchase cholera free birds, prevent stress, practice good
management, provide well-ventilated houses by
judging the ventilation from the height at which it influences the
birds, not necessarily from human height.
Prevent rodent infestation since rats are a major disease reservoir
and a source of infection. • Reduce contact with cats and dogs
Management Treatments
Isolate the sick from flock. Move healthy birds to a new location.
Leave housing vacant for 3 months before introducing new birds
Herbal Treatments
Give pulverized mixture of 2oz. Capsicum, 2oz. Asafetida, 1 oz.
Rhubarb, 6 oz. Spanish brown, and 2 oz. Flowers of sulphur at 1 tsp
to 2 quarts mash 2 X day
Nutritional Treatments
Feed burnt corn, almost to coffee-color as a supplement
Homeopathic Treatments
Dissolve 2 dozen to 1/2 vial of Veratrum alb. in drinking water or in
water used to moisten feed for prevention or treatment.
Also good are Arsenicum or Arsenicum iod, mix 2 drams of pellets with
2 pounds of feed.
If hens have puffed faces, bright red color, and crouch give Nux
If swelling of joints of legs and lameness give Rhus tox or Sulphur
If difficult breathing and thick nasal discharge give Calc
flour+Hepar sulph, Kali bich.
If greenish colored diarrhea give Pulsatilla, Sulphur; or combination
of Calc
Phos30, Ferum30, Kali sulph30

Chronic Respiratory Disease
Other Names
CRD, air sac disease, airsacculitis
Preventative Measures
Purchase Mycoplasma-free birds (only from NPIP participants).
Practice good sanitation because it lasts on hands, clothes, and
boots for several hours. Avoid mixing poultry of different ages.
Avoid dust, chilling, and poor ventilation. Prevent rodent
infestation. Prevent stress and ensure good nutrition.
Management Treatments
Provide warm, draft-free housing with proper ventilation
Move sick birds to a clean environment.
Herbal Treatments
Spritz a cool mist of peppermint water over birds
Homeopathic Treatments
If sneezing, coughing give-Antim trat, Belladonna, Ars alb.
If water from eyes give Euphrasia, Arg nrt.
If water from nose give Allium cepa, Ars alb.
If white diarrhea give Calc carb.
Combination remedy of Thuja200, Nat sulf200, Carbo veg200, Bryonia200

Other Names
Cocci protozoan parasites
Preventative Measures
Develop resistance in chicks (possibly through exposure to older
birds or litter). Rotate pastures frequently. Keep litter dry and
restrict access to droppings. Add garlic to feed at a 5% rate and
feed fresh garlic regularly. Ensure litter is dry but not dusty. Keep
watering facilities away from litter. Ensure high standards of
hygiene. • Ensure good hygiene of feeders and drinkers. Give apple
cider vinegar (1T/2 gal) in drinking water regularly
Management Treatments
Disinfect with white vinegar and oregano oil. Move poultry to new
ground and heavily lime old ground, fumigate the houses by burning
cayenne pepper or juniper powder be sure to remove chickens during
fumigation and wear mask and goggles.
Physical Treatments
Give food grade DE in feed
Nutritional Treatments
Give probiotics in feed. Following a 12hr fast give a laxative diet
with bran, molasses, and greens (chickweed, groundsel, rue, sow
thistle, mustards, comfrey, lettuce, cresses, and grass seed)
Poultry fed corn-based diets have been shown to survive Coccidiosis
better than those on wheat-based diets
Herbal Treatments
1 tsp of ginger per 2 gal of water.
Homeopathic Treatments
Give Mercurius cor. Or Ipecac. In clean drinking water.
If birds are listless with bloody droppings give Merc cor, Ipecac.
If pale comb and lack of appetite give Chellidonium, Nux vomica.
If head remedy needed give Merc sol.
If birds are emaciated with diarrhea give Aconite, Merc, Podo, or
Combination remedy of Merc cor30, Nux vomica30, Sulphur30

Other Names
Ammonia blindness
Preventative Measures
Provide good ventilation and clean dry litter. If you can smell
ammonia, there is too much.
Management Treatments
Remove wet or soiled bedding and provide dry, dust-free bedding.
Increase ventilation and access to the outdoors. Use zeolite rocks
to absorb ammonia.
Herbal Treatments
Apply Euphrasia tea or eydrops (NOT TINCTURE) to eyes.
Nutritional Treatments
Give Vitamin A
Homeopathic Treatments
Euphrasia 6C
If yellow discharge try Pulsatilla 30C

Crop Impaction
Other Names
Crop binding, crop bound, swelled crop, Choking
Preventative Measures
Give plenty of fresh water. Avoid long, stemmy grass. Since the
gizzard is poorly developed in very young chicks, introduce grass
slowly and allow the gizzard muscles to develop over a week or more.
Remove old or fibrous grasses after mowing or allow it to rot before
poultry are introduced.
Physical Treatments
Give olive oil. Pour oil down the throat and massage the crop.
Surgical Treatment
Cut open crop, remove the contents, sprinkle crop walls with 1-tsp.
Black pepper, and sew it up. • Follow with diet of finely chopped
hedge garlic, garlic, and rue.
Anoint the cut with Calendula cerate or Arnica mixed with water.
Treat with 10-15 ml of molasses per bird fed as a wet mash for 4
days. Administer approx. ½ a tumbler of warm water to birds with a
syringe then upend the bird and gently massage the crop.
Nutritional Treatments
Follow any surgical removal with diet of finely chopped hedge garlic,
garlic, and rue.
Herbal Treatments • Make of brew of ½ tsp. Powdered gentian root in a
small cupful of water; add 2-tsp olive oil and give twice.
Homeopathic Treatments
Give Nux vomica 1 pellet dissolved in drinking water. If no
improvement or there is vomiting give Pulsatilla. Also may give
Carbo veg. Or Arsenicum.

Preventative Measures
Provide grit and greens.
Management Treatments
Spread lime on yards.
Physical Treatments
Add charcoal to mash (1 oz./quart of feed).
Give electrolytes and sugar water (10 oz/gal) in drinking water.
Nutritional Treatments
Feed mash of ground oats, wheat bran, and corn meal. For chicks feed
raisins, grated raw apples, and dried or fresh bilberries.
Herbal Treatments
For hens give warm water with powdered slippery elm bark and honey 3X
daily. For chicks fast ½ day then feed diet of honey, slippery elm,
dill, and arrowroot for 1 ½ days.
Homeopathic Treatments
Ipecac 1 pellet in drinking water or wet mash. If due to bad food
give Arsenicum or Chamomilla or Nux Vomica. For pasty white
discharge give Carbo veg.

Egg Bound
Other Names
Retained egg
Preventative Measures
Feed seaweed and chopped cleavers in bran mash daily.
Physical Treatments
Remove egg manually massaging the vent with olive oil.
Herbal Treatments
Give a dose of a pinch of ginger in 1-tsp. Olive oil.
Homeopathic Treatments
Pulsatilla 3X or Silicea 6C or Nux vomica

Egg Drop Syndrome
Other Names EDS, Chronic thin-shelled or Shell-less eggs
Preventative Measures
Provide good sanitation. Keep chickens away from ducks and geese.
Minimize contact with wild birds. Ensure waterfowl does not
contaminate water source.
Homeopathic Treatments
Calcarea carb 3X (3) for poorly shaped eggs.
Pulsatilla 3X for bloody shelled eggs.

Other Names
Black comb
Preventative Measures
Prevent drafts. Cover combs with salve.
Herbal Treatments
Apply creamed raw honey or calendula cream to comb and wattles.
Homeopathic Treatments
Lachesis 30C or Agaricus muscarius 6C daily for 3-7days or
Phosphorous 6C daily for 3-7 days

Gape Worms
Other Names
Gapes, cough
Preventative Measures
Feed Garlic Regularly, use Apple cider Vinegar in drinking water.
Management Treatments
Lime the infected ground. Milk paint roosts and walls of coop. Plow
up and plant rye in yards. Isolate birds from infected intermediate
hosts, especially the earthworm.
Homeopathic Treatments
China 3X in drinking water. Dulcamara and Drosera in alternation
with Sulphur to complete the cure. Also Ignatia, Lachesis, or China.

Infectious Bronchitis
Other Names
Preventative Measures
Avoid mixing batches of birds. Birds laying severely wrinkled eggs
are carriers and should be removed. Maintain good air quality.
Ensure houses are well ventilated but draft-free. Ensure houses are
free from ammonia by using good hygiene and zeolite. Prevent rodent
Management Treatments
Provide warm draft-free housing in winter. Increasing the temperature
of the house by 3-4 degrees C may reduce mortality rates in infected
Nutritional Treatment
Give electrolytes in drinking water
Herbal Treatments
Feed Garlic and Cayenne
Homeopathic Treatments
For chronic form give Ipecacauh 3X, Antimonim tart 3X, Senega 3X, or
Ammoniacum 3X.
If nasal discharge give Allium cepa, Kali bich.
If coughing and sneezing give Anti trat, Aconite.
If damage to oviduct (false layer) give Kali phos, Calc phos.

Infectious Coryza
Other Names
Cold, Coryza, Roup, Catarrh, Pip, Croop
Preventative Measures
Avoid mixing age groups. Provide a warm, draft-free housing in
Management Treatments
Fix drafts and provide dry litter.
Physical Treatments
Spray a fine mist of camphor over the birds at night. Squirt food
grade hydrogen peroxide diluted one half with water into the nostrils.
Nutritional Treatments • Fast for 1 day, then give laxative diet of
cod-liver oil, chopped onions, and greens. Give warm mash of feed,
molasses, vinegar, chopped garlic and onions.
Herbal Treatments
Give plenty of garlic and strong sage tea with finely chopped spruce
shoots in bran
with molasses. Give eyebright tea.
Homeopathic Treatments
If sneezing with thin, watery discharge give Allium Cepa 3X or
If watery discharge from eyes give Euphrashia 3X.
If thick sticky discharge give Mercurius Vivus 3X or Hepar Sulph 3X.
With bad odor; Homeogalline (Dolios)Hepar sulph. and Spongia on
alternate days or
Calcarea carb. given alone.
For early treatment give Mercurius viv. 12 pellets dissolved in
drinking water, continue until cured, follow with Acidum sulph. if
not cured.
If caused by cold, wet weather or sudden changes in weather with
increased discharge from nostrils and sneezing use Arsenicum 12
pellets dissolved in drinking water or mash. Follow with Mercurius
viv. if not cured.
If discharge thickens and eyes seem affected give Euphrasia.
If due to dry, cold winds give Aconite.
If occurs during warm, moist, relaxing weather give Gelsemium.
If only partial relief from a remedy then give Hepar Sulph.
If hens have puffed faces, bright red color, and crouch give Nux
If nostrils are clogged and hens sit listless with open mouths give

Infectious Laryngotracheitis
Other Names
Avian diphtheria
Preventative Measures
Avoid heaters that discharge noxious fumes.
Avoid contact with all chemicals including any insecticides,
herbicides, and fungicides within 100m of birds.
Physical Treatments
Bathe Insides of beaks and nostrils with a weak garlic solution.
Give inhalation mists of elecampane.
Herbal Treatments
Give very high doses of garlic and drops of raw honey in warm water.
Homeopathic Treatments
f coughing with blood stained mucous from trachea give Aconite,
Ipecac, or Millefolium.
If difficulty breathing and head extended to breathe give Antim tart,
Bryonia. Cuprum

Infectious Bursal Disease Other Names
IBDV Gumboro disease
Preventative Measures • Operate an ‘all-in, all-out’ policy between
buying new batches of birds. Disinfect between batches
Management Treatments
Close and isolate buildings. Remove and burn bedding, disinfect
housing. Remove top few inches of soil in heavily infected areas.
Homeopathic Treatments
If birds inactive, reduced appetite, feathers ruffled give Alfa alfa,
China, Gelsemium.
If watery feces with high urine content give Kali phos and Calc phos.
If swelling of kidneys marked enlargement of bursa of fabricius give
Berg vulg,Canharis, Lachesis.
Combination remedy of Gelsemium30, Acid phos30, Calc phos30,

Other Names
Avian influenza, Fowl plague, Type A influenza orthomyxoviruses
Preventative Measures
Do not visit farms with outbreak
Management Treatments
Hens will need to be euthanized and all living areas to be scoured
with steam, vinegar and fumigated by burning cayenne.

Lice and Mites
Preventative Measures
Lime runs. Keep wild birds, especially bird nests out of poultry
houses. Have sufficient dust baths available for hens.
Management Treatments
Provide dust bath of Charcoal, DE and fine dusty sand. Add clean
wood ashes in dust bath. Add elecampane and fleabane to nest boxes.
Encourage Coleoptera beetles to live and breed
in poultry houses to control mites. Lightly blowtorch the areas of
infestation followed by washing down and disinfecting with vinegar.
Physical Treatments
Dust birds with organic tobacco – make sure the chickens don’t eat
tobacco. For chicks rub eucalyptus oil on the head.
Herbal Treatments
Feed plenty of garlic.

Other Names
Circling disease, dizziness, staggers, vertigo
Preventative Measures
Provide good sanitation
Homeopathic Treatments
Nux vomica

Marek’s Disease
Other Names
Range paralysis, herpes viruses
Preventative Measures
Practice an all-in, all-out policy with disinfecting between batches.
Rear you birds away from older birds for the first 2-3 months
Homeopathic Treatments
If paralysis, birds unable to stand and walk give Causticum.
If skin thickened by tumors, feather follicles thickened and leathery
give Calc flour,Calc carb.
If iris effected and white appearance give Arg nit, Euphrasia.
If sciatic nerve is enlarged give—Kali phos 6x, Kali sulph 6x.

Molting Problems
Preventative Measures
Provide lights to ensure 14 hours of daylight.
Herbal Treatments
Rub lotion of burdock brew (2 parts) and coconut oil (1 part) on
exposed areas.
Other plumage tonics are: foliage of wild daffodils, rosemary brew
with a little vinegar, and
southernwood brew.
Nutritional Treatments
Feed sunflower seed mash with warm water. Feed calcified seaweed with
grit. Feed linseed meal. (2)Herbal
Treatments • Give dill, anise, fennel, seaweed, kelp, bladderwrack,
dulse, maidenhair fern, nettle, cleavers, onion, or garlic.
Homeopathic Treatments
Give Calcarea carb 3X and Phosphate of Iron in water.
Give Gelsemium 6c for calming.
If arrested growth of pullets during adult feathering give Calcarea
If there is foul discharge during adult feathering give Chamomilla.
If the pullets look scruffy and mangy during adult feathering give
If there is restlessness, crying, and a general feverish condition in
the pullets during adult feathering give Aconite.
If there is a raw corroding fluid among the feathers give Natrum
All remedies 12 or more pellets dissolved in drinking water or water
for feed mash.

Newcastle Disease
Other Names
Avian distemper, Avian pneumoencephalitis, Pseudo fowl pest,
Preventative Measures
Feed garlic. Store feed in bird-proof conditions. Poultry flocks
should be maintained some distance apart
to prevent cross-infection.
Management Treatments
Keep hens warm and well fed.
Physical Treatments
Wash out the beaks with diluted eucalyptus (1-drop eucalyptus oil, 1-
tsp warm water, and a little salt).
Nutritional Treatments
Give 1 tsp. of olive oil or honey given AM and PM.
Herbal Treatments
Give 2 tsp. of ground raw garlic mixed with vinegar 2X daily in 1/2
tsp. Doses.
Homeopathic Treatments
If difficult breathing, opens beak and gasps for breath give—
Aconite, Ars alb.
If rattling noise and coughing give Antim trat.
If trembling legs leads to partial or complete paralysis give Kali
phos, Calc phos,Gelsemium.
If twisting neck (torticolis) is main symptom give Mag phos, Sulphur,
Cicuta vir.
Combination remedy of Carbo veg30, Veratum alb30, Belladonna30,
Kaliphos30, 5ml of each in 8 liters of water for 100 birds. This
medicated water is repeated after every alternate day.

Other Names
weak chick, Salmonella
Preventative Measures
Practice good management by controlling rodent vectors. Give apple
cider vinegar in drinking water and
increase acidity of feed. Use competitive exclusion a probiotic.
Obtain chicks from disease-free flocks. Do not mix disease free stock
with poultry of unknown disease status. Use feeds without
contamination. Reduce contact with wild birds. Avoid surface water
as a source of drinking water. Ensure proper disposal of dead birds.
Management Treatments
Add formic acid (calcium formate) to feed to ensure a low pH in the
gut and control bacterial
contamination of wet feed (2kg-4kg per ton). Move to new ground.
Nutritional Treatments • Give apple cider vinegar in drinking water
and increase acidity of feed with organic acids.
Herbal Treatments
Fast birds then feed garlic, 1/2 tsp. lemon juice diluted with sage
tea 2X daily. Also add finely chopped rue and/or sage to a
bran/molasses mash.

Pasted Vent
Other Names
Cloacitis, Vent gleet
Preventative Measures
Keep chicks warm.
Management Treatments
Carefully clean vent and douche with a strong solution of garlic and
warm water.
Physical Treatments
Give 1-tsp. bicarbonate of soda/quart of drinking water, repeat every
4-5 days, and follow by cleaning housing.
Nutritional Treatments
Give a laxative diet followed by garlic.
Homeopathic Treatments
For chicks give: Ipecauncha 3X alternated with Chamomilla 3X
If discharge is bloody or white give Merc. Sub Cor 2X (8 pellets/pint
water) or Ars. Iod 3X. (3) • Silicea (20) • Give Carbo veg.

Other Names
Feather picking, Vent picking, Cannibalism
Caused by Insufficient protein, Genetic predisposition, Bright
lights, Excessive egg size, Excessive group size, Stress, boredom,
and elevated levels and of ammonia
Preventative Measures
Reduce lighting intensity. Scatter whole grains, bales of hay or corn
stover in pens, alfalfa and hay in nets to keep birds occupied. Avoid
large egg size by reducing levels of linoleic acid (flaxseed) and
high energy when hens do not need it. Spend time in chick brooder
early on. Use non-hybrid, docile breeds. Maintain vigilance and
isolate bullies and treat the injured. Increase time spent feeding.
Ensure a balanced diet. Provide loose feed. Prevent parasites. Avoid
Stress. Avoid over-crowding. Provide treats to peck. Provide
cabbage, lettuce, herbs, nettles or burlap bags of barley hung from
the ceiling
Herbal Treatments
Feed comfrey.
Homeopathic Treatments
Helleborus niger

Preventative Measures
Remove all sources of possible poisons, poisonous plants from range
i.e.: potato, black nightshade, henbane, iris, privet, rhododendron,
castor, sweet pea, yew, rapeseed, corn cockle, clematis, buttercup,
vetch, ragwort, blue-green algae. Do not spray or use insecticides,
herbicides, fungicides within 100m of birds. Chemicals, mycotoxins
(in feed), fusarium (on grains), ergots (on grass or grains) are also
major sources of poisoning.
Management Treatments
Administer liquid activated charcoal.
Homeopathic Treatments
Nux vomica

Other Names
Fowl pox, Avian pox, Avian diphtheria
Preventative Measures
Control mites and mosquitoes using beneficial insects.
Management Treatments
Isolate infected birds.
Homeopathic Treatments
Alternate Arsenicum 3X and Rhus tox 3X (3 pellets every 2 hrs.).
If many are affected put 20 drops (pellets) of Arsenicum alb. 3X in 1
pint water and make a feed mash, follow with Rhus tox mash. (3)
Dissolve 1-3 dozen pellets of Arsenicum in the drinking water for
three days. If no improvement change to Rhus tox, renewing each
day. • Belladonna for hot fever and Silicea if pustules break.
If lesions on head and comb are wart-like give Antim tart.
If lesions in mouth are diptheric type give Kali mur, Nat sulph.
If lesions with fever give Antim tart, Aconite.
If lesions without fever give Bryonia, Calc phos.
Head remedy—Variolinum30 or 200.
Combination remedies of Pulsatilla200, Thuja200, Nat sulph200, 5ml
each in 8 liters of water for 100 birds.

Other Names
Dropped vent, hernia
Vent protruding due to egg retention Disease of the reproductive
Degeneration of the muscular system or prolonged laying
Preventative Measures
Support natural laying cycles. Provide exercise. Don’t push pullets
to lay too early. Have shepherds purse available for free range.
Physical Treatments
Massage the protruding organ with oil and carefully press it back
into position. Place a pad of cotton soaked with witch hazel and
bind tightly. Wash the protruding organ in lukewarm water or goat
milk, anoint with linseed oil or sweet oil and gently force it back
into the body. Repeat several times.
Nutritional Treatments
Fast for 1 day, then feed a Very light diet of greens, bran mash,
molasses and buttermilk. Stop feeding seaweed during treatment.
Homeopathic Treatments
Treat with a dose of Aconite if organ is put back in.
Treat with Pulsatilla or Nux vomica when external treatment is not
Podophyllum if lots of straining
Sepia or Silica

Scaly Leg Mites
Preventative Measures
Add a small amount of red and yellow cedar chips in nest boxes.
Physical Treatments
Scrub legs with Dr Broners peppermint castile soap and warm water
with a soft toothbrush then rub in a solution of garlic brew and
apple cider vinegar in equal parts 2X/day
Nutritional Treatments
Feed mineral supplement with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.
Change feed to boost iron.
Homeopathic Treatments
Give 12 pellets of Sulphur in drinking water and renew every day. (2)

Other Names
Candidiasis, Sour crop, Crop mycosis
Preventative Measures
Practice good nutrition and sanitation. Regularly clean water and
feed troughs.
Management Treatments
Isolate infected birds. Clean and disinfect feeders/waterers.
Physical Treatments
Flush with molasses in drinking water every other day for 5 days
served in a non-metal waterer. Clean mouth sores with hydrogen
Herbal Treatments
Feed garlic at 5% in feed. Use probiotics.
Homeopathic Treatments

Preventative Measures
Control feline (cat) carrier.

Other Names
Avian TB
Preventative Measures
Rotate range.
Management Treatments
Clean and disinfect housing and soil.
Physical Treatments
None, euthanization of birds older than 18 months.
Homeopathic Treatments
If muscles of breast reduced in size exposing sternum give
Tuberculinum 1M.
If lameness & swelling of joints give Kali phos, Rhus tox.
If comb and wattles appear pale in color give—Alfa alfa, China.

Management Treatments
Purge birds with castor oil (2 tsp.) followed by a stimulating tonic
of powdered fennel, anise, coriander, and cinchona (30 grains
each). • Give powdered gentian and ginger (1 dram each).•
Give powdered sulfate of iron (15 grains); mix and add to feed.
Homeopathic Treatments
Hepar sulph or Nat Mur

Other Names
Contusions, abrasions, cuts, bruises Organism or
Preventative Measures
Ensure housing is free of things that might cause injuries. Keep few,
if any roosters in laying flock. Do not allow children or dogs to
chase birds.
Management Treatments
Remove roosters or aggressive birds from flock if causing injury to
other birds. Protect birds from predators.
Herbal Treatments
Apply solution of 8 drops calendula tincture to 1 cup water and bathe
wound 2-3 times daily. Make Arnica lotion of 1 part Arnica tincture
to 20 parts water and put a few drops in chickens mouth.
Homeopathic Treatments
Give Arnica 6C or Aconite 6C for early infections.
Hypericum for crushing injuries to toes or wings.

Other Names
Roundworms, cecal worm, tapeworms, flukes,
Preventative Measures
Keep pastures clipped and limed. Use good hygiene practices. Avoid
surface water, avoid damp places in houses. Allow grass to dry after
dew or rain before allowing animals to graze. Feed Garlic.
Management Treatments
Remove infected litter and sanitize housing.
Physical Treatments
Give a 2-grain pill of santonin to each bird followed by 2 tsp. of
raw linseed oil.
For pinworms give a rectal injection of garlic, mustard, peppermint
oil (1/2 tsp. oil/1 pint water), or eucalyptus (1/4 tsp./pint water)
oil solution.
Nutritional Treatments
Give a laxative diet: mash of pumpkin seeds and warm water with
probiotic after a 12 hour fast, follow with a warm mash of bran,
finely chopped onions and garlic. Feed finely grated raw carrot,
garlic, onions, and parsley. Feed mustard; squash or pumpkin seeds;
carrot and fennel seeds. Add DE and charcoal to feed all preceded by
a fast and followed by a laxative period.
Herbal Treatments
Give a course of fresh garlic for ten days (1 clove/hen/day) and add
to the diet bramble leaves, elder leaves, rue, and hyssop. Give
powdered cayenne after a fast.
Homeopathic Treatments
If worms in the nostrils or ears causes circling give Cina.
If affected birds lose weight, ruffled feathers, rapid breathing give
Aconite,Santonite 3x, Tucrum merver.
Head remedy—China, GNA.

-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20

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1393 posts in 3751 days
hardiness zone 5b

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7 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


14694 posts in 3872 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-18-2008 08:51 AM

wow.. that’s a lot of information
The little chicken coops are cute.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View GrandmaT's profile


5389 posts in 3750 days
hardiness zone 9

posted 01-18-2008 11:10 AM

You definitely know your “stuff”!!! This is going to a GREAT help to those who want to raise chickens!!!

-- "A beautiful garden is a work of heart" --

View Jason's profile


840 posts in 3726 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 01-18-2008 12:03 PM

Very interesting herbal remedies listed!

-- Living on the square...Metro Detroit

View Greenthumb's profile


2290 posts in 3692 days

posted 01-18-2008 10:12 PM

what ever you do

dont take up pigeons

-- just one more rock, and the garden is done ; )

View scottb's profile


214 posts in 3751 days
hardiness zone 5

posted 01-18-2008 11:01 PM

I was thinking about having my own chickens… but now I’ve got information overload!!!

but when the time comes, I know where to look, and who to ask!

-- southern NH. - smack dab in the middle of 5a and 5b - with lots of shade and full sun, in all the wrong places.

View XploreOrganics's profile


1393 posts in 3751 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 01-19-2008 04:28 AM

All you have to do is ignore the second the lenghtly ailment/treatments… ;)

If you do the first half you’ll likely not need to know the second part of the information. :)

-- Xploreorganics, 5b Canada, LFD 06-20

View Kirsty's profile


1 post in 1594 days
hardiness zone 11

posted 10-07-2013 10:43 PM

Wow! Tons of information here about raising chickens. I surely love your tip on using peppermint oil to keep chicken coop smelling fresh. You see, one of the downside of raising chickens is the foul smell from chicken poop. It takes a lot of dedication to regularly clean your coop. I’ll surely be using all the tips you gave in this very informative article. Thank you so much.

-- Kirsty,

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