Oily Chickens07.30.17- Michele Troxler
Are you a backyard chicken owner? I have to admit they are a lot of fun! But with that fun, there comes responsibility. I have learned a lot about raising chickens, but the most important thing is to keep them well and healthy. I have four chickens, Birdie, Bell, Butters, and Red.
Birdie is my youngest chicken. From the start, at Birdie’s youth, I turned to oils. What I was not told, was if you raise a chick on its own, they will cry for you constantly. They get lonely and attached to their caretaker. A friend of mine discovered if you put the chick in a bowl with a blanket, she would feel more comforted. I could easily transfer the bowl to her cage once she fell asleep. But it would take hours for her to fall asleep! One night I was tired and the crying didn’t stop. Why didn’t I think of Lavender before! I put a couple drops on her blanket, and there wasn’t a peep again. After that, every night, she snuggled into her blanket and rested soundly.
One disturbing aspect of chickens, is when they see blood they peck at it. They will continue to peck at another hurt bird, and it does not stop. This is when Helichrysum has come to the rescue! I put a drop or two on the cut, and once the bleeding stops they can be returned to the flock.
This leads me to Oregano. This essential oil is a antimicrobial that can help fight infections. I am always worried about Bell, one of my older chickens photographed with Helichrysum. She has trouble producing eggs at times, and now the heat has affected her egg production. There is an issue called egg bound, when the egg gets trapped inside the chicken. If the egg breaks, the infection alone will kill the chicken. Bell has never been egg bound, but I get nervous. I try to be proactive and place Oregano Vitality occasionally in their water. I would rather be one step ahead before I rush her to the vet in the event it may happen.
Remember Birdie, the lone chick? I finally got her joined with the flock with much patience and time. Unfortunately, they still will not let her sleep with them. I cannot have her sleeping outside the hen house, since there are predators in the neighborhood. So she sleeps in our house each night on back of an office chair with a diaper on! Chickens get nasty things on their feet, so I wash Birdie’s feet each night before coming in with Thieves soap or wipes. She is so sweet and patient as I clean her feet.
Just like humans, essential oils can assist with the healthy lifestyle of chickens too! I love my girls, so I will continue to use essential oils with them when needed.