We partnered with Scratch and Peck for this post as we sell their Cluckin’ Good Organic Herbs for chicken keepers. The ingredients include organic garlic, ginger, parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, nettle and my fave herb, calendula. These herbs go directly into the feed and the hens gobble them up!
Herbs can be fed directly into the feed or free choice like you do with other types of supplements (e.g. Oyster Shell). You can also add herbs to the dust bath.
Herbs are important for a variety of health issues
Below are the specific reasons my husband and I like to use herbs with the ladies. As a chicken keeper, a lot of the “first aid” you learn in the beginning includes wound care and respiratory issues. Some issues you can tackle proactively as herbs make a big difference when you just want to keep your flock healthy! (Avoid any wheezing and coughing).
More about each of these and how the flock will benefit. Our staff looks to Lisa Steele, chicken expert and author of Fresh Eggs Daily, for advice and learned the following:
Herbs to Feed Chickens & their actions:
These herbs are all in Scratch and Peck’s Cluckin’ Good Organic Herbs.
- Garlic: laying stimulant
- Ginger: high in vitamins, parasite control
- Parsley: laying stimulant
- Thyme: helps with respiratory health
- Basil: antibacterial
- Oregano: boosts immunity, combats coccidia
- Nettle: Increases egg production
- Calendula: great insect repellant and makes yolks orange (who doesn’t love orange yolks!)
We also recommend growing Lavender, which repels flies and insects, and Mint, which repels rodents and bugs. You can add these as dried herbs directly in the chicken coops.
Chicken first aid kit: medicinal herbs!
We recommend keeping some dried herbs in your chicken first aid kit. Plants were the original pharmacy for humans and animals and cultures around the world developed remedies that remain in use today. That applies to chickens too!
In addition to Cluckin’ Good Organic Herbs, many chicken keepers keep satchels of other medicinal dried herbs in their first aid kits.
- Basil: Used for thousands of years as a culinary and medicinal herb. It acts principally on the digestive and nervous systems, easing flatulence, stomach cramps, colic and indigestion.
- Wormwood: A very bitter plant with a long history of use as a medicinal herb. It is valued especially for its tonic effect on the liver, gallbladder and digestive system, and for its vermicidal activity. It is an extremely useful medicine for those with weak and under-active digestion. Be VERY careful that your birds don’t nibble on Wormwood but instead use this in their coop to repel mites. A small satchel attached to the top of the coop away from the roost bars so they cannot nibble on it works well. Wormwood can be toxic!
- Ginger and Dandelion: Commonly used for digestion issues. You can add these as dried herbs directly into feed or free choice.
Using herbs directly in the feed works best
There are so many ways to administer herbs but for chickens using them directly into the feed works best. You can also create a wash and rinse for skin injuries if someone gets pecked! This can be therapeutic for a hen. Remember to put them in your “hospital” wing until they’re all healed up! Questions or comments? Please leave them below.
Spring is around the corner! We sell starts of fresh mint and lavender in our garden center opening on March 9th for folks interested in growing your own herbs for your chicken coops.
Medical disclaimer: The staff here are not vets so please check with your vet or holistic vet when you start looking to add herbs for various health conditions. While we do believe in herbs as they have many health benefits, they are not FDA approved so please use these at your discretion.
Thanks to our more advanced veterinary care, there’s a good chance you’ll have your pet with you quite a while. Whether you’ve had your pet throughout their life or recently adopted a senior animal, caring for older pets can be a challenge. You want to make sure they’re comfortable and enjoying life, but it can be hard to make sure you’re covering all of your bases, especially since elderly pets aren’t always able to tell you exactly what they need. Here are some basic guidelines for caring for your older fur kids.
- Up your annual vet visit to a semi-annual trip
You’ve likely been keeping your pet’s annual visit to the vet on the schedule for years, but older pets can benefit from going twice a year. These extra visits can help your care provider catch early warning signs of disease before they get out of control. The extra time with the doctor will also provide you time to ask questions about caring for your aging pet.
- Understand geriatric health risks
Elderly pets face a myriad of diseases. It’s important to know what these are so that you can keep an eye out for symptoms in between vet appointments. Depending on the animal, these diseases could include cancer, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, loss of eyesight, and liver disease. Check with your vet about early warnings signs you should be looking for.
Just like us, aging animals may need to tweak their diet. They often need easily digestible food the older they get. Check with your vet about recommendations. You can also ask the Salty’s staff and the folks at Fang for some ideas.
- Maintain their mental health
The need for mental stimulation increases as your pet gets older. Take your dog for regular walks, provide toys that offer mental stimulation, and invest in quality time with them while they play. Keeping their mind young can help your pets stay with you longer, and enjoy a high quality of life while they’re here.
- Choose an end-of-life plan before you need one
It’s devastating to consider euthanizing your pet, and it’s understandable to not want to think about it. However, it’s much easier to consider what you will do when the worst happens well before that moment actually arrives. Many vets can provide you with a quality of life scale, to help you understand when your pet may be suffering. You can also plan with your vet what the day will look like if you have to euthanize your pet. It will be comforting to you that if the moment comes that you have to make this difficult choice, you will know what to expect and will know that your friend will comfortable and loved.
The “dog people vs. cat people” debate is a long running one. Many people do love both types of animals and even have both in their home, but plenty of people prefer one over the other. Some of those who don’t consider themselves “cat people” have misconceptions about what cats are like, and what kind of pets they are. These misconceptions often extend to people who do like cats and haven’t owned one yet. Cats can offer a life of fun and enjoyment for their owners and make great companions. Here’s some of the top misunderstandings about owning a cat.
Cats are stand-offish
Those who don’t like cats often say they’re grouchy, mean-spirited animals. While there are definitely grumpy cats (and dogs!) out there, cats are can be loving, loyal pets. Cats do prefer to do their own thing sometimes and like to nap frequently, but they also like snuggle, lay in your lap, and sleep close you at night. Many cats are very people friendly, and get along well with anyone willing to give them under the chin scratches.
Cats take care of themselves
It’s true that cats don’t need the daily walks dogs require. They spend stretches of their day with no attention from you. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a great idea to leave them alone for the weekend, even with a very full food dish. Any number of accidents can happen while you’re away. Just because a cat doesn’t require as much daily attention as a dog, that doesn’t mean they’re totally safe alone for stretches of a few days. It’s important to still have someone checking in on them or place them at a boarding facility while you’re away.
Cats are not playful
Dogs are known for their lovable, playful attitudes, but cats can be the same way! Cats love to play with ribbons, catnip toys, boxes, and anything else they can get their paws on. Interacting with them during playtime can strengthen the bond with your cat. It also helps them get the brain activity they need to stay healthy. We all know dogs can be big goofs, but cats are also silly! Any cat owner can tell you of midnight “goblin hunts” featuring their cat running around the house at full speed and attacking shadows in the middle of the night.
Cats are quiet animals
Cats don’t often use noise to communicate with each other, but they will vocalize to talk with their owners. This is most often to get their attention at dinner time, but cats have also been known to sit and “converse” with their owners. They also have special chirps for the birds they see out the window, and loving purrs during snuggle time.
We often worry about what we will do if we lose our own pets. It can be a very scary situation! We have to rely on the kindness and knowledge of others to get them home. This means it’s a good idea for you to know what to do if you find a stray pet; you can make the difference in getting them home to their families safe and secure. They may have a collar with contact information that makes it easy, but not always. Here are our top 3 tips for helping lost pets get home.
- Use caution when catching the animal
A lost pet is likely very scared, and may be in a less than ideal location. If you notice a lost animal, make sure you are secure first – don’t stop in the middle of traffic or attempt to run across a highway. You will need to approach the animal slowly, and know when they are too scared or aggressive for you to handle alone. If you have treats with you, it may be possible to lure them to the safety of your vehicle or home. Be on the lookout for signs of illness and aggression, and keep yourself safe.
- Be prepared to assume financial responsibility
If the pet you find is injured, try getting them to a vet or animal hospital once you have safely collected them. However, don’t plan on free vet care or the owner paying you back. Depending on the animal’s situation, this may not be an option. Be prepared to pay for the vet care they need out of your own pocket.
- Contact the local shelter and animal control
As soon as possible, get in touch with your local shelter and animal control. There is a chance the owner is frantically looking for their pet, and has already contacted these organizations to ask for help. Even if they haven’t called yet, the authorities may know where the pet belongs. It’s also important to be in touch with in case you can’t keep the animal in your home; they will need a place to stay until they are reconnected with their owner. If these organizations haven’t heard from anyone, sites like Craigslist are great resources. Owners searching for pets will often post here looking for help, as well as hang signs in community centers.
Spring is here at last! This time of year is fantastic for an overhaul on your garden, yard, or houseplants to add in fresh color and scents. However, it’s important to make plant choices that are non-toxic to our pets. March 20-26 this year is Pet Poison Prevention Week, which spotlights the need for safety for our furry friends with the plants, chemicals, and foods in our homes.
Some of the most popular flowers in the Pacific Northwest – including tulips – can harm your pet. Quite a few herbs happen to be pet friendly, however, meaning you can expand your flavor menu without worrying about issue with animal toxicity.
Here’s some suggestions for safe, beautiful plants you can incorporate into your spring plans while keeping your peace of mind, and some plants to avoid.
Non-toxic to Dogs and Cats:
Toxic to Dogs and Cats:
-Tulips (concentrated in the bulb)