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The Benefits of Probiotics for Chickens and other Poultry


Probiotics, such as those found in yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and other fermented foods are extremely beneficial to poultry intestinal health - much as they are to humans. 

Adding some probiotics to your chickens' diet can help keep those butts fluffy! 

Chickens, ducks and geese all benefit from added probiotics in their diet from hatch right up to laying age and beyond.



Benefits of Probiotics for Chickens and other Poultry


Probiotics help boost good bacteria levels in the intestines and maintain optimal health.  

They also aid in digestion and assist in nutrient absorption which will result in a better feed conversion ratio, meaning your flock will need to eat less to get the same nutrients out of their feed.

Probiotics help reduce fly problems in your coop and run area because the feces of flocks that consume probiotics smells less.

Poop from flocks that have probiotics added to their regular diet creates less ammonia, thereby making for improved bedding and air quality in your coop. 

Probiotics also aid in composting, allowing bedding materials and other waste to break down more quickly.

More Benefits of Probiotics for Chickens

Probiotics form a barrier that prevent bad bacteria from attaching to the intestinal walls. They support beneficial microflora in the intestines and inhibit pathogen growth.

They also help boost egg productivity.

They support the immune system in general and increase growth rates in poultry.

Overall, hens who are fed probiotics maintain healthy weights and lay larger, better quality eggs with stronger shells.

Benefits of Poultry Probiotic Powder


Chickens love yogurt, and I will give my flock the occasional bit of plain unflavored yogurt as a treat, however, excessive amounts of dairy products can cause diarrhea in poultry. 

Their bodies aren't designed to digest the milk sugars found in dairy, so for this reason, probiotic powder specifically designed for poultry is a far superior choice to introduce good bacteria into their diet. 

The Poultry Probiotic powder also has a much longer shelf life, as long as it is stored in a dry, airtight container.  



The Benefits of Probiotics for Baby Chicks


I also add a little sprinkle of probiotic powder to my chicks' feed.  Providing chicks probiotics right from hatch will help keep them disease-free later in life.  

Probiotics are  thought to combat coccidiosis and salmonella in chicks.  

So starting the little ones off using natural preventative measures can have lifelong benefits.  

Reduce E.Coli and Salmonella by using Poultry Probiotics


E. Coli has been shown to exist in virtually all poultry manure samples, but only becomes a problem for a flock when their digestive environment is conducive to the E. coli reproducing at a rapid rate. 

Adding probiotics to your flock's diet ensures good intestinal health and plenty of "good" bacteria to keep bad bacteria like E.Coli from running amok.

Additionally, studies have shown that incidence of salmonella in chickens can be reduced by 99% using a diet that includes probiotics.




So to summarize, adding probiotics to your chickens' diet will likely:
  • help maintain intestinal health
  • strengthen their immune system
  • increase 'good' bacteria
  • help with digestion and feed conversion
  • reduce fly populations
  • aid in composting
  • result in greater egg production
  • result in greater egg/shell quality
  • reduce the chance of your hens succumbing to e.coli or salmonella or passing it along to you or chicks

The Benefits of Probiotics for Chickens after using Antibiotics


"Probiotic" literally translates to "for life". 

It is the opposite of "antibiotic". 

Although I prefer taking the natural route and recommend that as a first line of defense, sometimes antibiotics are needed.

Anytime antibiotics ARE administered to your flock, probiotics should also be given in conjunction with the antibiotic treatment to promote the regrowth of good bacteria.

 But I do highly recommend adding probiotic powder to your chickens' daily feed as a preventive.  

It's that whole 'ounce of prevention' thing that Benjamin Franklin was so fond of!

Poultry Probiotics is specially formulated for chickens and ducks from hatch to laying age and beyond! Available in a convenient 16oz. container as well as a more economical 6lb. size!

References:

Photo credits Greta Rybus for Down East Magazine


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