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Probiotics, Garlic and Apple Cider Vinegar for Happy, Healthy Chickens

Probiotics, garlic and apple cider vinegar are the cornerstone to raising healthy chickens naturally.

All chickens really need to be perfectly fine and lay delicious, fresh eggs is good-quality layer feed and fresh, clean water.

But the addition of just a few inexpensive, natural supplements can really boost your flock's overall health and result in better egg production.

Probiotics, Garlic and Apple Cider Vinegar for Happy, Healthy Chickens

Since I raise my chickens naturally, preventives are extremely important to me to help boost my flock's immune systems and avoid them getting sick and having to administer antibiotics or other medications.

I highly recommend these supplements that I believe are the cornerstone of chicken health.

Two for the feed and two for the water. Far less expensive than a vet visit!

And no, feeding garlic will NOT make your eggs taste like garlic. Trust me.

In the Feed

No matter how good the quality of the feed is that you choose for your chickens, a few natural supplements will only boost their health.

Supplements are regularly given to horses, goats and other livestock, and we take vitamins and supplements in addition to our regular diet, so why should chickens be any different?

PROBIOTIC POWDER  (1 Cup per 40-50lb bag of feed - approximately 2% ratio)

  • Maintains intestinal health by increasing 'good' bacteria levels
  • Aids digestion
  • Increases nutrient absorption
  • Boosts egg production
  • Results in larger eggs with stronger shells
  • Supports the immune system
  • Combats diseases like coccidiosis, E.coli and salmonella
  • Controls odor and amount of ammonia in manure 
To Purchase: Poultry Probiotics

GARLIC POWDER  (1.5 Cups per 40-50lb bag of feed - approximately 2% ratio)

  • Repels ticks, fleas, mites and lice
  • Can act as a natural wormer
  • Immune system booster
  • Aids in respiratory health
  • Controls the odor of manure
To purchase: Brewer's Yeast with Garlic Powder

In the Water

There's something you can add to your chickens' water as well that will help boost their overall health.

(And if you don't want to use garlic powder in the feed, you can add fresh garlic cloves to their water instead for the same health benefits.)

The first published mention of using apple cider vinegar to treat livestock including poultry was back in 1958 in a book titled Folk Medicine by D.C. Jarvis who was a medical doctor. 

He cited success adding apple cider vinegar to the diet of poultry and dairy cattle in the 1940's during the course of a 5-year study that he performed.  Although there's very little scientific research about any of these supplements, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence such as this that I have tread. 

At a very basic level, apple cider vinegar is packed with vitamins, minerals and trace elements that are critical for optimal health. You must use the raw, unpasteurized vinegar with the "mother" to achieve the benefits. Pasteurising the vinegar kills off most of the beneficial components.

I'm a believer APPLE CIDER VINEGAR  (1 Tablespoon per gallon of water - 2 or 3 times a week)

  • Balances pH levels in the body 
  • Creates environment inhospitable to bad bacteria
  • Aids in digestive health
  • Stimulates the appetite
  • Aids in absorption of calcium and other nutrients resulting in stronger eggshells during periods of cooler weather (however can inhibit the absorption in hot climates)
  • Antiseptic
  • Purifies the blood
  • Results in healthy mucus flow
  • Combats coccidiosis, salmonella and other parasites and pathogens in the intestine
  • Improves overall immune system health
  • Improves feather quality and appearance
  • Reduces algae growth in the drinking water
  • Increases palatability of the water, resulting in increased water consumption
To Purchase: Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar

GARLIC CLOVE  (1-2 cloves crushed into a gallon of water every few days)

  • Same benefits as garlic powder above 

If you are interested in reading more about any of these topics, or learning more about some of the other methods I use to keep my flock healthy, I encourage you to check out my book Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens...Naturally available online or at a bookstore or garden shop near you.

Fresh Eggs Daily Natural Poultry Feed Supplements

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