Essential Oils for Layers and Chickens: The natural approach (backed by science) to flock health and productivity.
With permission of Ms. Sue Sengerde Rose Hill Farm
Around the world, there is growing concern about antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and the generation of superbugs resulting from the overuse of antibiotics, both in the medical and livestock fields. The mathematics of the situation for livestock is fairly simple. The more animals you cram into tight spaces, under stress, with minimal inputs to maximize profits, the more likely you are to experience disease and health problems in the animals.
This is why many people are turning to keeping and raising their own chickens as a way to ensure high quality eggs and/or meat, and better welfare for the animals involved. But small-scale production does not eliminate the risks inherent in raising poultry, which include exposure to pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria, to name a few.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a natural way to treat these potentially deadly pathogens?
It turns out that researchers have been asking this question as well. Studies have focused on the use of plant-based essential oils in chicken production. The goal is to determine if these compounds can work effectively to improve productivity while eliminating the risk of developing chemical resistance.
My curiosity was piqued because I had read a few articles about the use of herbs and essential oils for chickens and wanted to dig into the topic to make sure it wasn’t just about making the coop smell fresher! As I dove into the research, I realized that essential oils can be an indispensable tool for small farmers to improve their flocks and increase the quality of their meat and eggs.
If you’ve ever wondered if essential oils are really worth it, keep reading! I’ve put together some of the latest research findings that may help you shed light on this intriguing approach to chicken management.