I believe that healthy food is our best medicine and in using garden herbs for chicken health. So when I discovered this easy to make infused oil mixture for extra winter protein and nutrition for my chickens, I was thrilled.
A healthy and happy chicken has bright eyes, glossy feathers and ample energy.
While I can’t grow everything in my garden I do have a number of herbs that I grow and feed directly to our chickens. But winter feeding of herbs is so much harder.
Lots of fresh water daily is also important to a chickens good health.
PLEASE NOTE: The credit for this original infused oil mixture goes solely to Susan Burek of Mile High Herbs, This came as a result of a post she made on the Poultry natural Living found on Facebook. This is my favorite chicken group of all time. https://www.facebook.com/groups/herbalpoultrycare/
Mid afternoon snuggle down time.
While some of you are in states that are getting warmer, some of us “lucky ones” in the Midwest still have 3 to 5 ft. of snow on the ground!! And while our 10 degree below temperature have waned, it is running around 30 degrees at night. I’ve discovered that our woods holds in the snow and cold longer after it is melted in other more open spaces.
Snow on the coop and covered run.
So this means we are still feeding our chickens high caloric and protein feed for a few more weeks to help to keep them warm at night. I’ve tried all kind of feed type and combinations and this is the one I have the best luck with. It is versatile and can be adapted in many ways. I make the infused oil up ahead of time and then add that oil to whatever I am feeding that day.
This is Freckles, a Phoenix/Cochin mix and the top bird of our group.
This also kills two birds with one stone (likely a BAD analogy for chicken lovers!) but it gets the oils of the crushed garlic into the chicken as well as giving them the fuel that they need for cold nights. I feed garlic as a preventative measure to keep my birds as healthy as possible and basil for mucus membrane health and for its antibacterial properties.
Cloves of fresh garlic goes into my chickens food and their water. Some times they ignore it but some of them, like Freckles picks it out tosses it on the ground and then eats it. Freckles is the top chicken in our small flock.
Our girls heading outdoors for a little bit of sunbathing!
STEP 1: Garlic Infused Oil:
- Pour about 1 cup to cup and a half of a high-grade of virgin olive oil into clean a canning jar.
- Peel, crush and chop up 7 garlic cloves and add the garlic to the jar of oil
- I like to add dried oregano leaves but you can add almost any of your chicken healthy herbs that you might have on hand.
- Cover with lid and let this mix infuse several days to a week before using. The longer it infused the more it smells of the wonderful wholesome and healthy garlic.
STEP 2: Add Oil Mixture to Your Feed of Choice
I’ve been experimenting with many different combinations this winter but the one my chickens seem to like the best and the one they leave the least amount of waste behind.
Making the Oil and Protein Medley:
- I toss two handfuls of black oiled sunflower seeds in an ice cream bucket.
- Toss in a half a handful of dried meal worms.
- I add a large scoop of fermented organic chicken grower feed
- Add a chunk of cut up wheat grass
- A splash of apple cider vinegar
- Stir and feed
Add this mixture in your feeding bowl or pie plate and watch your girls rush in, cluck, cluck, and go to town!
Sitting pretty! The girls today on their roost in the covered run.
You would never know today that these chickens were rescued chickens from a flock that was fed nothing but cracked corn. It’s taken me 7 to 8 months of providing fresh water and carefully selected food but they are now 8 months old and beginning to lay the mostly beautiful brown eggs.
The results of my feeding regime? Happy, healthy and well fed chickens. It is worth the effort!
Small House Chicken Keeper, Donna