I'm not sure if its the wacky weather or what, but it seems like everyone I know has been having sinus trouble.
Chickens are prone to a number of respiratory ailments, but, like people, the most common is a "cold". There are different causes for "colds", and they range in severity from a sniffle to swelling the bird's eyes shut and even causing blindness and death. We lost a few really nice birds several winters ago due to a bad cold and us having a hard time keeping the ice off the water bowls. So when I saw them starting to sneeze and sniffle a couple weeks ago, I knew we needed to do something!
Sometimes antibiotics will help, but I really prefer to not use antibiotics if I can help it, just because I don't want to make the "bugs" more drug resistant and I don't like having to be concerned about messing up their digestion by killing off the good AND the bad. Plus, very few antibiotics are labeled for chickens, so you have to, A. try and figure out which one will actually help the problem your birds have, and B. figure out the dosage for a quart of water when it's packaged in a bag that makes 100 gallons.
So, I decided to try the natural route first. I'd had a little success in getting rid of my own cold with garlic and cider vinegar, so that had to be in the mix. I didn't have any Oil of Oregano which a lot of health nut people swear by, but I assumed the oregano plant we had outside must have some curative properties. So I gathered all my stuff and embarked on an experiment!
|Fresh Oregano, Garlic, Vinegar, Red Pepper Flakes|
So I put the handful of oregano that I hacked off the plant, a couple tablespoons of garlic, about 1 1/2 cups of vinegar and about a tablespoon of the pepper all in the blender and pulverized it.
|Looks kinda gross|
It smells a little like salad dressing!
So then I filled the bottle up the rest of the way with plain water. Shook it up and put it in the fridge.
|Finished "chicken tea"|
They are still sneezing some, but we haven't been very consistent about giving it to them every day. They aren't ruffled like some were when I first noticed the problem, and they seem to be feeling pretty good! Originally a couple hens had some obviously swollen sinuses and they don't have that problem now!
I would definitely try this if your birds have a cold. It took about 5 minutes to make. Heck, it would probably work for people as well, but it doesn't taste good at all.
(Yeah, I tried it.)
What home remedies do you use for your birds?