Bee Healthy Backyard Chicken Treat!

Bee Healthy Backyard Chicken Treat!

I’m so excited about this week’s treat for backyard chickens because it contains one of my favorite superfoods: BEE POLLEN!

 

Yep, you can feed bee pollen to chickens, and as I discuss below, it’s very healthy for your hens.

 

One of my favorite ways to share this treat with my hens is by offering it in the spring, when my flock starts to consistently lay again.

 

The ground is muddy (yuck), which means the amount of parasites and bad bacteria that flourish in wet environments SKYROCKETS.

 

As your chickens hunt and peck (and poop), they’re going to naturally pick up parasites. (They need to invent chicken shoes.)

 

It’s gross, and even grosser when you look at it under a microscope.

 

Who wants a mouthful of eggs teeming with salmonella and who knows what? Not me!

 

That’s why I included bee pollen in this week’s treat for backyard chickens. You’ll be surprised how healthy it is!

Bee Pollen for Backyard Chickens

We’re just starting to recognize the health benefits of bee pollen for humans, but believe it or not, it’s been pretty well studied for chickens.

 

In case you didn’t know, bee pollen is one of those “superfoods” that contains not just a ton of vitamins and minerals, but also more protein than meat!

 

Multiple studies have been done to examine the health impacts of feeding bee pollen to chickens.

And the results are pretty interesting (if you want to fast version: it’s really healthy.)

 

As a feed additive, bee pollen shows signs of being a powerful way to prevent parasites and bad bacteria while increasing the overall health of the chicken.

 

In one study, chickens fed 35 grams of bee pollen per 1 kilo of feed showed more beneficial bacteria in their guts – which means a healthier bird overall.

 

This same study also showed that bee pollen reduced the amount of bad bacteria – meaning that bee pollen showed antibacterial properties.

 

In particular, bee pollen was shown to reduce the amount of K. oxytoca, a bacterium that can cause sepsis and colitis in people.

Multiple studies have shown that chickens with higher amounts of beneficial bacteria not only GREW better (because they weren’t battling bad bacteria like campylobacter as much) but LAID healthier eggs (because the eggs were less likely to be transmitters of bad bacteria like salmonella).

 

In another study, bee pollen was shown to increase the length of villi in the digestive tracts of chickens.

 

In case you didn’t know, the villi in digestive tracts allow people and animals to absorb nutrients as we digest.

 

So, longer villi have more surface area, which can mean it’s easier for your chicken to absorb nutrients – which means she’ll be healthier.

 

It’s a small difference, but a crucial one.

 

It helps that chickens LOVE to peck at the tiny bits of bee pollen!

 

Peppermint, Rose, and Parsley, Oh My!

I’ve also included peppermint in this treat for a similar reason: Peppermint has strong antibacterial qualities while also helping to settle tummies.

 

Rose, as well, is known for it’s soothing and skin-healing properties (that’s why you see it in so many lotions for people).

 

My chickens particularly love rose because it’s red — for some reason, red is a popular color with hens!

 

Parsley is one of my favorite “hidden gems” — it’s a humble herb we’ve relegated to garnish status, but it’s full of vitamins!

 

So, as your hens enjoy eating the bee pollen, they’ll also get lots of extra nutrients from the parsley.

 

Don’t Forget The Mealworms!

And, of course, mealworms! You might find that your hens go for the mealworms first, but rest assured, they’ll finish off the rest of the ingredients as well!

 

If you’re ready to make this treat, then grab the recipe below!

Bee Healthy Backyard Chicken Treat

Ingredients (per chicken):

½ tsp Bee pollen (buy in the store here)

1 tablespoon Peppermint (buy in the store here)

1 tablespoon Parsley (buy in the store here)

¼ cup Mealworms (buy in the store here)

1 tablespoon Rose buds (buy in the store here)

¼ cup Non-GMO Wheat Berries (buy in the store here)

 

Directions:

Combine ingredients in a bowl and offer immediately. Serve as part of a complete diet alongside grit.

 

Herbal Deworming Mix For Backyard Chickens

Herbal Deworming Mix For Backyard Chickens

It’s Treat Tuesday! And this week’s treat is all about deworming chickens naturally with herbs!

 

Now, I’m the first to say that there haven’t been too many studies about herbal dewormers themselves, particularly for chickens, ducks, geese, and the like.

 

Back in the day, people HAD to rely on herbs and natural resources to keep their flocks healthy. It’s only in modern times that we’ve been able to rely on pharmaceuticals to get rid of internal parasites.

 

But even with all the modern resources we have, there hasn’t been an overwhelming amount of studies to reveal which pharmaceutical wormers work, and there’s even less reliable products in the market. (There really aren’t any, to be precise).


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A big reason for this is the broiler industry doesn’t need to worry about worms too much – the chickens are kept indoors and don’t live long enough for parasites to develop.

 

The egg industry keeps hens off of the ground – for the most part – and while there are a ton of health issues hens can pick up because of the egg industry, worms aren’t usually one of them.

 

There’s also the problem that pharmaceutical dewormers have withdrawal periods – and who wants a mouthful of drugs? Not me!

 

So, as chicken keepers, it’s kept us a bit in the dark and we need to rely on anecdotal evidence as well as the few studies about herbal dewormers available to keep our hens healthy.

 

That being said, there’s a long history of certain herbs “doing the trick” to expel parasites from chickens, and today’s treat includes the best of the best!

 

Chili pepper

Capsaicin in chili pepper, in particular, has been shown in some studies to cause worms to detach from a chicken’s intestinal tract, causing them to be expelled through the vent.

 

It interrupts the worm’s life cycle, making your hens healthier.

 

In one study, hens fed red pepper also laid healthier, bigger eggs, AND had more golden yolks

 

If you’re worried your hens won’t eat spicy herbs, you don’t need to worry – chickens have far fewer taste buds than people.

deworming herbal mix for backyard chickens

Wormwood

Another traditional herb used to deworm livestock is wormwood – in fact, it’s been used since ancient times to rid both people and animals of internal parasites.

 

In one study done on broiler chickens infected with coccidiosis, the chickens who ate wormwood were healthier and had gained weight by the end of the study.

 

A second study also had similar results.

 

So, as you can imagine, the combination of red pepper and wormwood is a powerhouse!

 

Sage

Sage is another herb that has shown to have some properties to help rid chickens of internal parasites, so it’s also included in this herbal mix.

 

Why worms are such a problem

Parasites can cause secondary issues such as:

  • Poor nutrition,
  • Inflammation, and
  • A compromised immune system

 

So, it’s important to also provide your flock with herbs that can help them repair their bodies and that have a lot of vitamins and other nutrients.

 

This recipe also includes herbs known for their anti-inflammatory properties such as:

 

AND herbs with lots of nutrients, such as

 

My hens love this herbal mix, and I know yours will too!

 

If you’re ready to make my flock’s favorite Herbal Deworming Mix, then here’s the recipe!

deworming herbal mix for backyard chickens

Herbal Deworming Mix

Ingredients (per chicken)

1 tablespoon each:

1 teaspoon each:

¼ teaspoon each:

Directions

Combine each ingredients in a bowl and serve to your chickens separately, or include in their daily feed. This recipe should be fed as part of a balanced diet, and not in place of a good layer or grower feed.


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Bug Bite Relief Stick You Can Make Practically For Free

Bug Bite Relief Stick You Can Make Practically For Free

Nothing is worse than bug bites, except watching your kids be really, really unhappy! In this article, I’m going to show you how to make an all-natural, bug bite relief stick.

 

When things get a bit creepy crawly on your skin, you CAN grab a bottle of over-the-counter stuff….but you’re taking your chances. We’re trying to lead all-natural lives right?

 

There are all-natural options, and you can use essential oils to bring some bug bite relief to yourself and your little ones with a bug bite relief stick.

 

Got itchy kids? Make my favorite homemade bug bite relief Stick in your own kitchen with essential oils! Easy to follow recipe!

 

What essential oils will we use?

 

In our house, we rely on lavender essential oil for lots of things – including bug bite relief. It’s soothing, promotes healthy skin, and smells good.

 

(The scent especially can provide relief to small children who might be unhappy because of their itchy bug bite.)

 

In this stick, we also will use melaleuca, which promotes healthy skin and has cleansing properties should any dirt or other nasties get into the bite (especially if your child has been scratching at it.)

 

Ingredients To Make Your Own All-Natural Homemade Bug Bite Relief Stick

 

1/2 oz pure beeswax pastilles, about 1 tablespoon (I use this brand)

4 oz carrier oil, about 3 tablespoons (such as olive, coconut, or almond oil)

20 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops melaleuca essential oil

Empty lip balm containers (I like these or these)

 

Directions To Make Your Own All-Natural Homemade Bug Bite Relief Stick

 

To make your bug bite relief stick, you want to melt the carrier oil and the beeswax together, then add the essential oils before everything cools and hardens.

 

The carrier oil works to make the mixture easily spreadable, while the beeswax gives it some structure. The essential oils do the job of helping your little ones with their bug bite.

 

To make the bug bite relief stick, combine the carrier oil and beeswax in a heatproof container, such as a mason jar.

 

Fill a small pot ½ way with water and place your mason jar with the carrier oil and beeswax in it, creating a double boiler. Heat the water slowly, until the beeswax is completely melted.

 

Stir gently to combine, and remove from the heat. Immediately add the essential oils, and stir gently to combine.

 

While the bug bite relief stick mixture is still completely melted, pour into the lip balm containers, and allow to cool until the mixture is completely solid.

 

Once cool, store and apply as needed. If the bug bite relief stick is too soft, you can melt it again and add more beeswax, or simply adjust this bug bite relief stick recipe when you make it again.

 

If desired, you can also add a few drops of peppermint to the mixture; it’s cooling and some kids love it on their bug bites.

 

Roses and calendula, as well, promote healthy skin. One option is to infuse the carrier oil with rose or calendula petals for 2 weeks before making your homemade bug bite relief stick.