Garlic was used by the ancient Egyptians for medicinal purposes and is still popular as a health supplement today. In European countries where large amounts of this vegetable are consumed in peoples’ diets, they have a lower risk of cancer and are less likely to suffer from heart disease, but what if I add this ingredient to the diet of our chickens?
This vegetable has many health benefits for both humans and animals and is an easy and inexpensive way to keep your backyard chickens healthy and happy.
Is garlic safe to feed your chickens or is it dangerous or even harmful? I spent some time researching its effects on chickens and today I would like to share my findings in this article.
So can chickens eat garlic?
Chickens can eat this vegetable, and it is beneficial when administered in moderate amounts and as part of a balanced diet. Garlic boosts the immune system, increases respiratory health, and mites, lice, ticks, and other parasites are also thought to be less attracted to the blood of animals that eat a lot of garlic.
You should not go overboard with the consumption of this ingredient and be aware of foods that contain a lot of garlic. Chickens need a balanced diet and must get the right mix of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to thrive. All food in excess is bad.
However, this vegetable does not harm chickens. It is not part of the onion family although they are commonly associated; its composition is completely different. Let’s explore the health benefits of garlic for chickens:
Boosts the immune system
Compounds in garlic have been shown to increase the disease-fighting response in some types of white blood cells in the body when they encounter a virus.
If your chickens look bad, and they do not want to leave their house, this vegetable is a good remedy for your birds to feel better and will help them fight any bacteria, viruses, or any other pathogens that may be in their environment.
Reduces odor in manure
In a study conducted at Clemson University, it was shown that when fed to chickens, garlic effectively masks the odor of chicken waste, without changing the taste of the eggs. Protects against viruses. This ingredient has been shown to be active against viruses, including salmonellosis, colibacillosis, and cholera.
Helps underweight or non-eating chickens
Chickens that are underweight or do not eat need something to stimulate their appetite and garlic does just that. It also supports healthy growth and is a great digestive aid; helps chickens extract as many nutrients as possible from the food they eat.
It is believed that like apple cider vinegar, this vegetable stimulates the appetite and helps promote the growth of your birds.
Prevention against parasites
The allicin contained in garlic is believed to make chicken blood taste undesirable to mites and other parasites. If you prefer a natural preventive against mites, this vegetable is worth a try.
Vitamins and minerals
Beyond all these benefits, garlic is also packed with vitamins and minerals. It also has a favorable ratio of calcium and phosphorus!
This vegetable is known to be a great source of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), manganese, selenium, and also vitamin C. In addition, it contains a good amount of calcium, potassium, iron, and copper.
This small but effective vegetable is believed to help hens produce larger, better-quality eggs with a reduction in bad cholesterol.
How to add garlic to the diet of chickens
There are a few different ways to add garlic to your chicken’s diet. If you are introducing this ingredient for the first time, you may need to experiment a bit to find what works best for you and your chicken coop.
It is better for chickens to start eating garlic when they are younger so that they get used to the taste. Once conditioned from a young age to accept the flavor, chickens should have no problem drinking water infused with fresh crushed garlic, or even eating the crushed garlic alongside their daily feed. Older birds that have never eaten this vegetable are more likely to eat this powdered vegetable that is mixed with their feed.
As you can see, there is no question that adding garlic to your chickens’ diet is of enormous benefit. But it has applications beyond the internal. This vegetable can also be used on the skin to treat minor abrasions and can be rubbed on the legs to prevent parasites such as the scaly leg mite and even the northern fowl mite.
How much garlic should I give to my chickens?
When contemplating how much garlic to feed your chickens, remember that moderation is key. You should always use only fresh, raw vegetables.
Keep the following recommendation in mind when feeding garlic to your chickens:
- In water: four cloves per gallon or one clove per liter.
- As food: a clove finely chopped or crushed twice a week.
Garlic powder is probably the easiest way to incorporate garlic into your hens’ diet and the most accepted by birds that have never eaten garlic before.
Is garlic dangerous for chickens?
This vegetable will not represent any danger to chickens; Some people believe that adding garlic to a hen’s diet can make their eggs taste like garlic.
However, you would have to feed your chickens a lot of garlic before it affects the taste. This vegetable contains an element called thiosulfate, which is known to affect red blood cells and in large amounts, can cause jaundice or anemia.
However, there are only small amounts of this element in garlic; It would never be enough to harm your chickens. On the other hand, onions contain this element in large quantities, which is why onions are considered toxic to chickens.
As poultry farmers, we want to do our best to make sure our chickens live healthy and happy. When considering supplementation, I highly recommend that you also consider adding apple cider vinegar to your chicken’s diet. Apple cider vinegar is another great way to boost your hens’ immune systems and keep your birds in good health.
- How Long Does It Take For a Hen to Lay Her First Egg?
- How to Calm an Aggressive Rooster
- Why Do Hens Cackle after Laying an Egg?
- Egg Yolk: Health Benefits, Nutritional Value, and More
- Alektorophobia: Fear of Chickens