By now I’m sure you’ve seen at least some information go by about the amazingly positive benefits of turmeric on your health…but have you considered it for your flock as well? Turns out, many of those very same health benefits for you, are also good for your chickens.
Turmeric is a root (related to ginger) that contains the ingredient curcumin. Curcumin is a huge immune system booster in chickens (good for overall chicken health and well being). It also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent (which is helpful with problems such as bumblefoot or other inflamed injuries chickens might sustain). Those two things right there would be enough for me, but the list goes on: Turmeric aids in digestion, eye and brain function, and respiratory issues. It can be made into a paste and used as an antibacterial medication.
I’m all about natural health remedies. Especially ones that are real food. I drink turmeric tea. I use it in cooking. I’m all about getting the natural anti-inflammatory benefits out of that yellow spice. Why not try it on my hens? But how?
What do you do with it?
You can make a paste from turmeric by melting some coconut oil and adding black pepper and turmeric to it. (Coconut oil and black pepper help activate the beneficial properties of the turmeric). This paste can be placed as a free range option for your flock to eat as they wish.
You could also add some honey to the paste and use it as a topical salve for healing wounds on your chickens.
You can also mix up some of the above paste ingredients and add it to the chicken feed or to some other food such as oats or eggs (when it’s in its melted form so it’s easy to mix/pour into or onto other things).
You might need to experiment. My hens like it best when I add it to scrambled eggs. For this, I melt some coconut oil in a pan, add turmeric and fresh ground pepper and mix it all together, then add 1-2 eggs and scramble them into the mix. They gobble that up in a hot second and ask for more.
Having done bumblefoot surgery on a hen before, though, I’m all for experimenting with new and improved ways of making sure my flock gets some turmeric at least once a week in their diet. A little experimenting now could save a lot of pain for a hen in the future and a lot of hassle for me.
How much do you give a hen?
The general consensus for turmeric use with hens is 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of weight (so 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon for a backyard bird that typically weighs 4 to 7 pounds). You don’t want to over-do it, as turmeric also has blood thinning properties in large doses.
While I’ve been using turmeric with my flock for about a year now, always keep in mind I am not a vet. If you have concerns certainly talk to your vet. And never do anything that doesn’t sit right with you for your flock.