When I discovered them about four years ago, I never dreamed of using essential oils on my flock. I actually didn’t know what I’d use them for, but I was intrigued about all they were claiming to be. I bought my first oils with equal parts hope, curiosity and skepticism and set out to see what those tiny bottles of oils could do for my life.
As it turns out, those little bottles of oil completely changed my life. I use them daily. For cooking, for cleaning, for healthy support for my body, for DIY solutions…and YES, even for my chickens (and garden).
The first time I used an essential oil for a hen, it was out of desperation. I knew she’d be gone by morning if I didn’t try something ASAP. (I would like to pause here to say I’m not a huge advocate of sloppy experimentation on animals (or humans) when it comes to essential oils (or anything else for that matter). I did some research first. And I proceeded with caution. You can read about how essential oils saved Charlotte here.) After that first time (and because Charlotte’s recovery was nearly instantly), I conservatively (and with research) used essential oils on my flock when the need came up. I’ve helped a friend whose chick caught some kind of bug in her eye, I’ve helped numerous hens of mine with breathing and immunity building support that brought them back from the brink of chicken heaven.
Here’s what I found out: essential oils can be used for immune support, breathing support, healing support, pest control, calming, and more. If you have essential oils, and are curious about how to use them with your flock, here are some super basic guidelines. PLEASE PLEASE do your research and proceed with caution. Birds are much more sensitive (and way smaller) than us humans. And just because something is good for us, doesn’t mean it’s good for them. If you have a vet open to the use of essential oils, talk to them (my vet is DEAD SET AGAINST OILS FOR MY CAT, for instance, but thinks they’re fine, in small doses of selected oils for hens).
You’ll see I say on #5 above to not essential oils apply directly on your hen. I actually DO USE them topically from time to time, but I do it as a last resort, or when it’s the only (best) option. When I do it, however, I use a highly diluted salve. Typically something like 1/4 cup of coconut oil with 2-4 drops of essential oil.
Another good way to use essential oils in conjunction with your flock is in a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of oil. This is great for pest control, cleaning, etc.
Typically on the above oils for the nest box, I use strips of cloth and put the oil on the cloth and hang in or around the nest box.
I hang strips of cloth soaked in oils around the cook to get rid of flies. But sometimes I get a little fancier. Here’s how.
Not only do essential oils provide some great help for your flock, they’re also non-toxic. You don’t have to worry about waiting 2 weeks to eat your hens eggs after they’ve been treated with essential oils. You don’t have to worry that one of your other pets might run into some of the toxic solution and get sick from it. And, BIG BONUS POINTS: The oils smell great! (Consider: sick chicken in the garage smelling like a sick chicken, or sick chicken in the garage with a diffuser filling the air with a lovely scent (that are also good for you). You pick!)
PS: If you haven’t gotten into essential oils yourself yet, or you want to know where you can get pure grade oils for below wholesale, shoot me a message and I’ll help you get started or answer your questions.