Occasionally chickens get sick. Sometimes you will lose a bird before you can do anything about it, other times you will want to treat a single bird or maybe your whole flock. No matter how it happens, it will happen. The best thing to do is to keep a couple things on hand for your birds.
One thing I keep on hand at all times is Oregano. Yes, you heard that right. Oregano has antibiotic properties that will help your birds. The first time I hear a bird sneeze or have trouble with respiratory I get my Oregano. Add it to their food to treat the whole flock.
I love using Oregano rather than a traditional antibiotic, however, there will be times that a traditional antibiotic will be needed.
The other item I keep on hand at all times is Garlic. Garlic is good for so many different things. I usually use both Garlic and Oregano together for the added punch if I feel there may be a problem. Garlic is also good for respiratory problems and it can help to heal wounds. I usually mix a little Oregano and a little Garlic in the food once a week just to try to help keep my birds healthy.
The final item I keep on hand all the time is Apple Cider Vinegar and White Vinegar. The apple cider vinegar I add to the water during the summer months because it helps to promote hydration. It also keeps the algae from growing in the water tanks. You just have to make sure that you are diluting the vinegar because by itself, it is too strong and would likely harm rather than help your birds. Offer this for 2-3 days and then straight water for 2-3 days during the summer months.
You will always want to consult your veterinarian when you have sick animals, but if it is after hours, these solutions could help to keep your birds situated until you can get a hold of your vet. I will always recommend a veterinarian to check out your animals because they are trained in the different problems that will occur. As you get more experience with your birds, there will be times that you may be able to take care of a problem on your own, but until that time comes, always check with a veterinarian. They do have medications that you can purchase at most of your feed stores but if you don’t know what you are doing with them it could do more harm than good.
Even if you want to keep your birds without medications, still check with your vet on herbal and holistic ways to maintain a healthy flock. Always research anything before you give it to your birds so that you know what could happen and what to look for in the possibility of a reaction. I do my best to raise my birds naturally, but occasionally there are times when I feel a medication is needed.