Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Herbal Preventative Wormers for Backyard Chickens

Molly's Herbals Preventative Wormer Herb Mixes

Drinking kefir with herbs.  

Drinking kefir with herbs

Today I gave the chickens their weekly "herbal supplements".  There is usually great excitement about this because the herbs are delivered in yogurt or kefir,  and they love yogurt and kefir !

Healthy chickens spend time scratching around and eating bugs.  It's what they love to do.  Sometimes they ingest soil that has worm eggs in it or insects or slugs that are hosts to various worms, so unfortunately, chickens getting worms is not completely uncommon.  This time of year I'm guessing they are less likely to get them than warm months but I'm sure it happens.  I'd like to avoid wormy chickens, so last year I spent time looking for was to prevent worms (besides the obvious keeping them in the best health possible).  

At a Garden Dreams we grow wormwood, but since I'm not an herbalist and you need to be really careful with doses of wormwood,  I did some research last year to find someone that makes preventative herbal wormers.  I found Molly's Herbals, which I've used for about 9 months .  The idea is the wormwood blend is only given every 8 weeks, with another blend being given weekly until the next wormwood dose.  They are meant to be used year-round, and the bags I ordered seem like they will last quite a while.  These herbal blends make the inside of your chickens a place where worms just don't want to be, and they make a quick exit if they are present.  

My feeding strategy is 2 rough tablespoons herb blend per 10 hens mixed with yogurt or kefir which they just love.  It's just a once a week treat for them .  I have to make sure the girls at the bottom of the pecking order get some as it becomes a free for all when the dish of "medicine" is set down. 

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