Okay, first I just want to tell you one of my greatest pet peeves and that is searching for information online and, for example, I search for "list of herbs that contain piperazine" and all I get are long, drawn out articles with the author's personal experiences since they were a child or 3 pages of background information on piperazine etc. All I want is a concise list of herbs that contain piperazine! ugh! You have to spend an hour sifting through information you don't really want or need to get the information you want and sometimes you don't even get it so, having said that, I'm going to give you a list of what prevents what and how to prevent "this and that" but I do warn you, there may be a little "because of this....this works" type information because I believe that you should know the whys and wherefor's of what you are doing with your lovely chickens/ducks/geese/guineas or whatever you have.
I am not a vet and I do not have or know a list of every single disease, illness or injury that may happen to your poultry so I will give the most common issues that we face as chicken/poultry keepers, if you have an illness or disease that I don't list, feel free to pm/email me and I will do the research and leg work to give you an answer.
Prevention of disease is one of your main tools in the health tool box, part of prevention is boosting your chicken/duck/goose etc immune system. The easiest, cheapest and most natural way is with good food, herbs and common sense.
The 2 most common diseases that we face are Coccidiosis and Mareks.
These 2 words are bound to strike fear in your heart and make your gut twist, I don't blame you, they are terrible diseases.
Lets start with coccidiosis (for very new chicken keepers it is pronounced like cock sid ee oh sis and most people shorten it to cocci or cock see) this is a parasite in the intestine of almost every single bird (domestic poultry as well as wild birds of all sorts)right from the time they develop an intestine. At that point it is a small amount and not usually a threat, it becomes a threat if they are over exposed after hatching and their immune system can't handle it. They excrete it in their waste for their whole lives leaving it on the ground for other birds to pick up as they walk through it, eat something that has been contaminated by it etc.
So how do we keep our chicks from over exposure? Well, first of all, OVER exposure is the key word. Right from day 1 they need to be exposed to it in small amounts so that while they are developing their immune systems, they can learn to fight it off.
That is step 1 in preventing it. Don't clean their brooder/pen so often that they do not get exposed. Definitely remove wet feed and change their water several times a day but don't get freaked out about keeping a spotless cage 24/7. They need a small amount of exposure.
Oregano - if they will eat it fresh from the plant, they can have all of it their little hearts desire. If they won't eat it fresh then you can make oregano tea (1 tablespoon fresh, chopped oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried to a full 8 ounces of boiled water but wait to add the herb until the bubbling has stopped or you risk killing the "good stuff") and use it as a supplement to their regular water
You can also sprinkle dried ground oregano on their food, add it to treats like yogurt, cooked oatmeal, mashed boiled egg etc.
You can add a few drops of oregano oil to their regular water also. By a few drops, I mean 20 or 30 drops from a dropper to a gallon of water.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Mix 1 Tablespoon of organic, with the mother, ACV to a gallon of water for non symptomatic chicks and adults and replace their regular water with it. If you see symptoms, separate that bird and bump up the ACV to 2 Tablespoons per gallon of water.
Garlic - Mince 1 large garlic clove per gallon of water and replace their regular water with that.
Ground cinnamon - sprinkle some into their feed or add it to the treats just like the oregano I mentioned
That's cocci prevention. If you already have symptoms going on then you'll need to double the efforts listed here and I would suggest getting a bottle of Kochi Free.
My next article will focus on Mareks so watch for it!