There are many naturally occurring herbs that are beneficial to both humans and animals. In fact, the vast majority of these herbs have something positive to offer, and many are used in holistic medicines around the globe. One such wonder herb with many great offerings is oregano, a member of the mint family which can be purchased in both a dried, crushed plant form and as oregano oil.
Oregano makes for delicious Italian foods, but that is only the beginning. It has been reported that oregano can help with human ailments such as migraines, toothaches/tooth infections, burns and other skin irritations such as bug bites, sore throats/laryngitis, ear infections, and even wart removal. Oregano oil stops the growth of microbes and can kill bacteria (such as yeast and fungus) as well as doing a number on viruses and parasites. All of this has led to oregano being hailed and embraced as a natural antibiotic that also has the ability to ease pain and inflammation.
If oregano sounds like something you would be willing to use on yourself, then why not use it on your chickens? If you were to ask Scott Sechler of Bell & Evans, he would strongly encourage you to give it a shot. Rather than embrace the use of antibiotics in chickens and risk harming the people who in turn eat those chickens, Scott Sechler has instead embraced oregano (and added some cinnamon, too). For several years he has incorporated oregano oil into chicken feed as a means to prevent illness and avoid antibiotics. He feels it has worked better than other avenues he explored in the past, but has advised that you cannot expect oregano to singularly rule out the rest of the work involved in keeping chickens healthy. Sanitation standards must continue to be properly maintained along with the feeding of a balanced diet.
Without scientific research to 100% back things up, we will never know exactly how beneficial oregano and oregano oil is for our chickens. However, life is about trial and error and sometimes you have to perform your own experiments to see what will and will not work for you. If you plant some oregano in the garden, your chickens may eat it and you may notice enough benefits to continue incorporating it into your available feed. If it is not something you can get behind, that is okay, too. Skepticisim is to be expected when word of moouth is all we have to go on, since research to back things up is lacking.
It all comes down to each of us employing techniques we agree with and that work for us. Different strokes for different folks can be likened to different feed for different chickens. If you believe in or wish to see for yourself the power of herbal additions to your chickens' lives, purchase or create your own oregano oil. Otherwise, save the oregano for the pizza.