Natural Poultry Health
A guide to keeping your flock healthy with herbs and other natural products
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This useful booklet for poultry farmers produced by the Dutch Wageningen University and Research Centre is a guide about herbs and other natural remedies. Besides information on the use of natural products, it provides good advice for proactive disease prevention on a range of health issues associated with digestion, respiratory system, egg production, skin and feathers, and behaviour. Each chapter covers a number of topics within these broad catagories and suggests natural remedies that can be used as part of a poultry keeper’s general management regime. The 3 annexes list a number of natural products, information on their application, and EU-based suppliers. However, the authors note that these are not definitive nor complete. There is also an initial disclaimer stating that although great care has been taken in compiling the booklet, the information has not been exhaustively checked. They recommend that the use of natural products is discussed with a poultry vet.
- Disease prevention encompasses not only preventing an infection from entering a farm and spreading, but includes good nutrition, suitable housing, good management and appropriate rearing. This way, the general resistance to diseases of animals is improved.
- Resistance and animal welfare go hand in hand. To increase disease resistance, animals should experience as little stress as possible. Natural products can play a useful role in improving the condition and general resistance of poultry. Resistance to specific diseases can be increased using vaccinations.
- A large number of herbs can be useful for sowing in or next to an outdoor run. Trees and shrubs can provide shade and drop their blossoms and leaves into an outdoor run. All can have a direct positive effect on poultry health, but may also contribute indirectly - for instance by increasing the amount of minerals that poultry eat.