Garlic is one of the most widely used seasonings and traditional medicines worldwide. But despite its flavorful taste and health benefits, some people and animals, including rabbits, moles, and chickens, shy away from it. Does it mean that your chickens cannot eat garlic?
What is Garlic Made of?
Garlic is mainly composed of water, carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, and fat. A clove of garlic also contains a nutritional value that includes vitamin B, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, thiamin, calcium, iron, zinc, and pantothenic acid that helps oxidize the fats and carbohydrates.
Garlic has been used as traditional medicine in some parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe for centuries due to its antibiotic benefits. Today, garlic is used to treat several conditions like high cholesterol, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. Some reports also show that garlic is used to prevent some types of cancer like lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer, to name a few.
Is Garlic Dangerous to Chickens?
Though garlic is usually associated with onions, garlic is safe for chickens. With the garlic’s composition stated above, your chickens must not have any issues in consuming it.
This is proven by most farm owners feeding their chickens with garlic to strengthen their chickens’ immune systems. However, garlic has a specific component that may be lethal to the chicken.
Can Chickens Eat Garlic?
Yes, chickens can eat garlic. They need to eat Garlic as part of their diet.
Garlic has natural antibiotic properties to help your chickens’ immune system fight against bird illnesses and diseases.
However, though your chickens can eat garlic, it would help if you introduce your chickens first to the pungent smell of garlic. Otherwise, they will only peck it and leave. We do not want that to happen. We want them to eat it for their optimal health.
If your chickens start ignoring the garlic, you may need to incorporate a small amount of garlic into your chickens’ feed until they get used to it. Or, you can mix the crushed garlic into your chickens’ water. But be mindful when feeding your chickens garlic as it contains thiosulphate, which, when consumed too much, will destroy your chickens’ red blood cells.
In some cases, chickens that were overdosed with thiosulphate often ended with anemia and jaundice.
What are the Benefits of Garlic in Chickens?
- Anti-pathogens – Apart from its antibacterial properties, garlic also has other anti-pathogen properties that fight off different types of bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Pair this with garlic’s Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and antioxidants, and your chickens can attain their optimal health.
- Appetite Stimulator – When your chickens feel sick and lose their appetite, you can blend garlic into their food to help your chicken start eating again. Garlic is known to have the capabilities to stimulate appetite.
- Antiseptic – Garlic has been known to be a medicinal plant for centuries. If your chicken gets wounded from roaming around, you can apply crushed garlic to your chicken’s wound to stop the bleeding and help your chicken heal quickly.
- Boost immune system – Regardless of its pungent smell, garlic is known to be a nutrition-packed herb. This means that constant feeding your chicken with the garlic-induced meal or garlic-induced water will help them improve their overall health.
What You Need to Know Before Feeding Garlic to Chickens?
When you first introduce your chickens to garlic, you must do these things:
Crush the garlic
Before mixing the garlic into your chicken’s feed, make sure to crush it first. Otherwise, your chickens will get tired from pecking one whole clove of garlic.
Remember, our goal is to have our chicken eat the pungent garlic to get all the nutritional value possible.
It will always be best to crush the garlic first and blend it into their food. A clove of crushed garlic can also be digested easily, which means that your chickens can quickly get the vitamins and minerals.
Keep in mind that anything too much is harmful to your body. This applies to your chickens as well. Too much Garlic in their food can make them sick. So, when you feed your chickens, it should be 80-20 or 70-30. That is 70 to 80 percent feed and 20 to 30 percent garlic.
Do not give your chickens the whole clove of crushed Garlic.
What are the Ways to Feed Your Chickens?
There are three ways to feed your chickens, and it is not as complicated as you think.
The best way to feed your feathery friend with garlic is by mixing the herb with its food. When the garlic is blended with the chicken’s food, the chicken eats it and other components that make up the chicken’s immune system.
These components will then be broken down inside your chicken’s stomach. The garlic and other broken nutritional components bind together to form a new compound that your chickens can benefit from.
Your chickens need to be well-hydrated every day. When you prepare their water, mix 1 clove of raw crushed garlic with 1 liter of water. This will suffice the chickens’ need for vitamins and minerals and water.
Liquid intake is the fastest way to get those vitamins and minerals from the garlic. In just a couple of minutes, the garlic’s nutrients will start running to your chicken’s bloodstream.
Garlic oil supplement is one of the underrated supplements for your free-range chickens. Also, giving garlic oil to your chickens automatically helps them get rid of red mites, lice, and ticks. Their blood will no longer be appealing to these parasites.
You will get an instant dewormer, too. Garlic is known to have a component that can effectively deworm chickens. In addition to that, your feathery friend’s manure will not smell as bad as ammonia-induced chicken poop. The garlic and oil mixture can affect and lelevel of ammonia in your chicken’s manure.
Just a gentle reminder, though. Please do not feed your chickens Garlic more than twice a week as it can damage their liver.
In relation to the ways you should feed your chickens, here’s a video about the things that you shouldn’t and you should feed your chickens. Click the link below.
How to Make Garlic-Oil Paste?
Preparing the garlic-oil concoction is easy. See the ingredients below and the steps.
What you need:
|Minced garlic||3 cloves|
|Olive oil||⅓ cup|
|Scrap or Scratch feeds||½ cup|
- Mix the minced Garlic and olive oil in a glass container.
- Soak it under the sun for at least 4 hours.
- While you are preparing the Garlic and oil paste, mix the feed and scratch fee (e.g., crushed corn)
- Combine the feed mixture and garlic-oil mixture.
- Feed the mixture to your chickens.
Here’s another way to boost your chicken’s immune system using Garlic. Check the video below.
What to do if your chicken consumes too much Garlic?
If your chicken gets ill from consuming Garlic, you may want to call a veterinarian immediately. But in case that the veterinarians are not available, here’s the best way to save your chicken.
Most people who have been raising chickens use this most straightforward remedy to flush the toxins from their chicken’s body.
- Epsom salt flush
- Molasses flush
The two types of flush listed above serve as laxatives that will help your chicken flush out the toxins on their body without dehydrating them. However, if your chickens still cannot fully recover, it is better to bring your chicken to a veterinarian. Or better yet, have the veterinarian visit your chicken. Along with flushing the toxins in their body, the chickens need a good rest, too.
Here’s a video link that may help you with your poisoned or sick chickens.
After flushing the toxins, isolate the sick chicken. Like our immune system, the chicken’s immune system goes down when they are sick. This means that they can easily catch bacteria and viruses. Thus, it is advisable to keep them away from the flock until they get well.
Learn more about what to do when your chicken gets sick.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Garlic Safe for chicks?
Yes, Garlic provides the same benefits to chicks. You can start feeding them with a feed-garlic mixture to introduce them to the herb slowly. However, you must be mindful of the portion that you will be giving to your chicks. Too much Garlic is terrible for them.
- Are eggshells safe for chickens?
Yes, eggshells are entirely safe for chickens. They contain nutritional values and are rich in calcium and protein. Your chickens, especially those who are egg-laying, will surely benefit from the eggshells. Chickens need more calcium and proteins to help their eggs develop hard shells.
Garlic contains vitamins and minerals that boost your chicken’s immune system and fight off the common avian diseases and illnesses. It is best to incorporate Garlic into your chicken’s feed. However, it would help if you fed your chicken’s Garlic moderately. Otherwise, they will get sick.