Man has been seasoning food with spices since the dawn of time. But spices offer a host of health advantages to both people and animals in addition to upping the flavor factor in food.
So why not spice up the food you give your chickens?
The use of spices with chickens has not been the subject of much research, like many other aspects of natural chicken husbandry.
However, common sense dictates that including a variety of herbs or spices with health benefits in your chickens' diet would only result in healthier chickens.
The spice known as clove (Syzygium aromaticum) has a powerful aroma and is said to be used for therapeutic and healing purposes for thousands of years. But clove is a very potent spice and can be abrasive when consumed whole. The usage of clove as a spice is so widespread, from German to Vietnamese, to the traditional stuffing for roasting whole hams or in spice mixtures for meat rubs. Therefore, it is not surprising that it occurs frequently in the typical household.
Cloves are safe for chickens to eat and provide several advantages that your flock will appreciate. Here are a few advantages clove can provide for your backyard chickens.
Can Chickens Eat Cloves?
Yes, chickens can eat cloves. Although a whole clove is difficult for a human to chew, chickens can easily digest this spice because their digestive systems are accustomed to food with a texture comparable to that of seeds and grains. The intense flavors that a clove releases when we humans bite into it can be extremely overpowering to our taste senses. Chickens can eat chili peppers because they detect spices differently than humans do.
Therefore, clove is healthy for chickens to consume because it is easily digestive and free of poisons or dangerous substances. Additionally, this potent spice contains a ton of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities, making it healthy for your chickens to consume. It's entirely fine if your chickens eat table scraps containing clove. To give your next fruit and vegetable mix a little extra nutrition, you can even add a few cloves.
Health Benefits Of Cloves To Chickens
Natural Source Of Antioxidants
Cloves come in two different levels of antioxidant content: whole and ground. You can simply boost your chickens' immunity, reduce inflammation, and improve their general well-being by adding clove to their diets.
To add cloves to their chickens' daily diet, some backyard farmers grind them into a powder and place a small amount in the water feeders.
Improve The Growth Of Healthy Bacteria In The Gut
Numerous research has been conducted on the benefits clove can have on hens. According to one of these studies, including cloves in poultry diets for at least six months can support the growth of good intestinal flora.
Similar to humans, the microbiome, or collection of intestinal microorganisms, has a significant impact on health. It is believed that if you maintain a healthy microbiome, your entire body will do the same.
Spice Up your Chicken Feed for Better Flock Health
The following are a few spices you should use when raising chickens.
Black pepper contains plenty of vitamins and nutrients, unlike popular belief. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties that aid in removing toxins from the body. Additionally, it aids in the absorption of nutrients from other foods consumed.
Other qualities include promoting the health of the respiratory system and reducing coughing. Because they are prone to respiratory problems, hens can greatly benefit from a small amount of black pepper.
Old-timers claim that adding cayenne pepper to your chickens' feed during the winter will assist to warm them up and increase egg production.
In addition to adding flavor to baked products and hot porridge, cinnamon possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant characteristics that may help prevent neurological illnesses.
Because cinnamon includes a substance that thins the blood, it also benefits the circulatory system, which enhances blood flow to the feet, combs, and wattles, hence reducing the risk of frostbite.
Additionally, cinnamon is frequently used to treat infections, the common cold, coughing, and nasal congestion. The fact that chickens' respiratory systems are so intricate and they are prone to respiratory problems, makes cinnamon a very helpful addition to their diet.
A nutritional powerhouse, garlic is. It strengthens the immune system, improves respiratory health, and may also ward off parasites like ticks, mites, and lice. In flocks that are routinely fed garlic, garlic acts as a natural dewormer and helps to mask the stench of chicken feces.
By floating whole garlic cloves in your waterer, providing freshly crushed cloves as a free-choice option, or including 2% of garlic powder into the feed, you may introduce garlic to your chickens' diet.
Early on, small chicks should be given free-choice access to crushed fresh garlic to help them acquire a taste for it.
Research on ginger as a dietary supplement for laying hens is also available.
It has been found that adding dried ginger to layer feed at a ratio of.1% (1 gram per kilogram of feed) leads to improved layer performance, bigger eggs, and higher antioxidant levels in the eggs.
At least one commercial poultry farm uses oregano oil as a natural antibiotic.
One of the most potent herbal antibiotics ever researched is oregano, whether it is used fresh, dried, or as an essential oil. It is believed to protect against infectious bronchitis, coccidiosis, avian flu, blackheads, and E.coli.
When you give your baby chicks dried oregano in their food or let them eat fresh, chopped leaves at will, you can help them avoid numerous diseases and give them a healthy start in life. You can also provide oregano to your laying hens to help maintain their robust immune systems.
So, are cloves edible to chickens? Yes! They are safe to eat and aren't put off by the strong flavor. Additionally, they offer a wide range of advantages, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities.
Additionally, clove works well as a repellent since snakes, mites, and even some rodents avoid its scent. Although they won't frequently eat whole cloves, chickens will cheerfully eat them accidentally or when they are crushed or minced.