Healthy Tortillas – Easy Homemade Bread

How to make healthy tortillas from scratch

Avoid a trip to the grocery store, I have you covered with this easy healthy tortillas recipe. This is a great recipe even for people who have never before baked any type of bread! Even better, you don’t need yeast for this recipe! Aside from being easy to make, these tortillas taste so much better than store bought tortillas and contain no questionable ingredients or preservatives.

Tortillas also freeze well so if you’re thinking you don’t need 16 tortillas (but trust me, you do!) you can freeze the leftovers and reheat them one at a time. We love these healthy tortillas for tacos with our homemade taco seasoning, fajitas, quesadillas, sandwich wraps, and they even have been enjoyed dipped in seasoned olive oil! So let’s get started…

making healthy tortillas

You will need the following:

Stand mixer with dough hook or a medium sized mixing bowl

Large cutting board or baking stone or parchment paper for
rolling out dough (optional, a clean counter works also, just sprinkle flour
directly on the countertop before placing the dough on it.)

Rolling pin (Don’t have a rolling pin? Try using a smooth glass
cup or even the heal of your hand could work in a pinch, you just have to get
the tortillas smooshed thin.)

 Cast iron skillet

Measuring cup and spoons

Kitchen equipment for making tortillas

Ingredients for Healthy Tortillas Recipe

3 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for rolling

¾  tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

healthy tortillas

1/3 cup Olive oil                                                                                                                

1 cup water (it’s best if the water is warm but it works
fine cold or room temperature also)

dough

Steps for Making Healthy Tortillas

  1. Dump all the ingredients into a stand mixer with a dough hook or medium sized mixing bowl. It’s really best to mix the dry ingredients together first and then add the wet, but I’ve done it both ways with no problems.
  2. Mix the dough with your stand mixer using the dough hook for approx. 4-5 minutes, until dough is well mixed. If it’s super sticky add more flour a little bit at a time (a small spoonful at a time until it is smooth and not sticking to your hands, you don’t want super dense dough). If you are kneading the dough by hand, knead it on a floured surface until it’s smooth and not sticky.
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Divide into 16 roughly equal portions. If you want large healthy tortillas then divide into fewer portions. These make 16 small healthy tortillas that are approx. 6 inches.
  4. Roll the dough pieces into a ball and then smoosh them down a little bit so you have 16 little flat saucers of dough on your floured work space.
  5. Cover the dough and let it rest for a few (anywhere from 5-30 minutes depending on your time restrictions/patience level).
  6. LIGHTLY coat a cast iron skillet with olive oil and heat on medium heat. Don’t overdo the oil here or you will end up with soggy oily tortillas.
  7. After the dough has rested, roll out the tortillas (they should be ¼ inch thick or maybe even a little thinner) and cook one at a time in the skillet flipping once the tortilla starts to bubble and golden spots appear on the bottom. (I roll one out and put it in the skillet to start cooking while I roll out the next one and usually have 2 skillets to cook in to make the process go faster.)
  8. Remove from skillet once the other side gets golden spots and repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  9. Once all the tortillas are done you are ready to enjoy! Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for a day or so. To freeze place parchment paper between tortillas to prevent sticking and place the stack in a freezer bag; these freeze really well!

Use Healthy Tortilla Recipe In Place of Sandwich Bread

Healthy Tortillas are a great substitute for sandwich bread. Roll up your favorite sandwich ingredients and enjoy. Enchiladas, tacos, taco salad, quesadillas, Tortillas can also be used to make small party sandwiches, pinwheel appetizers, and desserts.

A recipe for using tortillas that I am drooling over is this one for Chicken Tortilla bake. And with it being Easter week at the time of this writing, who wouldn’t like to try an Easter Brunch Bake as a make ahead idea for the buffet.

Kick up the Heat!

A little spice never hurt anyone right? Try this Chile Lime Chicken recipe. Oh my that looks so good! When it’s time to start up the grill try using your tortillas for Grilled Chicken Fajitas. I think you get my point about the versatile healthy tortilla.

healthy tortillas

Dessert Tortillas!

Brush the healthy tortilla with an egg wash, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and bake until crispy. Use the tortilla shell to make apple pies. Here’s an idea. Make smaller tortillas. Push the tortillas into each section of a cupcake pan. Fill with pie filling. Bake until crisp and the fruit filling is hot. Dig in!

Enjoy!




How to Build a Garden Box and What to Grow in it.

How to Build a Garden Box

Are you ready to build a garden box and add a new dimension to your food growing plan. Often, a raised garden bed is just what is needed to change your not so great garden harvest into a bountiful return.

Raised bed gardens are beneficial on many levels. Not only are they compact and convenient, they look nice too. It’s easier on your back since you don’t have to bend over as far. You can even build a garden box up higher to accommodate any physical requirements you may have. Keep in mind that the higher you raise the garden, the more lumber you will need. Some folks build a garden bed at table height on sturdy legs. The bed is a deep tray filled with soil for the plants. Or, you can build a simple 12 inch deep box like we did.

Why Build a Garden Box?

  • You can build a garden box that fits your needs and size requirement.
  • Garden boxes have less problems with weeds.
  • Slugs and grub damage is less in a raised garden bed.
  • If you build a garden box, the drainage will be better than an in ground garden.
  • Nutrients don’t wash away as readily when you build a garden box.
  • The warmer soil in a raised garden means you can plant earlier.
  • Raised gardens are easier to physically manage as you age or develop any special physical requirements.
  • Depending on height, a raised garden bed might offer the plants some protection from dogs.
  • A raised garden bed can be an aesthetically beautiful part of your landscape.

Before You Build a Garden Box

Our plan is simple. We constructed four boxes that were 12 inches deep. Two were 8 foot long by 4 foot wide. The smaller boxes were 4 foot long by 2 foot wide. I will get to the specific instructions in just a bit. First, I want to tell you that our raised bed gardens gave us the best harvest that we have had in years. This point alone leads me to recommend that you build a garden box this year.

We started with clearing the area of sticks and debris. Leaves were left as additional organic matter. After the boxes were put in place we added new dirt. Our original garden dirt was not very rich. To increase the possibility of success, I decided to go with all new growing soil.

Watch the Video

Video in collaboration with Homesteaders of America “Grow Your Own Food” Series.

The Soil for the Raised Bed Garden

The recommendation I went with was 60 % topsoil, 30 % organic matter/compost and 10 % peat moss. We did use our own compost from the farm along with a purchased leaf compost.

Soil in a garden box won’t compact as much as the in ground garden so you will need to tamp it down a little bit and add more until the level is at least 10 inches of dirt. You do want the soil to be loosely compacted for optimal drainage.

Should You Add Rocks or Garden Fabric Before the Dirt?

I have seen the suggestion to line the box with garden fabric to prevent weeds. I did not do this because one of the great reasons for using a raised bed garden is that it reduces the weeds in your garden. The rocks in the bottom of the box are suggested for drainage but again, our soil mixture was loose and well draining. These are good trouble shooting suggestions should you have problems with weeds or drainage when you build a garden box.

Sheets of cardboard placed in the bottom of the box can help slow weeds from entering your raised bed, too.

How to Build a Garden Box for Your Yard

Large Garden Box

  • 6 boards 2″ x 6″ – 8′ (cut 2 boards in half for the 4 end pieces.)
  • 4 scraps of 2 x 4 x 12″ lumber for the corner braces.
  • 2 scraps of 2 x 4 18″ lumber or the side braces outside the frame.
  • 3″ wood screws and drill driver.

Small Garden Box

  • 6 boards 2″x 6″ – 4 ft (cut two of the boards in half for the end pieces)
  • 4 scraps for corner braces as described above.
  • 2 scraps for outside braces as described above.

*Note- our lumber is rough cut size. It may appear different than a 2×6 that you purchase from a home improvement store.

Build a garden box
These are two of the small size garden boxes.

Assemble the Garden Box.

For the first layer, stand one 8 ft board on edge. Stand one of the 4 ft boards perpendicular and place a corner brace piece in the corner. Screw the boards into the corner brace. Repeat for the other three corners.

Repeat the above for the second layer, making the box 12 inches deep.

Place the garden box on the selected spot. Before adding the soil, insert the two outside braces into the ground on the long sides. This will help the long sides from bowing out from the pressure of the soil.

raised bed garden

Factors To Consider When Using a Raised Bed Garden

  • Look at the shade cover from trees. Most vegetables need full to part sun.
  • Be careful not to overcrowd the plants. Leave plenty of room for growth. Use a garden rotation instead of overcrowding the garden.
  • Raised garden beds work well with vertical gardening systems and trellises.
  • Raised garden beds often have a higher soil temperature.

What to Consider When You Build a Garden Box

When you build a garden box for your vegetable growing, remember that the higher soil temperature means that your garden may need more water. Although weeds will appear at a lower rate, they will still find their way. Keep on top of the weed removal so the soil nutrients are available for your plants.

raised bed garden

What Can You Plant in a Raised Garden Bed?

After you build a garden box, the fun begins. Choosing seeds and garden starts to plant takes some planning. The first topic to consider is what does your family like to eat. There is no point in taking up valuable garden space with food you won’t enjoy.

Carrots, radishes, lettuce and other greens, herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers are the first choices for me and my garden boxes. We also love squash and watermelon but they require a large space or you can train them to trail outside of the garden box. A trellis, arch or other vertical aid can help you grow more veggies in a limited space. Green beans are easy to grow up a garden trellis.

Tomatoes growing in a garden box

Grow in the off Season when You Build a Garden Box

When we really started to garden exclusively in raised garden beds, we were able to extend our growing season. After the heat of the summer, our beds are turned over to growing garlic, greens and radishes for the fall and winter. A simple row cover or cold frame can be added to your box when the winter weather gets too cold.

Build a raised bed garden

Enjoy your raised gardens. I hope you have as much fun and success with them as I have experienced.




Foot Injuries in Chickens -Methods That Help Heal

foot injuries in chickens

Properly treating foot injuries in chickens is very important. Cleaning wounds and a bumble foot treatment plan should be started promptly. The chicken may not eat or drink enough if it has a foot injury. This will weaken the bird and could lead to infection and death

A good habit to get into is looking at each one of your animals every day. Learning on the homestead never stops. Every day there is a new issue to resolve or roadblock to scale. Knowing all of your animals, and what is normal behavior for each one, is important and can make a difference in their health or even survival. Keeping a good first aid kit helps you start a bumble foot treatment or clean an injury promptly.

foot injuries in chickens
Chickens are always on the move and need healthy, pain free feet to take them places.

Weird things can happen on a farm, especially when you throw animals into the mix. You may think your fences are pig tight, horse high, and bull strong, you may think that you have built the most secure pen or made the enclosed area extremely safe, but there is always that animal who manages to thwart your best efforts at keeping them safe and secure.

foot injuries in chickens

Most of the animal keepers I know just seem to have a sense of when things just aren’t right. For me, without even consciously thinking about it, I take a head count so to speak. I know my animals habits, behaviors, who hangs out with who, that sort of thing. And here is another example of why this is an important habit to get into.

Finding Foot Injuries in Chickens 

foot injuries in chickens

One evening, I noticed that Mr.Tweet was not walking normally. I went to pick him up and instead of trying to run away he just waited for me to lift him up. Animals know when they need help. This is what I found.

foot injuries in chickens

At first glance I was not sure if it was a wire or thread, but it turned out to be a long shredded piece of plastic from one of the shade covers over the run. It had probably only been on Mr.Tweet’s feet for that day. He had been acting normally the night before and had no signs of being picked on by the flock. But, in that short time, he had managed to wrap the thread of plastic very tightly around his feet and individual toes. This was going to take a few minutes to untangle.

Mr. Tweet and I left the coop area to get some help and to find some scissors.

Not As Bad As Expected

We soon had Mr. Tweet’s feet free from the tangled mess. The plastic had tightened so much in some areas that it was hard to get the scissors in to make a cut.

There was some mild swelling on some parts of his feet but nothing serious. I sprayed his feet with Vetrycin Wound Spray just to be safe. Having a good general purpose antiseptic spray on hand is the first step in treating foot injuries in chickens, or any wound for that matter. I am keeping a closer eye on his feet for now to make sure an abscess is not forming from the tight bands of plastic. I had a feeling he was a little hungry and thirsty since he was not able to run around freely as usual. So I gave him some time with just a few of the hens and some fresh food and water to enjoy without any of the alpha personalities being present.

Soon, he was enjoying the freedom of movement and was acting normally. He seemed ready to head in for the night so we put everyone to bed. In the morning, there were no further issues from the foot entanglement. We are keeping a close eye on his feet to make sure any small cut we may have missed, does not become infected.

DSC_0019

Other Foot Injuries in Chickens 

Bumble foot

Bumble foot is a staph infection of the foot. One of the first signs of this will be the chicken not willing to put it’s foot down or put pressure on the foot while walking. It may walk around a lot less or be hopping around on one leg. Mine often become depressed and just sit in one spot, in the cases I have had to treat. Bumble foot treatment is a specialized treatment plan and requires a good antiseptic wash, and antibiotic cream and lots of gauze and vet wrap to keep it clean.

Educate First

I suggest you find a few videos or articles on Bumble foot treatment before starting treatment. I have described our treatment plan in this article. Everyone has a slightly different method of removing the infection. The end result should be a removal of the abscess causing the pain, and a well healed chicken foot.

bumble foot treatment
a picture of a bumble foot abscess that is doing well healing.

(it’s hard to get a good picture of a bumble foot treatment when you are also holding the chicken!)

Splay Leg in Chicks

Splay leg or spraddle leg in chicks can often be repaired. There are a lot of videos on the internet with directions to make splints, and bandages to secure the legs while the hip joints grow. I liked this out of the box idea from The 104 Homestead using a drinking glass.

Another hatching issue causing foot injuries in chickens is crooked or bent toes at hatching. Forming a small support from a pipe cleaner and securing it to the chick’s foot is often suggested. Both Splay Leg and crooked toes can often be fixed and the chick will grow normally.

Scaly Leg Mites

The tiny mite, Cnemidocoptes Mutans, is the cause behind scaly leg mite. You will first notice that the scales on your birds feet look raised. This escalates until the foot and leg are covered in raised scales and white dusty patches. The mite harbors in the damp chicken litter or bedding and burrows into the wood of the roost bars, waiting for a nice soft chicken foot to happen by.

scaly leg mite

Treatment involves soaking the feet and legs, loosening the scales with a soft brush, and coating the legs and feet in coconut oil or olive oil a few times a week for four weeks. Dust bathes with added wood ash help eliminate scaley leg mites too. You can read more about treating scaly leg mites in this post.

Broken Toes and Toenail Injuries

Broken toes may need to be splinted. A pipe cleaner, vet wrap and electric tape may be all you need in this case. Watch for pieces of exposed chicken wire where your chicken may get it’s toe trapped and need to struggle to be free. Also, if your chickens are very friendly and used to being underfoot while you feed and clean, you could accidentally step on a foot and break a bone.

healthy chicken foot and leg
healthy chicken foot and leg

Cuts and other open wounds can potentially lead to serious infections. Clean the wound with sterile saline, apply a wound dressing and antibiotic ointment. Keep a close eye on it. If it is getting worse instead of better, then a Veterinarian may need to be called for a stronger antibiotic. Keeping the wound clean and dry will go a long way towards not having to call the vet.

Broken toenails and spurs also can lead to limping and further infection. And bleeding can invite pecking at the wound from the flock, since chickens are attracted to the red blood. We use cornstarch to stop bleeding but there are commercial products such as Wonderdust available also. Once the bleeding has stopped, treat the wound as mentioned above. You may need to isolate the injured bird if the injury is more severe and the bleeding recurs.

foot injuries in chickens

Steps You Can Take When Discovering Foot Injuries in Chickens

  • Prepare the materials and first aid products before you catch the chicken. Removing the chicken from the flock causes stress. Reduce the amount of time you will be working on the bird by being prepared.
  • Have a first aid kit ready!
  • Know your individual flock members. You don’t have to pick up each chicken every day to observe for odd behavior that may be the result of a foot injuries in chickens scenario.
  • Stay calm. Your stress and panic will transfer to your chicken. If others around you are not able to stay calm and quiet, move to a more secluded location.
  • Isolate any cases of foot injuries in chickens if the bird is being bullied, picked on or not able to get to food and water.
  • Clean dressings and wounds daily. Wear disposable gloves to protect yourself as some infections are transmissible to humans.
  • Keep products on hand that help with your bumble foot treatment plan

For more information on preparing a first aid kit for your farm check out this post.




Use Chick Starter Feed for Growing Healthy Chicks

chick starter feed

The top concern for new chick owners is choosing a chick starter feed. With so many choices on the market now, there is a lot of information regarding feeding chicks.

It’s natural to want to feed the very best choice for your fluffy newcomers. Every backyard chicken keeper searches for the healthiest chick food available. Many of us also want to feed an organic, whole grain, non-gmo feed, but wonder if it’s available locally and is it necessary?

Chick Starter Feeds are Not Created Equally

In addition to seeking a healthy choice in chick starter feed, you don’t want to waste feed or money. Take a look at the difference between a national brand chick starter feed and a premium feed like Scratch and Peck feed.

The first thing you will notice when comparing the two types of feed is the appearance. Scratch and Peck, whole grain, organic, non-gmo starter feed looks delicious! The whole crushed grains are obvious, the ration is clean, and it smells fresh. Stand back because your flock will notice this too. Chicks and chickens will rush to the feeder when you feed a whole grain, raw, unprocessed diet. They know what good is!

The Widely Available Option

In comparison, large brand name chick starter crumbles are tan, like the color of sand. A lot of research and development goes into the making of these recognizable brand name feeds. They are designed to deliver the basic nutrients to your flock. Oftentimes though, a quick comparison of where the nutrients come from will speak volumes. By products? What are those? Is corn the first product listed? Corn is a good nutrient for chickens but is it the best? Often more digestible protein can be found in a mixture of lentils and whole grains, such as oats and barley.

Think of it this way. Kids cereal is fortified with vitamins, has many of the daily nutrient requirements for children, and tastes great due to sugar being one of the top ingredients. Compare that to a homemade breakfast of whole grain, pancakes and fresh eggs. Which would you rather feed your family every day? It’s best to feed your chicks a nutritionally superior chick starter feed, too.

chick starter feed

While we might not want to put the same thought into feeding chicks and chickens, remember this. We are what our animals eat.

What Does a Premium Chick Food Offer?

Whole grain organic chicken food brands consist of balanced mixtures of whole grains or slightly cracked grains. The feed offers the protein, carbohydrates and fats along with balanced vitamins and minerals. A high quality food allows the bird to eat all the nutrition they need without wasted by products they don’t.

Eating food closer to it’s natural state provides nutrition that is easier for bodies to digest. Nutrients are lost during processing and have to be replaced with supplements or synthetic forms of vitamins.

chick starter feed

Long Term Benefits From a Premium Feed

Chicks that are fed the best nutrition from day one are going to be healthier and more resilient as they mature.

Here are some other factors that will help you grow healthy chicks from the very start.

  • Provide consistent, age appropriate warmth in the brooder. Have the brooder ready before bringing the chicks home.
  • Don’t over crowd the brooder. Make sure there is plenty of space for the chicks to move around and also stay under the heat source.
  • Provide clean water and chick starter feed 24/7
  • Keep the brooder clean and dry. Clean up any spills quickly to avoid chicks getting damp and chilled.

Nutritional Requirements for Chick Starter Feed

It’s important to feed a starter feed to your chicks because their nutrient requirements are different than grown chickens. First, a protein percentage 18% or higher is necessary growth. Also, look at the ingredients that are listed first. In a whole grain, organic ration the first ingredients are often wheat, peas, barley and flaxseed meal. Less expensive rations are often highly concentrated on corn.

feeding chicks

A higher calcium percentage is not necessary for growing chicks and can be hazardous to their health. No only will too much calcium put a strain on the kidneys, it can also cause accelerated bone growth leading to weaker bones. Calcium should be offered to the flock, free choice, and to chicks after 18 weeks of age.

What about Coccidiostats or Medicated Chick Feed

Medicated chick feed is often used when feeding chicks to prevent illness from coccidia. The medication is a coccidiostat that prevents coccidia from increasing to level that causes illness. Healthy chicks will develop an immunity to coccidiosis if they are not stressed, fed a good diet. A healthy whole grain diet supports a strong immune system and the birds will overcome challenges to their immune systems.

Occasionally, weather conditions will cause the environment to become a perfect breeding ground for cocci. Supporting your flock’s immune system with a good diet and supplements of herbs, apple cider vinegar(a natural probiotic) and garlic (a natural herb with antibiotic properties) can help them fight off the coccidia in the environment.

Calcium and Grit

Both Calcium and grit should be offered free choice. I do not mix it into our feed because not all chickens require the same amount of these two supplements. Roosters do not need any added calcium and non-laying hens don’t either.

The Cost of Feeding Chicks a Premium Food

Yes you will spend more, pound for pound, feeding an organic chicken feed or chick starter feed. The benefit will be in the better health you will see in your flock. Three years ago, we switched our flock from a large national brand of regular layer feed to an organic, whole grain food. Here are my observations after three years.

  • We can feed less feed because the chickens are getting their nutritional needs met on less feed.
  • less waste in the bowls at the end of the day
  • My flock is hardier and healthier, even my older laying hens look robust and are producing.
  • less digestive tract issues such as vent gleet, sour crop, and messy poop butts.
  • Less loss of life due to failure to thrive.

feeding chicks

Fermenting a whole grain feed is easy and a great way to further increase the availability of nutrients and save money. Poultry fed fermented feed will often eat less than when fed non-fermented feed. They fill up faster and receive even more of the nutrients from the grains.

Support the Fast Growth with the Best Nutrition

As chicks grow from hatchling to hen, their bird bodies travel a road of quick transitions. When feeding chicks the best chick starter feed, you are providing the nutrition they need to grow strong and healthy. Join the program A Flock’s Journey for support and information as you wind through the journey of raising chickens.

Healthy chicks fed premium, high quality chick feed from day one will have the best nutrition provided to grow through all the phases of development until switched to Scratch and Peck whole grain layer feed at 18 to 20 weeks of age.




What Herbs Keep Chickens Healthy?

what herbs keep chickens healthy

Can herbs keep chickens healthy? Does herb use increase the immune response in the flock? The answer to both questions appears to be, yes! Chickens love herbs, so dosing them with these natural compounds is an easy task. 

My Top Herb Choices For Chicken Care

If I could only grow a few herbs I would choose Mint, Oregano, Basil, Thyme, Lavender and Sage. As far as chicken keeping and animal care needs, Sage and Oregano are great for intestinal health and to ward off infections from Salmonella and Coccidiosis (cocci). Lavender is an all around great herb for infections, relaxation, odor control, and repels pests. Mint  repels insects and rodents, is a stimulant for egg laying, and the chickens love it. Thyme and Basil are aromatic herbs so they also repel pests.

Thyme and Basil are good for mucus membranes and Thyme is great for keeping the respiratory tract healthy or aid in recovery from a respiratory illness. Knowing that herbs keep chickens healthy is empowering. When I notice a potential health problem, I can immediately start supportive treatment by visiting my herb garden. All in all, most herbs are beneficial and growing them to add to the nest boxes or daily feed is a great idea. Of course humans benefit greatly from herbs too.

 I recommend the top six I mentioned because they are great culinary herbs, in addition to being good for your health. Chickens love to eat herbs but we can still use them in our cooking and health care. In the event of illness, making a tea and adding dried thyme to it, can help loosen a cough and make breathing easier. Thyme is great for respiratory health. I grow quite an assortment of all herbs and dry them in the dehydrator. If I am going to make a lotion or salve, I make an herbal infusion in olive oil. Continue reading to find out how to make an easy herbal oil infusion.

Herbs keep chickens healthy

Adding Herbal Care Into Everyday Life  

Most of the ways I use herbs takes only a few minutes a day. Snipping an assortment of herbs from the kitchen garden, and putting them in a basket to take to the coop is an easy task. I can even perform this job with a coffee cup in one hand! Years ago, I was only growing mint and basil. I had little idea of all the creative and healthy ways to use herbs. Cooking and baking our food with fresh herbs is one reward from growing herb gardens. The other rewards are seeing how healthy and strong my flock of chickens is, since I began incorporating herbs in their regular treats and diet. I have no trouble stating that herbs keep chickens healthy.

herbs keep chickens healthy
Save this pin image for later!

Simple Herbal Oil Infusions

 When I need an infusion of one or more of the herbs, I start gathering the herbs by snipping some each day. It’s better to use the herbs dried so you don’t add excess water to the oil infusion. It won’t take long to dry out a cup of herbs on a drying rack or pop them on the dehydrator tray. 

Using the charts below, you can customize mixtures of herbal infusions for specific issues. Or simply make a fresh herb blend of some of the herbs and add to the coop or feed pan. If you use a chicken feeder, I would suggest adding the herbs to your hens diet separately. Pieces of herbs left behind in the feeder can get soggy and even mold. Be sure to clean up any fresh herbs that are not eaten by the flock.

Drying herbs from your garden is the best way to have a ready selection for winter herbal flock care. Herbs dry easily in a well ventilated area. Electric dehydrators speed up the process and allow you to keep a constant supply of dried herbs for nest boxes, infusions, salve making and cooking.

Simple Wound Salve for Chickens

What you will need:

  1. 2 glass jar – quart size recommended but pint can work too.
  2. quarter cup of each of – Oregano and dried dried plantain leaves, and a quarter cup of one of the following dried floral herbs-choose from calendula  petals, Nasturtium, chamomile, wild violet,or dandelion petals  
  3. olive oil, sweet almond oil or grapeseed oil
  4. mesh strainer
  5. 1/2 ounce beeswax
  6. 1/2 ounce coconut oil
  7. tea tree essential oil
  8. vitamin e oil

Prepare the infusion 

Add the dried herbs to the jar. (always use dried herbs and botanicals when making an infusion)

Pour the oil over the herbs to cover. The quick method for creating an infusion is to set the jar into a pan with a few inches of water in the pan. Bring the water to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and let the jar with the herbs and oil sit in the warm water for a couple hours. A crockpot set on low can also be used to warm the water and infuse the jar of herbs and oil.

Strain the oil, using the fine mesh strainer. Add a coffee filter or piece of cheese cloth if you feel it is needed. Save the herbs! you can feed these to the flock as a treat. Extra oil not needed for the salve recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for future use. Label the jar.

Healing salve pictured on the right. The left container is a drawing salve using charcoal and infused oil

Making the Healing Salve

Using a double boiler method described above, melt the beeswax and coconut oil together in a glass jar. Add four ounces of infused oil. 

When the oils and beeswax are completely melted together, add 15 drops of tea tree oil. Add 3 drops of liquid vitamin E or contents of one vitamin E capsule. Vitamin E acts as a preservative.

Have your salve containers ready. Use clean jelly jars, small tins, or other handy containers with lids. Remove the jar from the warm water bath. Quickly pour the mixture into the containers. The salve hardens quickly. 

Use this salve for cuts, scrapes, pecking wounds, bites, and other open wounds. Store in a cool location as the salve will melt if left in the car or in sunlight. 

Always consult a veterinarian if the wound is not improving, worsening, infected and not responding to your treatment. 

Herbal Tip:

Comfrey is an easy to grow herb that can aid soft tissue healing. For sprains, broken bones, and tendon damage, a compress of comfrey salve can be made using the same method. Apply using a compress to the injured area.

Knowing What Herbs Keep Chickens Healthy is Simple 

Learning how herbs keep chickens healthy is pretty simple. Knowing what type of problems cause chicken illness helps you remedy the situation. For example, if you know that weak egg shells can be a result of calcium deficiency or a reproductive tract issue, seeing that Marjoram, Parsley, Mint and Dandelions are high in the properties that improve reproductive health helps you know which herbs to use. Of course, make sure to only use wild plants and beneficial weeds from areas that have not been treated with herbicides or weed killers. Here’s a chart that lists common chicken ailments or problems and the herbs that may help.

Herbs keep chickens healthy

Herbs Keep Chickens Healthy Print out Information 

The four page graphic PDF is my way of organizing  the herbal information. You are invited to print out the PDF, for your own personal use.

To download and begin referring to How to Keep Chickens Healthy , 

herbs keep chickens healthy

Click here.>>>>>  to download a printable copy of this series of Herbal Info for Chickens

For more Do it Yourself Healing Remedies for Chickens, check out my book, 50 Do it Yourself Projects for Keeping Chickens (skyhorse publishing 2018) available through Amazon and local book sellers

Looking for a reputable source for organic herbs for your flock? Scratch and Peck Feeds carries many supplements for your flock in addition to healthy whole grain layer feed. You will smell the freshness the minute you open the bag!

While you’re there, sign up for the Flock’s Journey program.

FLOCK MEMBERS ENJOY…

  • Giveaways and Contests
  • Discounts on Scratch and Peck Feeds Products
  • Engagement Through THE FLOCK Facebook Group
  • Invites to Local Retailer and Scratch and Peck Feeds Events
  • Inspiration for Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens 
  • A Passionate Community of Cluckin’ Good Peeps

herbs keep chickens healthy

The Herbal Starter Kit by the Herbal Academy