Green Tea for Chickens
Learn how to use green tea to help treat your chickens from several different diseases from Valerie Boese.
Chicken keeping has become a widespread trend, rather you own chickens for a hobby, raise them for meat and eggs, or as a business for profit. Whatever the reason, every chicken owner strives to keep their flock healthy and productive. Normally chickens are relatively resilient to sickness, you can’t prevent illness 100% of the time, but you can minimize it. Consider preventative approaches that will build stronger disease-resistant immune systems. There are currently a multitude of novel methods under examination, one that is drawing a lot of attention, is green tea. Yep, that healthy antioxidant beverage that is good for people, turns out to be good for chickens too. This fabulous brew, is showing promising results in the treatment of coccidiosis, protection against avian influenza, and improving overall health
A major challenge for poultry owners is a condition known as coccidiosis, a parasitic disease that typically strikes young chicks. As the chick matures, he builds immunity, and by the time the bird is a year old, he usually can ward it off. The disease can transpire without warning, it starts with the parasites exponentially multiplying in the intestine causing weight loss, lethargy, and often times death. Anticoccidial drugs are administered for treatment and even with treatment chicks can die. The challenge with drug treatments is multiple strains of drug-resistance cocci keep emerging, and the disease cannot be eradicated, since most chicks are hatched with strains of it in their intestines, just waiting to spread within that chick and to be expelled in the form of oocysts, that will be ingested by other chicks, manifesting itself in them.
Green Tea & Coccidiosis
There have been multiple studies conducted using green tea for the treatment and prevention of avian diseases. In a study done in Korea where green tea was added to poultry feed, there was a 50% reduction in oocyst output, while maintaining weight. Another study done in Pakistan confirmed green tea contributed to exceptional anticoccidial response in broiler chicks, confirming its potential for use as an anticoccidial drug, with no residual effects.
In addition, a study transpired in 2007 where green tea successfully used to enhanced immune response against coccidiosis and it improved antibody support against New Castle Disease virus vaccines, concluding that the brew has the potential to boost vaccination effectiveness and immune response against coccidiosis.
Green Tea and Avian Influenza
In another study, results demonstrated the prospect of green tea usage to avert autoimmune diseases. In this study conducted in 2012 by Lee Hj et al, he established that consumption of green tea provided antiviral and improved immune response protection, against avian influenza. Plus, more positive results were established in a 2019 analysis, “Potential Impacts of Dietary inclusion of Green Tea” noted birds given green tea enhanced their food intake, body weight, and nutrient absorption, demonstrating the potential of using green tea in place of antibiotic treatments, that are normally used to promote development in baby chicks. Other indications demonstrated a reduction in abdominal fat, healthier meat quality, lower cholesterol in egg yolks with better yolk color.
Future Potential of Green Tea
Green tea is well known as an excellent source of antioxidants and flavonoids that are beneficial to human health and it appears the very same green tea attributes are advantageous for chickens too. With drug-resistant strains of coccidiosis evolving, there is an urgency for better ways to treat this parasitic condition and avian diseases without the use of drugs. Numerous studies conducted with flocks and green tea consumption show promising results in treating coccidiosis, aversion of autoimmune diseases, and improving overall poultry health. The key benefits of green tea consumption are strengthening the immune system without drugs and diseases like coccidiosis cannot develop immunity, unlike anticoccidial drugs. So, the next time you brew up some green tea, consider brewing extra for your flock, it may just make that bit of difference, in keeping them healthier.
Valerie Boese lives with her family in Northeast NE in a little-known area called Tar Box Hollow. They are very fortunate to live on a small acreage where they can live out their dreams and passions. Valerie is a firm believer of sustainability, growing fruits, and vegetables. She has a garden, small vineyard, orchard, and a variety of small berry patches scattered throughout our acreage. The garden keeps her busy, and it seems like there is always something to dry, can or freeze. Valerie has always been in awe of the mere fact that you can take little seeds put them in the dirt, and somewhere along the way, there is a transformation of something wonderful to eat.