Caboose made it through the night. Yes, I was concerned that I had over-stressed her and would find her lifeless body this morning. I’m glad that wasn’t the case.

Her comb is still limp but her feathers and clean and fluffy. She came right up to me, so I’ll take that to mean she isn’t holding a grudge. However, when I let the chickens out to free-range tonight, instead of going back to the coop at bedtime with the rest of the flock, I found her standing in the middle of the front yard. If it had been any darker outside, I wouldn’t have seen her. Poor dear. I will continue to keep an eye on her and certainly hope she pulls out of whatever is ailing her.

Caboose was part of the original batch of chickens that we incubated eggs in 2020 (click the link to read how she got her name).

As measure to support every chicken’s health, I put a layer of fresh bedding in the coop. I trimmed my citronella, mint, rosemary, oregano, and sage plants and put those in the coop also. They are all chicken-safe herbs that provide benefits to their health and well-being.

Citronella is good for keeping flies, gnats, and mosquitos away. That’s not just me reading from a book. I experienced it when I put a pot of Citronella on my front porch several weeks ago. It magically cleared the area of flying insects, and I can stand on my porch without having to swat hordes of bugs away from my face and body. I need to grow some out next to the coop too, or even better I can get a hanging basket of it and hang it in the run. Unfortunately, there was no more Citronella available at several nurseries I checked so that will have to be something I do next year. Apparently, you can put it in their nesting boxes to help with heat stress. Since the silly chickens aren’t using the nest boxes ….

Mint is a nutrient-rich herb that offers lots of health benefits to both humans and for chickens. Just like with us, it helps chickens digest their food more effectively. Menthol, one of the active ingredients in mint, helps prevent and treat respiratory conditions something to which chickens are very susceptible. Placing mint in the coop helps repel bugs and mice.

Rosemary is commonly used to help chickens with pain relief, healing wounds, and promoting respiratory health. It is a great-immune-boosting food for them. Additionally, while we like the aroma of rosemary, it is an unpleasant one to pests, bugs, and parasites.

Oregano is used to strengthen the immune system and is thought to help guard against common poultry illnesses such as salmonella, infectious bronchitis, avian flu and e-coli. I have previously used oregano oil in their water as immune support throughout the winter but stopped when my bottle ran out. It’ll be a real treat for them to eat it fresh.

Sage is known to be anti-parasitic and to promote egg-laying and is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. It’s also used to reduce the chances of salmonella, and other common chicken diseases.

There are many more herbs that are useful for chicken health. These are just the ones I used today.

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