Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chicken Carrot Tonic

In the past few weeks, the heat (100 degree F temps every day) and humidity and long summer days and the roosters all have all been taking a toll on our poor hens.

Two hens are broody - Charlotte and Betty. There are usually 2 broody girls, it seems. Why is that that some chickens never get broody, others can't not be broody?

Two are not laying after recently raising babies - Bella and Zoner. Zoner is still in the process of raising her chicks.

That leaves 8 good laying pullets and 1 older hen (Freckles) who lays sporadically.  But we started to only get 3 or 4 eggs a day, when we used to get 8 eggs a day from our ladies.

Then one hen came up lame in one foot - Singer. We have no idea what happened and couldn't find any injury to her leg or foot. She just started limping very badly.  Here's a video of Singer. Brownie the rooster is doing a dance for her. He thinks he's sexy. Singer doesn't think he's sexy. Poor lame girl.

 Then Raspberry started getting bumblefoot. (We ended up treating her foot, and more will be posted in the future about Raspberry and her bumblefoot issues.)

So we decided it's time for the carrot tonic to give our chickens a much needed boost.
Danni at Critter Farm originally told me about carrot tonic:


6 carrots (leave the peel on)
1 clove garlic
Adult dose of Vitamin C
Adult dose of Echinacea
2 cups water
Blend this together with a couple cups of water, add to a gallon waterer and add enough water to fill the waterer. It boosts the immune system, helping them, in a natural way, over what ails them.

My modifications are:
used 3 cloves of garlic
used 3 tablets of Vitamin C 1000 mg
added 2 apples (my chickens love apples)
Here's a link to Danni's original blog post where I read about the carrot tonic:

Be aware that when putting it in a plastic waterer; the intense orange color of the fresh carrots may stain it. Because we were afraid of staining the waterer, the first time we made the tonic we didn't put it in the plastic waterer, but in separate bowls and made it thicker, more like a puree.  At first the chickens really didn't take to the puree, but we added some thawed frozen corn, which is their all-time favorite treat, and when they ate the corn, they learned they liked the carrot tonic, too.

The second time we made the tonic, a week later, we used our 7 gallon waterer and added extra water to fill it up. It is recommended that when feeding this, you should take away their other water sources so the only water they are drinking is this tonic. Don't forget to give them their water back when the tonic is gone!  You should only keep the carrot tonic out for a day.  If you want them to have it a second day, you should make up a fresh batch.  We gave them their water back on the second day. 

After that, for a week we blended up a couple garlic cloves and mixed it into their 7 gallon waterer.  We read that garlic is a natural antibiotic and is good for chickens.

The chickens enjoyed this carrot treat, and hopefully it made them healthier, too!  Singer is still limping a little, but it's getting much better.  Raspberry still has bumblefoot, but she, too, is on the road to recovery.


Farm Girl said...

Thanks for posting that, I have some of my chickens going kinda wonky and I knew they need something else in their diet. I will try this and see if it helps.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the recipe. I'll have to try it. We have automatic waterers so I'll have to shut them off and bring out the old waterers.

Farm Girl said...

Thanks for coming by today, I wish I knew if it was blogger or me turning pictures. In fact, this week I have pulled my hair out over blogger. I switched to the new improved blogger and I have spent hours and hours trying to get things back to normal. It took me all day to get my comments back. I love the wood background too. I am not real computer savvy so I have to try and try some more. I have learned a bunch about blogger which was good.
Mainly, how to delete. :)
The new blogger has a neat feature for pictures but then my post gets all messed up. So I keep going back and forth. I am sure if I knew what I was doing, everything would work the first time.
:)I forgot to mention earlier I loved your chicken movie. I could just sit and watch chickens all of the time.

WhiteWhispers2u said...

G'day`I just wanted to say Hello and stop by for a visit.Love your chicks, I don't have any but would like them.

Thanks for the visit please stop by again.~Cheers Kim

Dog Trot Farm said...

I have one little Barred who has been laying "jello" eggs since the heat and humidity set in. My buffs pant terribly and sometimes just "flop" down. I just hold my breath praying they manage to stand on their feet. I have seen photos of Bumble foot, but have not experienced it first hand. Have any of your girls ever "jello" eggs? Being a chicken keeper is not as easy as it appears!

Lilla said...

Thanks for posting the carrot tonic recipe. I must have missed that post on Danni's blog. Since I am new to chickens, I can use all the advice I can get! Hope your ailing hens heal very soon.

Razzberry Corner said...

Farm Girl - This can't hurt! Plus it gives the chickens something to think about - I always think they must get bored!

I get frustrated with Blogger sometimes, too. I think we all do. I don't know why it turns pictures sometimes, but I've found if turns a certain pic, I edit the picture just a tiny bit, then go back and re-add it in Blogger. And it never turns an edited pic.

Lisa - I wish I had automatic waterers!!!

WhiteWhispers2u - It was nice to come on by your place for a visit! Thanks for the invite!

Dog Trot Farm - Only once did we get a "jello" egg, but that was before the heat really set it. My girls pant all the time when they are in the coop laying. We put a fan in the coop window and have it running all the time now, trying to circulate some air. I really think the egg count went down solely because of the heat. On cooler days I get more eggs. Who would want to lay an egg when they're all hot and miserable??

Lilla - I hope my ailing hens heal, too! And I still feel new to chickens - I've only had them 9 months!! And I have alot to learn!


Robin said...

Interesting tonic. I had never heard of that mixture before. I hope it works.

Anonymous said...


Just wanted to show my appreciation for your time and hard work