Poultry: Vinegar and Pokeweed remedies

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How much vinegar should be added per gallon of water? I've heard this helps keep the hens healthier and laying.

Have any of you heard about hanging pokeweed upside down in the coop as a natural wormer? Are the eggs safe to eat afterwards. Is there a certain season to do this with pokeweed (before or after berries are red?) or do you do it all summer/fall when you have pokeweek about?

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), August 27, 2001


When the pokeberries are red, i cut off a branch & toss it in the coop. Yes, it is a natural wormer and the chickens love the berries. Never had a problem with eating their eggs while feeding pokeberries.


-- Buk Buk (bukabuk@hotmail.com), August 27, 2001.

One day last week I asked this forum about chickens with diarrhea and they told me 1/4 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of water. The chickens have been drinking more water lately, so I guess they really like the stuff.

-- Cathy N. (keeper8@attcanada.ca), August 27, 2001.

Anther question: I dont' think they have worms (yet?)But I do have lots of pokeweed--should I go ahead and give it to them?

Do you have to avoid eating the eggs?

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), August 27, 2001.

Buk BUk:

You are always so helpful. Thanks. Did you see my previous post about a sick hen? Can you help?

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), August 27, 2001.

It's an ounce of cider vinegar per gallon of water, has to be real cider vinegar, read the label to be sure!

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (annie@1st.net), August 27, 2001.

Ann, glad i can be of help! As far as i know, my chickens aren't worm infested either, but they love the pokeberries so i toss in the berries. I've never tasted a difference in their eggs while they're eating the berries; don't think it's a problem eating the eggs.

Went back and read your previous post on your little hen. First thing that crossed my mind was the same as the other posters....just an enlarged, full crop. my little banty cochin hen always has a larger and always full crop, more so than the others.

what you were referring to in your question is called a breast blister. Heavy breeds such as broilers that are allowed to roost will usually get this. All it is an inflamation of the skin when the breast bone sits on a hard surface like the roost.

Without seeing her, i couldn't guess what might be wrong with your little hen. But, if she's lethargic and obviously not feeling well, i would separate her, add vitamins/electrolytes to her water & entice her to eat by giving her boiled egg.

Here's a website with descriptions of many ailments. Maybe it'll help you make a diagnosis: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/~cus1fb/fowl/Ailments.html

Good luck!

-- Buk Buk (bukabuk@hotmail.com), August 27, 2001.

Thankyou thankyou thankyou

My Hen was roosting with the others last night when I put them up ( a good sign because I thought she'd be too weak to get up there.)

I think you are right because they are Black Austrolorps (heavy breed) and they do roost (although I dont understand how the breast would touch the roost unless she were putting her bottom up in the air and roosting in a very unladylike position.

I am going to let them out of the coop soon and hopefully things will be better today.

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), August 28, 2001.

One more thing. Do the chickens like the leaves as greens as well?

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), August 28, 2001.

Ann save the greens for yourself. next year gather some of the shoots up to 12" tall, peel until they resemble asparagus. boil until just tender, serve w/ butter, black pepper and vinegar or lemon juice. they are bland compared to asparagus but i love them. the leaves are great as a cooked green. be careful of the raw plant it contains a blood thinner.

-- Pops (cindy556@devil-dog.com), August 29, 2001.

Wow! I've eaten "Poke Salet" and it is wonderful. Now you tell me there are more wonderful things to be had from this plant? I wonder if I'd recognize it before the berries are on? I know, for those who are reading this, that after the berries are formed, the plant is poisionous.

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), August 30, 2001.

Ann poke is totally safe until it starts to turn purple on the stalk usually 12-18" tall. whatever causes the purple shading is the "toxin", in large quantities it can cause a temporary hemophilia and for people sensitive to it can cause vomiting. on the plus side small amounts can be used as a tonic to help the body the same way other blood thinners like aspirin do. also heat breaks down the "toxin" somewhat and boiling leaches out what doesn't get broken down. again if there is no purple there is no "toxin". if you have already eaten the leaves then next spring you should be able to enjoy the shoots. another good recipe is to fry the peeled GREEN shoots in bacon grease. i have eaten shoots with some purple with no ill effects if you choose to do the same start with a small amount to make sure it doesn't upset your stomach or anything.

-- Pops (cindy556@devil-dog.com), August 30, 2001.


I can't wait to try this--too bad I missed the opportunity this year. I'll have to find some way of identifying it early because I can only identify it with berries and then especially when it turns purple.

-- Ann Markson (tngreenacres@hotmail.com), August 30, 2001.

the root winters over and will spread the plant. wherever you had stalks this year you will have stalks next year. enjoy, i know i do

-- Pops (cindy556@devil-dog.com), August 31, 2001.

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