How to Treat Parasites and Infections in Chickens (and other animals)

The chicks that we brought home were rescued by brave volunteers that worked parallel to the killing crew that came in and snapped thousands of necks by hand.  It is amazing that these chickens have lived this long.  And it might be amazing if all of them make it another month.  Some are stronger than others.  One of our girls has beautiful, sleek outer feathers and a sweet filled-in face while another is smaller than the others with a deformed shoulder and a terrible cold.

The easiest way to treat chickens is with tea in their water.  They all love their water and don’t mind the taste of the herbs.  The infusion works quickly, so I expect whoever is going to survive is going to be well by the end of the week.  No more parasites, E coli, viruses, or infections.  You can use this same technique to treat other animals as well.


In a saucepan combine 1 Tablespoon of each loose herb-

pine needles




goldenseal and

3 cloves of garlic

You could also use/sub in:

Walnut shells

Oregon grape root



juniper berries


We are using a blend of herbs that are anti-parasitic and antibacterial.  Bring to a boil with 4 cups of water and simmer (decoct) for 20 minutes.  Turn off heat and let continue to infuse.  Pour 1/2 cup of infusion into small water bowl if chicks are in your guest room or the whole thing (herbs and all) into a large waterer if you are treating a whole flock.


I cut up a pumpkin and placed it in their little pen.  They also get a tablespoon of cinnamon mixed into their feed twice a day.


Right now we have seven chickens taking up the guest room.  I don’t want them to freeze, nor do I want them to get the other chickens sick.  In their infirmary, they are snuggled together, eating, drinking, or singing.  We take turns holding each one each day so that they get used to contact.  My cat, Frankie, loves to snuggle on my lap when I am holding the chicks.  We have a fun, little farm here.

How to Heal Wounds; the Wise Farmgirl’s Pharmacy

Booboo is our oldest cat in the house right now.  He is in his second generation of kids.  He waits excitedly by the door if Maryjane arrives.  When Booboo was a kitten, our son Andrew trained him to run to his room if he played Bob Marley.  Booboo walked around sporting a tiny Jamaican hat with fake dreadlocks.  This kitty is beloved.  Apparently not so much to our young cat.

Chuck wants to be king, apparently.  Who can really understand cats?  I wonder why they are my favorite animals sometimes with all their ferocity and claws.  Or teeth, in this case.


The night before last, we turned out the light and Booboo jumped on the bed and curled up between us as always.  We noticed a horrible smell and he was suckling madly in the dark.  We turned on the lights and noticed that he had two very defined bite marks on his hip.  Deep, about a quarter inch, and oozing with puss and infection.

These are the times I am grateful to be an herbalist.  Not much throws me.  I grabbed the wound healer, and using a dropper, applied it into the wounds.

Yesterday morning the puss was gone but the smell was there and I could see the muscle tissue in his leg.  (Chuck is grounded, by the way, and may very well become the shop cat at our new store!)  I went out to the garden and harvested calendula, yarrow, echinacea, and comfrey.  Calendula, echinacea, and yarrow are anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and are natural blood cleansers and antibiotics.  Comfrey could honest to god heal the world.  It binds tissues and bones and heals quickly.  I placed these into a wide mouth pint jar with 3/4 teaspoon of sea salt and poured boiling water over the tea.  That sat and brewed for about an hour.  I left a little room to add cooler water to make it temperate.  Once it was cool, it was ready.


Booboo was certainly a good sport and let me squeeze the fomentation into the wounds using a flat cotton pad.  I added the wound healer again.  The wound healer was used that morning as well.  A repeat application of tea and wound healer was given again last night.  This morning it looks clean and on the mend.  He will get the same treatment today and I have no doubt that by tomorrow morning he will be nearly healed.


It is always wise to have herbs on hand to make fomentations (a tea you put on topically) or infusions (a tea you take internally for medicinal purposes), but a good wound healer can save the day.  We have used it when Doug cut his finger down to the bone with a hatchet.  We have used it for burns from the wood cook stove.  We have used it for every cut or wound.  It replaces stitches, kills infection, and helps the body heal itself quickly.  It also helps with pain.


First start with a base.  This is an extract.  In a pint jar, fill 20% with herbs like the ones listed above and top with vodka.  Leave in the window for two weeks.  Pour some of the finished extract into a half-pint jar, about 1/4 full.  Fill the jar with filtered water.  This is your diluted base for wound healer.  (Believe me, you need to cut it.)  In a 4 ounce jelly jar, combine 1 part finished, diluted base and 1 part aloe vera gel.  (Please make sure it is actually aloe vera gel!  You’d be surprised what they put in cheap aloe vera.  You should opt for the bottle that is nearly 100% aloe vera gel with a small percentage of preservative.  Otherwise it will rot too quickly.)  I like to add about 10 drops of tea tree oil and 10 drops of lavender.

There you go!  You are ready to take on cat bites, sunburn, cuts, boils, and battle wounds from the garden or kitchen.  This is a great addition to your homestead pharmacy!

For more recipes and to build your own homestead pharmacy, click HERE to check out my book, “The Homesteader’s Pharmacy” on Amazon.


“Nature”al Body Products


Just for fun!  It’s nice to see that simple things in the kitchen cupboard and nature can provide everything we need if we wanted or needed to use it.  These are truly the cleanest body products around!


From the cupboard- Baking soda.  Put a little in your hand and make a paste with water.  Only wash the scalp.  Rinse.  Follow with homemade conditioner.

yucca lamb's quarters

From the field- Yucca roots or Lamb’s quarters roots boiled will release saponin which is essentially soap!  It won’t lather but it will clean.


From the cupboard- Apple cider vinegar. (Use before you shave your legs.  Just sayin’.)  The smell does not linger.  Pour over hair and rinse.  Super shiny hair will ensue.

From the field- Rosemary tea for dark hair, chamomile tea for blonde hair. (Make tea by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of herbs.)


From the cupboard- Olive oil was used in centuries past as a cleanser.  Also doubles as moisturizer!

From the field- A sponge bath of rose, lavender (any flower) and yucca root or lambs quarters tea will be quite refreshing.


From the cupboard- Baking soda.  Whitens, cleans, disinfects.

From the field- A sage leaf.  I use this often when I feel like I have a bit of “coffee breath” as I run out the door.  I keep a pot of it on the front porch.  Simply run the leaf around your teeth and tongue and receive instant fresh breath and clean teeth.


You can get your toothbrush in a pinch from the field as well.  Pioneers often used the root of the Mallow plant.


From the cupboard- A bit of apple cider vinegar.

From the field- Chew on parsley, sage, or peppermint.


From the cupboard- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt dissolved in a cup of water.  Spray or apply with cotton ball.

From the field- Crushed mint leaves, or simply or rose water.

Body Scrub:

From the cupboard- Sugar or Salt blended with a little olive oil.

From the field- Straight mud!  It’s actually quite lovely.


How to make rose water two ways:

Steam distillation (this is how you make any flower essence)- Place a brick or rock in the center of a large pot and set a bowl on top of stone.  Surround the stone with rose petals then pour a few inches of water over flowers.  Replace lid to pot and simmer water.  The water that condenses on the lid and drips into the bowl is your flower essence.  Pour this into a spray bottle and add more water or witch hazel.

Infusion– Pour two cups of boiling water over a cup of rose petals and let steep for 30 minutes.  Pour into spray bottle.  Add a little witch hazel if desired.

Use the rose water to refresh skin and brighten mood.  Will keep in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days.