Can Garlic Cure CRD in Poultry?

Chronic respiratory disease (CRD) is a persistent issue in poultry farming, causing major economic losses. This respiratory infection is highly contagious among chickens, turkeys and other domestic fowl But could something as common as garlic hold curative potential against this damaging poultry disease? Science suggests it just might

What is CRD in Poultry?

CRD is caused by Mycoplasma gallisepticum, a tenacious bacterium that spreads rapidly through flocks via aerosol transmission. Once birds are infected it manifests through various upper respiratory symptoms like sneezing nasal discharge, coughing, difficulty breathing, and rattling.

Left unchecked, CRD impairs growth rates and egg production. Mortality can reach up to 20% in meat birds. Antiobiotics may help control outbreaks but aren’t a foolproof solution, as strains grow increasingly drug-resistant.

Natural alternatives like garlic have shown promising effects against this respiratory illness without contributing to antibiotic resistance. Garlic’s antimicrobial properties could make it an effective herbal cure for CRD in poultry flocks.

Why Consider Garlic as a Cure?

Garlic is one of the most ancient medicinal plants, used across many cultures to treat infections and respiratory ailments. Modern research has validated many of its traditional therapeutic uses. Here’s why garlic seems well-suited to combat Avian CRD:

  • Contains allicin, a powerful antimicrobial compound that inhibits bacterial growth

  • Allicin has demonstrated specific efficacy against Mycoplasma in lab studies

  • Also exerts anti-inflammatory effects to soothe respiratory irritation

  • Improves immune response and acts as an antioxidant in the body

  • Natural extract poses no risks of developing microbial resistance

  • Easy to administer in various forms like powder, oil, or aqueous extract

These combined properties explain why garlic is traditionally used to treat various respiratory infections in humans. Poultry appear to benefit from garlic therapy as well.

Scientific Evidence of Garlic’s Effects on CRD

Multiple scientific studies have shown beneficial effects of garlic supplementation in chickens experimentally infected with Mycoplasma gallisepticum.

Key findings include:

  • Reduced clinical signs and symptoms of CRD

  • Decreased gross lung lesions and mucus secretions

  • Lower Mycoplasma recovery rates from tracheal swabs

  • Increased antibody production and phagocytic activity

  • Improved weight gain and feed efficiency

While a purified garlic extract showed optimal effects in one study, even crude garlic powder demonstrated significant curative effects. This suggests garlic in any form can help control Avian CRD.

One study tested garlic’s effects both as a preventative and curative treatment. Chickens receiving a garlic extract prior to Mycoplasma exposure showed higher immune response and lower pathogen recovery than infected controls. The curative group treated with garlic post-infection also improved greatly.

Overall, the research indicates garlic holds promise as a natural CRD remedy that enhances disease resistance and recovery in poultry.

Active Compounds in Garlic that Combat CRD

But how exactly does garlic impart these therapeutic effects against Avian CRD? The key lies in its biologically active compounds:

Allicin – The most well-studied antimicrobial component that directly inhibits bacterial growth and replication. Allicin likely suppresses Mycoplasma pathogens.

Sulfur compounds – Garlic contains various sulfur-containing compounds like alliin and ajoene. These exhibit broad antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant benefits.

Flavonoids – Garlic’s flavonoid content boosts immune cell activity which enhances respiratory defenses.

Selenium – This trace mineral bolsters antioxidant status. Garlic is high in selenium.

Saponins– Detergent-like compounds in garlic demonstrate expectorant properties to clear mucus secretions.

So in multiple ways, the unique phytochemicals of garlic make it a formidable foe against infectious CRD in poultry flocks.

Optimal Garlic Dosages for Poultry CRD

Research looking at garlic’s effects on Avian CRD studied a wide range of doses. Positive results were achieved with concentrations between:

  • 1-5% of feed for garlic powder
  • .1-.5 mL per kg body weight for garlic extract
  • .5-1 mL per L drinking water for garlic oil

Higher end doses within this range provided maximum therapeutic benefits. But even smaller amounts enhanced disease resistance and recovery rates.

For a holistic protocol, many poultry farmers recommend using garlic in multiple forms like combining garlic water, powder and oil. This amplifies the delivery of garlic’s active compounds.

How to Administer Garlic for Poultry Health

Some simple ways to incorporate more garlic into your birds’ diet:

  • Add garlic powder or granules into feed mix or offer free choice
  • Provide crushed garlic, paste or oil to mix into feed
  • Offer peeled cloves, sliced or chopped for free feeding
  • Infuse garlic water or extract into drinking supply
  • Apply garlic oil to skin and feathers

Powder, granules and oil can be easily measured and mixed into feed. But free feeding fresh cloves also encourages pecking and intake. Change out cloves daily to prevent spoilage.

For prevention rather than treatment, smaller maintenance doses given intermittently can support wellness. Therapeutic doses should be given for 2-4 weeks along with routine CRD treatments. Work closely with your avian veterinarian to monitor effects.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Garlic Therapy

A natural remedy, garlic generally poses little risks for poultry health. Mild diarrhea may occur at higher doses. One study found toxic effects after extremely high intravenous doses. But oral garlic supplementation appears safe.

The only downside may be imparting a garlic flavor into meat or eggs at higher feeding rates. But many find this flavor desirable. For most small flock owners, the benefits clearly outweigh any negatives.

Compared to antibiotic risks, garlic is the smarter solution. Herbal remedies like garlic allow farmers to cure disease without perpetuating drug resistance. Incorporating more garlic into your birds’ diets promotes positive welfare and responsible poultry farming.

How to Treat Cough in Chickens Chronic Respiratory Disease in Poultry


What is the best treatment for CRD in poultry?

Treatment involves the administration of a combination of antibiotics (e.g. doxycycline hydrochloride and tylosine tartrate) into the drinking water for 7 days. An appropriate eye cream is applied to those birds with eye symptoms for 2 days.

How do you use garlic for poultry diseases?

Small amounts of crushed raw garlic fed to baby chicks twice a week not only help their immune systems develop but also get them used to the flavor so they will be more likely to accept it later in life. Raw garlic may be used to boost the immune system of a droopy mature chicken by serving as an appetite stimulant.

Is garlic good for chicken mites?

Mites, lice, ticks and other parasites are not as attracted to the blood of animals who eat a lot of garlic.

Can garlic cure coccidiosis in chicken?

Garlic and its derivatives inhibit the sporulation of oocysts in vitro. Supplementation of garlic in coccidiosis-infected broilers improves weight gain and feed efficiency, and reduces fecal oocysts output, lesion score, and clinical signs postinfection.

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