Pure Aromatherapy for Body, Mind & Spirit

Natural Essential Oil Alternatives for Backyard Chickens

Natural Essential Oil Alternatives for Backyard Chickens

Natural Essential Oil Alternatives for Backyard ChickensBackyard chickens are great for a homestead and the benefits of raising and caring for chickens are numerous. However, there will be times when you may need to use essential oils to help your flock stay healthy and happy.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years in many cultures around the world and can be used in a variety of ways. In this blog article, you’ll learn how to use essential oils as a natural approach to improving health (and productivity) in your flock.

Benefits of Using Essential Oils for Backyard Chickens

  • Promotes overall health and well-being – essential oils contain natural properties that support various bodily systems, such as the respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems, to promote optimal health and well-being in your chickens.
  • Boosts the immune system – regular use of essential oils can help strengthen your chickens’ immune systems, making them less susceptible to infections and diseases.
  • Deterring pests and parasites – certain oils have properties that repel or deter pests and parasites, such as mites and lice, and can help keep your flock healthy and comfortable.
  • Additional benefits – using essential oils with your backyard chickens also improves growth rates, improves feed conversion, and kills bacteria.

In this blog article we will talk about “What do essential oils for chickens do?” or “Why use essential oils for chickens?.  We will go over the best essential oils for chickens, why they’re great for your flock, and how to use them. Let’s dive in!

Enhance Your Flocks Immune System with Oregano Essential Oil*

One of the best essential oils for chickens is oregano essential oil. It’s a powerful essential oil, often used by humans as well, and it helps strengthen the immune system. Oregano essential oil is also powerful enough to kill bacteria.*

Using oregano essential oil regularly for your flock has many benefits. It improves the immune response, so you won’t need antibiotics as often. Oregano essential oil also fights intestinal worms and keeps your flock healthier overall and free from diseases.*

However, oregano essential oil is considered a “hot” oil that may burn, so you should never use it topically. Diffusing is the effective ways to use it. Oregano essential oil has the highest concentrations of carvacrol, so just a drop or two in a gallon of water should be sufficient to treat your flock. *

Clove Bud Essential Oil Is A Natural Pain Reliever*

Natural Essential Oil Alternatives for Backyard Chickens

Clove Bud essential oil is a powerful antimicrobial, natural pain reliever, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. In addition to its antibacterial properties, clove bud essential oil also has analgesic properties that can help relieve pain associated with chicken mites or skin irritations. To use clove bud essential oil on your chickens for these conditions: Add 1/8 teaspoon of clove essential oil per quart of water (or 1/4 teaspoon per pint). Mix well before adding it into their drinking water supply for the day(s). Repeat each day until symptoms stop appearing or disappear altogether.*

If you have a chicken coop, it’s important to keep it clean so that your birds are not exposed to disease or parasites that could make them sick. Clove bud essential oil will kill germs on surfaces like wood and metal so that you don’t have any harmful bacteria in the coop air. Even though essential oils won’t actually mix with water, the water will help disburse this mixture evenly.*

Clove bud essential oil diluted at 2% in a carrier oil (such as sweet almond) can be used to prevent feather pickingYou don’t need much–just enough to cover their bodies should be sufficient for most uses (such as dusting them with powder). If you are using essential oils on your birds regularly or want something stronger than clove bud essential oil by itself try mixing it with other essential oils like lavender or lemongrass.*

Clove bud essential oil is safe for chickens, but take care not to use too much of it because it can be toxic in large amounts.*

Cedarwood/Citronella/Lavender/Lemongrass Essential Oils Are Great Bug Repellents*

Citronella, cedarwood, lavender and lemongrass essential oils are all safe for chickens (and humans). They can be used as bug repellants on your flock or in their coop to keep mosquitoes away from them! Use these oils (approximately 15 drops each) and mix with 16 oz water and spray throughout the coop to keep insects at bay. Even though essential oils won’t actually mix with water, the water will help disburse this mixture evenly. Chickens have sensitive respiratory systems, so it is best to spray when everyone has finished laying for the day and is outside of the coop. Make sure the coop has been aired out before allowing the chickens back in.*

Cedarwood essential oil is great for chickens with respiratory issues, such as sneezing and coughing. It also works as an antibacterial, so it can help with your chickens if they have an infection.*

Citronella essential oil will repel mosquitoes and other bugs that like to bite your birds, making it a useful tool during bug season!*

Lavender essential oil can help with anxiety – especially if your chicken has had a stressful day or is feeling nervous about something. If you’re nervous yourself about something, lavender essential oil will help calm both of your nerves! When made into a salve with coconut oil, lavender essential oil is great at healing and protecting open wounds and sores on your chickens. Dilute to 1% before applying and be sure to avoid the eyes, mouth, and nostrils.*

Lastly, lemongrass essential oil  has been shown to have antioxidant properties which are good for overall health maintenance in chickens. Lemongrass and citronella essential oils, which are both “safe for all animals” can help with flies.  Together they also repel mosquitoes.*

Natural Essential Oil Alternatives for Backyard ChickensUse Nutmeg Essential Oil To Help With Pain*

Nutmeg essential oil is a natural pain reliever, and must be used with caution when dealing with backyard chickens. Apply it only on closed wounds and in tiny amounts (1% or less diluted in a carrier oil).*

Nutmeg essential oil is a good mosquito repellant, but it can be toxic to chickens, so only use it on them sparingly to avoid poisoning them. Do not use nutmeg on young chicks or other birds.*

Peppermint Essential Oil Helps Repel Flies*

Peppermint essential oil helps to repel flies. Mix 30-40 drops peppermint essential oil with 2.5 gallons water and spray it around the coop and chicken run.  Reapply after every rain or heavy dew.*

Tea Tree & Frankincense Essential Oils Help With Open Wounds*

Tea Tree essential oil is antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, pretty much anti everything.  Combine tea tree and frankincense essential oil to help with open wounds on your backyard chickens. You can also use tea tree essential oil to help with Bumble foot, and Sour Crop, just to name a couple.*

Mix 20 drops peppermint essential oil and 10 drops of tea tree essential oil per gallon of water.  Spray heavily inside coop.  Do this during the day when the chickens are outside the coop, and then allow time for the coop to air out before the chickens return.  We also sometimes lightly spray the chickens when we suspect they’ve got mites, carefully avoiding their heads.*

Lavender, Tea Tree & Frankincense Essential Oil’s Are Great for Skin Irritations*

These three oils are wonderful for all kinds of skin irritations.  This combination soothes troubled skin and promotes skin repair. We use it when a chicken has suffered an injury or lost feathers in an attack by other chickens or a dog.*

Add one drop of each oil to about 15 drops of carrier oil (we use fractionated coconut oil) and apply topically to areas of concern twice per day.*

Use Lemon Essential Oil To Disinfect The Chicken Coop*

Lemon essential oil is another oil used to clean and disinfect the chicken coop. Use an easy spray with lemon essential oil to clean and disinfect the chicken coop.

Mix 30 dropsof lemon essential oil with 8 oz. vinegar and 8 oz. water in a spray bottle.  After cleaning out the coop, spray liberally with the spray.  Again do this during the day when the chickens are outside the coop, and then allow time for the coop to air out before the chickens return.*

Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lavender, Peppermint, Basil, & Cinnamon Bark Essential Oils Help With Mites*

To treat a chicken coop for mites using eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, peppermint, basil, and cinnamon bark essential oils, you can create a natural spray. Here’s a recipe you can try:



  • Mix all the essential oils together in a spray bottle.
  • Add 1 cup of water to the spray bottle and shake well to combine.

To use this spray:

  • Thoroughly clean the chicken coop, removing any debris, droppings, or nesting materials.
  • Spray the mixture generously on all surfaces of the coop, paying special attention to cracks, crevices, and roosting areas.
  • Repeat this process every few days or as needed to control mites in the chicken coop.
  • It’s important to note that while essential oils can have anti-parasitic effects, they may not completely eliminate an infestation on their own. Therefore, it’s recommended to also implement other management strategies such as regular cleaning, proper ventilation, and using diatomaceous earth or other natural remedies as part of a comprehensive approach to mite control.

Please keep in mind that individual animal reactions may vary, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian for specific advice on treating and preventing mites in your chicken coop.

Natural Essential Oil Alternatives for Backyard ChickensBiosource Naturals Bandits Essential Oil Blend Another Remedy For Mites*

Bandits is a blend of essential oils (clove bud, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus & rosemary) that also can help with chicken mites. You can use it in a spray, a bath and even as massage oil for your chickens.*

To make your own Bandits Essential Oil Blend spray:

  • Add 3 drops of Bandits essential oil blend to 1 Tbsp carrier oil and mix well.
  • Shake before using and apply directly onto feathers or skin as needed.

Once more please keep in mind that individual animal reactions may vary, and it’s always a good idea to consult with a veterinarian for specific advice on treating and preventing mites in your chicken coop. Follow the guidelines noted above for ridding chicken mites from your coop.

Other Natural Remedies & Essential Oils for Chickens*

Sour crop? Withhold food and water for 24 hours. Give a tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil via an eyedropper. Wait 12 hours and then offer scrambled egg mixed with plain yogurt.*

Frostbite on combs and wattles? First, ventilate properly! Frostbite is easily avoided in coops with proper ventilation. If your chicken has frostbite, gently rub on a coating of coconut oil.*

There are around 20 oils that are safe for chickens or have benefits you may want to look into. A few others to include:*

  • Sweet Marjoram – added to their water enhances their immunity and promotes growth.*
  • Thyme – helps boost the chickens immune system and reduced the effects of pathogen exposure.  Adding thyme or oregano essential oil to their water is a great way to ensure that their eggs are safe.*
  • Melissa (Lemon balm) – studies show 0.2% lemon balm extract supplied in the drinking water showed potential as a healthy supplement to aid in improvement of the chickens’ antioxidant status.*
  • Rosemaryspecifically powerful against bacterial infections. It is linked to preventing Staphylococcus aureus infections (bumblefoot prevention).*

Again, consult a professional and research before taking your chickens’ health in your hands. Most natural alternatives work far better as preventatives than they do as cures.*

In Closing

The best way to get started with essential oils for your chickens is to try out a few different kinds. You can mix them together or use them individually, depending on what you need at that moment.*

Always be sure to follow recommended dosages from experienced practitioners, or start out slowly if you are experimenting with essential oils on your own. If there is any doubt, then consult with a veterinary or animal health professional.*

The information in this post is intended to inform you about the latest science on essential oils, and it’s not meant to diagnose, heal or cure chickens, livestock or people and is for animal use only. All advice is general and you should consult a poultry expert when making decisions about your own flock. These remedies are not intended to offer a cure or replace veteriniary treatment, but may alleviate symptoms when professional assistance isn’t readily available.*

*Statements on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA or USDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.