Give your chickens the benefit of gentle aromatic essential oils
Written by Kelcie Paulis, Chickenlandia Presidential Advisor
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In Chickenlandia, we often talk about the use of essential oils (EOs) with chickens. But it’s important to understand that oils can be powerful and their use around poultry should be done with careful consideration. Some gentle EOs can be safely diffused (“diffuse” means to dispense the EO’s aromatic molecules into the air) within your flock’s coop, creating a more healthful and good-smelling environment for you and your chickens. Many people use electric diffusers in their homes, but for use within chicken housing, I do not recommend electric diffusers as they may add unwanted moisture to the coop. For EO diffusion with chickens, I suggest simply placing a few drops of the oil onto a porous material and hanging it in the coop or placing it near a chicken needing assistance, such as one suffering from respiratory issues. Many materials you have laying around your home can work great for this purpose. It doesn’t have to cost anything or look pretty to be functional. Good options include wood beads, felted wool, lava stone, terracotta, old washcloths, a dry sponge, paper towels, cardboard toilet paper rolls, etc.
My most recommended oils to diffuse within the chicken coop include:
- Lavender – Calming, Respiratory relief
- Peppermint – Repels flies, Respiratory relief
- Rosemary – Repels insects, Respiratory relief
- Melaleuca – Repel mites, Respiratory relief
- Clove – Repels red mites, lice, & fleas
- Lemon – Refresh the coop smell, Respiratory relief
Today, I want to share with you a cute rainbow diffuser I made to hang in my coop (it’s so much more aesthetically pleasing than the dirty old rag I had hanging in there before). And I’ll give you all the directions for how you can make one yourself below:
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Thick Cotton Rope (I used 10mm)
- Thin Cotton Rope (I used 2mm)
- 3 Colored Cords or your choice (cotton, yarn, embroidery floss, etc)
- Diffuser Add-ons (wood beads, felted wool, lava stone beads, etc)
- Hot Glue Gun (I used two glue sticks)
Cut three lengths of the thick rope to form your rainbow arch.
Each piece should be slightly longer than the last.
I cut my pieces at 16″, 18″, & 20″
Choose your three colored cords. You can get creative with any color combination.
Cut one 120″ cord of each color.
Starting with your rainbow’s innermost color, Tie one end of the colored cord onto the shortest (16″) rope, leaving about 4 inches of the rope before the knot.
Begin wrapping the colored cord around the rope, tucking the end of the cord in with the rope.
Continue wrapping the colored cord for 7 inches.
Once you have 7 inches of color wrapped, tie the end of the cord into the rope and trim off the excess cord.
Glue down the end of the cord to secure.
Shape this piece of rope into an arch shape and now you have the first arch of your rainbow done.
Next, tie your chosen middle arch color onto the 18″ rope, leaving a 4-5 inch space at the rope end.
Wrap the colored cord around the rope until you have 9 inches of color.
Tie off and cut the remaining colored cord.
Glue down the cord end to secure.
Now you have your middle arch done!
Tie the 3rd colored cord onto the remaining 20″ rope.
Repeat the wrapping process with the final color until you have 10 inches of wrap.
Tie, cut, & glue the color cord to secure.
Next, bend the 3 colored wraps into arches together, to form your rainbow shape.
Beginning with the inner, smallest arch, hot glue the colored arches to each other.
Glue in the short section, continuing to form the arch shapes as you go.
Repeat the gluing process with the third color.
Unravel and Trim the ends of the rope to your desired fringe length. I cut mine about 2 inches below the color.
Taking the piece of thin rope, fold it in half and tie a knot in the middle. Glue this knot onto the back, center of your rainbow.
Here’s where will add our ‘diffuser’ options.
I am using natural unfinished wood beads and a felted wool ball.
Add your diffuser beads onto the hanging cord.
Tie a knot at the end for hanging.
And Ta Da!