This Chicken Farmer Used Oregano Instead Of Antibiotics

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This Chicken Farmer Used Oregano Instead Of Antibiotics
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The excessive use of antibiotics to kill pathogens that target chickens has backfired on us: A report from the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention has said that bacteria are becoming completely resistant to commonly-used antibiotics. [1] This is bad news for us: diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria could lead to incurable deaths.

It’s a good thing that we don’t we always have to resort to drugs because there are many alternatives that may yield better results in keeping animals healthy. Numerous studies have concluded that oregano efficiently kills bacteria.

This claim is supported by Scott Sechler, the owner of Bell & Evans which prides itself on raising healthy, antibiotic-free chickens. Sechler has been feeding his chickens a specially-milled diet laced with oregano oil and cinnamon for many years now, and he strongly believes that it helps fight disease-causing bacteria. [2]

Oregano As An Antibiotic

A study conducted by Polish researchers have said that oregano oil enhances the healing process in bacterial infection and prevents antibiotic-resistant strain development. [3] Many researchers believe that oregano weakens the cell wall of the resistant bacteria, killing the cell and allowing the antibiotic to work. [4] Its efficiency has been tested and proven on E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains in the said study.

Oregano oil contains two powerful compounds: carvacrol and thymol which have powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. [6] The antimicrobial effects of these two compounds have been demonstrated by researchers to alleviate gastrointestinal illnesses, which means that farmers may have an alternative option to the harmful effects of antibiotics. [7] What’s fascinating about herbal antibiotics is that they appear not to create antibiotic resistance in the same manner as single-molecule drugs.

Unsanitary Farms Breed Bacteria

While the use of oregano oil may have provided a solution to the problem regarding antibiotic-resistance, there still lies the question of where these disease-causing bacteria come from. One reason is the unsanitary practices and poor housing conditions in concentrated animal farming operations (CAFOs).

Importantly, Sechler has made sure that his chickens are not stressed and overfed, and raised in sanitary conditions. However, many poultry companies are still ignoring the proper practices of sanitation in their farms, which causes harmful bacteria to grow in the pens, affect the chicken, and could also harm the consumers.

These farms might house the chicks in pens which aren’t properly cleaned with remnants of manure from the previous flock. It’s a potential way for the chickens to get ill, and whatever bacteria that aren’t left at the farms will go straight into the consumers’ plates. [5]

This is part of the reason why the oregano oil worked very efficiently for Sechler, because he is’not trying to correct a problem that’s already out of control’. In order to prevent antibiotic-resistance in bacteria, avoiding the excessive use of antibiotics is needed. And to prevent these types of bacteria from thriving in chickens, proper sanitary practices are needed in maintaining the poultry farms.


[1] Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013.

[2] Strom, S. 2012. In Hopes of Healthier Chickens, Farms Turn to Oregano.

[3] Sienkiewicz M., et al. 2012. The antibacterial activity of oregano essential oil (Origanum heracleoticum L.) against clinical strains of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

[4] Nazzaro, F. et al. 2013. Effect of Essential Oils on Pathogenic Bacteria.

[5] Rodriguez, T. 2015. Essential Oils Might Be the New Antibiotics.

[6] Axe, J. Oregano Oil Benefits.

[7] Baser, K. 2008. Biological and pharmacological activities of carvacrol and carvacrol bearing essential oils.

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