Natural Immune Booster

Echinacea for Farm Animals

Adding echinacea to animal feed may make them healthier.

Research suggests echinacea may help protect farm animals and fowl from diseases:

  • Echinacea purpurea supplements enhance the benefits of bird flu and other vaccines in chickens. Treating chickens with echinacea prior to infection reduces virus ability to spread through fecal matter. Echinacea juice also boosts the immune system and improves the meat quality. However, studies suggest that dried echinacea added to feed is not effective except in improving egg production and quality.(165-168)
  • Lab and bird studies show that E. purpurea may be effective protection and treatment for Newcastle disease in poultry.(169)
  • Studies in horses suggest E. angustifolia can boost the immune system and help treat infections if given at the first sign of illness.(166)
  • In pigs, E. purpurea appears to improve health, increases body weight, and the quality of meat. Again, echinacea juice added to feed or water showed significant benefits, whereas dried echinacea added to feed did not.(166)
  • Giving E. purpurea pre- and post-calving to buffalo raised on organic farms in Italy improve calf health and mother's milk production.(170)

Echinacea may also prove to be a beneficial food additive for farmed shellfish. In one study, adding E. purpurea to feed reduced rates of infection in farmed shrimp.(171)

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