Turmeric is a natural spice with potent medicinal properties and other health benefits.
Pigeon owners supplement their bird’s diet with turmeric mainly because it is effective against coccidiosis, E. coli and canker.
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Turmeric can easily be fed to pigeons by mixing turmeric powder with water and rolling it into a small ball for them to eat.
What is Turmeric?
Turmeric is a flowering plant of the ginger family but it is mainly the root that is used.
Turmeric has been used in Ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for millennia and cooking for centuries.
Most of us know it for its infamous yellow color and its use as one of the key ingredients in curry powder.
Its active compound is curcumin and this has many scientifically proven health benefits.
According to HealthLine, the top 10 health benefits are:
- The bioactive compounds of turmeric have medicinal properties.
- The curcumin in turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
- Turmeric can boost antioxidant capacity.
- Curcumin can boost the longevity of brain neurons.
- Curcumin may reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Turmeric may reduce the risk of some cancers.
- Curcumin may be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease.
- Curcumin supplements are beneficial to arthritis patients.
- Curcumin has similar results to Prozac in treating depression.
- Curcumin may improve longevity and fight age-related diseases.
Obviously, these are benefits as researched and tested on humans but some are transferable to other species including birds, ergo pigeons.
Is Turmeric Used For Pigeons?
Many pigeon owners use turmeric with their birds, but it is important to note that there has been little or no published research or scientific study to evidence the benefits of turmeric for pigeons.
Evidence is anecdotal and is based on feedback and experience shared among the pigeon fancying community.
As pigeon owners – particularly those who own racing lofts – are always on the lookout for the latest natural stimulant/performance enhancer that improves the health of their bird so they will faster or for longer, they are going to be sound in their judgment of what works and what doesn’t!
Why is Turmeric Given to Pigeons?
As well as having general all-round health-improvement benefits, there are some specific uses of turmeric for pigeons.
Turmeric for Coccidiosis
It is a parasitic disease and widespread among the younger pigeon population.
While not having a dangerous mortality rate, birds are much healthier without it.
If you want your younger pigeons to develop into racers, eradicating coccidiosis is vital.
Coccidiosis is also extremely common in chickens and because of their role in the human food supply, there has been much scientific research into the disease in chicken flocks.
Studies have shown that turmeric is highly effective against coccidiosis in chickens and therefore, pigeons too.
Turmeric for E.Coli
You will find lots of research online into the efficacy of turmeric against E. coli.
E. coli is another parasitic disease.
It is normal for this parasite to be naturally present in a pigeon’s gut but it can form an infection that makes the bird more susceptible to other diseases.
Turmeric is one of the natural healers that can help fight an E. coli infection along with apple cider vinegar and garlic.
Turmeric for Canker
Although it’s hard to find scientific evidence, there is lots of information shared on many pigeon forums that suggest that turmeric is an effective treatment for canker.
It is in no way unreasonable given everything that is known about the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric/curcumin.
The seemingly magical yellow spice can help with bacterial infections that can be caused by injuries, and for which there are no specific medications that can be administered.
This is a DIY treat for pigeons and you’ll find a huge number of recipes online.
It is a tasty way for pigeons to get a dose of turmeric and the spice also acts as a natural preservative for the bread itself.
Are There Any Risks Giving Turmeric to Pigeons?
Along with being a natural preservative, turmeric is also a rather effective anti-coagulant.
This means is that turmeric can have the effect of being a natural blood thinner.
Avoid giving your pigeon turmeric at these times:
- during moulting season.
- when they have an open wound.
- when they have a broken blood feather.
How Do You Give Turmeric to A Pigeon?
There are a large number of supplements containing turmeric that you can buy in any good pet store or online.
These are usually supplements that are made with several different beneficial ingredients, turmeric being only one on a longer list.
To feed Tumeric to a pigeon follow these steps to make a Tumeric ball that your pigeon can eat:
- Mix a little bit of water with tumeric.
- Roll the Tumeric until it makes a small ball about the size of a peanut.
- Gently place it in the pigeon’s throat for them to swallow.
In general, you shouldn’t turn to turmeric as the first treatment for any medical issue that your pigeon is having, but in a healthy pigeon, as a casual maintenance technique, the ingredient definitely can be used to both boost immunity and prevent the onset of more serious problems.