The Health Benefits of Iodine for Chickens

Veterinary iodine is one of the products frequently used in poultry farming due to the numerous benefits it offers for the health, performance and good development of birds. If you want to know the benefits of iodine for chickens, continue reading.

The most economical thing in poultry farming is to prevent diseases than to cure them. Iodine-based solution or product is used both for fumigation or cleaning of pens, chicken coops and equipment, as well as to treat diseases and improve the productive performance of poultry birds. 

Benefits of Iodine in Chickens

Among the main benefits of administering iodine to broilers or layers are the following:

  • It regulates the body temperature of the animal
  • It helps growth and reproduction
  • It regulates the functioning of muscles and nerves
  • It controls the proportion of oxygen by cells during metabolism
  • It helps keep the skin, feathers, spurs and beak healthy
  • It helps metabolize excess fat
  • It prevents Goiter disease
  • It helps treat some common bird diseases such as fowl pox, avian goiter and gastrointestinal illnesses.

Effects of Excess or Low Iodine on Chickens

Iodine is essential in the diet of birds for them to develop their maximum productive potential and enjoy good health. However, it is important to provide it in the required amount, otherwise, an excess amount of iodine in the body could cause toxicity and a shortage of this element delimits the productive potential of the animal, in addition to causing some nutritional diseases.

Some of the problems associated with iodine deficiency in poultry birds are outlined below.

Signs of Iodine Deficiency

  • Stunted or slow growth
  • Increased size of the thyroid glands
  • Low egg production
  • Low hatchability of eggs
  • Prolongation of incubation time
  • Birds are prone to Goiter disease

Signs of Excess Iodine

  • Low egg production
  • Low hatchability
  • Small eggs

Sources of Iodine

Iodine is widely distributed in nature; however raw materials of animal origin are the richest in this mineral. The sources of this element can be divided into inorganic and organic. Mentioned below are inorganic and organic sources of dietary iodine.

Inorganic Sources of Iodine

  • Potassium Iodide
  • Sodium Iodide
  • Calcium Iodate Anhydrous
  • Calcium iodate hexahydrate
  • Polidine (Iodophor)

Organic Sources of Iodine

  • Sea salt
  • Fish
  • Algae
  • Watercress
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Tomato
  • Garlic and onion
  • Asparagus
  • Radishes
  • Soybean
  • Bean
  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Artichoke
  • Lettuce

Iodine to Treat Poultry Diseases

In addition to helping the development and productive performance of birds, veterinary iodine serves to treat some diseases, wounds, and even to disinfect earthen chicken coops or common sheds. Mentioned below are some of the most important uses of iodine to treat some health problems in chickens.

To Treat Fowl Pox

Iodine is effective in curing viral diseases such as fowl pox. Although the use of iodine is not so popular, it has been proven by those who have tried it that iodine is very effective in fighting fowl pox. Thanks to its antiviral properties and healing effect, it helps accelerate the recovery of infected birds.

To Treat Avian Goiter

This disease develops in birds as a result of an iodine deficiency, which produces diffuse hyperplasia in the thyroid gland. The signs of this disease are problems in the development and growth of the birds, changes in plumage, difficulty in ingesting food, obesity, decreased fertility and hatchability.

To treat this disease, it is important to include iodine supplements in the diet of the affected chicken. You can a 1 drop of J.Crow’s Lugol’s Iodine Solution in 250 ml of drinking water of birds daily for several weeks. If the problem is severe, then 20% iodine can be injected intramuscularly with a dosage of 0.3 ml/kg.

To Treat Gastrointestinal Diseases

Gastrointestinal diseases are very common in poultry, especially in chickens. Iodine is a fairly popular solution among poultry farmers due to its efficiency in relieving the ailments of the animal, ease of use and low price.

One of the most commonly used medications to control this problem is iodinol or blue iodine, which is composed mainly of crystalline iodine and potassium iodide. How to supply this product to birds will depend on their age. In young animals for up to one month, the recommended dose is 0.5 ml three times a day. For adult hens, it should be 1 ml and administered three times a day.

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Marieke M.

Marieke Mutsaers is a beekeeper in the Netherlands. She operated several large bee farms, producing honey and training apprentices, particularly women.
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