A growing number of people don’t want their meat raised with antibiotics. Due to concerns of antibiotic-resistance, animal treatment, and personal health, more and more individuals are seeking out food makers that specifically buy only antibiotic-free meats. What was once an extremely small market is booming. With that growing demand comes new and innovative ways to raise food animals who are free of disease and illness while also remaining free of antibiotics. As one example, some farmers are turning to oregano oil and even cinnamon in place of massive amounts of antibiotics.
While major operations continue to feed their cattle antibiotics and even cookies and candies, at least one chicken farmer in Pennsylvania is using a product made of oregano oil and cinnamon to help raise his chickens. Profiled by the NY Times, chicken farmer Scott Sechler says he has been using the product for a while and is optimistic about its benefits.
“I have worried a bit about how I’m going to sound talking about this,” said Sechler, who operates Bell & Evans farm. “But I really do think we’re on to something here.”
Sechler is using a product called By-O-Reg Plus, manufactured in Denmark. It reportedly harnesses the healing, natural antibiotic properties of oregano oil and makes it available to livestock animals. The product is only part of Sechler’s solution, however. He also relies on cleanliness to keep his chickens healthy. When chickens are taken to slaughter, their facility is hosed out and thoroughly cleaned before being allowed to sit empty for a few weeks to ensure any bacteria is dead. Good ventilation and lighting are also used.
With antibiotics, little thought is given to hygiene as the powerful medications are used as the magic bullet.
It is no secret that oil of oregano harnesses powerful antibiotic properties, but it’s results in agricultural studies have thus far been mixed.