Perhaps only a few people know about this. Just as they do for human beings, many herbs used in the kitchen have lots of health benefits for chickens. They can be scattered in the nesting boxes to act as a natural insect repellent. They can be fed raw to the chickens. And actually, there’s more to that!
Because of all these perks, I decided to compile a list of herbs that work best for your flock. Maybe you might want to begin growing some of them at home just in case the need arises.
If you want your birds to produce good quality eggs, you can download the eBook below. However, if you want an advice that is proven and tested, you can feed them with greens like alfafa. Not only will it help improve their protein intake. It will also increase pigmentation, which aids in the production of orangey yolks.
Regardless whether these are fresh or dried, the leaves of borage can be harvested any time. But according to some poultry farmers, this plant is best consumed when fresh because of its scent that is similar to that of a cucumber. In addition, if you spread borage all over the coop, it will help deter pests.
Basil is a popular culinary herb, but did you know that it could also be served to chickens? When dried properly, this can be used to make a herbal tea that is said to help chicks begin healthy.
For natural bone support, it is advised to feed cilantro to chickens. This plant is rich in vitamin A and K and has several useful antioxidants. When harvesting, take cilantro leaves near the base of the stable and mature plant.
To avoid respiratory illnesses, it is best that you feed fresh dill to your birds. But if you want your hens to have ease when laying eggs, you can just hang dry dill leaves inside or near the nesting boxes. This plant can be harvested any time, but the younger leaves are said to have the best flavour.
Popular as a laying stimulant, fresh fennel foliage have been added by many poultry farmers to nesting boxes to allow them to gather fresh organic eggs the entire year. However, it is advised to reap the bulbs as soon as its size becomes similar to that of a tennis ball. If it bursts, its flavour will be ruined.
7. Lemon Balm
To help reduce stress among your flock and to naturally deter rodents, you can use lemon balm. This plant is known to calm the nerves and also produces a relaxing smell in the chicken coop. Simply hang dry or fresh leaves near the nesting boxes and let it do all the magic. You can chop it or place it in a container, whichever you prefer.
8. Lemon Grass
Known as a fly repellent because of its somewhat citronella scent, lemon grass is often gathered by cutting them off with scissors. This plant is commonly harvested during mid-summer.
Marigolds are known to act as natural stimulants for laying hens. They also aid in the circulation of blood. Just dry the flowers and scatter them all over the nest boxes. In addition, chickens that feed on marigolds are said to lay better quality eggs with brighter yolks.
Mint is an aromatic herb that helps repel rodents and insects. Apart from that, it aids in regulating body temperature and the digestive system.
Known for its aromatic scent and unique taste in people food, oregano has plenty of other uses. Not only does it help combat various diseases like e-coli, salmonella, and coccidian; it also helps strengthen the immune system of your birds.
Due to its high vitamin and mineral content, parsley is very much recommended for chickens. This plant is even believed to be a great stimulant for laying birds. If you are planning to harvest parsley, make sure you do that once the leaves start to curl.
To improve the overall health of your chickens, you can feed them with sage. This herb helps fight diseases and can deter parasites, too. Also, it smells great in the chicken coop.
Thyme is used to boost the respiratory health of your flock. Other than that, it also acts as an antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic herb. Though it is normally harvested on summer, it can be stored in an airtight container to preserve its freshness.
While this is actually a grain that is commonly fed to chickens, wheat also has several other uses. Studies suggest that feeding birds with wheat improves the colour of the yolk.
Technically, herbs are very easy to grow. In fact, they are widespread all over the country. And since they offer a lot perks not only for you, but also for chickens, you might consider planting a few at home.