If you are raising your own chickens for food, eggs, or as pets, you want to keep them healthy and happy. One easy and affordable way of improving nutrition for your chickens while boosting their immune systems is by adding fresh or dried herbs to their feed. Most herbs that you use for cooking are non-toxic and perfectly safe to give to your chickens. The following list of herbs and their health benefits can help you decide which ones you may want to provide for your flock.
A Blend of Herbs and Spices
Almost any herb you grow can be a good choice for your chickens, but some of the more common herbs and their benefits are:
- Parsley- chock full of vitamins your chicken needs
- Sage- promotes intestinal health and fights infection
- Lavender- great for odor control and relaxation
- Basil- repels pests, including insects and rodents, also keeps mucus membranes healthy
- Oregano- another good infection fighter that boosts intestinal health
- Thyme- a pest repellant that keeps respiratory tract healthy
- Mint- deters rodents and insects
In addition to these benefits, a few herbs can also promote egg laying. They include:
This list is by no means exhaustive. You can start out with some or all of these herbs, or go beyond the basic varietals to look into more health benefits from other less common types.
Method of Delivery
Herbs do not have to be eaten by your chickens in order to deliver health advantages. You can also brew the herbs into a tea to offer your flock in addition to water. Another way to keep your chickens healthy is to add fresh herbs to their nesting boxes. Think of it as chicken aromatherapy; the herbal scent can act as odor control, while the stress relief can keep your chickens calm while resting or laying eggs.
You can plant herbs near your chickens as ground cover or grow them in a garden to use for cooking as well. Either way, you can share some of the health benefits your flock may have from fresh herbs you grow yourself.