Use both fresh and dried, these herbs will help boost your flock’s health and keep them laying happily.
Just as they do for humans, most culinary herbs have wonderful and varied health benefits for your chickens. Whether you scatter herbs in your coop and nesting boxes to help repel insects and parasites, feed them fresh to your chickens, or dry them to add to feed, you can greatly enhance your flock’s health by incorporating a few herbs into their living environment and diet. Like grass and weeds, herbs are considered green treats and can be fed free-choice. Each hen will eat as much or as little as it wants or needs.
Herbs are easy to grow, and many are perennials in much of the country. They generally aren’t very picky about soil conditions and don’t need a lot of water or babying to thrive. I grow a variety of herbs for my chickens, but these five are my favorites.
Lavender leaves and flowers are my favorite herb to use in nesting boxes. An aromatic stress reliever, lavender also increases blood circulation and acts as an insecticide, so it’s beneficial to your laying and setting hens. The leaves and flowers can be harvested as needed and scattered in your nesting boxes to keep them fragrant.
Lavender loves dry soil and full sun. Flowers, buds and leaves all can be air-dried and used through the winter.