Improve Chicken Health with Herbs for Calmer Hens and Better Egg Laying
Herbs in chicken care is an idea receiving more coverage lately. Growing herbs for chicken care pairs easily with growing food for your family. The same herbs can be grown for both home and coop. Herbs in chicken care can include adding herbs to the chicken food, the nest boxes, and when cleaning. Herbal use benefits general health, pest and parasite prevention, wound and illness treatment and promotes egg laying.
With over 36 commonly found and grown herbs to choose from, how do you make a choice of what to grow in a small garden? Let me tell you some of my favorite herbs for chicken care
Herbs for Chicken Care in the Nest Box
Most of the chicken keepers I know are raising hens for eggs. Of course it would be important to encourage egg laying in reluctant hens. Some herbs are especially good at stimulating egg laying, nesting, and relaxing. Relaxed, happy hens lay delicious eggs, right? Adding the following herbs to you nest boxes can help.
Marjoram, Fennel, Nasturtium, Parsley and Mint
Don’t be alarmed if your hens eat the herbs. All culinary herbs are safe for chickens to eat.
For dark rich looking egg yolks, consider Marigold, Dandelion Greens, and Basil. Make sure to only use dandelions from lawns not treated with chemical weed killers or fertilizers.
Herbs for chicken care also includes pest prevention and repellent use. Sprinkling Lavender, Feverfew,and Rosemary around the coop and particularly in the nest boxes will work on repelling rodents and various insects and parasites. Adding mint to both the interior of the coop, the nesting boxes, and planting some around the exterior of the coop will ward off rodents and many insects. Adding herbs makes everything smell much better to us. The vermin don’t appreciate a fresh smelling coop and stay away. Calendula, Chamomile, Cornflower, Lavender, Peppermint, Rosebuds and Spearmint and more are mixed for a pleasant but not overpowering aroma. I actually don’t mind cleaning the coop, when I get to be around the herbs!
IF You Don’t Grow Herbs….
I often use a product called Herbs for Hens, Coop Confetti. This product comes in eco friendly packaging, and wow, what a beautiful smell when you open the bag. It is meant to be added to the nest boxes and coop bedding as an herbal supplement and pest repellent. Herbs calm the hens so they are encouraged to lay more eggs. And those pesky mice don’t appreciate the mint and lavender very much.
It’s hard to say if egg production was up due to the herbs in the bedding. During the spring when I first began using the product, egg production was naturally increasing. But I can say that the hens liked the herbs added to the nests. More nest boxes were used this year, with the Herbs for Hens in the nests. The coop smelled fresh and during fly season, adding the herbal blend repelled the flies, noticeably.
If you don’t grow your own herbs and botanicals, I do suggest treating you and your hens to a bag of Coop Confetti!
How to use herbs for chicken care and parasite control
Herbs for chicken care can include the prevention and treatment of certain infections and internal parasite control. Oregano and sage used together, can control salmonella, coccidiosis, and other parasitic intestinal issues. And, while doing that job, the herbs will be adding to the health of your chickens! Just snip the herbs into small pieces and add to their food. My chickens immediately eat the herbs from their food. Nasturtium, dandelion and lavender also play a role in prevention and antiseptic needs in the coop.
Herbal Cleaning for the Coop
And of course herbs for chicken care includes using the herbs for cleaning. I make a natural cleaner out of vinegar and lemon or orange peels. Add mint leaves, let steep for a couple months in a mason jar. Strain out the solids and store the liquid in a mason jar. Pour into a spray bottle to use.
The herbs you use for chicken care can be used fresh or dried. Both are effective but if fresh is available, I recommend using the fresh first. Have you started using herbs with your chickens and other livestock? Tell me what works best for you!