Medicinal herbs offer hundreds of benefits for humans, and believe it or not, medicinal herbs are good for chickens, too. Herbs can help improve immunity, reduce parasites, reduce stress, and keep your chickens happy and healthy.
Herbs grow in most climates, adapt to most soil types, and don’t require extra fertilization. If you plant herbs near and around your chicken coop, chickens will naturally choose what they need to stay healthy. Farm animals are surprisingly intelligent and will self-medicate when given a chance to pick their food.
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All right, let’s dive in. Here are 9 medicinal herbs for chickens.
Of all of the medicinal herbs you can grow for your chickens, mint has the most uses and grows the easiest. Aside from chickens enjoying it, mint can lower body temperature in the summer. Try adding some crushed mint leaves to their freshwater.
The minty smell calms and de-stresses your flock. Try adding it to the nesting boxes or dust bathing areas. You also can hang bunches of fresh mint around your coop to discourage flies or try planting it outside of your coop to discourage rodents from visiting.
Who doesn’t love lavender? It’s known for its calming and peaceful effects, and it’s perfect for freshening up your coop. Everyone, including your chickens, enjoys the scent of lavender; however, bugs dislike it. SO, you can use lavender to repel pests.
You can hang bundles of lavender in the coop to encourage a peaceful environment. Toss a few twigs into the nesting boxes to make them feel relaxed rather than stressed while laying eggs.
Another way to use lavender is by adding some to your girls’ dust bathing areas. Doing so benefits your chickens’ circulatory system.
You might have heard that oregano essential oil is a powerhouse, and the herb itself is as well. It is known for its antibacterial and anti-parasitic properties, and it can be used to support a healthy immune and respiratory system.
To tap into oregano’s benefits, try chopping the fresh leaves and mixing it into your chicken feed. You also can hang bunches in the run for your chickens to nibble.
Comfrey is well-known in the medicinal herbs world and revered by ancient Greeks. For centuries, this herb was used to heal wounds, broken bones, respiratory issues, and gastrointestinal problems. It also can be a potent herb for chickens.
You can make a comfrey herbal salve out of dried leaves, olive oil, and beeswax. Not only can you use this salve on your bites, scrapes, and scratches, but it also works for chicken injuries. Also, you can feed your chickens fresh comfrey to aid with digestion.
Sometimes referred to as pot marigolds, calendula is a common medicinal herb that belongs to the daisy family. Gardeners place it between veggies to help repel insects.
Calendula flowers are edible for both humans and chickens. When your chickens munch on calendula, it adds a bright orange color to their yolks, and it also encourages feet and beak health.
Also, calendula is known for its healing properties. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. Try making a calendula salve to use on cuts and scrapes. Since it has anti-inflammatory properties, it can be used to treat prolapsed vent or helping an egg bound hen.
Thyme is often used in insect repellents because bugs dislike the strong scent. That’s why it’s a great choice to hang around in your run or sprinkle some in the nesting boxes to keep pests at bay. You can use lemon thyme if you want a pleasant citrus scent.
You can use thyme as an herbal antibiotic to take care of respiratory infections. If you want to boost your chicken’s health, add some thyme to your chicken’s feed. This herb has antibiotic and antibacterial properties so that it can be used for numerous illnesses
Basil is another aromatic herb that also has antibacterial properties. One way that you can use it is to hang it in your coop or toss some into each nesting boxes. Adding some to your chicken feed helps to keep your flock healthy.
Another reason to use basil with your chickens is for their mucous membrane health. Keeping your chickens’ respiratory system working well is crucial, and the best way to do that is to keep some basil in their diet.
You might not think of garlic as a medicinal herb for chickens, but it has many benefits for humans as well as animals. It’s known for its anti-fungal properties that can kick fungi and other bacteria. If your flock is sick, adding garlic into your feed or water can kick infections.
Garlic also acts as a laying stimulant. You can keep adding it to the feed or try placing some garlic cloves in their nesting boxes to encourage your hens to lay more eggs. At the same time, garlic benefits the circulatory system.
The last one on our list of medicinal herbs for chickens is marjoram, which has many benefits. First, its a laying stimulant, so it can help your chickens lay more eggs. You can add it to the nesting boxes or into their daily feed.
Marjoram has anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s also a decongestant. So, if your chickens have respiratory issues, it can be added to their water to help cure their ailments. Also, marjoram helps to improve blood circulation.
Using medicinal herbs for chickens is a wise and easy way to keep your flock healthy. There are dozens of medicinal herbs that can be used to keep your chickens stress-free, healthy, and laying beautiful eggs regularly.
Whether you want to add the herbs to their feed, hang bundles around the coop, or toss them into the nesting boxes, you’ll find using medicinal herbs with your chickens isn’t as hard as you might expect.
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