Just like humans, wild birds have been observed gathering herbs for their nest or sampling them straight from your garden.Herbs that are definitely on the “good” list include oregano, thyme, parsley, basil, mint, dill, sage, marjoram, lavender, calendula, comfrey, cilantro, garlic, tarragon and so many more.You can give the herbs to your chickens fresh for eating by either hanging a bunch and letting them pick at it, or by mixing it into their feed.Hanging mint around your coop alone does not make for an effective pest management system, but it can be part of it.The smell also has a calming, de-stressing effect, making it a great choice to add to nest boxes or dust bathing areas.Mint can act as a natural insect & rodent deterrent, because they dislike the strong smell.Chop fresh oregano leaves and mix it into the chicken feed or hang bunches in the run for them to pick at.Sitting on a nest can leave hens open to predator attacks so their instincts are telling them to be alert despite them being safe in their coop.Stressed hens don’t lay well & you want to make them feel safe in their nest boxes.Adding lavender leaves or flowers to the nest boxes can act as a natural stress reliever.It will grow best in well drained, slightly alkaline soil and does great in raised beds or containers.Strain the leaves and add 4-5 tsp of beeswax pellets and about 20 drops of rosemary essential oil (optional).When I accidentally leave my garden gate open, the first thing my ducks & chickens run to is the comfrey!Very easy to grow and a perennial that will come back each year, it can be a little tricky to find at your local nursery.It’s anti inflammatory properties make the salve a good fit for treating a prolapsed vent or helping an egg bound hen.Thyme –Most aromatic herbs make great insect repellents because bugs dislike the strong smell.Thyme bundles hung around the run or sprinkled in the nest boxes are a great way to keep pests at bay. .
What Can Chickens Eat Chicken Treats to Feed and Avoid
Vegetables: Lettuce, beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, swiss chard, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers.Undercooked or dried beans can be harmful because they contain a compound known as hemagglutinin, which can inhibit digestion of everything the bird eats.Rhubarb damaged by the severe cold can also contain a high concentration of oxalic acid, which can be fatal to chickens.If you’d like to offer treats and free-range time, here are a few tips to keep in mind.Chickens require 38 unique nutrients at the correct levels.The remaining 10 percent can be filled with chicken treats, table scraps or scratch grains.But what does the 90/10 rule mean?Laying hens eat approximately 0.25 pounds of complete feed each day, which is about the same as one-half cup.Remember that scratch grains should be viewed as a treat and not be mixed with the complete feed.Chickens are natural foragers, so trying new foods is inevitable.Place a Purina® Flock Block supplement in the yard to encourage natural pecking.Avoid treats that may cause an off-flavor in eggs.Garlic and onions are the two most common culprits that may impact egg flavor.A few other foods should be avoided because they contain toxins that can make birds ill or even be fatal.Feeding chickens a balanced and complete diet is simple if you follow the 90/10 rule and are mindful of the foods your birds have access to. .
How to “Herbify" Your Chickens Like Lisa Steele
I’ve always made it a point to select strong breeding lines and practice natural management.After I met Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily, I couldn’t help but wonder if I could take the health of my flock to another level.Lisa is an accomplished backyard chicken keeper, having years of success managing her natural flock in the beautiful state of Virginia.She is the author of the highly successful book Fresh Eggs Daily and maintains an extremely popular blog under the same title.I’ve made a decision to “herbify” my flock, so in this article I’ll be interviewing her and then applying her tactics to my chickens.In addition, I’ll show you how to use them in your chicken house, nest box, run, feed, water, during molting, in the dust bath, and with chicks.So for me, building strong immune systems in my flock using the herbs is the key, plus the chickens love to eat them.I t was there if you really dug and did some research, but one reason I wrote my book was to collect all these old-timers’ methods and advice into one source for chicken keepers.I use herbs in nearly every area: feed, water, brooder, nesting boxes, dust bath, coop floor.– laying stimulant, antiseptic, antibiotic, insecticide, wormer Oregano – combats coccidia, salmonella, infectious bronchitis, avian flu, blackhead and e-Coli, strengthens immune system.– combats coccidia, salmonella, infectious bronchitis, avian flu, blackhead and e-Coli, strengthens immune system Parsley – high in vitamins, aids in blood vessel development, laying stimulant.– high in vitamins, aids in blood vessel development, laying stimulant Sage – antioxidant, antiparasitic, general health promoter, thought to combat Salmonella.Rose bushes provide nice shade, and the chickens love to eat the petals that have anti-oxidant properties.Any climbing vine will also provide shade and allow them to nibble on the lower leaves and anything that falls, such as peas, squash, cucumbers, grapes.Herbs of Choice and Their Benefit: Mint is a rodent and insect repellant, it helps with disease prevention and parasite control, and encourages feather growth.Lavender has a calming effect on the chickens, increases blood circulation, and is a highly aromatic insecticide.Yarrow serves as an anti-bacterial, an anti-inflammatory, clears sinuses and respiratory systems, is a stress reliever, heals wounds, and is an insecticide.Coop Spray found in Lisa’s book, “Fresh Eggs Daily” by St. Lynn Press 2013.“Herbify” the Nesting Box Herbs of Choice and Their Benefits: Lavender is calming, increases blood circulation, is highly aromatic, and serves as an insecticide.Mint is a rodent and insect repellant, prevents disease, works as parasite control, and encourages feather growth.Basil repels insect pests, creates orange yolks and is high in protein, serves as an anti-bacterial, improves mucous membrane health, and is rejuvenating.Dill is an anti-oxidant, is calming, prevents disease, controls parasites, improves respiratory health, is high in protein, repels harmful insects and is an anti-diarrheal.Mint is a rodent and insect repellant, offers disease prevention, controls parasites, and encourages feather growth.Dried yarrow is anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, clears sinuses and respiratory systems, is a stress reliever, heals wounds, and serves as an insecticide.Dry rack plans are from Lisa’s book, Fresh Eggs Daily St. Lynnes Press 2013.“Herbify” the Feed Herbs of Choice and Their Benefits: Garlic repels fleas, ticks and other parasites, controls odor, and is a natural wormer, has overall health benefits, increases feed conversion, supports respiratory health and immune system.Basil and Lemon Balm are insecticides, create orange egg yolks, and are high in protein.Parsley is a laying stimulant, helps blood vessel development and circulation, encourages feather growth, and is high in protein.Comfrey aids digestion, is an anti-inflammatory, supports bone and artery growth, has vitamin B12, and is high in protein.During their molt use anise, dill, fennel, garlic, mint, and/or parsley to encourage feather regrowth.Oregano prevents disease, is a natural wormer, serves as an antibiotic, and helps with respiratory health.Brew an herbal tea with basil, lemon balm, parsley, oregano, and/or dandelion (either fresh or dried).“Herbify” the Chicks Herbs of Choice and Their Benefits: Parsley is high in vitamins and helps with blood vessel development and circulation.Bay Leaves are an antiseptic, antioxidant, boost the immune system, and act as an insect repellant.Comfrey aids digestion, is an anti-inflammatory, supports bone and artery growth, contains vitamin B12, and is high in protein.Basil, Bee Balm, Cinnamon, Clover, Dill, Echinacea, Rosemary, Thyme, and Yarrow are great for respiratory health.Basil, Chervil, Coriander, Dill, Fennel, Marjoram, Parsley, Spearmint and Tarragon are herbs with high protein.“Herbify” Health Remedies I asked Lisa what some of the common chicken ailments are and how they can they be treated with herbs.You can head those off, or treat an ailing chicken, with basil, bee balm, cinnamon, clover, dill, echinacea, rosemary, thyme or yarrow added to their diet.Internal worms can be fought with nasturtium, garlic, pumpkin seeds, wormwood, chamomile and catnip.I’m excited to have discovered the use of herbs with chickens, as they make complete sense from a sustainable and permaculture angle.
12 Herbs To Feed Your Chickens (And 7 Not To) • New Life On A
Herbs are awesome to have on the homestead, They make food taste better and also give us natural medicines that can be used to prevent and alleviate certain conditions.Browse online and you’ll see lists with 25+ herbs that can be fed to your flock to supposedly boost their health.While not a nutritional powerhouse as other herbs on this list, it does have the innate ability to lower body temperatures when consumed.Meat breeds are particularly sensitive to hot temperatures, so if you plan on raising a batch of Cornish Cross during the summer, mint in their waterer every day could be a literal life-saver!Oregano is also known to boost feed intake and growth rate in meat birds, which improves your bottom line on the homestead.That increased food intake and growth rate also amounts to better body condition in the meat carcasses.Yet another herb that can combat the chances of salmonella, and other common chicken diseases, Sage is also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.It’s rich in vitamins and protein while being low in fiber, which makes it an obvious choice for feeding the flock.This herb should only bed fed sparingly if you desire a healthy flock that lives for a while!This common flower can be added to your own salads or thrown to the chickens for a treat that they’ll gobble up.Thyme, along with basil, is the best herb for supporting healthy mucus membranes in your chickens as well.Don’t be afraid to throw any extra thyme you have into the nesting boxes and coop since it is a high-quality insect repellant.Fennel is one of the best ways to ensure your hens’ reproductive systems stay healthy and productive.In combination with mint, fennel should turn those grueling summer days into productive days where the meat birds can grow at their optimal rates, and your laying hens keep delivering high-quality eggs on schedule.Basil is easy to grow and chickens tend to eat it up, ensuring you have plenty of medicine that the flock with love!While some may worry that the intense flavor of garlic will find its way into the eggs and meat, feeding it less than other herbs will ensure this doesn’t happen.Garlic can control internal parasites, stimulate egg-laying, bolster the immune system, reduce the odors of manure, and boost growth in underdeveloped chickens.The herb is also calming, making it a good addition to nesting boxes if you have extra that the chickens didn’t finish off.However, there are a few herbs that I thought deserved a specific mention since they tend to be more common and seem harmless from the outside for your chickens.Long story short, endocrine disruptors pass into the eggs and meat of your flock!It’s true, Aloe Vera can be a good aid in boosting the growth rate in meat birds.If you are hard-pressed to maximize the growth rate of your broilers, use Aloe Vera after you have exhausted all other herbal options for the sake of the birds’ digestion.The simple solution is to just steer clear and use more proven herbs for your chickens if you want to keep them healthy and far from harmful fungi.Although not considered an herb, the flowers and plant material from the Nightshade family should be avoided.The alkaloids cause appetite loss, weak heart rate, and trouble breathing and can severely damage a chicken’s health.If you don’t want to cut fresh herbs and give them to the flock right away, you can also dry them and mix them in their feed.Herbs may lose medicinal qualities when dried, although this isn’t automatically true.Don’t worry if you throw too many herbs in the chicken run, as they tend to ward off pests and other animals with their strong scents.Stick with these 12 herbs to boost the health of your chickens and ensure you stay away from the 7 I “banned” (even the lavender! .
15 Medicinal Herbs for Chickens to Keep Them Healthy and Pestfree
They will improve immunity, keep them parasite free, reduce their stress, and prevent boredom.Growing herbs is a simple and economical way to keep your backyard flock healthy and productive.These herbs have adapted to the stressors and contain the exact constituents that will help your chickens thrive.Farm animals will naturally self medicate when given the chance to choose their own food and medicine from a bountiful garden.Once you have a start of these hardy perennials you’ll be able to maintain a constant supply of leaves, flowers, and roots to use in chicken care or to bring into your home for your own family.Once they are well established and need to be divided, I move a few starts to the perimeter of my chicken yard, just outside the fence.In this way, if the chickens are too vigorous in their pruning, I still have the mother perennial plants to draw from in the future.Here are some perennials that can help you chickens resist parasites like lice, mites, and other insect pests.Add powdered dried herbs to their dust bath so that the aromatic volatile oils make direct contact with pests and keep the chickens inhospitable to parasites.Calendula or Marigolds, makes the yolks richer — high in carotenoids, repels bugs.Stinging nettles — mineral rich, replenishes the building blocks for nerves, blood, and liver, reduces stress.Research has found that garlic is an effective treatment for chickens against many bacteria, including Salmonella and Escherichia coli (e-coli).Chickens love the extra protein and amusement scratching for worms provides.When these shrubs and perennials are medicinal herbs you won’t have to worry about rodents in the chicken run.Chickens, like all farm animals, will self medicate when they are allowed to free-range among a varied and thriving herb garden.It serves to minimize boredom while it gives them a healthy boost during seasonal molts, rainy weather, and other stressors.Use this natural antiseptic herbal spray cleaner to clean and disinfect the chicken coop.When you need to treat all your chickens because of a health challenge you can infuse herbs directly into their water.This book is filled with rock-solid information about growing and using herbs on the homestead in cooking, in medicine making, in the garden, and in the barnyard.When we learn how to incorporate herbs in our lives, we can eliminate many things within our homes that are filled with chemicals and unnatural ingredients.We can create our own chicken coop and barn cleaners, household air fresheners, cattle fly spray, pest deterrents, and more.The book begins by laying out the basic information that everyone needs to use herbs effectively and safely.You’ll also learn how to effectively harvest and preserve the herbs you are growing and how to use them in cooking and medicine making.But the book goes deeper by adding the kind of herbal solutions every homesteader needs in the barnyard, with farm dogs, poultry, and honeybees.This section has some essential recipes that will increase your DIY confidence and give you real freedom in your self-sufficient homestead.It offers the basic information a homesteader needs to grow their own, something many herbal books are missing.One of the strong points in this work is the projects for the chicken coop and barn using dried and fresh herbs and essential oils.Most herb books do no cover herbal remedies or essential oil use with animals.If you are at the beginning or intermediate stage in your homestead journey or your herbal journey, this book has what you need to save money and gain the freedom and confidence of using herbal remedies and essential oils with your own family and with your livestock and pets.Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of giving an honest review of the work. .
What should chickens absolutely not eat?
Some won't do them much good and some may make them ill if eaten in very large quantities.Illness will occur after eating as few as three or four beans and will progress very rapidly, killing in as short a time as an hour.To make them safe for both humans and chickens, beans should be soaked in cold water for at least five hours - preferably longer.Some, in particular aspergillus flavus, the mould which grows on nuts, corn and apples, produces a toxin called aflatoxin which is known to contribute to the development of liver cancer in both humans and animals.Simple - don't feed your chickens food which has any signs of mould or is in any way going rotten.It's equally important to make sure your flock's feed does not become damp, which is one of the mediums in which moulds and their toxins flourish.You'll see information all over the internet stating categorically that avocados as a whole are poisonous to chickens.It's right to say that chickens are particularly susceptible to the toxin carried by the avocado, which is called persin.In large doses, persin will cause birds to have heart problems followed by difficulties breathing.Persin is carried mostly in the skin and the stone of the avocado (and the bark and leaves of the tree, if you happen to have one).Avocado is actually an excellent source of nutrients including iron, potassium and Omega-3 fatty acids.If for some reason you want to your chickens to eat avocado, give them the flesh only, and even then in great moderation.Solanin is not altered by cooking, so don't think it will be fine if you boil some green potatoes for your flock.Potatoes go green when they're exposed to light, so make sure you keep them in a cool, dark place.If you find some leftover potatoes which have already gone green or have sprouted, do not feed them to your chickens, even if you cook them.And don't throw green peelings onto the compost heap if your chickens have access to it.Green tomatoes should also be avoided but are slightly different in the sense that once they have ripened, the levels of solanin they contain are greatly reduced.It's fairly well known these days that chocolate is harmful to some mammals, particularly dogs and cats.Theobromine and caffeine are the toxic elements of chocolate and are also found in some drinks - coffee, tea and colas among them.Chocolate is known to cause heart problems in birds which can range from an irregular heartbeat to full cardiac arrest.Please note : I am required by law to tell you that in Europe and the UK, EU and DEFRA regulations state that chickens should not be fed any foods which have been in a kitchen, whether the kitchen is a professional or a domestic one and even if the food has not been prepared there but only 'passed through'. .
Can Chickens Eat Herbs? All You Need to Know
Most people like taking care of them as poultry, so feeding them is of paramount importance.Let’s embark on a journey to discover how herbs can prove to be the elixir of chickens.But as surprising as it may seem, chickens can quickly diversify their diet to eat a wide range of herbs.This plant can be very suitable for the hens, especially during summertime, as it helps calm them down.What makes mint stand out as an important herb for chickens is the fact it helps repel rodents and other bugs when placed in the coop.They are natural ground scavengers, so they instinctively scratch the soil looking for seeds and bugs.Among other ones, here is a list of healthy herbs for chickens: parsley, mint, oregano, garlic and lavender.Not only does it contribute to making the flock sound, but also it boosts egg production.Last but not least, lavender can help ease the laying process of the hens to make them feel more comfortable.Experienced farmers only add herbs to the chicken regimen every other day or, in some cases, every week.Not only herbs are green treats for the chickens, but also, they are a great source of vitamins and minerals.Whether you raise your chickens as poultry or to sell them, the way you feed them will determine eventually if you will succeed or not.That’s why I urge you to do your best to learn as much as possible about them so you can be ready to overcome any potential outbreak that may be due to their nutrition.Henry Ford once said: “Business is never as healthy as when, like chicken, it must do a certain amount of scratching for what it gets”. .
6 Ways Herbs Can Help Your Chickens
When I first started raising our flock of backyard chickens more than six years ago, I knew I wanted to do it naturally.Much of what is written is based on the author’s personal experience or old-timer’s lore instead of actual scientific studies, but I didn’t let that deter me.Common sense told me that adding herbs to our chickens’ environment and diet could only have a positive effect.Easy and inexpensive to grow, herbs are not only a wonderful addition to the meals I make for my family, little by little they have made their way into my chicken-keeping regiment, as well.I can’t empirically prove that lavender calms hens or repels insects, but what I can tell you that in all the years I’ve been raising chickens, I’ve never had any kind of rodent or insect infestation in my coop, never seen any mites or lice on my chickens, never had a hen with any kind of respiratory illness and never had to treat one for worms.Thyme, basil and lavender leaves and flowers are some of my favorites because the essential oils are irritating to insects.Spray the roosts and around the nest boxes each time you clean your coop or more often if desired to help repel bugs.Herbs loaded with vitamins and antioxidants that provide general health benefits to your flock include parsley, sage and oregano.Parsley, basil and marigold petals all contain the substance and can be fed either dried and added to the feed or provided fresh from the garden. .
How I Use Herbs in My Coop and Why You Should Too
Using herbs in your coop can not only make it smell nicer, but it can also provide medicinal and protective benefits for your chickens.I have chosen herbs that are easy to grow or find and simple to use- I have deliberately stayed away from tinctures and decoctions which can be time consuming.An English woman, Juliette de Bairacli-Levy, wrote the first herbal handbook for animal health back in 1912.Under our current system, we have livestock large and small that are being fed low dose antibiotics to keep them healthy and productive.The ‘knock on’ effect of this has been a dramatic rise in the number of ‘superbugs’ that are now antibiotic resistant.As such, please treat claims such as ‘respiratory health enhancer’ as a statement, not proven fact unless otherwise stated.I have Lavender planted around my outside run to deter pests and I cut the flowers and leaves to use in the coop.It has a very distinctive aroma and is used in Earl Grey tea to give it its unique flavor.Bee balm is thought to have both antibacterial and antiseptic properties, it is also said to aid respiratory health and have a calming effect.Whilst hens generally won’t eat it, the insect and rodent repellent in the plant make it a great addition in and around the coop.The scent mint gives off is perfect for laying or broody hens as it has a calming effect on them.A word of caution though, after the first year your chamomile plant will spread like wildfire so you will need to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t take over your garden!Comfrey is a member of the Borage family and has been used in herbal medicine since the ancient Greeks.It is high in vitamins A, B12, calcium, potassium and protein and it can be fed as part of their ‘salad bar’, mixed in with other delectables such as parsley and spinach.This herb is high in vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. It also boasts iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc as minerals!I like to alternate apple cider vinegar and garlic every other week in my chickens’ water to give their immune systems a boost.Others, mostly the aromatics like mint and lemon balm can be hung or sprinkled throughout the coop to keep it smelling fresh.In the growing season, gather handfuls of the aromatics for the coop and nest boxes.You can try stuffing a suet holder with the herbs and hanging just slightly above beak height – this will keep them busy for ages!Fresh herbs can be a source of mold due to the high moisture content.Edible herbs can be mixed in with their feed or simply placed in the run for them to peck at.
The Best Plants for the Chicken Run
Urbanites and suburbanites across the United States are diving into backyard chicken ownership, which provides not only hours of relaxing fun with animals, but also fresh, delicious, and nutritious eggs for the breakfast table.They flourish in a rich environment where they’re surrounded by plant life, where they can peck around and explore.Chickens also need shade so they can avoid overheating during hot summer days.Plant life provides this much-needed shade, while making the chicken’s environment a rich sensory experience.Plant aromatic herbs and flowers, and you can cut down on that farmy chicken smell.Sage is heralded as an herb that can combat salmonella and stave off other diseases.They’ll love pecking at the green leaves, which contribute to a chicken’s overall health.Thyme also aids in a chicken’s respiratory health, and also has antibacterial and antibiotic properties.The sweet fragrance can also make the chicken coop and run smell fresh and lovely.Rosemary, like lavender, smells amazing, but also helps keep bugs away and aids in a chicken’s respiratory health.They not only help boost your chicken’s nutritional profile, but they provide much-needed shade.Consider keeping a cloche over shorter herbs until they’re large enough to withstand pecking and scratching.Here at Stockslagers, we always have a healthy variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that are perfect for the chicken run. .