Adding Herbs to Your Flock’s Feed to Boost Immunity and Decrease Health Issues
We partnered with Scratch and Peck for this post as we sell their Cluckin’ Good Organic Herbs for chicken keepers. The ingredients include organic garlic, ginger, parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, nettle and my fave herb, calendula. These herbs go directly into the feed and the hens gobble them up!Herbs can be fed directly into the feed or free choice like you do with other types of supplements (e.g. Oyster Shell). You can also add herbs to the dust bath.
Herbs are important for a variety of health issues
Below are the specific reasons my husband and I like to use herbs with the ladies. As a chicken keeper, a lot of the “first aid” you learn in the beginning includes wound care and respiratory issues. Some issues you can tackle proactively as herbs make a big difference when you just want to keep your flock healthy! (Avoid any wheezing and coughing).More about each of these and how the flock will benefit. Our staff looks to Lisa Steele, chicken expert and author of Fresh Eggs Daily, for advice and learned the following:Herbs to Feed Chickens & their actions:These herbs are all in Scratch and Peck’s Cluckin’ Good Organic Herbs.
- Garlic: laying stimulant
- Ginger: high in vitamins, parasite control
- Parsley: laying stimulant
- Thyme: helps with respiratory health
- Basil: antibacterial
- Oregano: boosts immunity, combats coccidia
- Nettle: Increases egg production
- Calendula: great insect repellant and makes yolks orange (who doesn’t love orange yolks!)
We also recommend growing Lavender, which repels flies and insects, and Mint, which repels rodents and bugs. You can add these as dried herbs directly in the chicken coops.
Chicken first aid kit: medicinal herbs!
We recommend keeping some dried herbs in your chicken first aid kit. Plants were the original pharmacy for humans and animals and cultures around the world developed remedies that remain in use today. That applies to chickens too!In addition to Cluckin’ Good Organic Herbs, many chicken keepers keep satchels of other medicinal dried herbs in their first aid kits.These include:
- Basil: Used for thousands of years as a culinary and medicinal herb. It acts principally on the digestive and nervous systems, easing flatulence, stomach cramps, colic and indigestion.
- Wormwood: A very bitter plant with a long history of use as a medicinal herb. It is valued especially for its tonic effect on the liver, gallbladder and digestive system, and for its vermicidal activity. It is an extremely useful medicine for those with weak and under-active digestion. Be VERY careful that your birds don’t nibble on Wormwood but instead use this in their coop to repel mites. A small satchel attached to the top of the coop away from the roost bars so they cannot nibble on it works well. Wormwood can be toxic!
- Ginger and Dandelion: Commonly used for digestion issues. You can add these as dried herbs directly into feed or free choice.
Using herbs directly in the feed works best
There are so many ways to administer herbs but for chickens using them directly into the feed works best. You can also create a wash and rinse for skin injuries if someone gets pecked! This can be therapeutic for a hen. Remember to put them in your “hospital” wing until they’re all healed up! Questions or comments? Please leave them below.Spring is around the corner! We sell starts of fresh mint and lavender in our garden center opening on March 9th for folks interested in growing your own herbs for your chicken coops.Medical disclaimer: The staff here are not vets so please check with your vet or holistic vet when you start looking to add herbs for various health conditions. While we do believe in herbs as they have many health benefits, they are not FDA approved so please use these at your discretion.