Chickens are considered one of the most popular birds in the world. Most people like taking care of them as poultry, so feeding them is of paramount importance.
As per experts, the best diet to keep your chickens healthy is grains or vegetables. But some people may think that herbs or weeds can be very beneficial for them. Let’s embark on a journey to discover how herbs can prove to be the elixir of chickens.
Can chickens eat herbs? Yes, chickens can definitely eat herbs; these are very nutritional plants that will make a great addition to your chickens diet.
For many, it is rare to catch chickens eating herbs because they mostly prefer to eat grains.
But as surprising as it may seem, chickens can quickly diversify their diet to eat a wide range of herbs.
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Can Chickens Eat Mint Leaves?
Yes, chickens love to eat mint leaves. 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.
Can Chickens Eat Dried Herbs?
Chickens love to eat all types of plants, and that includes dried herb; you can even mix it up with the chicken feed, and they’ll love it.
If you’re just trying to get rid of some dried herbs, you can feed them to your chickens, but try mixing them up with some fresh herbs.
Also, remember that dried herbs and even fresh herbs should only be used as a treat.
Will Chickens Eat My Herb Garden?
Chickens will certainly eat your herb garden. They are natural ground scavengers, so they instinctively scratch the soil looking for seeds and bugs.
So, if you really want your herb garden to thrive, you might as well protect it from chicken invasion.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Herbs?
Yes, baby chickens will eat herbs, but it’s not recommended.
Reason being that they are at the early stage of their development. Too many herbs can be toxic and even deadly for them.
At this stage, they should only be eating their chicken feed.
Best Herbs for Chickens to Eat?
Just as chickens like to peck some select grains, there are some herbs that are proven to be very nutritious for chickens. Among other ones, here is a list of healthy herbs for chickens: parsley, mint, oregano, garlic and lavender. Needless to say, the list goes on and on.
Parsley is a source of vitamin and laying stimulants. It is recommended to wash it first and chop it in the chicken coop so they can pick at it. It also helps strengthen the circulatory system. Not only does it contribute to making the flock sound, but also it boosts egg production.
Oregano helps to reinforce the immune system of the chickens. It also protects them from common poultry illnesses such as flu, salmonella and e-coli. It is, therefore, a natural antibiotic for chickens.
Oregano may be important to the chicken’s health, but garlic is even more so. Not only it protects chickens from illness, but also it repels parasites. It can also be used to reduce the odor of their wastes. If the chicken is underweighted, it can help it grow normally.
Last but not least, lavender can help ease the laying process of the hens to make them feel more comfortable. Just like mint, it helps keep insects away.
What Herbs Can Chickens Not Eat?
It is very appropriate to mention that feeding chickens too much herb can be detrimental.
Chickens need to be fed crumbles and pellets so they can grow steadily.
Experienced farmers only add herbs to the chicken regimen every other day or, in some cases, every week.
Reason being that there are many effects related to an herb-only diet. The latter may be very toxic as the chickens can have an overdose.
For example, aloe vera can cause diarrhea. Eating too much comfrey may result in diarrhea as well.
How to Feed Herbs to Chickens?
One just has to add some herbs in the nesting boxes so they can munch them happily. Not only herbs are green treats for the chickens, but also, they are a great source of vitamins and minerals.
You can also mix it up the herbs with the kitchen scraps and feed them to your chickens.
The herb regimen may help boost its development tremendously.
Conclusion: Can Chickens Eat Herbs?
Chickens will eat all types of herbs, but it’s important to remember that their main source of nutrients should come from the chicken feed. All other food types should only be used as a treat.
In order for herbs to serve their purpose, they must be used with caution.
That’s why it is very important to do some research in case you want to use a certain herb type.
Not only will that prevent a bad investment, but you will also contribute to the development of the flocks. Many people could have avoided a lot of problems if only they had known better.
If used appropriately, herbs can surely be the elixir of chickens. 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. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or a rookie; you can achieve success. 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”. That is so true.