Sue Weaver
March 1, 2017

Herbs are wonderful for your chickens. They can nourish your birds, repel bugs and mice, and make your coop smell better than it’s ever smelled before. You can grow them in your garden or gather them from the wild, but why not plant them around your coop and chicken run where they’re close at hand and ready to use when you need them?

Starting Your Coop Herb Garden

You can plant herbs directly in the ground, but for chicken coop purposes, container gardening may be better so that you can move them around easily. Many items around the farm can be upcycled into herb-growing containers:

  • plastic pails
  • woven poly feed bags
  • livestock mineral tubs

Choosing The Right Herbs

The herbs you grow for your flock depends on your chickens and their needs. Here are a few to consider:

1. Basil

Annual; full sun

Basil has antibacterial properties and is high in plant protein. When fed to chickens it boosts respiratory health and imparts orange coloring to egg yolks.

2. Comfrey

Perennial; full sun to partial shade

Comfrey acts as a digestive aid, has anti-inflammatory properties, and supports bone and artery health. It’s rich in protein, potassium, calcium and vitamin B12. Chop and feed it to your chickens to increase egg production and boost their overall health.

3. Dill

Biennial; full sun

Dill provides plenty of plant protein and is packed with antioxidants. It’s used in herbal products formulated to combat respiratory problems and as a calming herb in nesting boxes. It’s also said to stimulate feather growth.

4. Fennel

Perennial; full sun to partial shade

Fennel enhances reproductive health in chickens. Both foliage and shaved bulbs are powerful laying stimulants.

5. Lavender

Evergreen perennial; full sun

Scattered or suspended in bunches in the coop and around its perimeter, lavender is one of the best insecticidal herbs. It’s also a peerless stress reliever.

6. Lemon Balm

Perennial; full sun

Lemon balm is an excellent rodent repellant and a calming aromatic.

7. Mint

Perennial; full sun to partial shade

Mints of all varieties are superlative fly, spider and rodent repellants. They are packed with antioxidants and great for treating respiratory conditions. Like dill, mint is said to encourage feather growth.

8. Oregano

Perennial; full sun but tolerates some shade

Oregano is an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and stress reliever. I clears sinuses and respiratory systems and helps heal wounds. Fed to chickens, oregano naturally strengthens the immune system.

9. Rosemary

Evergreen perennial; full sun

Rosemary’s aromatic scent repels insects and is used in herbal preparations to relieve pain and treat respiratory conditions.

10. Sage

Perennial; full sun

Sage promotes chickens’ general health and well-being. It’s packed with antioxidants. Fresh sage is a great herb to give to chickens as a healthy nibble.

11. Tansy

Perennial; full sun to partial shade.

Tansy is a powerful insect repellent. Grow it around chicken housing but also harvest some to hang in or dry and spread throughout the coop.

12. Thyme

Evergreen perennial; full sun

Thyme repels insects. It’s anti-parasitic, antibacterial and rich in antioxidants. Place it in nest boxes of chickens suffering from respiratory ailments to help them breathe.



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