Can Chickens Eat Cilantro? Gardening for Your Flock

Explore 8 Plants Your Chickens Can Enjoy

by Erin Snyder
PHOTO: Adobe Stock Photo by Betsy

Can chickens eat cilantro? If you want to expand your flock’s garden to more than tomatoes, squash, and lettuce, here are 10 plants for your chickens to enjoy.


Can chickens eat cilantro? Yes! Not only can chickens eat cilantro, but it benefits their health and vision.

Cilantro is high in vitamin A, helping to keep chickens’ eyes in tip-top condition. With clear vision, chickens can spot a tasty bug in the grass or a hungry hawk in the sky. This essential vitamin also supports a healthy reproductive system.

Can chickens eat cilantro growing in the garden. Yes.

Cilantro contains antioxidants, improves immune system health, and reduces pathogens in the digestive tract, working to keep the intestinal tract healthy. Due to its remarkable ability to remove these pathogens from the digestive tract, cilantro is one of the best herbs to feed laying hens and baby chicks.


Nasturtiums are among my flock’s favorite flowers despite their slight pepper taste. Both the leaves and flowers are edible for chickens and humans. High in vitamin C and antioxidants, these pretty flowers are also believed to be antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and natural dewormers and are thought to prevent cancer.

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Nasturtiums are extremely hardy plants and can even hold up to chickens scratching.

French Marigold

While only the flowers are edible, this shouldn’t stop you from growing these for your flock. French marigold flowers are a great immune booster, insect and snake repellent, and they help increase eggshell strength. French Marigolds are also considered to be antiviral and antifungal.

Your chickens will not be the only thing benefiting from French Marigolds. Planting French Marigolds throughout your garden will help deter bugs from destroying your other plants.

french marigold

Feeding French Marigolds to your laying hens helps brighten feet and leg color and produces those bright orange yolks that many backyard chicken keepers love.

French Marigolds should not be confused with African Marigolds, as the two varieties vary greatly. Only feed French Marigolds to chickens.


Peas are a fun treat to grow and feed your flock. Not only is this vegetable one of my flock’s favorite treats but it is also filled with nutrients.

An excellent source of protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, C, E and K. These essential vitamins and minerals keep chickens’ bodies in tip-top condition and help prevent disease.

The peas and pods are edible, and your flock will be tripping over themselves to eat this tasty snack.

When feeding peas to chicks, break them into tiny pieces to avoid choking.


Now that we have answered the question, can chickens eat cilantro? Can they eat roses? Yes, chickens can eat roses, and they love them, too. If my chickens were to pick a favorite flower, it would be the Virginia Roses growing in my backyard. These fragrant flowers are high in vitamins C and A and are full of antioxidants and flavonoids that support a healthy immune system.


Rose petals are also phytonutrients, a substance believed to prevent cancer cell formation.

Never feed roses that have been sprayed with chemicals, pesticides, or insecticides to chickens. Rose petals are edible for adult chickens and chicks. Adult chickens can also eat the ripened rose hips.


Lovage is a vital health tonic for laying hens and roosters. One of the few culinary herbs to promote kidney health, lovage cleanses the kidneys without removing electrolytes from the body. Kidney health is crucial in backyard flocks, as the high calcium levels required for layers may result in kidney damage, especially in roosters.

Lovage is packed with nutrients and contains high amounts of B vitamins and vitamin C.

Never feed lovage to baby chicks. Lovage can cause kidney failure if fed in large quantities. To ere on the side of caution, I only feed a small handful of lovage to my flock once a week.


Safe to feed to baby chicks and chickens, yarrow is one of my flock’s all-time favorites and is a popular choice for many backyard flock raisers.  The leaves and flowers are both edible, although my flock seems to favor the taste of the leaves.


Yarrow helps to alleviate digestive issues and improve blood circulation and flow. It is also an anti-inflammatory.

This beneficial plant benefits the garden, as its delicate flowers attract many pollinators and beneficial bugs.


The smell of lavender can help soothe and relax your chickens during stressful times, such as when introducing new flock members or when your hen is broody. Even if your chickens aren’t stressed, lavender can help them feel more relaxed and safe.

A natural bug and rodent repellent, hanging lavender above your perch or sprinkling some lavender around the perimeter of your coop and run may help deter mites, lice, and other pests from visiting your henhouse.


Lavender is also believed to help prevent respiratory problems, keeping airways clean and healthy.

There are so many delicious vegetables, flowers, and herbs to feed chickens, so why stick to the basics? Before feeding new plants to your flock, check with your local extension office to see if they are safe to consume.

This article about can chickens eat cilantro was written for Chickens magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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