Chicken-Safe Plantings For Your Garden

Spring is time to plant your garden. While you are preparing and planting, now is a great time to plant a garden for your chickens. Your chickens will love to graze their own garden and will benefit from the nutrients from the plants. Here are 10 suggestions of plants your chickens will love.  MH blog hen with melon (1)

  • Blueberry Bushes – Chickens love to eat fruit, especially blueberries. If you have a few extra blueberry bushes you can dedicate to your chickens, they will enjoy picking the blueberries right off the bush. Note though if you do have any blueberry bushes you don’t want your chickens to eat the blueberries off of, make sure you block them off with netting or fencing. Chickens eat quite a few blueberries quickly!
  • Clover/Alfalfa – Planting an area of Clover and Alfalfa will make a great place for your chickens to forage. The chickens will love the extra green treat.  
  • Marigolds – Planting Marigolds offers a few different benefits to your chickens. Planting Marigolds around the chicken coop will help to repel insects from the coop. You can also put the Marigold flowers in the nesting boxes to repel insects in there. Your chickens will also enjoy eating them. It has been said the Marigolds give your egg yolks a brilliant yellow color.  
  • Squash – When planting squash for your family, make sure to grow a little extra for your chickens. Chicken enjoy pecking a squash. Winter squash such as pumpkins have lots of nutrients in the rind of the pumpkin. Some also believe the pumpkin seeds to be a natural dewormer.
  • Oregano – Oregano is known for being a natural antibiotic. Many feed their chickens Oregano for vitamins E and K as well as calcium and antioxidants. Oregano is good for your chickens entire body!  
  • Lavender – Lavender is great when placed in your chickens’ nesting box. Lavender is known to have a calming effect on your chickens. Lavender is also a great insecticide and will help to repel bugs from your chicken coop.  
  • Dandelions – You may be thinking “what, leave the Dandelions?”, but the chickens actually like to eat the flowers of the Dandelions. In fact, they enjoy eating the entire plant.  Dandelions are a source of calcium and other vitamins as well. Next time you have a lot of Dandelions growing, leave them and let your chickens help you weed your yard and garden!
  • Sunflowers – Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E for your chickens as well as magnesium which helps with muscle function and egg laying. Make sure to plant some extra sunflowers for your chickens. MH blog hen with cilantro 
  • Corn – Chickens benefit from corn in moderation. It is great in the winter for keeping your chickens warm and throwing them a cob makes a fun treat. 
  • Mint – Mint is a fast and easy growing perennial. Mint is great for repelling insects and also thought to help keep your hens calmer–simply add some to your nesting boxes. Mint also helps to repel mice and is a great treat for your chickens during the summer. Mint has a natural, cooling effect.  
  • Thyme – Thyme has many great uses with your flock. Not only can you put in in their bedding as an insect repellant, you can also steep with white vinegar and make a natural fly spray. Thyme is also great for your chickens to eat because it is thought to help with their respiratory health and has antioxidant, antibiotic and antibacterial properties.
  • Garlic – Garlic is easy to grow and has been used with chickens since Ancient Egyptian times. It is thought to help with your chickens laying rates (enhances reproductive health) and helps control parasites. Garlic also helps to treat infections and improves your flocks’ appetites. Simply crush it up fresh and add to their waterer.

Plant a few of the above plants, and you will have happy chickens all year round!

8 comments

  • I thought feeding garlic will change and “flavor” the eggs so that you shouldn’t feed chickens onions or garlic. ??

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    • Hi Jackie! I have not personally experienced a change in the flavor of my hens’ eggs from them eating too much garlic or onion. I did find an interesting study done by Clemson University that did a study on adding garlic and found that consumers actually preferred the garlic-fed hen’s eggs over non-garlic fed eggs. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/11/981119073115.htm

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      • Well since. Do love garlic I’ll have to try that. The response from my egg buyers will be the real test. I’ll let you know what happens. Fresh crushed garlic or can I use Penzey’s granulated garlic?

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      • Hi Jackie. I would think there would be some benefit as well from using the granulated garlic, but fresh is what Clemson used in their tests.

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      • I did buy several cloves yesterday. Should I just crush them and leave out for the hens to find? They do tend to keep an eye out for what I might put out for them.

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      • You could leave it out for them or infuse the water with crushed garlic. Let us know which way you try and what your hens prefer.

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      • I will try both methods and both fresh and granulated to see what they like. I’ll have to design a test method to see. I have two large water founts and several feeders so I’ll run some tests. Stand by.

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  • learned some new info… thanks

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