Beneficial Plants For Your Chickens
Raising poultry and growing a garden go hand in hand. They are both excellent ways to be self sufficient and promote a healthy lifestyle. When you are planning your garden for your family, why not add a few plants that are beneficial for your feathered friends as well.
There are many options of plants to grow for your chickens. You want to choose plants that are high in nutrients and helpful for your flock. Here are some different examples of plants you can easily add to your garden
Herbs are a great addition to any garden, and many have health benefits for your chickens.
- Basil is a very popular herb that has antibacterial properties to help keep your chickens healthy. Basil also helps to promote respiratory health in your chickens. Dry some basil and add it to your chicken’s feed.
- Parsley is an herb that is very easy to grow in many locations. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K. You can mix your parsley leaves with your chicken’s feed for an additional boost.
- Mint is an excellent insecticide, and helps to keep your coop clear of any unwanted visitors. You can hang pieces of mint in your coop as well to keep rodents at bay. Hanging mint leaves will also help with keeping flies away during hot summer months. You can also add mint leaves to a bowl of ice water during the summer for an excellent, refreshing treat.
- Lavender also has antibacterial properties and is also good for promoting calm within your flock. You can dry lavender and sprinkle it into your chicken’s nest boxes. Crushed lavender mixed with some beeswax makes a good comb balm for your flock during the winter months.
- Dill has been noted to help prevent respiratory illnesses, and you can plant it around your chicken coop so your chickens can enjoy it often. Chickens enjoy dill both fresh, and dried.
- Sage is another great herb to grow for your chickens. It has been noted to help combat salmonella, and is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. Whenever you give your sage a trim, give those cuttings to your chickens.
- Oregano not only smells great, but has antibiotic properties to help combat many common chicken ailments. Oregano helps to strengthen your chicken’s immune system. This herb is very easy to grow and you can offer it both fresh, and dried to your flock.
You can also grow flowers in your garden for your chickens.
- Sunflowers have many benefits, and are beautiful too! After you have enjoyed your flowers and they have dried, and turned to seeds, cut off the head of your sunflower and put it into your chicken coop. Your chickens will love pecking at the sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds give your chickens a great source of protein, Omega 3s, and healthy fat. You can offer your chickens the sunflower seeds in the fall, and early winter as a get ready for the cold weather snack.
- Marigolds are another flower you can plant that your chickens will love. Marigolds keep insects away from your garden, and have antioxidant properties for your chicken. Many have noted that chickens who eat marigolds have bright yellow egg yolks.
- Squash Blossoms are a great flower to offer to your flock. Although it may be hard to share these delicious blossoms with chickens, the squash blossoms are an excellent source of calcium, iron, and vitamin A.
- You may have Dandelions already growing in your yard. Instead of throwing those away, pick some and offer them to your chickens. Dandelions are highly nutritious and a good source of vitamins in the early spring as they are typically one the earlier flowers to come up. Be sure to leave some extra Dandelions out for the bees, they love them too!
Fruit And Vegetable Treats
Chickens love fruits and vegetables and will enjoy them as you harvest them throughout the gardening season. You can grow lettuce, peas, blueberries, cucumbers, and carrots just to name a few. Chickens also like to enjoy corn right off the cob, and this makes a great boredom buster on the days your chickens can’t enjoy roaming around. Squash and pumpkins are an excellent source of beta carotene, and antioxidants. Chickens love to enjoy all the parts of a pumpkin including the pulp, seeds, and rind. Open up the pumpkin, and let your chickens enjoy.
When you are looking to find a spot to plant your “chicken garden”, you can put the garden near your chicken coop. Chickens can help with the garden in many ways. In the Fall or Spring time before you plant your garden allow your chickens to “till” the dirt for you. Chickens enjoy the opportunity to explore in the soil, and will scratch up the dirt for you giving your next garden a start. If you have a compost pile by your chicken coop, periodically allow your chickens near the compost pile. They will enjoy turning the material over for you while adding some extra nitrogen to it. Speaking of nitrogen, chicken poop makes a great fertilizer! Put your chicken manure in a pile, and allow it to breakdown for a few months. After this period, some of the nitrogen will degrade and you can use this compost in your garden, giving your plants a natural boost. Chickens are also great for pest control around a garden. Be sure though to fence off any part of your garden you don’t want your chickens exploring.
Growing a garden for your chickens is both beneficial for you and your flock. If you are looking for some more inspiration on growing a garden for your flock check out Gardening with Chickens by Lisa Steele. Learn more about gardening for your chickens, and how to use those plants after harvest.
Also be sure to watch our chicken garden we planted over at Meyer Hatchery’s YouTube Channel. You can also learn how to turn the garden into some Nest Box Sprinkles for your nest boxes.
This year when you are planning your garden, be sure to add a few extra plants for your chickens, they will thank you!
Find More Gardening With Chicken Tips
The Coop with Meyer Hatchery Podcast
The spring season not only brings chick fever but also the desire to get outside and garden! On the podcast you can find ways to garden with your chickens throughout each season. Also, green thumb or not, we’ve rounded up some easy to grow, enjoyable plants to get you started today.
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