Did you know you can grow plants to ensure the health of your chickens? Several flowers, greens, berries and even vegetables can add to a chicken’s well being in a variety of ways. Chances are a garden is already in the works on your homestead, so why not incorporate some chicken plants?
Growing your own plants is a great way to supplement chicken feed. They love asparagus, chrysanthemum, hollyhock, and peppermint, to name a few. The plants can be eaten fresh or dried or sometimes as seeds. You can give them free range to the garden (I know what you’re thinking) or tie a bundle of plants and hang it near their food. Pecking at it is a great boredom buster too!
Growing Chicken Plants
We started quite a few chicken plants in our home this year since winter temperatures are lingering. You can grow your own plant starts with an inexpensive shelf, florescent light and plastic or styrofoam cups. Our toddler loves to watch them grow, and it’s a great learning experience for him (and us!).
Some plants, like alfalfa and catnip, are best used in the chicken coop. They can keep bugs away and keep it smelling fresh.
When temperatures began to warm up, Dave moved our plant starts to the deck. He sliced some PVC and screwed them to 2×4 wood planks for the perfect cup holders. After clamping his contraption to the railing, there was no chance for wind to blow them over.
You can also add plants, such as chives and clover, to your chicken’s water source. The plants’ nutrients will be absorbed into the water thereby entering the chicken’s digestive system. The same is true for people. Infusing your drinking water with fruit and/or herbs is an unexpected way to get more out of your water. It helps if drinking water alone has grown boring too.
Nesting hens can benefit from aromatic plants placed in their nesting boxes. Citrus blossom and honeysuckle are great examples. Wouldn’t you enjoy smelling a bouquet of honeysuckle by your bed? That sounds divine!
All those baby chicks you are hatching after taking our advice and choosing an incubator can benefit from chicken plants too, particularly basil and comfrey. Grow your own plants to ensure your baby chicks grow into vibrant, healthy chickens. Healthy chickens lay healthy eggs. Healthy eggs feed healthy humans…you get the idea.
By the way, I made the egg gathering apron shown above and am taking a limited number of orders. Contact me for details by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the complete list of Plants to Grow for Healthy Chickens, click on the link to the PDF document below. There are three pages of plants listed with their uses for chickens. Hopefully you can find a way to incorporate a few (or more) of them into your homestead’s garden plan this year. We certainly did!
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Please let us know if you have any questions about growing chicken plants. If we don’t know the answer, we’ll find out for you. Happy planting!