So chickens LOVE herbs. Seriously. They LOVE them!
And not only do chickens love them, but they’re also really good for them too! They’re also perfect to feed for great eggs. So that’s a huge win-win!
I try and incorporate herbs into my chickens’ diet in as many ways as I can. I use herbs in my chickens’ nesting boxes (check out my nesting box herbs in the store here) and they’re a great accompaniment to a great organic layer feed.
So why are herbs so important for your chickens health? Well, herbs can provide nutrition and health benefits that chickens that supplement what they get from their normal feed.
While you can provide their regular grain in a chicken feeder, life is more fun with a DIY herb pot.
One of my favorite herbs to use for chickens is oregano.
Oregano has amazing properties (some studies on chickens have shown that after feeding oregano, chickens were healthier, laid better, and weighed more – an important factor in determining health.)
I use dried and fresh oregano and provide them for the chickens in their nesting boxes because it also helps promote cleanliness.
Chickens love to pick at the herbs, and providing them can also give them environmental enrichment – an important step in reducing boredom and negative behaviors!
I also love using peppermint in my chicken coop because it smells AMAZING, and it stimulates laying.
I also use peppermint in my recipe for natural fly repellent and it does a great job of keeping flies away from me and from my chickens!
Peppermint can keep insects such as mites and flies away, and is great for soothing tiny tummies. (You can buy dried peppermint in the store here.)
Peppermint also might help reduce any respiratory issues because of the strong scent.
Sage is another healthy herb for hens!
Sage is wonderful for hens, and studies show it might help reduce internal parasites.
Like oregano, chickens love to peck at sage, and find the scent soothing – and it’ll make your coop smell amazing too!
Because herbs are so amazing for chickens and ducks, I decided to create a DIY herb pot for your chickens that you can put in their run!
It’s a great way to add some environmental activities for your chickens, and it looks super cute! Watch the video below to learn how I created this herb pot.
So this project is SO EASY! I love that it’s an fun project, but it also can really help your chickens get the nutrition they need! Plus having environmental activities for your chickens to do can help to prevent negative behaviors.
So here’s how I made this DIY Herb Pot for my chickens
All you need is:
- 3 herb plants (I used peppermint, sage, and oregano because of their nutritional benefits for chickens)
- One small pot
- Extra potting soil
And that’s it! All you need to do is place your herbs inside of your pot or teacup and then fill in the empty spaces with the extra potting soil!
I used a super cute coffee cup pot for this project – it’s a great, useful accent piece, and – confession time – I love that it has the handle! It makes it so easy to move it around the coop and away from nibbling goats.
One thing to be sure of – no matter the pot you choose, be sure it has a hole in the bottom for drainage!
Also make sure you give each plant it’s fair share of space – and be sure to keep it watered regularly, and add compost tea as needed.
You can also use rabbit manure or worm compost to keep the herbs healthy.
This is an amazing easy project to help your chickens (and ducks! The ducks LOVE this herb pot!) be healthy and to provide them with some environmental interest.
Do you have any easy projects you’ve done to help your chickens? I’d love to hear about them! Let me know in the comments below what you have done for your chickens to help them be healthier!
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.
Hi Matt! But wont the chickens eat the herbs in like 2 seconds!?!? Lol
Ours don’t (the rabbits are the ones that chew them to bits) but some definitely will (at least the first few times), which is why in the article, I suggest having several pots that you can rotate in and out.
Do you ever have trouble with your girls scratching the herbs out of the pot? Do you recommend a taller pot?? I am totally going to do this. My kiddo’s and my hens will love it!! Thanks for all of your great posts!
Hi Angela, we haven’t yet had that problem, although it’s definitely a hazard. You can try a taller pot!
I think it’s great people are starting to use herbs for their chickens they enjoy it and it makes them happier when it is part of their diet.
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