We all know herbs are healthy to feed your hens, so making a holiday herb wreath with berries is the perfect way to give your flock herbal goodness while making a cute & stylish coop decoration!
Making an herb wreath is really easy – in fact, the hardest thing you’ll do is decide WHICH herbs to use!
And yes, it’s meant to be beautiful AND your hens should eat it. Once it’s spent and doesn’t look great anymore, you can compost it.
For this wreath, we used rosemary (because it’s healthy AND looks visually similar to pine) and cranberries.
And I’ll tell you, hens LOVE the red berries. Cranberries are perfectly fine to feed your hens (especially fresh cranberries), but you can also use any other red berry – strawberries are another good option.
(In fact, if you doubt whether chickens will actually go for this wreath, here’s an image from our photo shoot where I turned my back for a moment and Mario, our Blue Copper Marans rooster, decided to try to steal the wreath):
What herbs should you use?
For herbs, you can stick to the rosemary I used in this article, or you can add other herbs. Oregano, sage, and thyme are good options – each is great for overall health.
If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can also use flowers such as calendula or lavender, or add pinecones (your hens might try to sample the pinecones but quickly desert them in favor of the herbs and berries).
So why a wreath? Well, it’s fun, seasonal, and looks great in your coop. As far as the health benefits go, its an easy way to give your hens a healthy in a way that they can easy access the herbs without mashing them into the ground (it’s all about the benefits, right?)
Want to know how to make your own? Well, here’s directions you can repeat at home.
Making Your Own Herbal Holiday Wreath for Your Chicken Coop
What you’ll need:
A wood or plastic ring
Beading wire or string (more on this in a minute)
About several bunches of long stemmed rosemary
4 – 7 cranberries or other berries
How to put your wreath together:
Make or buy a wreath ring
The ring is necessary to give your wreath some structure. It’ll look better and last longer in the coop, and make the rest of this project easier.
You can buy these here on Amazon or make one yourself with an old container top. We used an old container top we had laying around because, well, recycling is a good idea.
If you do use a plastic top, use an Exacto type knife (like this one here) to transform it into a ring. This is probably the easiest and most budget-friendly way to make this wreath.
You can also use it again and again, instead of replacing it every time you want to make a coop wreath.
Add the Herbs
Once you’ve made or purchased the ring, it’s time to add your herbs. Again, you can use any herbs you like, and for this project I used rosemary.
Try your best to use only long stems of the herb – it’ll look better and be easier to tie to the ring. I was able to find fresh rosemary in the vegetable section of the supermarket.
If you can’t find any, don’t worry – you can still do this project. If you can find long stemmed herbs that AREN’T rosemary, then those herbs might be a better choice.
Tie bunches of the herbs (for the pictured wreath, the bunches were 2 – 3 stems of the rosemary) to the wreath. I tied them every inch or so, leaving the last 2-3 inches of the rosemary free.
The ends of the herbs will hide the wire or string, and complete the overall look.
Continue to do this, layering the bunches as you work your way around the wreath. This will also hide the tie points and add bulk to the wreath, making it look fuller.
Now, before we continue….
A note about the wire or string
For this project, I used beading wire (not chicken wire). It’s sturdy and also flexible, and easy to twist.
You CAN use string, but there’s a couple caveats. Your hens are more likely to pick and eat at the string and it’s also harder to thread the berries with string.
You’ll hear a song and dance about how your hens will eat the wire and it could puncture or injure their digestive system.
Well, there’s also a chance aliens will puncture your hen’s digestive systems, but the chance of either happening is fairly small.
Obviously, you should proceed at your own risk and only do what you feel is best for your flock.
But understand if you do use either wire or string, your hens will likely be fine, and the health benefits of the herbs and fun you’ll have watching your hens go wild over the berries FAR outweighs any potential risks.
Chickens aren’t dumb, and will go for the herbs and berries long before they taste test wire.
If you use string, try to use a thicker string like baling twine. Your hens might be able to slurp up thread, but they’ll have to be pretty determined to swallow baling twine.
Adding the Berries
Finally, add your berries. Its easiest and most visually attractive to place them where you’ve wired the herbs to the ring. The berries will completely cover the wire.
I found it was easiest to pierce the cranberries with a toothpick and then push the beading wire through. If you plan to use string, then use a needle to thread the string through.
Wire them on tight so your hens can pick at the berries. This also makes it more difficult for your hens to accidentally swallow the wire or string.
And that’s it!
You’ve now created a cute holiday herbal wreath for your coop! You can either place it high and enjoy it as a decoration or you can place it low and allow your hens to eat it. When it’s past it’s prime, and they’re no longer interested, take it down and compost the remaining herbs and berries. Because it’s easy to make, you can spend a couple minutes a week creating a new wreath and letting your flock enjoy it again and again!
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.