Every chicken mama knows that a good layer feed is the foundation of a healthy diet for your backyard chickens.
However, you can add herbs to your flock’s diet to keep their energy up in the winter.
Here are our top 5 herb picks that will support your chickens’ immune systems and overall health as you both try to endure the cold winter days and nights.
Calendula is a “super herb” traditionally used to support healthy digestion, immune system functions, and even healthy skin.
Did you know that Calendula also smells great?
Apart from providing vitamins, these fresh yellow flowers come with fragrant petals that are heavenly!
Hens love to pick at calendula!
Mix dried calendula flowers with feeds, put in nesting boxes, hang in a basket or suet cake holder, or spread out near their coop and let them enjoy their treat..
Get your NON-GMO, dried Calendula Flowers here: Calendula for Backyard Chickens.
I’m pretty sure every chicken mama has heard of Echinacea!
It’s an edible herb that is traditionally used to support a healthy immune system.
From the flower heads to the leaves and roots, every part of this plant can be used to feed your chickens.
For the new herbalist, echinacea can either be (1) mixed with your chicken feed, or (2) can be used as toppings to your chicken treat.
The latter can be a bit confusing to chickens - so try adding it to extra treats such as dried river shrimp, mealworms, leafy greens, or even squash.
It is essential that herbs you buy should be all-natural and 100% pure. PCM StrongHen (™) is a blend of herbs - including echinacea.
Elderberry is a great supplement to feed to chickens as soon as the cold weather comes in.
Chickens enjoy picking the berries on top of their treats. You can either serve fresh or dried Elderberries, as well as dried Elderflowers -- your hens will definitely love both!
You can top your flock’s daily ration with elderberries, or use an herbal blend like PCM StrongHen (™), which contains tiny, “perfect-for-beaks” elderberries.
Garlic is the perfect ingredient to add flavor to any kind of food -- be it for chickens or for us humans. It’s has also traditionally been used for centuries to support healthy immune system functions.
Many hicken owners consider garlic as a “must-have” in their coop. Both raw and dried garlic is great for your chickens.
A simple way of getting its nutrients consumed by your flock is to soak fresh or dried garlic in their drinking water.
You can get garlic from your local supermarket, or order it here: Granulated Garlic for Chickens
Oregano is my top pick among my herb collection for backyard chickens. It’s simply a favorite because of how it supports a strong and healthy immune system for my flock.
It’s a favorite of my chickens, too! Those little green oregano flecks are just irresistible -- they totally love to gobble ‘em down.
You can use oregano from the grocery store, or buy 100% pure, non-GMO Oregano for Backyard Chickens here.
Author: Maat van Uitert is an internationally-recognized backyard chicken expert and founder of Pampered Chicken Mama, which reaches approximately 20 million readers a month. Maat has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, and in Glamour, Reader's Digest, Prevention, and Parents magazines.