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Herbed Chicken – Not the Cooked Kind

October 9th, 2013

Yesterday, I spent some time gathering fresh herbs for the nesting boxes. Soon enough the herbs will be gone and the snow will be flying. I’ve been harvesting herbs all summer long and drying them in the attic of the garage for this purpose, but when I have them fresh I use them that way.  In the winter I use dried herbs for the same purpose.  In this bucket is a mix of: calendula flowers, marigold flowers & leaves, peppermint, thyme, sweet annie, oregano, and lime basil. A handful was placed in each nesting box and now the coop smells amazing.
Chicken Herbs
I think the chickens rather like the herbs, if I only put herbs in one nesting box they seem to choose that one over the others. These herbs are supposed to help keep away parasites, lice, fleas, mites, ticks and other little creepy crawlies. You can also add other herbs like lavender, bay leaves, eucalyptus, catnip and catmint. Next year I plan on growing a few more herbs in the garden just for my feathered ladies.  Even if they didn’t help with little crawlies I’m pretty sure I’d still do it, the coop smells great and the chickens are happy.

What’s your favorite herb for scent instead of eating? 

10 Comments to “Herbed Chicken – Not the Cooked Kind”
  1. kathi Cook on October 9, 2013 at 7:21 am


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  2. pam (Sidewalk Shoes) on October 9, 2013 at 7:37 am

    What a lovely idea. If I had chickens I would do this. I wonder if my cats would like it!

    Reply to pam (Sidewalk Shoes)'s comment

    • Susy on October 9, 2013 at 8:09 am

      Your cats would most likely love catmint & catnip! Mine also love a cedar pillow.

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  3. Lenongrass on October 9, 2013 at 7:50 am

    My dad kept chickens when we were growing up and as “child workers” our job was to pick different plants around the yard to put in the nesting boxes. It was always amazing to see the hens pick at the plants while they were about to lay an egg. Cannot remember what plants they were. But I do remember some were scented and some were not. Am guessing this help inspire my love for herbs. All the herbs that I love to eat, I love their scents. I suppose smelling and eating go hand in hand for me.

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  4. Nebraska Dave on October 9, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Susy, my favorite smell in the garden would be dill. It’s the smell that always reminds me of my Mom and her garden way back when I was just a tot. I’m not sure why I haven’t grown it in my garden and plan on planting it every year but never do. Oh, by the way, I’ve been using more herbs with my cooking. I still haven’t mastered the art of herb cooking yet but I’m working on it. Many thanks to your encouragements.

    Have a great Maine day in the garden.

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  5. DebbieB on October 9, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    Mmmmmmm, mint and sage and basil and rosemary!

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  6. Karen on October 15, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    This was just such a cool idea I had to do it right away! I picked every herb on the property and many of the flowers (most have stopped flowering) and tossed them into my chicken’s nesting boxes. It looks
    pretty and smells wonderful. Thanks for the idea!

    Reply to Karen's comment

  7. Karen on October 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    What herbs will you be growing for your chickens next year?

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  8. Lisa Steele Fresh Eggs Daily on April 17, 2014 at 8:55 am

    These are favorite to use. I stay away from eucalyptus because unless it’s lab tested, it can harbor mold and cause aspergilliosis:

    Reply to Lisa Steele Fresh Eggs Daily's comment

  9. whit on May 7, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Found this by way of Attainable Sustainable and Faulk Farmstead today. I was wondering if you know the difference between sweet Annie and cecily? I think I have inherited something like it, but am uncertain which it could be.

    Reply to whit's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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