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A lot of Herbs are part of my garden. I love the herbs I grow for their flavor and sent when touched or used in dishes. Although I use a lot of herbs in my kitchen I always have far more herbs than I can use in my kitchen.
Not wanting to throw the herbs on the compost pile because I had too much, I started to give the herbs as treats for my chickens and they love it.
Here are the 6 most common herbs I give to my chickens. These herbs are really easy to grow in your herb garden and don’t take up too much space in the garden, except for dill maybe.
Basil in my herb garden
Basil is the first of the herbs I grow for my chickens, I want to talk about.
Basil is a plant in the mint family and has an incredible aroma.
Next, to the uses in the kitchen, the basil plant also has some medicinal properties that can be useful for humans and chickens alike.
I already wrote an article about how to grow basil from seed or from cuttings.
Basil has some anti-inflammatory properties which can help against diseases and keep down inflammation in the body.
Basil also contains a lot of anti-oxidants which will boost the immune system. It also will fight free radicals in the body which in turn helps against aging and DNA damage.
Basil contains powerful essential oils, like eugenol, citronellol and, Linalool. These are enzyme-inhibiting oils that help lower inflammation, which is at the root of many diseases, like heart disease, inflammatory bowel conditions and, rheumatoid arthritis.
These essential oils also have another benefit. They provide protection against harmful bacterial growth.
Even resistant strains of bacteria that don’t respond to antibiotic treatments may partially be inhibited by basil extract.
Although I could go on with a lot of other benefits, let stay focused and go to the next herb I grow for my chickens.
chives in my herb garden
Chives are known for the soft pungent taste of onion.
Chives are part of the allium family, just like onions, garlic, and leeks.
If you want to know how to grow chives easily, go to this post.
If you want to grow chives, it’s better to start with the plant. Growing chives from seeds, is possible but chives grow much better as a plant and you can use the plants much earlier than with sown chives.
This plant, or should I say, bunch of small plants are really good for quite some medical reasons. Not many people know these medical benefits of chives.
Did you know that chives are good against a group of different cancers? I’m not saying that eating chives will cure you of cancer but they surely can prevent a lot of bad things happening to you.
Chives contain quite an amount of Vitamin K and vitamin K is related to bone health. It helps to maintain bone mass, integrity, and density.
As chives contain vitamin C, they help boost the immune system.
There are a lot of other medicinal properties for chives but let’s get to the next herb I give my chickens.
Everyone knows thyme or has at least heard of this herb. Many also know that thyme has a plethora of medicinal properties for the lungs and the trachea.
Thyme is an evergreen perennial, it has aromatic properties and is known for its culinary and medicinal uses. The Latin name of the most common variety is Thymus vulgaris. Thyme is a member of the mint family and thus belongs to the same family as oregano.
We, as humans, can have a sore throat, but chickens can have respiratory problems as well and thyme can help alleviate some of these problems.
Thyme is packed with vitamin C and also contains vitamin A. This will give a good boost to the immune system.
I’m not sure if chickens need copper, fiber, manganese, and iron, but thyme is a good source for these elements.
Dill has been around for centuries for both food and medicinal purposes. Who doesn’t know about dill pickles?
The Latin name of Dill is Anethum Graveolens. It’s an annual herb and it’s part of the celery family. The dill leaves and seeds are used for flavoring food.
Dill weed is a good source of calcium, manganese, and iron, and as a food with antioxidants. The flavonoids provide anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, so it gives a whole host of health benefits.
Dill weed also has cholesterol-lowering benefits. If it helps the hamsters in experimental setups, it may as well help the chickens in my backyard garden.
Dill will provide the animals with important fatty acids if given regularly and fresh.
Dill has monoterpene effects, helping antioxidant molecules attach to oxidized molecules so these can’t damage the body anymore. So dill fights free radical damage.
Comfrey in the herb garden
Comfrey is seen as a weed by many people but the organic gardeners around the world have seen the advantages of growing comfrey for different purposes.
Symphytum officinale L. or comfrey is a herb. It’s a perennial from the Boraginaceae family. Being a tenacious plant, it’s good to keep the plant under control because comfrey can take over your garden if you don’t keep it in check.
Comfrey has good anti-inflammatory properties due to the saponins and tannins contained in the plant.
Just like other herbs, comfrey contains a lot of vitamin C which stimulates the growth of white blood cells. It helps the defense system of the body.
Maybe you didn’t know but comfrey contains a lot of calcium and it has a unique combination of organic compounds which can stimulate the regrowth of the bones and the bone minerals. It facilitates more efficient uptake and use of the available minerals.
Parsley in the herb garden
Petroselinum crispum or parsley is a biannual flowering plant in the Apiaceae family. In the first year, it grows a tap root and a lot of leaves. In the second year, parsley will grow flowers and go to seed.
Parsley has anti-diabetic properties and now you can question why this is useful for chickens. Having anti-diabetic properties, means, parsley controls the blood-sugar level which is healthy on its own so yes it is good for the chickens.
Parsley contains vitamin C and beta-carotene. Both have anti-inflammatory properties and it boosts the immune system.
Being a good source of calcium, it’s a good herb for laying chickens without a doubt.
So these are most of the herbs I grow for my chickens. Giving the chickens herbs is a good habit and can lower the cost of medicine if given regularly.
So this is it for this article about 6 herbs I grow for my chickens. I hope you’ve found it interesting. If so, please share on social media, with friends, and other gardeners.
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Thanks for reading and see you in the next post.