Adding Dried Herbs to your Chicken Layer Feed

As you probably know, I incorporate herbs into my chicken keeping in various ways including offering our chickens fresh herbs as a treat, sprinkled in their nesting boxes and in the chicks' brooder, in the coop, as well as into our hens' diet by way of steeped tea, but I also dry and crush herbs during the summer to add to our chicken feed mix all through the winter as well.  I often find that some herbs that they turn their noses (beaks?) up at fresh, they will readily eat when dried and crushed into their feed.

~early spring - my herb garden is just waking up for another season~
I maintain a large herb garden, mostly concentrating on the culinary herbs and edible flowers, so there's plenty for me to use in cooking and also plenty of extra to put some aside for our chickens.

~by mid-May both culinary herbs and edible flowers are growing~
As the herbs need to be snipped, I cut and dry them, then crush them and store the individual herbs in tightly sealed glass jars.  That way I can use what I need in the kitchen and also mix up custom blends to add to our chicken feed.  

I don't measure per se. I just mix the dried, crushed herbs in a large bowl and then add a few cupfuls to each bucket of feed when I mix up my Breakfast of Champion Layers for happy, healthy chickens with strong immune systems. 

The following herbs are especially beneficial as feed supplements and can be mixed and matched into your own custom blend depending on what you have available. Try to choose at least one herb from each category below for a well-rounded supplement:

~Nasturtium not only is a laying stimulant but also a natural wormer~
Laying Stimulants:





~Bee balm aids in respiratory health~
Respiratory Health:

Bee Balm



~Tarragon promotes general health~
General Health:


Sage/Pineapple Sage



~Basil helps make orange egg yolks~
Orange Egg Yolks:



Dandelion Greens


~Oregano is being studied as a natural antibiotic~
Natural Antibiotic:
Oregano (read more HERE)

For a more comprehensive list of the common culinary herbs and their health benefits, click HERE.

Click HERE to learn how to make an easy, inexpensive tiered drying rack using re-purposed picture frames.

If you don't grow your own herbs, you can purchase organic dried herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.

These jars from Ball are perfect for storing your dried herbs:

Ball Dry Herb Jars

Or you can just buy these neat pour caps for your mason jars:


  1. I am so glad you posted this! I was at the health food store getting some brewers yeast for the ducklings, and got some ground oregano. I mixed it in with the brewers yeast along with some garlic powder I had. I still don't have fresh herbs I can pick, so I am happy to know I can add the dried variety to the feed too!! THANKS!

    1. Awesome! Yes dried is great and oregano is super healthy for them!

  2. This is a perfect post for our Ladies right now! Thank you so much for all the information! I had no idea!

  3. This is so interesting!! We have just got chickens again after a few years rest and I am so looking forward to trying different herbs on them. Could I give them fresh herbs as well?
    I have most of the herbs you suggest already growing in my garden so all I need now is to make your drying rack (great tutorial). I generally dry them by hanging them in bunches but the rack looks like it would be quicker as they are all spread out. Have lots of sage left from last year so I will give my girlies a herbal treat this afternoon.
    Thanks for all this wisdom!
    Emma - Chamonix, France.

    1. Hello, yes, fresh herbs are great as well and I feed mine fresh all summer, but love having the dried through the winter.

      The drying rack is nice because when not in use it just folds down and takes up hardly any space. Sage is wonderful for them. You might want to try mixing the herbs into some oatmeal or scrambled eggs to help your chickens gets used to the taste as first.

      Thanks for visiting!

  4. Good info for newbie chicken owner! I also saw these Ball jars in the store and some other fresh herb keepers. I really like the look of them but not sure if I will use these or just my mason jars at home.


    2. Awesome! I have never seen these before - I'm adding the link to the post so others can see if they might want them to store their herbs in. Nice.

  5. I was just looking at my herbs and wondering which ones were okay to feed my chickens...I am new to being a chicken mama too, and this post couldn't be more timely. Thanks for all the great info

    1. All the culinary herbs are fine for them, which is what I pretty much stick so, since they do double duty in my cooking as well!

  6. What an awesome idea! The other day one of my girls took a bite out of my oregano plant but apparently didn't like it, so it's good to know that they may like the dried version when they don't like it fresh. I grow quite a few different herbs and they are all going crazy right now, so I need to dry some for the chickens! I didn't know basil would make the yolks orange, so I'll have to try that! Thanks for the tip; I'm all about natural methods!

  7. Great post Lisa, I'll be referring back to this often on herbs for the chickens, and some nice drying/storage ideas too. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Lesa. I just love that none of our herbs go to waste anymore!

  8. What a great idea! I have heard that some foods the chickens eat can carry over in their you find that your herbs flavor the eggs? It would be awesome to get Rosemary Eggs without having to dice up my rosemary. The grandkids don't like anything floating in their eggs so this would be one way to expose them to a delicious taste without them knowing it. lol.

    1. Sadly, no. I have heard that asparagus can taint the taste of eggs, but mine have never eaten asparagus so I don't know first hard. I do add garlic powder to their daily feed and our eggs don't taste like I doubt that Rosemary would influence the taste either.

    2. Yea, I kind of figured that. Oh well, I bet the chicks love having the herbs in their feed anyway :-)

  9. Love this post-you always share great information! I learned about a couple new herbs aI can use for my flock!

  10. Oh--great post, Lisa! I'm definitely going to be adding herbs to my chicken feed. Pinning this!


  11. Definitely pinning for future reference. As usual, your post is informative and mixed with beautiful photos! Your herbs are so photogenic. = ) - Janet

  12. Great tips, and beautiful photos! Thanks so much for sharing it on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, I’ve pinned it :)

  13. Great post!!! I knew my chickens would pick at certain plants when allowed in the garden but didn't know which were beneficial to them. Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday!

  14. Great post Lisa. We use a few of those herbs, but I'm going to incorporate some of the others (nasturtium for sure)

  15. Fantastic information! This is our first year with chickens and growing herbs. We have 6 hens and 1 rooster and only a few herbs (basil, parsley, oregano, various mint, and cilantro. We hope to expand. We will be giving this a try. Thanks for sharing!

    Please join us again Thursday at:
    The HomeAcre Hop


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  17. I add a variety of dried herbs (garlic powder, kelp, DE, probiotics, Omega Egg, basil, parsley, sage, and oregano) into our girls feed but they just peck out the feed and leave the herbs. Do you have any tips on how I can get them to eat the goodness I'm providing?

  18. Well you could always mix them into some scrambled eggs or other treat they really like...or just moisten the feed a bit.

  19. I've been mixing my herbs with dry oats which have been moistened with water (or your liquid e.g. probiotic solution/ apple cider vinegar of choice). The herbs stick to the oats and the chickens love the oats too much to not eat the herbs. Works a treat for me. Also Lisa- just wanted to say thanks for a great site. I've mentioned your herb page on my blog/website (