Common Herbs and their Health Benefits for You and your Chickens

Culinary herbs are easy to grow and have amazing health benefits for both you and your chickens.  I grow a wide assortment of herbs to use in cooking and also in conjunction with raising our chickens and ducks to keep them healthy naturally, without the use of antibiotics or medications.

I put fresh herbs in the nesting boxes to calm setting hens, repel insects and rodents and add an aromatic scent to the chicken coop. I brew herbal tea for our chicks and ducklings to give them a good start in life and also for our laying hens. I put fresh herbs in my brooders for the newly hatched little ones also because the essential oils benefit their growth.

All of the culinary herbs are perfectly safe to use around the chickens, so there's no worry about any being toxic or harmful to them.  Toss a variety of herbs into your coop and nesting boxes any time you trim your herb plants.

-Common culinary herbs such as basil and dill are easy to grow and offer health benefits-

-herbs aren't generally picky about soil conditions and will grow nearly anywhere-
Here is a quick reference of some of the more common herbs and their specific benefits for us and for  our chickens:


Basil - antibacterial, mucus membrane and respiratory health, orange egg yolks, repels flies and mosquitoes
Bay Leaves - antiseptic, antioxidant, immune system booster, insect repellent
Bee Balm (bergamot/monarda)- antiseptic, antibacterial, respiratory health, calming

Borage - high in calcium, betacarotenes and niacin, soothing, supports cardiovascular health, antioxidant, mucus membrane health, helps keep bugs out of the garden
Calendula - heals wounds
Catmint - insect repellent
Catnip - calming sedative, insect repellent
Cayenne pepper - aids circulation, appetite stimulant, antiseptic, digestive enhancement
Chamomile - kills mites and lice,  repels fleas, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, calming, relaxant, detoxifier
Chervil - heals bruises, thought to prevent illness, high in vitamins and minerals, aids in mucus membrane health, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, overall health tonic
Chives - aid digestion, stimulates appetite, good source of iron
Cilantro - antioxidant, fungicide, builds strong bones, high in Vitamin A for vision and Vitamin K for blood clotting
Cinnamon - promotes healthy breathing
Comfrey - pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, heals wounds, promotes muscle, cartilage, and bone growth. To be used topically, not internally.
Cornflower - soothing, anti-inflammatory, aids ommune system health
Dandelion - general health tonic, laying stimulant
Dill - antioxidant, relaxant, respiratory health, stimulates the appetite, aids in digestion, promotes feather growth

Echinacea antibacterial, aids in respiratory health and strengthens the immune system
Fennel - laying stimulant, boosts reproductiev health, insect repellent
Garlic - laying stimulant, anti-fungal, benefits circulatory and respiratory system, relieves diarrhea
Ginger - stress reducer (don't laugh, chickens have stress in their lives too at times!), appetite stimulant, anti-oxidant
Goldenseal - Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, useful for treating wounds
Hyssop - improves circulation, heals wounds, detoxifier
 Lavender - stress reliever, increases blood circulation, highly aromatic, insect repellent
Lemon Balm - stress reliever, antibacterial, highly aromatic, rodent and insect repellent, calming

Lemon Verbena - aromatic, fly repellent, antiviral properties
Lemon Grass (citronella) - fly repellent
Lovage - aids respiratory and mucus membrane health, blood detoxifier, anti-inflammatory
Marigold - vibrant egg yolks, feet and beaks/bills, insect repellent, antioxidant, laying stimulant
Marjoram - laying stimulant, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, improves blood circulation, detoxifier
Mint (all kinds) - insect and rodent repellent, antioxidant, aids in respiratory health, digestive aid, lowers body temperature naturally. Feeding results in larger eggs, thicker eggshells and increased egg production.

Nasturtium - laying stimulant, antiseptic, antifungal, antibiotic, insecticide, wormer
Oregano - an antibacterial, ani-inflammatory, combats coccidia, salmonella, infectious bronchitis, avian flu, blackhead and e-coli, strengthens immune system
Parsley - high in vitamins A, B,C calcium and iron, aids in blood vessel development, laying stimulant
Peppermint - anti-parasitic, insect repellent,
Pineapple Sage - aids nervous system, calming, highly aromatic, antiseptic

Plantain - Antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. Prevents infection.
Raspberry Leaf - antioxidant, relaxant, supports healthy reproductive system.
Rose Petals - highly aromatic, high in Vitamin C, antioxidant
Rosemary - pain reliever, respiratory health, insect repellent
Sage - antioxidant, anti-parasitic, general health promoter, thought to combat Salmonella, laying stimulant
Spearmint - antiseptic, insect repellent, stimulates nerve, brain and blood functions
Tarragon - antioxidant, appetite stimulant.

Thyme - aids in respiratory and immune system health, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, laying stimulant, insect repellent
Yarrow - antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, clears sinuses and respiratory systems, stress reliever

Herbs are easy to grow, generally not picky about the soil they are grown in and many come back year after year. Think about growing an herb garden for your family - and for your chickens. You'll be glad you did.

This information is partially excerpted from my new book Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens....Naturally. Buy your copy online or anywhere books are sold.


  1. Home Depot and Lowes both have Herbs on sale this weekend. I decided to look up this blog entry to find out which ones I needed to get for the ladies. Now that I have my list, I can go soho and come home and play in the dirt!

    1. Please try not to buy plants from stores like these, they are sprayed with pesticides, and over fertilized with synthetics that are not good for man nor beast. Just a thought.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. hey lisa always you create nice article about food and ginger thanks for all your efforts byn the way you can profits for that awesome thread about ginger

    فوائد الزنجبيل

  4. Do you start your chicks out on herbs as well?


 photo subscribe-banner-700_zpsn8yjeogq.jpg