Last Updated on March 21, 2022 by Pauline G. Carter
Lavender is a prevalent herb used in aromatherapy to reduce stress. It also has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. With all of these great benefits, you’re surely wondering, “can chickens eat lavender?”
Well, find out all about chickens and lavender in this article.
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Can Chickens Eat Lavender?
Yes, chickens can eat lavender, every part of it. It offers them fantastic benefits like relieving stress and anxiety. However, as with everything in life, you need to exercise moderation when feeding your chickens this herb.
Lavender contains linalool, a toxin that can harm the chicken if it is in high proportion. Let’s see if lavender is safe for chicken and explore ways of adding it to chicken feed.
Is Lavender Safe For Chickens?
Yes, in moderation, lavender is safe for chickens. However, it contains tiny amounts of a toxin called linalool that can become an issue in large quantities. We advise that you mix your chicken’s feed with only 10% of lavender. So, remember to feed your chickens small amounts of lavender infrequently.
Can Chickens Eat Lavender Sprigs and Flowers?
Yes, chickens can eat the sprigs and flowers of the lavender plant. The truth is that the entire plant is edible. You can chop up the sprigs into smaller pieces to allow for easy consumption and digestion of the lavender. Alternatively, you can strip the flowers off the plant’s stem and toss them to your birds.
In light of their toxin, it is best to feed them lavender in moderation. Going overboard with lavender can cause your birds to become sick.
Best Way to Feed Lavender To Chickens
There are several ways you can introduce lavender into your chicken’s diet. We will be looking at some of them below.
Feeding them Fresh Lavender
Fresh lavender contains the highest concentration of nutrients, so it is more beneficial for the chickens. Start by washing the herb thoroughly to rid it of any insect or bacteria. Then, you can toss the flowers to the birds and leave them to peck at it to their heart’s content.
Try the next method if your chickens are picky and won’t eat the fresh lavender you toss.
Mixing Lavender With Chicken Feeds
Another excellent way to incorporate lavender into your chicken’s diet is to mix it with their feed. The feed is enriched, and the fowls eat every bit of the yummy herbs. Clean the plant thoroughly first to get rid of any pest or pathogen. Remember, you can use any and every part of the lavender.
Next, chop the plant up finely and mix it thoroughly with the feed. Place the fortified feed in the feeders and leave the chicken to gobble them up.
If you cannot get fresh lavender readily, you can settle for the dry one. Get some fresh lavender, sundry them to remove all the moisture that may cause them to go bad.
Next, crush them into a fine powder and sprinkle on your chicken’s feed. Mix the lavender-infused feed thoroughly to ensure every part has an equal portion of lavender and serve to your chickens.
Feeding the Chickens Lavender Straight from the Garden
Our favorite method of feeding lavender to chickens is to allow them to eat it up straight from the backyard garden. It saves you the stress of preparing the lavender for them in advance and allows the chickens to start picking it straight away. Open the garden doors, and they’ll head straight for the herb.
A fair warning, though; these birds may destroy the other plants in your garden, so here are some things you can do to prevent that.
- Build a fence around the lavender in your garden to restrict the chickens to that area.
- Ensure the fence is low enough so that the birds can stick their heads and eat the lavender
- In the same vein, you must ensure the fence is high enough to prevent them from entering the garden.
How Much and How Frequently Should You Give Lavender to Chickens
Chickens will eat practically any amount of lavender you give to them. That is why it falls on you to regulate the quantity. We recommend keeping it under 10% of their entire diet so that they don’t experience the effects of the toxin in lavender.
You should also restrict lavender to twice per week for your chickens and look at other herb options. You can supplement your chicken’s diet with commercial chicken feeds and herbs like basil, sage, and thyme.
Benefits of Lavender for Chicken
Lavender is a very potent herb that offers humans and chickens several benefits. We have listed a few of them below.
Lavender Keeps Insects Away
Lavender is an excellent insect repellent, so it’s a natural way of keeping bugs and insects away. You can plant the herb all-around their coop and place some of them underneath their beddings. That way, insects and bugs stay away, and the coop smells fresh and fabulous.
Relieves your Chicken’s Stress
After months of being cooped up in a cage, chickens become stressed and anxious. The anxiety and stress are worse during winter and can pose severe threats to your chicken’s health. Thankfully, lavender has natural properties that reduce anxiety and stress.
So you can explore this natural way of reducing stress in your birds.
Improves Blood Circulation
Lavender is known for increasing blood flow in chickens. This is especially welcome during winter when the chickens can’t move around. The long hours of inactivity can cause sitting hens’ blood circulation. Thus, lavender is especially great for laying hens.
Lavender is one of nature’s most excellent herbs. It has several remarkable properties that are highly beneficial to humans and chickens!
You can feed your birds fresh or dry lavender flowers or sprigs; anyone that works best for you. Remember, moderation is key; don’t go overboard with lavender as it can pose severe problems for your chicken.