Do you have a flock of chickens, but you also enjoy gardening? If so, have you ever considered planting flowers for your chickens to eat? That’s probably not a thought that has crossed your mind, as most gardeners work really hard to keep their chickens out of the garden.
There are a few reasons why you should consider planting flowers for your chickens to eat and enjoy. Planting a garden for your chickens will give them their own plants to eat, which will help to keep them out of your flowerbeds. Many of the plants that you can plant for your chickens to eat aren’t just pretty to look at, but they have medicinal benefits as well. When you plant flowers for your chickens, you’ll also create a prettier coop or chicken area. Keep reading to see which flowers you should plant for your chickens.
Bee balm is a member of the mint family. Just like mint, bee balm is a small plant that packs a ton of medicinal and health benefits. The entire plant (leaves, stems and flowers) are filled with compounds that are antibacterial. Your chickens will enjoy having access to this fragrant perennial herb.
Do you have clover running rampant in your yard? Most people do. Instead of trying to keep it out of your yard, let your chickens enjoy it. Chickens love to eat the sweet, small white or purple blooms on clover. The clover also attracts insects that your chickens will enjoy searching for.
Comfrey has been grown for livestock for hundreds of years. Most leafy plants are full of fiber and don’t have a high protein content. Comfrey is different. Dried comfrey is roughly 25% protein and has much less fiber than other plants. This makes it easier for your chickens to digest.
Coneflower, also called echinacea, is an herb that your chickens will love.The entire plant is great for building up a strong immune system. Plant these around your coop and watch your chickens enjoy them. Dried coneflower is a wonderful treat and health boost in the fall and winter when immune systems need a boost.
Don’t be tempted to pull up all of the weeds in your yard. Dandelion is a small plant that most people try to keep away. If you can’t stand the sight of the yellow blooms in your yard, pluck them up and feed them to your chickens. Dandelions are full of vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as minerals like iron, potassium and zinc.
Lavender is a calming, soothing plant that your chickens will also enjoy. The leaves and flowers are fragrant and relaxing. The calming effect isn’t the only good thing lavender has going for it. It also has been proven to help break up mucus and relieve respiratory symptoms in chickens.
Marigolds are known for their ability to keep insects away from other plants and they’re commonly grown in the garden as a pest-control. Marigolds will help your laying hens out as well. Hens that are fed marigolds will lay eggs with a richer yolk that is orange in color. The eggs also have stronger shells and less monounsaturated fatty acids.
Nasturtium plants have beautiful blooms that can add a splash of color easily and attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. The nasturtium plant isn’t just pretty to look at, but it is also full of nutrients that your chickens need. Nasturtiums are full of vitamins A and C, as well as minerals like phosphorus, potassium and iron.
Which of these flowering plants are you going to plant for your chickens this year?