Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Growing Herbs for Chickens! Basil.



Chicken feed isn't cheep! Luckily, there are some ways you can reduce your bagged chicken feed bill.

Feeding your hens food scraps from your leftover meals is certainly one. But for putting a bigger dent in that feed bill, grow some healthy feed alternatives right there in your backyard or homestead.

Herbs are a wonderful choice to grow for your chickens. Not only do chickens like to eat many different herbs, but most herbs have some other uses you may want to try in the chicken coop and run.

Why Feed Chickens Basil?

  • Basil is a nutritionally-dense herb that is high in plant protein.

  • Basil has antibacterial properties and a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and immune system boosting antioxidants.

  • Basil supports a strong immune system and aids in improving digestion, which is very important for chicken health.

  • Basil promotes mucus membrane and respiratory system health.  This is important for chickens because they are particularly susceptible to respiratory issues, especially if the chicken run and coop aren’t large enough and/or aren’t cleaned often. 

  • Add some crushed Basil to your chicken feed and watch their egg yolks turn a radiant orange.

  • Basil contains vitamins A, B, C, and K which help maintain good eyesight and strong bones.

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How to Prepare Basil for Chickens

Add fresh, chopped basil to chicken feed.
Hang a gathering of fresh basil in reach of chickens to peck at.

How Much Basil is Safe for Chickens to Ingest?

As with all chicken feed alternatives, begin by feeding in moderation. Your chickens will let you know which alternatives are their favorites!

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Other Uses for Basil Besides For Food

Pests don’t like aromatic herbs, so adding Aasil throughout your chicken coops keeps many pests away.

In the nesting box, dried Basil acts as a pleasant odor control.

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Where to Grow Basil

You can grow some herbs like Basil inside your chicken run by sowing seeds inside a wire fence circle like the above picture. It will keep your chickens from digging the plants right out of the ground until it's time to remove the fencing and let them feast!

Herbs are great plants to grow in pots and containers which can easily be moved right into the chicken run when ready to feed.

You can also designate a few raised garden beds for growing great food for your chickens so there's always some healthy foods available to toss in and watch the show!

Quick Tip

Some herbs will spoil very quickly, especially in summer, so be sure to refresh them every three days to really harness their goodness.

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When you add herbs to other chicken food, you're assuring your chickens to maintain better overall health.

So save money on that ever-rising cost of chicken feed and grow some healthy alternatives for your hens and roosters.
 They will love you for it!


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