Herbs are amazing for chickens and people, and let’s not get me started on how many herbs I use daily. I know there’s so many pre-dried herbs you can buy for your chickens to sprinkle in their nesting boxes, but who said growing your own would hurt? Herbs aren’t to picky, just plant them in the right amount of sunlight with proper drainage and be sure to water them everyday. I have a lot of herbs planted for me and my chickens, for a complete list on the ones I use, visit my Best Herbs for Chickens and Chicks. Nesting Box herbs have a different purpose for chickens than what you would usually use herbs for, so let’s jump right in!
Why herbs are important in your nesting boxes
When your chickens go to lay eggs, they want to find a secluded, safe place. A chickens natural instinct is to find a safe place to lay her eggs where predators can’t try to harm her. As your chickens live in a coop, they don’t have the chore of finding a place to lay their eggs as they have nesting boxes (though to them finding the right box seems like a chore lol). It’s yours and every backyard chicken keepers job to make the nesting boxes as safe and welcoming as you can for your chickens. As I covered in my Nesting Box 101 blog, curtains are a good idea. They provide comfort for your hens as well as look pretty.
A different route would be herbs in the boxes. I’ve created a list of herbs that are calming to chickens, so here you go! As you may notice, some of your favorite chicken bloggers may also have these or similar herbs. Everyone is getting the scoop! Until now, I haven’t really worried about herbs in the boxes, but with research I’ve realized why it’s a good idea.
- Lavender- This one is kind of a no-brainer. It has natural soothing properties, and it’s also an insect repellent, making it good to hang in your coop as well.
- Mint/Catmint: Natural insect repellent, and they smell so good!
- Flowers- Edible flowers are amazing to put in nesting boxes. After a ballet show or a special holiday, I’ll peel off the petals of the roses and throw them in the boxes. Eventually the chickens will eat them, but they’re pretty while they last! Be sure to only use edible flowers as some flowers are toxic to chickens (read here for a list of toxic flowers)
- Rosemary: I hang rosemary everywhere in my coop as the scent lasts for days and the herbs takes longer to wilt and dry. It’s a natural insect repellent, and it’s one of my favorite smelling herbs.
There’s a couple of Etsy shops and brands on Amazon who sell dried herbs for your nesting boxes, so if you aren’t feeling crafty about growing your own, there’s other options as well. The possibilities are endless!
Once my chicks start laying, I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on what herbs I use in their boxes, so be prepared for that! Until next time!
Dancing with Chickens