Chickens can benefit from lots of different herbs, and dill is one of the herbs that offer some useful health benefits. It’s packed with antioxidants to promote a healthy immune system, aids respiratory health, and more.
Health Benefits of Dill for Chickens
According to Healthline, dill can benefit chickens (and us) in the following ways:
Antibacterial properties – Most herbs possess antibacterial properties. This means they can help chickens fight off various bacteria and give their immune system a boost.
Minerals – Dill contains phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. All of these minerals are great for bone health, and laying hens rely on a daily intake of calcium to produce healthy eggs.
Aids digestion – Chickens have a habit of eating just about anything that might be edible. As a result, digestive issues are not uncommon. Dill is often used for various digestion-related issues, and also as an appetite stimulant.
Respiratory health – Feeding or using herbs that aid respiratory health is important, especially in the winter months.
Chickens are susceptible to various respiratory issues. It’s far better to be proactive than it is to treat breathing-related issues. Ginger, mint, and some other herbs are also good for this.
Some pretty powerful health and wellness benefits for a herb that’s more commonly used to complement fish dishes!
How To Feed Dill To Chickens
The easiest way to feed dill to your chickens is by chopping and sprinkling some in with their feed or on a vegetable or fruit they’re munching.
As I’m sure you’re aware if you’re raising chickens – if they want to eat something it doesn’t take much convincing.
You can also put some in their nesting boxes or bedding to take advantage of its aromatic properties as discussed above. Either way, it’s an awesome herb to use alone or in combination with other herbs.
Other Herbs and Spices That Are Great for Chickens
Now you know that dill is awesome for chickens, I recommend looking into some of the other herbs and spices that offer unique and interesting health benefits.
To get you started, here are some of the best herbs and spices to supplement your flock’s diet:
Cinnamon is a favorite in our household. I, for one, can’t get enough of the sweet, spicy, and warming aroma.
It also just happens to be one of the best spices for chickens. With natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties cinnamon is an expectorant often used to help fight respiratory infections.
Is there a more familiar and refreshing smell than fresh mint? If you’re going to grow it, there are loads of plants in the mint family to choose from too; such as water mint, peppermint, chocolate mint, etc.
It’s a powerful herb, rich in a wide range of minerals and vitamins. It’s known to aid digestion, strengthen the immune system, and importantly for chickens, can help alleviate respiratory issues.
Contrary to popular belief, mint doesn’t help lower a chicken’s (or ours) temperature or cool us when it’s hot.
Menthol just confuses our senses into thinking so. Still, a refreshing herb to add to cold water in the summer months, trick or not!
Known as one of the healthiest spices on the planet, it’s no surprise that putting a little ginger in with their feed has some health benefits for chickens.
Studies have shown this spice can improve egg-laying performance and increase the antioxidant properties in your hen’s eggs.
Ginger is also known to help with respiratory issues, something chickens can be susceptible to – making ginger a good choice in winter months.
Thyme is commonly given to chickens as it’s packed with good nutrition and is known to help soothe respiratory issues, reduce coughs, colds etc.
It contains a compound called thymol, this is an ingredient used in most pesticides. Making thyme a great choice for warding off parasites from nesting boxes, bedding, and anywhere else you use it.
Being rich in nutrients, thyme is a good immune-boosting food supplement. It’s inexpensive and easy to grow too, always a couple of plus points in my book.
Lavender has been used for thousands of years for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also one of the best smelling herbs and is known to promote a relaxing environment (and for helping me sleep!)
I usually scatter some dried lavender in my hen’s nesting boxes and around their coop when I can get my hands on some. An easy way to freshen the place up while repelling parasites and other pests.
Hopefully, this article has helped introduce you to the benefits of dill. Along with some other popular herbs and spices the backyard chicken community gives to their chickens.
Supplementing your chickens’ diet with herbs is an easy and convenient way to give them a boost in nutrition the natural way. Why not grow or pick some up and see how your flock takes to herbs.
Image credits – Images by Capri23auto and WONJAE LEE from Pixabay