Chickens can eat fennel, yes. Most herbs are great for chickens, and fennel is one of those herbs. It has some positive health and wellness benefits and other useful applications.
In this article, I’m going to explain why you might want to go out of your way to add some fennel into your chook’s diet.
Why Is Fennel Good for Chickens?
Fennel is a perennial herb that, believe it or not, actually belongs to the carrot family. When you look at the greens at the top it makes sense though, they’re very similar.
It’s an interesting herb because the taste has such a wide spectrum. It can add anything from a mild tone to a dish, to a strong, pungent licorice-like flavor.
Taste isn’t a concern to chickens though. Not only do they have very few taste buds, but nothing can taste worse than spiders or stink bugs - right?
On the nutrition side, fennel is believed to aid reproductive health in chickens. Meaning it’s a laying stimulant and a natural one at that which is always a plus.
It’s packed with a good range of vitamins, minerals, and other compounds. For us, it’s good for bone health, lowers blood pressure, aids heart health, our digestive systems, and strengthens our immune system.
I just hope you’re willing to share some now you know how awesome fennel is!
How Should You Feed Fennel to Your Chickens?
A couple of things to be aware of with fennel; the first is that it’s the bulb that has all the goodness. The second is that it spoils quickly, so you have to use it shortly after buying or harvesting it.
With that said, if you have some fresh fennel bulbs and stalks all you need to do is chop it up before handing it over to your hungry chooks.
A know most farmers and backyard chicken owners just scatter herbs all over their nesting boxes, bedding, and feed.
Most herbs smell great and repel insects so it’s also beneficial to scatter some. As long as your chickens are finding it, they’ll eat it if they want to.
I’ll point out that fennel seeds are also edible and have some good health properties. But I stick to the grown plant.
What Herbs Do Chickens Love?
What herbs don’t chickens love!
As long as you’re giving your chickens foods that are safe for them, they’re almost certainly going to gobble everything up. If you’ve owned chickens, you’ll know all too well what munching machines they are.
Herbs are a little more interesting than fruits and vegetables though. They contain some powerful and unique health and wellness properties, so it’s worth looking into what different herbs can do for your flock.
Here are some of the best herbs to consider feeding to your girls (and roosters):
This nutrient-dense herb is perfect if you want to grow your own herbs. It’s fairly easy to grow, and just like fennel is believed to act as a laying stimulant. Plus, who doesn’t like having some parsley in the kitchen too?
Related - You can read more about how I feed my flock parsley here.
One of the most common herbs for cooking with, I for one love the smell of fresh oregano. It’s great for chickens too, it’ll provide some good nutrition and help strengthen their immune systems.
Cilantro leaves and the seeds of the plants which are called coriander both contain a good range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also have some anti-parasitic properties, so a good choice to scatter in their coop.
Basil is another herb that’s easy to grow. It hosts antibacterial properties, is nutrient-dense, and I’ve read that it helps to promote a healthy respiratory system.
I’m a big fan of lavender, I diffuse it around the home to destress. It can also help your backyard fluffy friends relax, too. The aroma is pleasant to us but repels insects and other pests which is an added bonus.
Related - You can read more about using lavender with backyard chickens here.
Similar to lavender, lemon balm will add a lovely scent to a coop while repelling external parasites. Apparently it’s effective at keeping rodents at bay. Just hang it up or scatter some of the leaves fresh or dried, simple.
In Summary - Can Chickens Eat Fennel?
Hopefully, this introduction to the world of herbs has given you (and your chickens) some food for thought.
If you’re looking for a natural way to increase egg production, repel pests, add a lovely aroma to your yard and coop, and provide your flock with some excellent nutrition and health benefits - you should look into feeding them herbs.
What Is Fennel? Benefits of Fennel - Masterclass.com