Ginger is great for chickens. There are studies showing ginger is a laying stimulant, an antioxidant, can reduce stress, stimulate appetite, and more! If you have some spare ginger, your chickens will happily eat it - and benefit from doing so.
Health Benefits of Ginger for Chickens
Ginger is among the healthiest and most powerful spices on the planet. It has a strong pungent aroma and taste, but love it or hate it there are numerous benefits from eating ginger
Chicken’s have different dietary and nutritional requirements from us, but they will still benefit from having ginger in their diet.
Ginger contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, stimulates appetite, is known to reduce stress and promote a calming environment, stimulate blood flow, and more!
This means, on a basic level, adding some ginger to your flock’s food will help give their immune system a boost. It will also help aid digestion and promote a calmer environment, which is always welcome in an enclosed space like a coop.
I’ve been sprinkling and feeding dried lavender to my chickens for years for this reason. Lavender is also known to have calming properties, and I noticed the difference from the moment I introduced it.
Effects of Ginger on Egg-Laying Performance
I’ve always heard that ginger is a laying stimulant and good for laying performance. It was always more of an old wives’ tale though, no one ever backed it up with facts.
So, I did some research and read some interesting studies on the topic. It is in fact true, supplementing chickens’ diet with ginger does improve egg-laying performance and the nutritional quality of eggs.
This study published on the National Library of Medicine details a controlled test where some chickens were given 0, 5, 10, 15, or 02 g of ginger in their diet.
Dietary supplementation of ginger powder improved laying performance and serum and egg yolk antioxidant status and enhanced dietary oxidation stability in a dose-dependent manner. The optimum supplementation rate of ginger powder in the diet of laying hens appeared to be between 10 and 15 g/kg of diet.
Pretty powerful stuff for a spice that’s readily available, affordable, and will come in handy in the kitchen too!
How To Feed Ginger To Chickens
If you raise chickens, you’ll be all too aware that it’s not difficult to get them to eat something. Chickens will turn their beaks up at some foods occasionally, but for the most part, if it’s edible, it’s going to get eaten.
When it comes to ginger, you don’t want to let them eat too much. The study I referenced earlier stated that 1 gram of ginger per kilo of food is enough.
Ginger either comes in ground-up/powder form or as the fresh root. All you have to do is chop the root and add small pieces to their feed or sprinkle the powder if that’s what you have.
Other Spices and Herbs That Are Great for Chickens
Ginger isn’t the only spice of herb you should consider giving to your chickens.
There are loads of other spices you can easily add to feed to give your hens some powerful nutrients and health and wellness properties.
Here are some of the best herbs and spices to supplement your flock’s diet:
Cinnamon is a favorite around our household. I, for one, can’t get enough of the sweet, spicy, and warming aroma.
It’s also one of the best spices for chickens. Chickens are susceptible to respiratory issues, with natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties cinnamon is an expectorant often used to help fight respiratory infection.
Although not often considered for its health properties, black pepper is packed with vitamins and minerals and has some amazing health benefits.
Most importantly to chickens, black pepper stimulates better digestion and helps to relieve colds and coughs. These are two things that are important to the wellness of chickens; digesting food and respiratory health.
Fennel also has some similar properties to black pepper. It’s typically used to help aid digestion, congestion, and promote good all-around health.
According to Healthline, parsley is “one of the most powerful disease-fighting plants”. So, if you want to grow or buy some herbs that are good for your chickens (and you), you can’t go wrong with parsley.
This nutrient-rich herb helps with bone and heart health and provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals to supplement your chickens’ diets.
It’s hard to mention catnip without thinking about cats rolling around in euphoria drooling at the mouth after smelling and eating a little of this herb.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have the same effect on chickens - although that would be most amusing if it did.
Catnip is packed with good nutrition, like most herbs. But it’s the powerful anti-parasitic properties that most backyard chicken owners use catnip for.
If your chicks are being bothered by parasites - or if you just want to be proactive in warding them off - either plant some catnip around their coop or sprinkle some dried leaves in and around their coop.
Personally, I love using herbs and spices which are good for treating various ailments and health conditions.
Ginger is one of the best spices to give to chickens from a health standpoint. If you want to give your flock a natural boost, I recommend introducing a little ginger to a chickens’ diets.