Chickens can eat oregano, yes. Most herbs are great for chickens and have a range of positive health and wellness benefits. Oregano is rich in antioxidants and can be used as a natural antibiotic within your flock.
Why Is Oregano Good for Chickens?
I’d long heard about the powerful health benefits a number of herbs had from other backyard chicken owners, and oregano seemed to be the one that came up most often.
I always like to see a mix of controlled studies and anecdotal evidence before trying or feeling comfortable recommending something, and I’ve been able to find both regarding the use of oregano.
One such study looked at whether or not rosemary and oregano could help reduce bacteria and protect chickens from certain diseases.
They concluded that they were able to identify antibacterial activity when giving chickens oregano. Protecting them against Escherichia coli, Salmonella indiana, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria innocua.
Pretty powerful stuff for a common garden culinary herb that’s easy to grow and used in loads of dishes!
How Should You Feed Oregano to Your Chickens?
In the controlled study I mentioned above, scientists actually used oregano essential oil. Essential oils are basically made by extracting chemicals directly from a plant, so you have a more concentrated dose.
I prefer to use the plant. It’s easier to feed chickens leafy greens or add some to their feed. You can also scatter some in their nesting box, bedding, and around the coop to spruce the place up.
Oregano is easy to pick up at most stores either as the fresh plant with leaves or in a dried or chopped up form.
All you need to do is chop up the leaves or sprinkle some if already chopped in with your chicken’s feed or wherever they’ll find it and munch it up.
In my experience, as long as they can easily find it they’ll eat it up in a hurry. Although you might be giving it to them for the medicinal benefits, chickens do see it as medicine – they just see something edible that needs eating.
What Herbs Do Chickens Love?
Chickens love all herbs in my experience. Which won’t come as a surprise to other backyard chicken owners as chickens love just about anything edible.
All you have to do is decide which herbs you’re going to give them.
If you’re looking for a specific herb from a health and wellness perspective, I think you’ll be interested in reading through this list:
I’m going to start with a couple of the best-smelling herbs as I use them for aromatherapy too. Lavender is a great choice for their coop or feeder. It repels insects and pests and promotes a calm environment.
Try lavender and mint together for a herb marriage made in heaven!
Lemon balm is a lemon-scented herb that comes from the same family as mint. It’s known to be effective at reducing stress while also aiding digestion. Two things that can help bring some added harmony to your flock – while giving you a pleasant lemony breeze.
One of the most essential herbs in the kitchen, basil also has some awesome wellness properties for chickens. It promotes good respiratory health and has some antibacterial properties to keep your girls in top shape.
It’s not for everyone, but I love the licorice-like taste of fennel personally. The good news is that chickens love it too, and it’s good for them. A good choice for promoting overall health and strengthening their immune system.
This nutrient-dense herb is pretty easy to grow. We have some on the sill in our window and trim it when needed. It’s known to be a laying stimulant, so a good choice for laying hens to ensure they’re producing at their best.
The leaves and stems of the coriander plant are called cilantro. When the plant flowers and turns seed, those seeds are called coriander seeds. Both of which are packed with good nutrition and make for a healthy treat food.
In Summary – Can Chickens Eat Oregano?
Oregano is great for chickens, I recommend giving some to your flock whenever you get your hands on some.
It’s rich in antioxidants and has been proven to be a powerful natural way to help them fight off bacteria and viruses.
Hopefully, this article has helped open up your eyes to the world of herbs and the wide range of positive health benefits they can offer your chickens (and you for that matter!)
Image credits – Header image by Capri23auto, oregano image by Евгения Ксёнз, and chicken in the field by Orhan Can from Pixabay