Can Chickens Eat Rosemary

Can Chickens Eat Rosemary? (Plus Other Powerful Herbs)

Most herbs are great for chickens, and rosemary is one of the best. Chickens can eat rosemary plants and leaves and will benefit from various health and wellness properties. You can also use it in and around their coop to repel insects.

Health Benefits of Rosemary for Chickens

Almost all herbs have some powerful health benefits, and rosemary is right up there with the best of them.

It’s rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds and is commonly used in remedies to help with digestive issues, relieve pain, boost the immune system, improve circulation, and more.

Most of these benefits apply to chickens too. It’s commonly used by the backyard chicken community to help with pain relief, healing wounds, and promoting respiratory health.

It’s also commonly used for its insect-repelling effect. Fortunately, it’s strong aroma is a pleasant one to us, and an unpleasant one to pests, bugs, and parasites.

Rosemary is a versatile, powerful herb that has some benefits when used around backyard chickens. Plus, it’s really easy to grow too.

How To Give/Use Rosemary To Chickens

Health Benefits of Rosemary for Chickens

The reason why I love rosemary is that it’s doing something while it’s growing, you can feed it to chickens, and you can use it in and around their coop, too.

If you’re green-fingered, it’s a good herb to grow. If you can plant some around your coop not only will it fill the air with that lovely minty pine-like smell, but it’s pretty effective at warding off parasites and unwanted creepy crawlies.

Once you pick it – or if you’re buying it – you can sprinkle it inside your chickens’ coop for the same anti-parasitic reasons and for respiratory support.

You can also feed it to your chickens. Like most herbs, rosemary delivers a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other great nutrition.

It’s great immune-boosting food. Something to consider in the winter months when your hens can benefit from a little pick-me-up.

Other Herbs That Are Great for Chickens

Rosemary isn’t the only herb with some unique and beneficial properties. In fact, once you start getting into the world of herbs, you’re spoiled for choice!

Here are some of the herbs backyard chicken owners commonly use or feed to their flocks:


That’s right, catnip isn’t just for cats. It’s another herb with powerful anti-parasitic properties, and also has a relaxing and mood-boosting effect. Great for helping to create a relaxing environment within your flock.


Parsley is a nutrition-dense herb that’s also believed to be a laying stimulant. Making it a great choice for pullets starting to lay or your hens coming out of the winter months.


Sage is regarded as a medicinal herb for the most part. It’s used to promote better general health and can help combat bacteria like salmonella.


We use a lavender ourselves around the home, so we also use it in the coop. Honestly, I think lavender might be one of the most effective natural remedies for creating a relaxing and calming environment.


A staple in the natural remedy world, calendula, also known as pot marigold it’s known for its healing properties. With strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties feeding your chicks, some calendula will give them a nice health boost.

Remember – Herbs and Other Foods Are “Treats”

foods you can and cannot feed backyard chickens

It’s easy to get carried away feeding chickens herbs, table scraps, and other treats – because they’re always so willing to eat everything!

There is such a thing as “too much of a good thing” when it comes to feeding chickens though. 

It’s important that your chickens get the bulk of their diet from a quality commercial feed. Chicken feeds are formulated to provide all the key nutrition, such as protein, calcium, etc that chickens need to maintain optimal health and lay good, strong eggs.

Don’t worry, there is room within their diet for treats though. You should use that room to give them healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Just keep these foods to a maximum of 10% of your hen’s overall diet.

In Summary – Can Chickens Eat Rosemary?

If you enjoy experimenting with natural remedies like herbs, you now know that rosemary is one of the best herbs to use with chickens.

Chickens – and your yard – will benefit from the strong anti-parasitic properties and aroma of rosemary.

It’s also great for respiratory health, boosting their general health and immune system, and relieving pain.

There are few other herbs, or even treat foods that are better – I recommend giving rosemary a try if you can get your hands on some.


Image credits – Photos by Andreea-Maria Juganaru, Babette Landmesser, and Artem Makarov on Unsplash

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