Chickens can eat thyme. Like most herbs, thyme has some powerful health benefits. It has antibacterial and antibiotic properties, is known to aid respiratory health, and its scent can help repel insects and other pests.
Why Is Thyme Good for Chickens?
I’m a huge fan of herbs and essential oils. I love using the natural properties found in plants over chemicals and man made products.
Thyme is not the most popular herb. If you’re not familiar with this warm and spicy aromatic herb, a brief introduction;
According to Healthline, thyme is known to help soothe a sore throat and other respiratory issues, it boosts our immune system, has disinfectant properties, and can help boost our mood among other things.
That’s all good for us, but what are the benefits to feeding it to chickens?
I’ve read a number of studies into the use of thyme within flocks of chickens. This study found that introducing thyme as a diet supplement increased egg production in laying hens, reduced levels of bacteria, and there’s also evidence to suggest it helps with aid respiratory health.
In simple terms, there are some health benefits to adding thyme into your flock’s diet. As there is with a number of herbs.
If you’re looking for a natural food supplement or solution to certain health issues I recommend looking into thyme and the other herbs I’ve listed below.
How Should You Feed Thyme to Your Chickens?
Fresh thyme grows small leaves off of the main stem. All you need to do is pinch the stem with two-fingers and drag them down to strip all the leaves off.
The leaves are small enough to give to your chickens without chopping. Just add some to their feeder or scatter them for scratching, and they should eat it all up.
You can also buy dried thyme in a jar and use it in the same way. Either way, as long as you’re getting it to your chickens they’ll be enjoying the benefits.
What Herbs Do Chickens Love?
One of the best things about chickens is that they aren’t fussy – as any backyard flock owner will know all too well.
All you need to do is put the right stuff in front of them, and they’ll typically gobble it up. Which is why herbs are a great choice.
Different herbs contain different health and wellness benefits. Plus, they’re easy to add to their feed, nesting boxes, etc and most smell great.
Here are some of the best herbs for chickens to give to your flock:
Cilantro leaves and coriander seeds are popular in culinary dishes, and a firm favorite in the coop, too. They contain anti-parasitic properties, and like most herbs contain a wide range of minerals and vitamins.
Lemon balm adds a lovely scent to a coop, repels parasites, and provides great nutrition for your chicks. A friend of mine is convinced it’s responsible for keeping rodents at bay. Just hang it up or scatter some of the leaves fresh or dried.
My favorite smelling herb, and one of the first herbs I gave to my flock. The scent in their coop was more welcome, and lavender is known to have powerful relaxing and de-stressing properties. You should try it too!
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 is a powerful herb. It’s known to help combat a range of diseases that affect chickens. Such as avian flu, salmonella, and e-coli to mention a few. Great for keeping their immune systems topped up.
Another herb with antibacterial properties and some awesome nutrition. Easy to find and pick up as it’s commonly used in the kitchen, just scatter some on your chicken’s food or chop up fresh leaves.
In Summary – Can Chickens Eat Thyme?
Thyme is great for chickens. By supplementing their diet with some you’ll be giving their immune system a boost and providing some other health benefits.
You can add it to their feeder, use it in their nesting boxes and coop to repel insects, even add some to their dust bath and let them roll around in it.
Most herbs have natural healing properties. I recommend checking out some of the herbs I listed above and starting to introduce them to your flock.
Most culinary herbs are inexpensive, easy to get, or even grow yourself, and chickens love eating them. It’s a win-win!
Image credits – Header image by Jacques GAIMARD, thyme image by WikimediaImages, and chicken in the field by Orhan Can from Pixabay
9 Health Benefits of Thyme – Healthline.com