Raising healthy chickens are quite simple if they are fed and cared for properly. Chickens will need to eat quality commercial feeds on a daily basis to keep them healthy. While these feeds are an excellent source of food for the chickens, they should be fed other foods as well.
Occasionally, chickens will get sick due to the weather, an injury, or from foods they eat that contain bacteria. Most of the time, when chickens get sick, there won’t be any signs of illness until it’s too late. To prevent chickens from getting sick, the herb is an excellent source for it. There are many types of herbs available that you can feed chickens with and one of them is oregano.
Can Chickens Eat Oregano?
Another great reason is the herb is easy to grow. It can be grown in an outdoor garden or indoor. If you’re growing the herb indoors, you can have fresh oregano all year long.
With oregano, it’s versatile and can be feed to the chickens as fresh, dried, or as an essential oil. All are safe to feed chickens with. In oil form, you should not give them too much of it as it usually contains a higher amount of nutrition than fresh or dried oregano would.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Oregano?
Oregano has many nutrients that can improve the health of the chickens. It’s rich in antioxidants and a good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and Manganese.
Below are some of the health benefits of feeding oregano to your chickens:
Rich In Antioxidants
Oregano is rich in antioxidants, which is a compound that helps prevent and fight damage from harmful free radicals.
Oregano and oregano oil have been found to be the highest in antioxidants. Due to their high amount of this compound, the herbs should be given in moderation. Too much can lead to health issues.
Feeding oregano to the chickens may help fight bacteria. This is due to certain compounds that have potent antibacterial properties.
Chickens are prone to being infected with harmful bacteria due to being in the outdoor environment, foods that are eaten from the ground, and being in a coop that’s not cleaned often.
Feeding them oregano, whether it’s fresh or dried, it will help prevent bacteria from causing an infection. If they do contract bacteria, the oregano will help fight the infection and speed up the recovery time.
Can Chickens Eat Oregano Stems?
The stems of the oregano herb can be eaten by the chickens. The stem is woody and can cause the chicken to choke on it. Therefore, you’ll need to cut them into smaller pieces so it’ll be easier for them to eat and digest it.
Cooking the stems first is another option to feed the chickens. By cooking them first, the stems will become softer and easier for the chickens to eat and digest. Again, you’ll need to cut the stems into small pieces first. It will make it easier for them to eat it.
How To Feed Oregano To Chickens
When it comes to feeding oregano to chickens, there are several methods you can try.
Fresh oregano has the highest nutrients concentration and it makes an excellent treat for them. Dried oregano can be fed to the chickens during the winter months when fresh herbs are harder to grow.
Below are some of the ways to feed oregano to the chickens:
Feed them fresh oregano
There’s nothing better than fresh oregano to feed the chickens. Simply dice or chop them into smaller pieces and toss them on the ground or put them into their feeder. Besides the leaves, you can also feed them the stems. Just make sure to cut them into small pieces to prevent them from choking on it.
Mixing oregano into their feed
Sometimes, chickens will not eat oregano that you put on their feeders or on the ground. If that’s the case, you can mix the oregano in their layer feeds. You can either use fresh or dried oregano.
Dice or shred the oregano first. Then add them to the feeds and mix it well. Pour the mixture into their feeder and the chickens will start pecking at it and eating it. Since it’s small pieces of oregano, the chickens won’t be able to notice it.
Growing oregano for chickens
During the summer months, it’s a good idea to grow oregano for your chickens. Like most other herbs, oregano is hardy plants and are quite easy to grow. You can grow them in the garden or in a container.
If you’re planning to grow oregano in the garden, block off the garden to prevent the chickens from going inside. Otherwise, they will not only eat the leaves of the oregano but will probably kill the entire plant as they rummage through it.
Place a fence around the herbs about 5 inches high so they’ll be able to reach in and eat the leaves without damaging the entire herb garden.
Besides the garden, you can grow oregano all year long indoors. Grow them in a container and it will give you an endless supply of fresh herbs. When the herb mature, take it and place it next to the chickens for them to enjoy fresh oregano.
How Much Of The Oregano To Feed Chickens
Oregano is packed with nutritions that the chickens will benefit from. However, it’s not recommended to feed them too much of this herb. Oregano doesn’t have the proper nutrition that the chicken requires. Oregano and all other herbs should be fed to the chickens as a dietary supplement only.
Therefore, a couple of times per week is enough oregano for them to eat. This can be in the form of fresh or dried oregano.
Other Herbs That Chickens Can Eat
Thyme is another excellent herb choice for feeding chickens. It’s packed with vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin A, copper, fiber, iron, and manganese.
Parsley is an herb that can be planted indoors or outdoors. This herb contains many important nutrients that the chickens need. Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin K and Vitamin C. Also, this herb has vitamin A, folate, and iron.