Thyme is an herb that’s known for its versatile uses. The herb is used for dietary, medicinal, and ornamental. Since thyme is safe for humans to eat, can chickens eat thyme too?
Can chickens eat thyme? Yes, chickens can eat thyme, including the stems. This herb is packed with vitamin C and a good source of copper, fiber, iron, and manganese. Feeding thyme to the chickens in moderation will result in a boost of nutrition.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Thyme?
Thyme isn’t as popular as other herbs like parsley, oregano, and basil. However, for those who use thyme, they can be benefits a lot of the nutrition that it has. Chickens too can benefit from eating thyme.
Below are some of the health benefits the chickens can gain from being given thyme:
Thyme will get rid of pests
Believe it or not, thyme can help prevent pests from living on and infecting your chickens.
Thyme extract can help repel mosquitoes, ticks, and lice from biting them. Simply rub some of the thyme leaves on their skin to release the essential oil.
Thyme is packed with vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A. These two vitamins are will help prevent the chickens from catching a cold. If they do, feeding them thyme can help get them back in good health quickly.
Can Chickens Eat Thyme Sprigs?
The thyme sprigs are tough and woody. This will make it hard for the chicken to eat and digest. However, there are no toxins found in the stem, which makes them perfectly fine for chickens to eat.
If you really want to feed them the sprigs, make sure to cut them into small pieces first. Another option would be to grind the sprigs into bits of pieces.
Only feed fresh thyme sprigs to the chickens. As they get older, it will start to dry out and lose all of its nutrients and become tough like wood.
How To Feed Thyme To Chickens
Chickens will literally eat anything that you give them. As for thyme, they are several methods to feed them. Make sure before feeding thyme to the chickens, wash them thoroughly first. This will ensure it’s free of any pests and bacteria that may be on the herb.
Below are some of the methods to feed thyme to your chickens:
Feed the chickens fresh thyme. There’s nothing better than fresh thyme due to their freshness and high content of nutrition. The leaves are small enough that you don’t need to cut it. Simply pick away the leaves from the springs and toss them to the chickens. They will eat it and get all the nutritional benefits of fresh thyme.
Mixing thyme with their feed. Sometimes, the chickens won’t eat fresh thyme you toss to them. Maybe you just want to boost their nutrition level. For both cases, mixing thyme into their feeds is an excellent idea.
You can either use fresh or dried thyme to mix with their feed. Dice or cut the thyme into small pieces so it’ll blend in with the feeds. Then mix it all together and give it to the chickens. They won’t be able to tell the difference and will eat it all.
Letting the chickens eat thyme from the garden. Fresh thyme is the best for them. Therefore, you can grow this herb in the garden. When growing them, it’s best to grow them away from other plants in the garden, unless you’re planning to let them feed on those as well.
Chickens are known to eat every part of the thyme if they are let loose in the garden. Therefore, place a fence or a net that’s about half their body height. This way, they are only allowed access from outside the thyme garden.
During the winter when you can’t grow thyme in the garden outside, you can still give them fresh thyme. Growing thyme indoors is a great option. Simply grow the herbs in a container indoors. When the thyme is mature, place the container of thymes next to the chicken and they will have fresh thyme to eat.
How Much And How Often To Feed Thyme To Chickens
Thyme is an herb that’s packed with a lot of nutrition. Even though it doesn’t have any toxin and have plenty of nutrition the chickens can benefit from, thyme should be given to the chickens in moderation. Thyme and other herbs should only make up 10% of the chicken’s entire diet. The rest of it will come in the form of quality commercial feeds. Commercial feeds are formulated with the correct amount of nutrition that the chicken requires.
As for feeding them, you can simply toss a handful of thyme on the ground or their feeder. They will peck at it and eat it without any issues. Once they are done eating the thyme, do not give them anymore. Thyme should be given to them as treat. Letting the chickens eat too much thyme could cause them to stop eating their feeds or a small amount of it.
Other Herbs That Chickens Can Eat
Parsley is a popular herb that’s loaded with nutrients the chicken can benefit from. It’s rich in vitamins A, C, and K. Parsley is also a good source of the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Oregano is an herb that’s rich in antioxidants and an excellent source of calcium, dietary fiber, vitamin K, manganese, iron, vitamin E, and tryptophan.
Also, fresh oregano is a great antibacterial agent. For a chicken, it will help then stay healthy by killing or prevent bacteria by fighting against bacterial.