Does it feel like your chickens are always looking for something to eat? That’s because they almost always are. If your chickens aren’t chowing down on feed in their coop, they’re probably out foraging for plants and insects to snack on in your yard.
One way to keep your chickens happy and healthy is by growing some natural vegetation for them to enjoy around their coop. You can find a number of chicken-friendly plants at your local garden center that are easy to establish and maintain. Best of all, these plants can provide your chickens with the nutrients they need to keep laying fresh, delicious eggs for you and your family.
There are quite a few herbs—like fennel, sage, rosemary, oregano and even dandelions—that are safe and healthy for chickens to eat. There are also plenty of vegetables and grains—like alfalfa, lentils, squash, asparagus, buckwheat and legumes—that are great for chickens as well. If you’re looking for chicken-friendly fruits, consider raspberries, mulberries or currant. Your hens will love having access to these healthy treats, and you won’t have to do much to maintain them.
Many chicken keepers find that their hens lay better-tasting eggs when they’re on a plant-based diet. Growing plants for your chickens can also help you save money on store-bought feed during the spring, summer and fall. It’s a win-win situation for you and your flock.
To learn more about how to care for your backyard chickens, check out our list of essential chick care guidelines here!