15 Chicken-Friendly Plants to Grow Near Your Coop (2022)

Chickens and gardens are two things that gohand-in-hand. Like fall and football, peanut butter and jelly, peas and carrots– chickens and gardens complement each other quite well.

Not only are chickens a gardener’s bestfriend, providing plenty of free fertilizer and tiling services, but a goodgarden can also help support and nourish your flock of backyard chickens.

There are hundreds of plants that are well-suited to being grown around chickens, and even more that will help your chickens stay healthy.

Here are some of the best tips for growing a chicken-friendly garden– as well as the top 15 chicken friendly plants you need to know about.

Tips for Growing aChicken-Friendly Garden

In general, most plants that are healthy for us to eat are also healthy for chickens to eat. If your chickens are already acclimated to eating commercial feed, you might want to wait until they’re used to grazing on forage until you introduce them to new plants.

Add a couple of new plants at a time, and alsokeep in mind these tips when you are providing your chickens with plants – orallowing them to graze directly in your garden.

Be Prepared for Unwanted Foraging Habits

If you decide to allow your chickens roam freely in your garden – rather than growing plants and tossing them into the chicken run – keep in mind that you are going to need to put up with some rather pesky behaviors when it comes to grazing.

For instance, chickens will eat freshly sown seeds and also pull up young, fragile seedlings. They will also build dust baths in newly tilled soil.

Chickens will even eat newly-set, immature fruits and strip some plants of their leaves and flowers.

Therefore, you will need to be careful about when and how you allow your birds to graze in your garden.

Make sure your chickens aren’t allowed at the plants until they have grown to the size that they won’t be easily destroyed by your hungry birds.

Build a Fence

Allowing your chickens to graze freely in the garden sounds like a great option – until a predator notices your chickens roaming around and decide to strike or your chickens decide to explore the neighbor’s garden, too.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to build a sturdy fence around your garden to keep your chickens in.

Aim for something at least two feet tall and keep in mind that some flightier birds might be able to fly over short fences, too.

I’d recommend picking up some simple poultry fencing and building something yourself to get the best bang for you buck.

15 Chicken-Friendly Plants to Grow Near Your Coop (1)

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Consider Separate Runs or RaisedBeds

If you can’t let your chickens have full access to your garden, consider building a perimeter chicken run along the exterior perimeter of the garden.

This way, your chickens can help keep out grasshoppers, slugs, and other pests, and they’ll also have access to all the goodies that grow on the outskirts of the garden, too.

A raised bed is another option. If you have smaller chickens, they often won’t hop up into the beds unless tempted by a super-tasty looking slug – and then they’ll hop right back down.

This strategy will work only with certain types of chickens, but it’s absolutely worth a try.

15 of the Best Plants for Chickens

Here are 15 of our favorite chicken friendly plants:

1. Herbs

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There are hundreds of herbs that can be grown for your chickens – many of which also have powerful medicinal benefits.

Not only will your chickens enjoy gobbling up these herbs, but you’ll notice a significant improvement in the overall health of your birds, too.

Comfrey:This perennial plant is rich in nutrients likecalcium, potassium, and protein. It can help encourage healthy laying, too.

Thyme: Thyme not only smells good, but it also has significant antibacterialand antibiotic properties. It can also improve the respiratory health of yourbirds.

Sage: Sage is an excellent herb for supporting the overall health of yourchickens. It serves as an antioxidant and can even help to prevent salmonella!

Oregano:Oregano is often considered a “miracle herb” becauseit has so many benefits. Not only can it help fight e.coli, salmonella,coccidiosis, and avian flu, but it is being studied as a broad-spectrum naturalantibiotic on large poultry farms.

Wormwood:Wormwood is a phenomenal plant when it comes torepelling external parasites. It can keep airborne pests away, too.

Rosemary:Rosemary also has medicinal benefits and produces astrong aroma that can keep insects away.

Lavender:A natural insect repellent, you will likely see fewerpests around if you plant lavender for your chickens. It can also calm yourbirds and freshen the air near your coop.

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Fennel:Fennel is a gorgeous plant that not only producesseeds and foliage that support your chickens’ overall health, but also put onelegant lacy pods of yellow flowers. These flowers attract beneficialpollinators and provide another food source for your chickens – bugs!

Mint: Mint is a great insecticide and also can keep rodents away. Any of themint varieties (including catmint, peppermint, and spearmint) can be fed tochickens.

Nettles:Chicken sometimes won’t touch nettles growing in thechicken run if they’re too prickly, but you can always boil them down to feedto your chickens afterward.

Lemonbalm: Lemon balm can eliminate stress among the flockand even help keep rodents away.

Parsley:Parsley has a ton of vitamins and minerals (and iseven a rare source of the much-needed vitamin K). It’s also a great stimulantfor laying hens.

Dill: Dill helps to prevent respiratory illnesses and can be fed fresh ordried – or you can simply let the plants grow wild in your chicken yard.

Basil: Basil is a popular culinary herb, but it’s also a great one to feed tochickens. It has powerful antibacterial properties that can help keep diseaseaway.

2. Amaranth

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Amaranth is a grain that produces gorgeous flower spire up to 10 inches tall. It’s tall, edible leaves are purple and green, giving your chicken’s garden a gorgeous appearance as well as serious functionality.

It has bright seeds and lush leaves that contain all the healthy carbohydrates your chickens need.

3. White Clover

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White clover is a fantastic living mulch, making it one of the best ground cover crops you can grow near your chickens.

White clover is not only high in protein, but it can also withstand foot traffic with ease.

It bounces back easily after chickens have stepped all over it – and even munched on it. It’s a great way to supplement their feed, too.

4. Sunflowers

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Chickens love munching on sunflowers.

Not only will the seeds give you a delicious treat, but they are a great source of nutrients for your birds, too. Plus, sunflowers look great in a garden and are relatively hardy, requiring minimal care.

You can either grow sunflowers right in your chicken pen or grow them outside of the reach of your chickens to allow the seed heads to fully develop.

Once the flowers have blossomed, you can cut the heads down, dry them, and feed the dried seeds to your chickens. They’re a great source of healthy fats, protein, and omega-3s.

5. Garlic

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Garlic is one of the best foods you can feed your chickens.

It serves as a phenomenal immune system booster and has tons of other health benefits, like repelling internal and external parasites, too.

You can feed it to your chickens minced or you can simply allow them to munch on the stalks and bulbs. It is usually planted in the fall, so make sure your chickens can’t get to it until it is mature.

6. Cucumbers

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It takes a lot to kill cucumbers. Not only will your chickens nibble at the vines (they may occasionally shy away from some of the more bristly varieties) but they’ll love eating the fruits, too.

It will take days for a chicken to nibble down a full gourd! In addition to the hydrating benefits of feeding your chickens cool cucumbers in hot weather, cucumber seeds can also help reduce the likelihood of intestinal worms.

7. Corn

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Corn is included in just about every type of chicken feed, so growing it for your chickens specifically can be quite advantageous.

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Sweet corn tends to be best, so consider adding a row or two in your garden that will be fed solely to your birds.

Either dry the kernels or feed the chickens straight from the ear – they usually won’t munch on the cobs, though.

8. Dandelions

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Don’t apply that herbicide to your lawn just yet – although most humans abhor dandelions, chickens love them.

This nutritious weed lives in just about every area of the country and can be cultivated or allowed to grow wild.

It grows best in wet soils and partial shade, and will grow for a vast majority of the summer.

9. Beets

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Beets are one of the best plants you can grow for your chickens. Not only do they mature quickly, providing you with a crop in a matter of mere weeks, but they are also super versatile.

Your chickens can eat both the root crop and leafy greens, too. Beets do a nice job of cleaning the blood and digestive tract of your chickens, and your birds will eat the entire thing.

10. Berries

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Like humans, chickens love berries. Berries can be quite costly to purchase on a regular basis, but berry bushes are shockingly easy to grow.

In fact, you probably already have some wild bushes growing somewhere on your property.

You can feed your chickens any kind of berry, including blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries, but one particularly good berry option is the strawberry. These grow well all over the place, usually popping up in the spring months.

Your chickens will eat the whole plant but especially love the ripe, juicy berries. They will even eat berries that have gone soft.

11. Leafy Greens

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Leafy greens of all kinds are super healthyand will be a favorite of your backyard flock. You can harvest most leafygreens continuously throughout the growing season. Some good options to consider?Swiss chard, kale, cabbage, romaine, collards, and spinach.

Swiss chard produces leafy growth that willeasily satisfy the appetites of your chickens. They usually won’t eat the stem,but will instead peck at the leaves. Often, you can grow multiple crops ofSwiss chard in a chicken pen for this reason.

One word of caution when feeding chickensgreens like Swiss chard and spinach, however -both of these contain smallamounts of oxalic acid, which can cause calcium deficiency in high amounts.Therefore, you should feed them only in moderation.

Kale is another popular choice. It’s high incalcium, vitamin A, and other nutrients, making it a good source of vitaminsand minerals for your chickens. It does best in cool weather and will producemultiple crops during the growing season.

Mustard greens, like kale, grow best in coolareas. These greens are nutrient-dense and tend to attract bugs that yourchickens will enjoy eating, too.

12. Peas

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Chickens love peas, and since they mature in the early spring, they’ll provide delicious bite-sized treats for your chickens when little else is available.

Peas provide niacin, which your chickens need to develop strong, healthy bones.

You can feed your chickens beans, too – just make sure you avoid feeding uncooked dry beans, as these contain hemagglutinin and can be toxic.

13. Pumpkins

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Chickens will eat every piece of a pumpkin as long as you cut it open for them first.

Pumpkin seeds are a great natural dewormer, but the flesh and rind have plenty of health benefits, too.

Plus, your chickens will love the taste and pumpkins provide important sources of antioxidants and beta carotene.

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Pumpkins, like cucumbers, melons, squash, and zucchini, are part of the Cucurbitaceae family. All of these vegetables are excellent sources of nutrition, hydration, and natural deworming ability.

Most can also be cured and stored throughout the winter months!

14. Nasturtium

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Nasturtiums are super easy to grow from seed, and will not only dress up the appearance of your chicken yard but will provide a ton of other benefits to your flock, too.

Chickens love nibbling on the seeds and flowers of these plants, and they also serve as a natural dewormer.

15. Melons

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Chickens love all types of melons. You can feed your flock melons like watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and more.

These fruits provide your chickens with lots of hydration during the hot summer months.

One of the best kinds of melons you can grow for your chickens is watermelon. If you grow watermelon in your garden, your chickens will devour the entire thing – seeds, rind, flesh, and all.

You might have to crack open the fruit for them, however, as they sometimes have a hard time penetrating through the shell.

What Plants Should I Avoid Growing Near Chicken?

While chickens can tolerate – and even benefitfrom – almost every plant, there are a few that you will need to be carefulabout planting near your chicken yard.

Luckily, chickens are pretty good at sensing which plants are bad for them and will have toxic effects.

Their intuition will keep them away from most poisonous plants – but not always. There are always some chickens who will be the exception to this rule.

Therefore, if you are planting near a coop orin your chicken run – or simply allowing your chickens free access to all theplants you have growing on your property – you will want to steer clear ofthese plants:

  • Daffodils
  • Foxglove
  • Hydrangea
  • Rhododendron
  • Nightshade plants (includingtomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes)
  • Honeysuckle
  • Daphne
  • Tulips
  • Oak (the acorns are toxic)
  • Avocado
  • Azalea
  • Amaryllis
  • Poison ivy
  • Rhubarb
  • Onions (can affect the taste ofthe eggs)

What Are the Benefits of Growing Plants Near Chicken Coops?

Still not convinced that you should beplanting a chicken garden? Here are some of the benefits that growingchicken-friendly plants can provide.

Greater Nutritional Variety

The biggest and most obvious benefit of providing your flock with chicken-friendly plants is that they will be exposed to a greater number and variety of nutrients than if they were fed commercial chicken feed alone.

While most commercial blends are formulated to have all the nutrients your chickens need, nothing feeds an animal better than Mother Nature herself.


Chickens love eating bugs – that’s no secret.And they’ll eat bugs at all of their various life stages, including as larvae,adult, and even eggs. If you let your chickens graze on plants in an area wherethere is a pest problem, you’ll find that you not only get rid of the pest buthave also fed your chicken a healthy snack in the meantime.


Chickens like turning up the soil, and if youplace them in an area that needs to be mulched, they will happily spread themulch for you as they scratch in search of bugs.


Don’t spend hours tilling the soil in order toplant your chicken-friendly plants! Instead, let the chickens earn their keepand do the work for you. Leave your chickens in any one space long enough, andthey’ll kill for you.


Most people know that chickens produce anexcellent source of fertilizer – put chickens out on pasture or in your gardenand they will naturally fertilize the soil with their manure. The best adviceis to have them do this a few months before you intend to plant so you don’thave to worry about them burning your plants with the heavy load of nitrogen.


If you have a compost pile, move it to whereyour chickens have access to it. Your chickens will scratch through thecompost, turning and aerating it as they look for bugs and tiny microorganisms.Not only will they oxygenate the pile for you, but they’ll be adding thenecessary nitrogen to it, too.

Should I Grow a Chicken-FriendlyGarden?

According to the principles of permacultureespoused by many gardening and homesteading experts, each element of yourproperty should serve a purpose. Nowhere is that truer than in the garden!

Free-range chickens who are allowed to munch on chicken-friendly plants will not only benefit in terms of greater nutritional uptake, but they’ll also give back to your garden, producing a variety of important functions like fertilizing and tilling.

(Video) How to clean your coop so you don’t get sick chickens.

You can accomplish more in a smaller space – and that’s a win-win for everyone.

Last update on 2022-08-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


What size chicken coop is needed for 15 chickens? ›

15 Chickens: 30-60 square feet.

What are the 6 essentials for a chicken coop? ›

Here is the essential equipment for a chicken coop you need to buy to ensure your chickens stay safe, happy, and healthy.
  • Waterer. Water is an essential resource for all living things. ...
  • Feeder. ...
  • Bedding. ...
  • Nesting Box. ...
  • Roosting Bars. ...
  • Temperature Control. ...
  • Toys. ...
  • Run.
4 Mar 2020

What is the best grain to grow for chickens? ›

Our favorite choices for sprouted chicken feed are: Wheatgrass, sunflower seeds, corn, peas, soybeans and oats can be soaked in a bowl, then spread into a tray or container with drainage holes and rinsed daily until sprouts are 4” tall. Then simply dump out the tray and watch your chickens feast!

What trees do chickens like? ›

Trees and Shrubs for the Chicken Forest Garden
  • You can take the fowl out of the jungle… Howdy y'all. ...
  • The Canopy Layer. The long term overstory of a chicken forest garden is an ideal place for trees which drop their fruits after ripening. ...
  • Mulberry. ...
  • Crabapple. ...
  • Honey Locust. ...
  • The Understory. ...
  • Eastern Red Cedar. ...
  • Willows.
14 Jan 2021

Are tomatoes toxic to chickens? ›

While tomatoes are safe for your chicken's consumption while red and juicy, their unripe state contains the compound solanine which is harmful. It's also important to be mindful that both the leaves and stems of tomatoes are part of the nightshade family and contain the same poisonous substance.

How many nesting boxes do I need for 15 chickens? ›

Usually, one nest box for every 4-5 hens is enough. It is not uncommon for all the hens to lay in one or two favorite nesting boxes, even when you've provided many other nesting options!

How much space do I need for 12 chickens? ›

3 square feet per chicken x 12 chickens = 36 sq feet of open chicken room. This means that you will need a 6 foot x 6 foot open coop area for the 12 chickens, plus the area needed for their furniture.

What does a good chicken coop need? ›

It has to hold a feeder and water containers, a roosting area, and a nest box for every three hens. A proper coop should be large enough that you can stand in it to gather eggs and shovel manure comfortably, but a simple henhouse can be quite a bit smaller.

What can I add to my chickens water? ›

Add this to your Chickens Water - YouTube

How do I keep my chickens water clean? ›

Keep chicken waterers out of direct sunlight to minimize green algae from forming. If algae or iron biofilm are a problem, add a tablespoon of vinegar to each gallon of drinking water. Vinegar naturally lowers the pH level of the water and may help prevent the slime from reoccurring.

Can chickens eat rice? ›

Chickens can also have other foods from the kitchen such as cooked white and brown rice, plain pasta, bread, oatmeal, and quinoa. Chickens love to eat seeds and dried morsels.

Can chickens eat uncooked rice? ›

Contrary to popular belief, rice is safe for consumption for chickens whether it is cooked or uncooked. If you're going to cook it, make sure to avoid adding extra sodium in the form of seasonings.

What is the best ground cover for chickens? ›

Ground cover within the coop can be anything from wood chips, straw and grass to bare ground. Organic materials tend to break down quickly and plain sand is a popular choice for its durability. Whatever you choose, make sure the chickens may easily scratch and dig.

What herbs do chickens like? ›

Herbs that are definitely on the “good” list include oregano, thyme, parsley, basil, mint, dill, sage, marjoram, lavender, calendula, comfrey, cilantro, garlic, tarragon and so many more.

Can chickens eat potato peels? ›

Avoid Feeding These to Your Chickens

Raw potato peels – Potatoes are members of the Nightshade family (Solanaceae). Potato peels, especially when they turn green from exposure to the sunlight, contain the alkaloid solanine, which is toxic.

Are bananas safe for chickens to eat? ›

Can chickens eat bananas? Absolutely! Bananas are an eggcellent source of nutrition for your girls! Extremely high in vitamins A, C and B6, they also contain magnesium, iron, niacin, as well as other essential trace elements.

Can chickens eat cucumber peels? ›

Can Chickens Eat Cucumber Peels? As mentioned before, chickens would love to eat every part of cucumbers. So, chickens can eat cucumber peels as long as they are not too tough to munch. But, it is best to wash the cucumbers first as thoroughly as you can.

What is best for chicken nesting boxes? ›

Wood, metal, and plastic are popular choices for nesting boxes. DIY versions can be made from scrap wood left from a previous project, or plywood would be awesome! You can also make economical plastic chicken nesting boxes out of 5 gallon buckets, milk crates, and even cat litter boxes!

How big should a coop be for 20 chickens? ›

As we mention in our Chicken Coop Buyer's Guide, you need somewhere between 2 and 4 square feet per standard size chicken in order for them to live comfortable, healthy and happy lives. So, your coop needs the following amount of square feet: 20 Chickens: 40-80 square feet. 25 Chickens: 50-100 square feet.

What is the best size for chicken nesting boxes? ›

Good dimensions for chicken nest boxes are about 12 to 14 inches in all directions — height, width, and length. That usually works for all standard breeds.

What is the warmest bedding for chickens? ›

A nice thick layer of straw on the floor (think 12″ or more) will provide insulation against the chill from the ground. Straw is one of the best insulators as far as bedding for chickens goes, since warm air is trapped in the hollow shafts.

Do chickens like blankets? ›

Just make absolutely sure the insulation is completely covered, because chickens will pick it at. If you want to take a more thrifty approach to insulating the chicken coop, simply hanging horse blankets or other thick blankets on the walls will help to keep the wind chill out.

How big should a coop be for 10 chickens? ›

Some people recommend 60 to 80 square feet for ten mature chickens, which would be equal to an 8x10-square-foot chicken coop. If the weather is very cold or if your chickens won't have access to roam outside for another reason, then the coop space needs to be larger than the examples above.

How many nesting boxes do I need for 20 chickens? ›

A good rule of thumb is a ratio of one nesting box for every four chickens.

Can chickens stay in the coop all day? ›

So yes, chickens can stay inside their coop all day as long as they have everything they need for the entire day, including light. If your coop does not have windows you can put in lights and a timer, but that often requires running electric and many people don't want to do that outside.

What do you put in a chicken coop floor? ›

You can put wood shavings, wood pellets, straw, shredded newspaper, and even sand on the floor of a chicken coop. Whatever chicken bedding your choose, remember that it's vital for comfort, added insulation, and odor control. Regular maintenance and cleaning is also necessary and unavailable.

Do chickens prefer grass or dirt? ›

Chickens love scratching up dirt, dust bathing in it, and gobbling up grass, weed seeds, and insects, worms, and other invertebrates they find while scratching. When confined to a small outdoor run even a few chickens will soon devour every bit of grass and convert it to bare dirt.

What does a chicken need? ›

Necessities. In addition to a safe coop and space to roam, chickens need feed, water, and a source of calcium. We use Scratch and Peck feed for our chicks, pullets, and hens. Chickens have different nutrient needs depending on their age, so make sure you purchase the appropriate feed.

What does garlic do for chickens? ›

Can chickens eat garlic? Absolutely. Chicken keepers have used raw garlic for years to help ward off a whole list of poultry ailments including respiratory problems, infection, and as a general support to the immune system. Every rural Italian family grows enough garlic to last one year.

Is onion good for chickens? ›

Benefits Of Onions On Chickens

Onions have a lot of vitamins and minerals and are therefore healthy for chickens when consumed in moderation. They're good for reducing inflammation, dropping blood sugar levels of your chicken and beneficial for these birds' colon and bone health.

Can chickens drink dirty water? ›

Keep the Water Clean and Palatable

Nobody likes to drink dirty water, including chickens. Water that contains pine shavings, dirt or poop may cause chickens to stop drinking. Chicken also prefer cool water, making it necessary to re-up their waterer more in the summer months than in the wintertime.

Is tap water OK for chickens? ›

Tap Water

City water sources are considered safe for consumption, but there are certainly differences in the taste and composition from city to city. Treated water isn't all the same, but it is almost always safe.

Can I put vinegar in chickens water? ›

Another question we get is "how much apple cider vinegar should I put in my chickens water?" Apple cider vinegar is a cost-effective way to boost your flock's health. To use it for healthy chickens, chicken owners can simply add about one tablespoon per gallon in a coop's waterer.

How do you stop chickens from pooping in food and water? ›

Chickens love to perch on any horizontal surface inside the coop. That might be the top of a nest box or even 2X4s positioned to strengthen the coop walls. The solution is simple. Nail or screw a steeply sloped piece of wood above the horizontal surface so any bird trying to perch there simply slides off.

Can chickens eat aloe vera? ›

Aloe Vera. Abdominal pain and diarrhea can be the result of ingesting aloe vera, so while it's great topically on burns and skin injuries, its best not to use it with your chickens, who are likely to peck at anything you administer to them.

Can chickens eat apples? ›

Apples are one of chickens' favorites because of their tastiness. They contain different nutrients such as magnesium, vitamins, protein, iron, etc., which help your chickens remain healthy. Since it's essential to feed your chickens with healthy foods, you want to add apples to your chickens' diet.

What are chickens favorite food? ›

Lettuce, kale, turnip greens and chard are great greens options. Watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries make healthy snacks for chickens when fed in moderation. A few flock favorites include: Vegetables: Lettuce, beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, swiss chard, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers.

Can chickens eat potato? ›

Natural foods are good for poultry as they contain nutrients. Many chicken owners ask: Can chickens eat raw potatoes? The answer is yes! Raw potatoes, both white and sweet potatoes, are healthy for chickens, The only exception is green potatoes as they contain solanine which is toxic to chickens.

Is dog food harmful to chickens? ›

Dog food is perfectly safe to feed to your flock; it won't do them any harm, as long as you only offer it to them as a treat on occasion. Instead, commercial chicken feed should form the bulk of the diet.

Is popcorn OK for chickens? ›

Popcorn is not something they usually find in their natural habitat. It's understandable to question if popcorns are safe for chickens. Yes, chickens can eat popcorn. This treat in itself does not have any harmful elements.

Is Cracked corn good for chickens? ›

Cracked corn is a great treat for chickens. Because it is high in carbohydrates, it is particularly good in the winter months. But, like all treats, cracked corn should be fed in moderation. Never give your birds more than they will eat in 10-20 minutes.

Is it OK to feed chickens egg shells? ›

Feeding eggshells to your chickens is a great way to provide them with calcium and other nutrients. The calcium in the shells helps them form strong eggshells, and the calcium in the diet helps the hens lay larger eggs.

Can you put plants in a chicken coop? ›

Your chicken run can provide plenty of nutritious plants for your flock, so check out these flavorful, shade-producing plants you can start growing today. To be honest, my wife Elaine and I didn't plan to raise wild blackberry vines in our two chicken runs.

What can I plant in a chicken grazing box? ›

You can use regular grass seeds, oat, wheat, barley… pretty much any grain that you'd sprout for yourself. Lay the hardware cloth on top of the box.

Are any plants poisonous to chickens? ›

An incomplete list of plants that are poisonous to chickens includes daffodils, foxglove, morning glory, yew, jimson weed, tulips, lily of the valley, azaleas, rhododendron, mountain laurel, monkshood, amaryllis, castor bean, trumpet vine, nightshade, nicotiana, and tansy.

What is the best ground cover for a chicken run? ›

Ground Covers For A Chicken Run Relevant Tips

The most suitable sand to use as chicken run soil is construction sand or river sand. This sand can also include small pebbles. Chicken raisers usually rake the droppings out of the sand instead of using a shovel. They then remove the top layer of sand every six months.

Is mint good for chickens? ›

Try adding some fresh leaves to your chickens' nesting boxes. Mint helps repel mice and bugs and also has a calming effect on laying hens. If your chickens eat it, that's perfectly fine, and in fact mint naturally lowers body temperatures, which can be helpful in keeping your flock cool in the summer.

What herbs do chickens like? ›

Herbs that are definitely on the “good” list include oregano, thyme, parsley, basil, mint, dill, sage, marjoram, lavender, calendula, comfrey, cilantro, garlic, tarragon and so many more.

What flowers do chickens not eat? ›

14 Toxic Plants Your Chickens Must Avoid
  • Azalea. These deciduous shrubs are popular in landscapes across the U.S. thanks to their waxy green leaves and colorful flowers. ...
  • Beans. Uncooked beans contain hemagglutinin, which is toxic to chickens. ...
  • Bulbs. ...
  • Ferns. ...
  • Foxglove. ...
  • Holly. ...
  • Lobelia. ...
  • Lupine.
8 Jul 2018

What grasses do chickens like to eat? ›

Chickens like to peck seeds from the tops of long grass. Wheat is a great seed-producing grass, and chickens can eat these seeds whole without any processing. If you're starting a garden with poor-quality soil, Bloom suggests growing winter rye, a hardy plant that tolerates poor soil environments.

Can chickens eat bananas? ›

Can chickens eat bananas? Absolutely! Bananas are an eggcellent source of nutrition for your girls! Extremely high in vitamins A, C and B6, they also contain magnesium, iron, niacin, as well as other essential trace elements.

Can chickens eat aloe vera? ›

Aloe Vera. Abdominal pain and diarrhea can be the result of ingesting aloe vera, so while it's great topically on burns and skin injuries, its best not to use it with your chickens, who are likely to peck at anything you administer to them.

Is bread Bad for chickens? ›

Bread – Bread, in moderation, can be fed to your chickens, but avoid moldy bread. Cooked meats – Meats should be cut into small pieces. Corn – Raw, cooked, or dried corn can be fed to your chickens. Fruits – Aside from a few exceptions, most fruits are fine to feed your chickens.

Do chickens need sand? ›

As any chicken owner knows, chickens need grit to help break down their food during digestion. Sand in the coop is an excellent source and is readily available in the winter months when outside access to grit is limited.

Do chickens prefer grass or dirt? ›

Chickens love scratching up dirt, dust bathing in it, and gobbling up grass, weed seeds, and insects, worms, and other invertebrates they find while scratching. When confined to a small outdoor run even a few chickens will soon devour every bit of grass and convert it to bare dirt.

What is the best thing to put in the bottom of a chicken coop? ›

What Do You Use on the Floor of the Coop? For the deep litter method, use pine shavings or hemp bedding as your bottom layer since they are small pieces and compost fairly quickly. Pine shavings are inexpensive and available online or at your local feed store in bales.


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