Herbal Nesting Box Mix for Chickens
There are so many ways to use herbs, and one of those ways is for your chickens! I have shared a chicken herbal treat mix here before, which actually works as a good nesting box blend as well. Really, if you want to put herbs in your chicken coop, it's a good idea. They can eat most varieties, just be sure to do a little research before throwing whatever you can find inside. Herbs help to keep insects and rodents away, they have plenty of medicinal benefits, and can even help get your chickens to lay more eggs. That sounds good to me! I have been feeding my girls dried herbs since they were chicks, and they always love when I sprinkle a fresh set in their boxed or in their feed. I try to feed them snacks every now and then; I've read a lot on how you can feed them plenty of extra snacks, and they will still lay. I've also read that too many snacks in their diet causes them to not lay. I really don't know which is better. I know that for a human, it's better to have a diet with lots of variety in order to have a healthy system, so we do a few new treats every few days throughout the week. They have the option to pick through the herb mix whenever I sprinkle it, that's usually once every other week, and I usually give them some mealworms and scratch in the evenings to convince them to get back into the run. Sometimes I don't need to, but it usually happens!
In this mix, I am adding a few new things to the recipe to get those girls laying eggs for us! One of those herbs is fennel, which is a great laying stimulant for your birds. I am also starting to get more into the idea of giving them some fresh herbs in the boxes to really invite them in. So far, I don't see them venturing into the boxes too often, other than Olive who likes to sleep in there for whatever reason. She's a weirdo. There is, however, usually some poop in each box, so I know they get in them at some point throughout the day. Maybe it's time for a coop cam?
For this recipe, you'll want to combine about a half cup of each herb together into a bowl and mix them all up! I store mine in a 64 oz jar, so this fits in well. You can use however much of each herb that you want - just make sure its all equal. I also add fresh marigolds and the fresh version of the herbs listed. The marigolds has been fun! They're colorful and keep the icky bugs away. I actually really love the smell of them. Be sure to check in on those fresh herbs after a couple of days. You don't want them to start growing mold!
- Lemon Balm
That sounds like a lot of herbs! This mix is actually fairly easy for me to make because I have access to a great local bulk grocery store that sells the herbs at a much fairer price. If you're planning to buy these online, I really encourage you to look into finding a bulk grocery near you. In fact, most co-ops and health stores sell ingredients in bulk. You just have to know where to look! One of our sponsors, Lucky's Market, has a great bulk section if you have one near you. There are lots of great chicken nesting box mixes on the market, but I think it's much more fun to pick exactly what I want and have the ability to make as much of it as I want. If you don't have a place local near you to purchase bulk herbs, I will always suggest Mountain Rose Herbs. They have a great variety!
Now let's get those chickens laying! Olive was very curious about the new redesign of her little boxes and was the first to curiously jump and check them out. Somehow she manages to jump to the second level of the nesting boxes, and I am really just not sure how she possibly does it. The other chickens have yet to attempt that high bar, which I figured none of them would, but apparently I was wrong! I had to put Dorothy up there to snap a few photos, and she couldn't figure out how to get down. They're so interesting to watch! All in all, they loved the fresh herbs inside their coop and munched away happily, while I enjoyed the refreshing smell. Goodbye flies!
Is this your first year with a flock? Have your girls started producing eggs yet? I'd love to hear all about it!