Chicken Nesting Box Herbs
Choosing the Best Bedding for Chickens by Adding Herbs
Living on a farm was Diana’s dream, and chickens became a part of that reality. She soon discovered that chicken nesting box herbs helped her birds to relax and settle.
Diana Clauss owns The Blue Feather Farm in St Cloud, Florida, home to chickens, ducks, goats, and Anatolian Shepherd dogs.
“It had been a dream of mine and my husband’s to buy a home with property so we could have farm animals,” explains Diana. “My grandparents had a farm, so I guess you could say it’s in my blood. Once we did that, we anxiously waited for chick season and bought a handful of chicks and ducks, with the intention of egg production. I was so excited when they were old enough to lay eggs and we ended up incubating some for hatching. It was then that my daughter decided to show ornamental chickens in 4-H and other poultry shows around the state.” The family’s chickens have won awards in a range of categories at the Kissimmee Valley Livestock Show (KVLS) Poultry and Rabbit Show 2018.
Keeping the hens healthy, with chicken nesting box herbs
Back at the farm, Diana likes to use natural methods to keep her flock healthy. She has a range of chicken nesting box herbs, which she says have many beneficial properties — they can repel pests, boost immunity, reduce stress, and improve overall health.
She has three special blends of herbs, each prepared and mixed by hand. One is designed specifically for its calming properties, comprising a mix of seven relaxing herbs. “The Calming Blend is great for lowering stress in our hens and promoting egg-laying,” says Diana. Indeed, the Calming Blend is her most popular nesting herb preparation. “The combination of chamomile, lavender, ginger, and several other herbs is really relaxing,” explains Diana. “The rose petals in it smell wonderful, which is why some customers choose to use it for sachets or potpourri in their homes.”
There’s also a Pest Repellent Blend, designed to keep pests at bay — not just external pests, but internal ones too. Many of the herbs used in this blend naturally repel insects, whereas others, including peppermint, thyme, and garlic all have anti-microbial properties. These chicken nesting box herbs may help reduce the risk of fungal or bacterial infections in your flock. Some herbs in this mix improve digestion or circulation too. There are nine herbs in the Pest Repellent Blend blend, each with their own unique qualities. “Chamomile, for example, repels fleas, is anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic, as well as having calming properties,” says Diana.
The third blend, the General Health Blend promotes good overall health. “We’ve included herbs that are great for just about everything your flock might experience, including internal or external pests, laying struggles or stress, healthy respiratory and circulatory functions, and more.”
“The most obvious benefits that my customers have reported from using my chicken nesting box herbs are the calming properties that they provide. Several of my friends have used the Calming Blend with success when their hens won’t lay. It’s always exciting to see how happy they are when their hens lay that first egg again after a drought.”
One of the things we all love about chickens is their ability to help us relax and make us smile, so it’s perhaps no surprise that one of the biggest demands for the chicken nesting box herbs is to help the hens relax too!
“My customers’ frequently want herbs to relieve stress among their flock,” says Diana. “Chickens, believe it or not, get stressed just like humans do. They have to deal with pecking from other hens, being chased around by roosters, and predators in the sky. I sprinkle the calming blend in the nesting boxes and I can see a difference in how my hens behave. They don’t seem to be on edge as much as they were before I started providing them with herbs.”
The herbs for chickens can be useful for many different things, with many offering a multitude of health benefits. Diana includes ginger in her Calming Blend because it can help to reduce stress — but it also stimulates the appetite, so it may help a hen who’s not been eating well, to regain her desire for food.
“Another useful herb is garlic, which benefits the circulatory and respiratory systems and it also helps to relieve diarrhea,” says Diana. Indeed, garlic has antimicrobial properties as well as cardiovascular benefits, so it is healthy on many levels, not just for hens, but for humans too.
Diana adds, “A hen that is comfortable and calm will be a healthier bird, with fewer ailments, and they’ll participate in normal activities, such as foraging or dust bathing. The herbs help to keep their internal systems working as they should. A healthier bird is a happier bird!”
Diana’s business, The Blue Feather Farm, sells chicken nesting box herbs to chicken keepers all over the world. It’s a small family-owned enterprise, and they pride themselves on their integrity. “If you order 3oz of nesting herbs, you will get 3oz of actual herbs. I never include the weight of the packaging in the herb total.”
What’s her favorite herb? She’s a huge fan of lavender. “I love how it smells and how calming it is. It also repels pests and helps with odor control in the coop. I also really love spearmint. It too repels pests, and it helps with digestion.” The herbs are a great way to make chicken nesting boxes more comfortable for your birds.
Good bedding for chickens helps them feel more relaxed and comfortable, so they sleep better and feel less stressed.
How to use the chicken nesting box herbs
Diana suggests, “Sprinkle the herbs in your coops and surrounding areas every few days, or more if you would like. It can be added to their food, as they are edible and all-natural. You can also sprinkle them where your flock takes their dust baths.”
Read more about the benefits of chicken nesting box herbs on Diana’s website: www.thebluefeatherfarm.com
Originally published in the August/September 2019 issue of Backyard Poultry and regularly vetted for accuracy.