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Grow an Herbal First Aid Kit for Your Chickens

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Grow an herbal first aid kit for your chickens to keep them in tip top health - naturally.


Growing herbs and edible flowers is easy and rewarding.

Most aren't very picky about where you plant them, what you plant them in, or even if you water them very often. They thrive in sandy soil, full sun and basically like to just be left alone.

Not only that, regular pruning or taking cuttings from herbs actually helps them grow, so you can help yourself to what you need all summer right from the garden. Or, the chickens can help themselves!

Herbs help to flavor your cooking, of course, but most herbs also have some powerful health benefits for both humans and animals. I grow an Herbal First Aid Kit Garden for our chickens each spring and then use the herbs both fresh and dried to keep my flock happy and healthy.

Whether you just let your flock wander around and nibble what they want, or use the beneficial herbs in salves or ointments, it's a great idea to harness the healing powers of herbs.

Grow an Herbal First Aid Kit for Your Chickens

Why not plant your own Herbal First Aid Kit this year? Herbs can be started from seeds or seedlings. They can be planted in containers or raised beds. Many are perennials in many parts of the country.

These herbs (and edible flowers) can be used in all sorts of ways to strengthen your chickens' health or to treat wounds, infections or injuries. Just pick at least one herb from each category below to get started (and notice that some herbs do double duty).



Herbal First Aid Kit

Herbs with Anti-inflammatory Properties

A poultice or salve made with any of these herbs and applied to a sprain or injured leg or foot can help reduce swelling. 

Calendula

Chickweed

Lavender

Parsley

Plantain 

Herbs with Antiseptic Properties 

salve or ointment made with any of these herbs can be applied topically on a cut or wound to help prevent infection.

Clover

Garlic

Goldenseal

Sage

Thyme

Herbs with Blood Clotting Properties 

 A topical salve or tincture made from these herbs can help stop bleeding. 

Calendula

Cilantro 

Herbs that Act as Detoxifiers 

A tea or infusion made with these herbs and ingested can help cleanse the body of toxins.

Basil

Dandelion Greens

Fennel 

Herbs that Aid the Digestive System 

These herbs eaten fresh or infused in a tea can help with digestion.

Chamomile

Dill

Fennel

Peppermint 

Herbs that Help with Eye Health 

These herbs infused in a tea and applied to the eye with an eyedropper or a cool compress  - or in the case of cucumber, sliced thin and held over the eye - alleviate an eye infection.

Borage

Chamomile

Cucumber

Fennel

Goldenseal

Thyme

Yarrow 

Herbs that act as General Health Tonics

These herbs eaten fresh or infused in a tea can help with overall health.

Basil

Dandelion

Parsley

Peppermint 

Herbs that Help Boost the Immune System 

These herbs eaten fresh, dried, infused in a tea or made into a tincture can help boost your chickens' immune systems.

Basil

Bee Balm

Echinacea

Oregano

Sage

Thyme 

Herbs that Help with Pain Relief 

A salve made with any of these herbs and applied directly to a wound or the herbs eaten fresh can help relieve pain.

Calendula

Chickweed

Garlic

Rosemary 

Herbs that Help with Relaxation 

These herbs placed fresh or dried in the nesting boxes can help your chickens relax while they lay their eggs or sit on eggs to hatch them.

Catmint 

Chamomile

Lavender

Rosemary

Rose Petals 

Herbs that Help Improve Respiratory Health

Any of these herbs eaten fresh, dried or infused into a tea can help improve respiratory health.

Basil

Bee Balm

Dill

Echinacea

Rosemary

Thyme

Yarrow 

Herbs Thought to be Natural Wormers for Internal Parasites

These herbs eaten fresh are thought to act as natural wormers.

Catnip

Garlic

Nasturtium

Thyme 

Herbs that Help with Wound Healing

A salve made from any of these herbs and applied to a wound can help wounds heal faster.

Calendula

Goldenseal

Plantain

Yarrow 

Read HERE for a more complete list of culinary herbs and their health benefits.


How to Use Herbs for Chicken First Aid

Here are some of the most common ways to use use herbs medicinally.

  • Feed the fresh herbs free choice
  • Make an infusion or herbal tea | Pour one cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons fresh or 1 teaspoon dried herbs and let steep for 15-30 minutes. Strain out the solids, cool and serve immediately or refrigerate. Here's a recipe for an Herbal Tea for your chickens.
  • Make a decoction | Simmer dried or fresh herbs over low heat for 30-60 minutes, strain, cool and serve or refrigerate. This method is most often used for roots, bark and berries. Here's a decoction recipe for a Spring Herbal Tonic for your chickens.
  • Make a tincture | Steep 1/2 cup of fresh herbs in 2 cups of white or apple cider vinegar for two weeks. Strain the solids and store in a covered container in a cool, dark spot. This is a very concentrated way to administer herbs internally and only requires a few drops to be ingested at a time. Here's a Digestive Tincture recipe from Wellness Mama. (I would just swap out the alcohol for apple cider vinegar if you're giving it to your chickens.)
  • Make a basic salve | Melt 8 ounces oil (such as sweet almond oil, olive oil or other coconut oil) with 2 ounces beeswax and fresh or dried herbs of our choice. Simmer over low heat for several hours, then strain out the herb and pour the slave into a covered container to harden. Here's a great Calendula Salve recipe from Jan at The Nerdy Housewife that would be perfect to apply to a wound.

More Homemade Herbal First Aid Salves

Here are some recipes for salves that I like to make and keep on hand |


I have a wonderful book named Herbal Medicine, written by Dian Dincin Buchanan in 1979 that has since been reprinted several times, and is available HERE

It has really great information on the healing properties of many herbs and weeds. I highly recommend it as a reference since the information can be used for your family and your flock.


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