Best Herbs for Backyard Chickens during Winter

Winter is a difficult time for backyard chickens - the combination of shorter days and colder weather makes it even more important to ensure your chickens are getting all the nutrients they need. Add these five herbs to your flock’s diet to support their immune system and give them the energy they need in winter.


Calendula supports healthy digestion and immune system functions. The beta carotenes that give these flowers a golden color are also good nutrients for chickens. They have antimicrobial properties and many other nutrients that support the health of your hens. 

You can mix dried calendula flowers with your regular feed or offer them separately in a feeder or sprinkled on the ground. 


Echinacea is used to support a healthy immune system. You can offer both the leaves and roots of the plant. The roots are more potent, but using the leaves is fine, too.

You can mix echinacea in with feed or use it as a topping to other treats like Dried Mealworms or Dried Black Soldier Fly Larvae


Elder is another great herb for immune support. Research shows that it’s a great herb for keeping chickens healthy.

Both the flowers and berries are great to offer your chickens. You can use either fresh or dried berries on top of their feed. Chickens love to pick out the berries.


Garlic has been used for centuries to support healthy immune system functions. You can use raw or dried garlic, and simply soak it in your flock’s drinking water to easily disperse the nutrients to your chickens.


Oregano supports a strong and healthy immune system. It’s easy to add into your feeding routine since you can use regular oregano from the grocery store.

Like garlic, you can steep the leaves in their drinking water, or you can mix them in with their feed. You can also offer them separately as a treat. 


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Please Note: Exotic Nutrition is not in a position to provide specific health and care guidelines on an individual basis. Please visit our animal info tabs or consider purchasing a care guide book for additional information. If you have a health or pet emergency issue, please notify your veterinarian or a specialized technician.

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