Can Chickens Eat Marigolds? Can They Feast on These Flowers?

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Curios about Can chickens eat marigolds?

You’re not alone ― here’s what I found out: Yes, you can feed marigolds to the chickens, including the leaves and stems of the plants.

Marigolds contain antioxidants, antifungal and antimicrobial properties, vitamins, and minerals.

Apart from the lovely health benefits, I will uncover the truth ― warts and all ―  about feeding marigolds to your chickens…

Key Takeaways

  • Marigolds are safe for your chickens to eat, but feed this plant in moderation.
  • You can feed the leaves and stem to your chickens.
  • Feed this plant a couple of times per week ― and not more.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Marigolds?

Did you know that this yellow beauty has some superb health qualities? Here’s a fun fact:

Certified health coach Jillian Levy from Dr.Axe has this to say about marigolds: “Marigold calendula contains many potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that fight infections, decrease swelling, improve blood flow, reduce muscle spasming, slow down effects of free radical damage/aging and more.” [1].

What’s more, feeding various types of marigolds to your chickens can benefit them in many ways [2].

marigolds in a white background (can guinea pigs eat marigolds?)

Not only does it fuel your chickens with some nutrients, but it also helps their eggs.

  • Improved egg yolk. Feeding marigolds to chickens will make their egg yolk color, thanks to carotenoids, a Reddish-orange [3].
  • Detoxify the body. Marigolds are rich in antioxidants.
  • Feeding the flower to your chickens will help detoxify the chickens’ bodies and prevent cell damage.
  • Naturally repels bugs. Thanks to its pungent odor and unique scent, you can use Marigolds to repel mosquitoes, pests, and other pesky insects. 

Some insects, like mosquitos, can bite your chickens and inject them with nasty diseases.

Thankfully, you have this zesty repellent by rubbing it onto your chickens’ skin, so you don’t have to worry as much!

Planting marigolds around your chickens’ coop will help keep the pests away, which is especially important if you live in an area with a lot of mosquitoes.

  • Enhance immune system: This magical plant enhances your chickens’ immune system in several ways and improves their body weight.

That’s not all: here is a brilliant video on the juicy goods of marigolds:

Can Chickens Eat Marigold Leaves and Stems?

Chickens can eat the leaves and stems of the marigold plant.

But, if you don’t prepare them properly, the leaves and stems can be toxic and cause a pesky side effect: mouth irritation.

Either way, chickens will eat fresh leaves and stems if given to them, but first dry and crush them if you can. Then mix it into the chicken feeds.

If you’re a chicken owner or just curious about what your feathered friends can munch on, we’ve got some more fantastic articles for you. Check out our comprehensive guides on “can chickens eat lemongrass“, “can chickens eat sunflower leaves“, “can chickens eat turnips“, and “do chickens eat lavender” to learn more about their diets.

How To Feed Marigolds To Chickens

The intense wonder about Can chickens eat marigolds is only good if you know how to feed your chickens. So, before further ado, let me get this out of the way:

If you have marigolds growing in the garden or around your home, you can let your chickens roam and eat these fresh marigolds.

But be careful: you’ll want to watch them as they can eat the entire garden of marigolds (goodbye, lovely garden!).

To create a bit of a spin, you can feed marigolds by cutting the petals into small pieces and mixing them with their feeds.

Don’t forget to cut the marigold flowers and place them in their feeder. The chickens will peck at it and eat them.

Since chickens don’t have any taste buds and don’t seem too picky ― unlike humans ― they will munch on their feed without any problems.

Once they eat these leaves and stems, they may become itchy. To prevent this outcome, first, dry these leaves and stems.

Once dried, you can mix the leaves and stems in with the feeds or crush them and sprinkle them over their feeds for a terrific chicken appetite!

How Much And How Often To Feed Marigolds To Chickens

Luckily, and thankfully must I add marigolds flowers, leaves, and stems don’t contain any toxins ― given that you’ve cleaned them.

Thanks to this, feed them as much as you want. I know you don’t get that with many things these days, but here’s a definite plus.

Apart from the pros, here’s a disclaimer:

Feed marigolds to chickens as a treat only. Why? Because the flower doesn’t have enough nutrition to meet the diet requirement of the chickens.

As a rule, marigolds should only make up 10% of their diet. The rest should be from chicken feeds, offering the main feed and nutritionally-rich meal.

To wrap up, I recommend feeding marigolds in moderation a couple of times per week combined with their primary feeds.

Besides marigolds, you’ll want to feed them other flowering plants ― fruits and vegetables.

Doing so will amp them up with maximal nutrition that only marigolds can offer ― which marigolds are a little short of.

FAQs

1. Can Chickens Eat Marigold Flowers?

marigold flowers

Yes. Go ahead and feed your chickens the marigold flowers. They do not contain toxins and are a source of vitamins and minerals.

2. What kind of marigolds are the best to feed chickens?

The African/Mexican marigold type. This type provides carotenoids, benefiting your chicken’s overall health and immune system.

Conclusion

So, Can chickens eat marigolds? You bet but in moderation, of course.

Besides a culinary herb and an edible flower, marigolds come in various types, shapes, and sizes, each offering some unique benefits for chickens.

The African marigolds offer special benefits, including their carotenoid count and unique antioxidant benefits.

Overall, marigolds reveal some health benefits cultivated by various groups and health experts worldwide that will benefit your chicken’s health in unique ways.

Though only a pretty face to some, flowers show a promising benefit:

They fight respiratory illness and promote better respiratory health, making your chickens happy and healthy.

So, if you want to be creative, sprinkle these flowers as a great chicken treat or as a chicken feed seasoning (the choice is yours!).

Finally, don’t forget to tell me how much you relished my article. Until next time…

rooster in the grass with flowers

Resources

1. Levy J. The Flower That Fights Ear Infections, Jock Itch, PMS, Diaper Rash + So Much More [Internet]. Dr. Axe. 2017. Available from: https://draxe.com/nutrition/marigolds/

2. Chauhan AS, Chen C-W, Singhania RR, Tiwari M, Sartale RG, Dong C-D, et al. Valorizations of Marigold Waste for High-Value Products and Their Industrial Importance: A Comprehensive Review. Resources. 2022;11:91.

3. Maia KM, Grieser DO, Ton APS, Aquino DR, Paulino MTF, Toledo JB, et al. Performance and egg quality of light laying hens fed with canthaxanthin and marigold flower extract. South African Journal of Animal Science [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 16];52:433–43. Available from: http://www.scielo.org.za/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0375-15892022000400003

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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