Oregano is one of the more popular culinary herbs found in the kitchen. So it’s easy to see how chicken owners may wonder if they can use it to spice up their chicken’s diet.
Can chickens eat oregano? After extensive research, I discovered chickens could eat oregano and benefit from its high nutritional value. It’ll even provide keep chickens healthy with several unheard health benefits (1).
But there’s more to discuss before deciding whether it’s the right choice for your chickens.
So read on, and let’s figure out if oregano will be the next addition to your chickens’ diet.
Table of Contents
- Oregano is a healthy, nutritious herb that’s safe for chickens. Its inclusion in their diets will only benefit them when used correctly.
- The benefits provided by oregano include its natural antibiotic properties and its being rich in antioxidants. Both aspects will go a long way to help keep chickens healthy.
- Poultry owners will have a couple of choices in how to give their chickens oregano. You can feed them fresh oregano, mix it into their feed, or grow it for them to eat.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Oregano?
Oregano does have a reputation for being healthy for chickens. It even offers a lengthy list of amazing health benefits that could help improve their lives considerably.
Below, I discuss two wonderful health benefits of oregano. These discussions will help paint a picture of what oregano or oregano essential oil can offer our chickens.
#1 Rich In Antioxidants
I can only start discussing oregano’s benefits by examining its many antioxidants. These vital compounds will help your chickens prevent/fight damage from harmful free radicals.
So an antioxidant-rich herb like oregano becomes very handy. It’s been a godsend for chickens as they’ll only seem healthier since introducing oregano into their balanced diet.
Experts have also found oregano and oregano oil to contain the highest number of antioxidants among herbs (2). It”s quite remarkable when compared with other herbs.
But there is a downside since too many antioxidants can cause health issues. So I stress poultry owners serve it in moderation to keep the flock healthy.
#2 Natural Antibiotic Properties
Feeding oregano to your backyard chickens can help protect them For instance, “oregano is a natural antibiotic” to stop harmful bacteria and aids in respiratory health (1).
Of course, every poultry owner understands the importance of protecting their chickens against illnesses. After all, chickens are prone to becoming infected with harmful bacteria.
Your flock of chickens can pick this harmful bacteria up from several sources:
- Outdoor environment
- Foods are eaten from the ground
- Not being cleaned frequently
So oregano’s antibacterial properties help prevent bacteria from common chicken ailments (3). If they contract bacteria, oregano will fight the disease and speed up recovery.
It was a godsend for one of my chickens fighting the flu recently. I provided them with some oregano and swore their recovery process was put into hyper speed.
Can Chickens Eat Oregano Stems?
Oregano stems are edible for chickens, but there are a few things to consider before serving them. First, these stems are known choking hazards when improperly prepared.
So most poultry owners cut them into smaller pieces. It’s an effortless way to ensure your chickens can eat and digest them.
But my preferred option is cooking the stems before serving them. It’ll soften the stems while ensuring they don’t cause any digestive issues for your chickens.
However, you must still cut the stems into small pieces during this process. It’s the most painless way to ensure a choking incident doesn’t occur.
Looking for more information on what your chickens can eat? Check out our articles on “can chickens have parsley“, “is kale good for chickens“, “can chickens eat thyme“, and “can chickens have ginger” for some tasty and nutritious ideas to add to their diet!
How To Feed Oregano To Chickens
When it comes to feeding oregano to chickens, there are several methods you can try. Some poultry owners even find it challenging to select a suitable one.
But I’ll make it easier for you by discussing all the options. So here’s a look at the ways to feed this common herb to the chickens:
#1 Feed Your Chickens Fresh Oregano
Honestly, there’s nothing better than fresh oregano to feed the chickens. It’s my favorite way to give chickens all the benefits of this culinary herb.
The process is relatively easy, too. All you need to do is dice or chop the fresh nutritious herbs into smaller pieces, toss them in the chicken coop, or put them into their feeder.
Besides the leaves, you can also feed them the stems. But cut them into small pieces to prevent them from choking on them.
#2 Mixing Oregano into Their Feed
Chickens aren’t known for being overly picky. But I have found that some won’t eat oregano that you put on their feeders or the ground.
My solution would be mixing the oregano in their layer feeds. It doesn’t matter whether you use fresh or dried oregano; both work great when mixed into feed.
But it’s essential to dice or shred the oregano first. You then add the oregano to the chicken feed and mix them well.
Next, pour the mixture into their feeder. Your chickens should start pecking at it and eating it.
It’s like tricking your chickens into eating it. After all, they won’t be able to notice the small pieces
#3 Growing Oregano for Chickens
Some people take it upon themselves to grow oregano for their chickens during summer. I’m too lazy to do it myself, but it’s easy to see the appeal.
One of the main reasons for its appeal is oregano’s impressive hardiness. In other words, this herb is easy to grow and doesn’t present many environmental issues.
If you’re planning to grow oregano in the garden, block it off to prevent the chickens from going inside. Otherwise, they will probably kill the entire plant as they rummage through it.
I suggest placing a fence around the beneficial herbs about five inches high. If you do, it’ll let your chicken reach in and eat the leaves without damaging the entire herb garden.
Besides the garden, you can also grow oregano all year long indoors. It’s effortless to grow oregano in a container, which provides you with an endless supply of fresh herbs.
Once the herb matures, take it and place it next to the chickens. You can then expect them to enjoy fresh oregano without any issues.
How Much Of Oregano To Feed Chickens
At most, I’d recommend feeding oregano to chickens a few times per week. Basically, it’s an adequate diet supplement or feed additive rather than a substitution for daily feed
So even though oregano is packed with nutrients, it doesn’t have all the nutrition to keep chickens healthy chicken. It’s why moderation is key when using these aromatic herbs.
Other Herbs That Chickens Can Eat
Oregano isn’t the only fresh herb worth considering as a nutritious treat for chickens. So let’s take a look at a few of my favorite herbs to improve your chickens diet:
Thyme is an excellent herb choice for feeding chickens. It’s packed with vitamin C to help boost their immune systems.
In fact, I’ve used thyme on several occasions to help with sick chickens. It’s also a good source of other nutrients, such as vitamin A, copper, fiber, iron, and manganese.
Parsley is a versatile herb that can be planted indoors or outdoors. It’s also a herb you’ll want around your chickens because it contains many vital nutrients.
For instance, parsley is an excellent vitamin K and C source. Both vitamins have proven to be endlessly helpful in improving chicken health.
You can also expect this herb to contain vitamin A, folate, and iron. Honestly, it’s just a valuable addition to almost any balanced chicken diet.
#1 What herbs can be fed to chickens?
There is a long list of acceptable herbs for chickens, including lavender, thyme, oregano, basil, mint, and many more. So poultry owners will have various options when spicing up their chick feed with fresh herbs.
#2 Can chickens eat raw oregano?
Chickens can eat raw/fresh oregano without any problems or health issues. But make sure to cut the oregano leaves into small pieces to prevent choking hazards.
Overall, can chickens eat oregano? This healthy herb is undoubtedly safe and worthwhile to put into your chicken’s diet.
It’ll help prevent infections while offering numerous convenient ways to use it. I can’t see an argument against giving it to your chickens a few times per week.
1. Migliorini MJ, Boiago MM, Roza LF, Barreta M, Arno A, Robazza WS, et al. Oregano essential oil (Origanum vulgare) to feed laying hens and its effects on animal health. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2020 Apr 5];91. Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0001-37652019000100802
2. Sienkiewicz M, Wasiela M, Głowacka A. [The antibacterial activity of oregano essential oil (Origanum heracleoticum L.) against clinical strains of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa]. Medycyna Doswiadczalna I Mikrobiologia [Internet]. 2012;64:297–307. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23484421/
3. Diseases of Poultry | Mississippi State University Extension Service [Internet]. extension.msstate.edu. Available from: http://extension.msstate.edu/agriculture/livestock/poultry/diseases-poultry
Grigorina grew up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped her into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). She has two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but she also feeds her neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them. Follow her on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM
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