All About Marigolds for Chickens
Did you know that marigolds are what help make egg yolks darker orange? Did you know that they soothe irritated skin? Did you know they are high in vitamins? This is why I love marigolds!
I have been growing and using marigolds with my flock for about two years now. They have a strong aroma which I love! I sprinkle the leaves in the nest boxes and feed the whole plant to my flock. They LOVE marigolds also. Why do I put them in the nests? Well, they again, are very aromatic which is good for laying hens. It relaxes and calms them. Plus marigolds prevent flies and some other insects. (Except earwigs who love marigolds!) If you ever buy a nest box blend at a farm store or chicken website, you will notice that they contain dried marigold leaves along with many other herbs and seeds. So obviously, they are good for a chicken's respiratory health and are good to use in the nests.
What is the best way to feed marigolds? Basically any way! I know people who crush and dry them and then use them in the chickens' feed. Others, like me, use the fresh leaves in the nests and give the rest of the plant to the flock. You can also just feed the entire fresh plant to your flock.
Marigolds contain a pigment called "Xanthopyll" which is what makes them so dark and what makes egg yolks orange. So if you are after that deep orange, yolk color, feed your hens marigolds.
Marigolds are a wonderful addition to any flock. They are healthy and easy-to-grow plant.