Safety of Dried Herbs

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Malpower, Nov 17, 2009.

  1. Malpower

    Malpower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Before I make a big mistake, wanted to check and see if there are any dried herbs and flowers that anyone knows might be bad for hens.....my thought has been to toss some natural dried herbs into the coop bedding and nesting boxes, just to help things smell a bit fresher in there....I'm figuring that the hens probably won't eat them, though maybe they will nibble a bit so don't want to throw in anything toxic. Of course, I don't know how long the dried herbs and flowers will hold their scent when there are no preservatives and perfumes added, so maybe it's not the brilliant idea I first thought it might be! [​IMG]

    Also, not that they're herbs, but I thought tomato plants, the green parts and leaves, were supposed to be toxic, but along with the tomatoes, my girls have eaten leaves, too, once they discovered the veggie boxes earlier this year. Should I keep them away from them next year?

    Thanks!
     
  2. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    umm. i hope that's not bad for them. When i cleaned out the garden I put EVERYTHING in there, including the marigold. I remember from WAY back in poultry science-when agriculture was a real degree and all, I believe i heard them say that marigold was fed to chickens to get darker yolks...or skin, or maybe it was pot marigold-calendula, not the stinky kind that i plant to scare away nematodes, but the girls survived, I had DARK orange yolks. (And from the run on sentence OBVIOUSLY I wasn't an English major) and they seem happy enough with the hay from mowing the field-we do not spray though. I put some Harlequin bugs from my broccoli plants into the coop thinking those bugs would not stand a chance, and they ignored them. A fuzzy woolly bear caterpillar walked through the coop and they ignored it too. I have to assume they must know what's good and safe and what isn't...but then they'll eat Styrofoam, so who knows.
    I think as long as your herbs are dried from your garden and you know what has been put on them it, should be fine, however chicken coops aren't supposed to smell good. They should smell like a chicken.
    but some basil and oregano might be nice. I like the smell of the pine shavings myself.
     
  3. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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  4. lngrid

    lngrid Chillin' With My Peeps

  5. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Chillin' With My Peeps

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    over the summer when I trimmed my herbs I just threw all the trimmings in the run for them to scratch at and dispose of and they seemed to be fine. although these were fresh and not dried, I don't see how it would make much difference other than the aroma is stronger. I threw in thyme, basil, oregano, and sage. I had read that they wouldn't bother with it because of the strong smell, but all of mine tried it.

    I don't know if you consider this an herb or weed, but dandilions are safe for them (leaves and flowers) but you have to be careful because it is a diuretic and you don't want them to dehydrate from too much of it. I pull what I can find in the yard and throw it in about once a week or so...but a few plants between 18 birds keeps the rations small.
     
  6. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    To make all smell nice and fresh , I just keep things clean.
    I use cardboard boxes (low sided) that I get free from the vegetable section of the grocery store (oranges and apples etc are shipped in them) line the bottom with newspaper (to cover the hole at the bottom sides) and then filled with anise-scented bird sand (from petstore for bird cages > the large bulk packages are real cheap) > then on top of that I put shavings which I replace weekly (the sand and box I replace monthly)
     
  7. Malpower

    Malpower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kentfield, California
    Great! Thanks so much for all the info, lists, advice and ideas! Lots of things here for me to try from that marvelous treats list -- I've fed a lot of them, but saw a good number of things that hadn't crossed my mind before! I have to agree that the meal worms are the #1 treat with my girls -- I'm always in danger of loosing my fingers if I don't toss them out quickly enough to one girl....and, of course, if you hold the danged worms too long, they'll bite you, too!

    I guess my reason for wanting to throw herbs, flowers or something nice smelling, but not perfumed, into the coop is that while the coop, the pine shavings and the hens themselves, usually smell just fine, it's the smells from right outside (some nasty mucky earth with decaying seed and food and poop, also some other vile smells which may be dead rodents under a shed or even under the area where the coop is, etc) which are sometimes so overpowering, especially in hot weather -- I was hoping to at least keep the inside of the coop nice, maybe counteracting the rotten smells from nearby, including perhaps keeping the flies out. Of course the hens don't care, it's just me! [​IMG]

    The anise-scented bird cage sand sounds interesting -- my coop sits on concrete pavers and then I have many inches of pine shavings (with some DE mixed in) on top of that -- I clean the poop from floor shavings every morning, add new shavings regularly -- it stays clean and dry and honestly haven't ever removed all the shavings down to the concrete and started over again, just shovel out the damp and poopy stuff.

    Thanks a lot to you all!
     
  8. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    They will eat them. Unlikely to be harmful but it won't have the effect you want. I have a little herb garden and gave some to mine. The bedding smelled great. The chickens smelled great. The chicken poop that came out smelled 10 times worse than normal. [​IMG] I decided to never do that again because I couldn't even stand the smell.
     
  9. Malpower

    Malpower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Oh dear me......well, I think you've just convinced me not to spend the $$ on dried herbs -- my girls' poop hasn't been at all bad (perhaps because of the DE I add to their food?) and I surely don't need to add stinky poop to the other bad smelling stuff around the enclosure! [​IMG] We'll just scratch this idea! Thanks!!
     

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