Yes, chicken aromatherapy. I read an article about it recently and knew that this was exactly my brand of crazy. Allegedly, when placed in the coop, fresh-cut herbs benefit the birds in a myriad of ways: they act as a natural deodorizer, pest- and parasite-deterrent, and they just generally encourage that health spa vibe that seems to be missing in so many chicken coops these days.
Obviously, herbs smell good. That’s always a plus. Because you know what doesn’t smell good? Chicken poop. So, sign me up for anything that might help with the air quality in there. The flies and the ants are an on-going battle, and if cutting some herbs and scattering them in the coop fends off the bugs, even a little bit, I will gladly do it.
So the real question is, do herbs really work their aromatherapy magic on chickens, like they do on people? Will lavender help them sleep better? Will lemon balm soothe a cranky chicken? Will oregano keep sickness at bay? I guess only thyme will tell (oh, stop it, you!).
Because it was coop-cleaning day, I decided to give the herbs a go. With my usual entourage of not-so-helpy four-legged helpers in tow (Chance and Abbie, and also Milo) monitored closely by the head bird (Millie), I cut a selection of rosemary, lavender, oregano, mint, thyme, roses and zinnias from the garden. I then tucked them into the roosting box, the nesting boxes, and scattered them amongst the shavings in the bottom of the coop.
It remains to be seen whether this is a worthwhile endeavor. I am sure that I will re-post about it in the future….but for now, I’ve got plenty of herbs to spare, and they make the coop look so pretty that it might be worth it just for aesthetics alone. Spa38….open for business.