Chicken Aromatherapy?

This morning’s offerings from the garden.

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.

The herb collection gets spotted.

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.

Millie does quality-control on the cuttings.

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.

Herbs tucked into the roosting box….I may have gone a little overboard.

Herbs and flowers in the nesting boxes surrounding my decoy eggs (trying to convince my girls that the boxes are just as a good of a spot to lay as their favored bush in the yard).

Who wouldn’t want to lay an egg in here? Seriously!

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.

Pretty mint and a zinnia trail out of the roosting box. Give it a day and this probably won’t look so pretty.

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15 thoughts on “Chicken Aromatherapy?

  1. Charlotte Zweigoron September 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm Reply

    It does look lovely! Maybe that is why they like to lay their eggs outside in the garden. Perhaps you should put some small pots of beauty and scent in the coop so they won’t get depressed when the clippings die. It would certainly taint my urge to lay eggs if all my flowers died….

    • farmhouseK8 September 9, 2012 at 12:06 am Reply

      I was actually thinking that I would clear out a bit in the garden around the coop and plant some herbs right up against it! We’ll see how that works…!

  2. fostrickson September 8, 2012 at 7:29 pm Reply

    Man, you have spoiled chickens! I would live in there! Hahaha. So pretty. Is it working?

    • farmhouseK8 September 9, 2012 at 12:03 am Reply

      Don’t know yet! Smells good so far, but that’s about it!

      • fostrickson September 9, 2012 at 12:26 am

        Well, good luck. We used to have chickens when I lived in NS and I know how stinky they can be, so if it helps with that at least then I see that as a plus!

  3. Melissa September 12, 2012 at 1:22 am Reply

    Looks just beautiful and sounds (perhaps smells) interesting!

  4. Tilly's Nest September 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm Reply

    What a fabulous post and beautiful photos. I lived in the South Bay for many years and still have family there. I do miss it. Thank you so much for linking up to our bloghop today.

    • farmhouseK8 September 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm Reply

      That’s where I grew up (P.V.)! Small world, right?! 🙂

  5. Debbie September 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm Reply

    Hi there! I stopped by from the Down Home Blog Hop… so glad I did!
    I’m a sister backyard chicken keeper and I just adore this post! Shared on facebook!
    Look forward to visiting again… thank you!

  6. Brenda September 13, 2012 at 12:00 am Reply

    Funny, I came over here earlier from a post on Facebook by Dandelion House and did not leave a comment at the time. So I am back and I think this is a great idea. I may cut everything I have left in my herb bed and throw it all in when I clean out the hen house!

  7. MamaJay June 13, 2013 at 4:58 pm Reply

    I can’t wait……I want to hear how it goes. I am just getting my coop in order and am about 2 days away from getting my ladies.. I’m so excited !!!

    • farmhouseK8 June 14, 2013 at 12:29 am Reply

      I swear, putting herbs in the coop is such a great thing–it totally helps keep the flies at bay, and it smells so good—and the girls seem to like having them in their nests. Best of luck with yours–they are the BEST!

  8. linda November 25, 2014 at 12:40 am Reply

    Frick and Frack are getting a coop built by their daddy.Right now they spend nights in a dog crate with finely mulched leaves and I guess they think it is a nesting box since we’ve been blessed with two beautiful light brown eggs. We keep the dog crate inside the little storage barn at night. Before that they spent several nights inside the shower stall with newspaper underfoot….we were warned about racoons so we wanted to keep them safe. They are out in the back yard during the day, and starting to roam about a bit. I figured Frick had become more confident after producing two eggs. Frack is still molting. These girls are so entertaining…thanks for you blog really enjoy it.

    • farmhouseK8 November 25, 2014 at 12:59 am Reply

      LOL–great names! They are so funny, aren’t they? Funny, funny little creatures. Best of luck with the new coop! Sounds like they are quite comfy already!!!

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