Yes, chickens can eat mint, pretty safely. In fact, this herb helps to lower their body temperature and helps them stay cool during summers. Mint helps to repel insects and mice naturally.
Herbs are an excellent addition to your chicken’s diet because of their wonderful nutritional benefits. Mint helps chickens stay calm and relaxed. As this herb is pretty easy to grow and cultivate, you can easily give them fresh mint to eat regularly.
But if you are wondering how much is the ideal quantity and how often can chickens eat mint, then here is everything you need to know about feeding fresh herbs to chickens.
Information on Mint and its Various Types
Mint is one of the most aromatic herbs with amazing nutritional benefits. Fresh mint leaves are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients, such as vitamins A, B complex, and C. It is also rich in phosphorus, calcium, potassium, manganese, and iron.
Nutrient Profile of 3.2gm of Fresh Peppermint:
- Calories – 2.24
- Carbohydrates – 0.48g
- Protein – 0.12g
- Fiber – 0.26g
- Fat – 0.03g
Types of Mint
There are hundreds of varieties of mint. The ones mentioned below are the most common:
- Wooly mint
- Pineapple mint
- Pennyroyal ginger mint
- Orange mint
- Basil mint
- Lavender mint
- Grapefruit mint
- Chewing gum mint
- Calamint licorice mint
Mint has been used to make breath fresheners as it provides a cooling sensation in the mouth. It is often the main ingredient in chewing gum, toothpaste, and mouthwash. It is also used in foods and beverages to add a refreshing flavor.
Health Benefits of Mint for Chickens
There are several amazing health benefits of eating mint for chickens. They are:
- Mint aids digestion
Since chickens eat anything that comes in front of them, they should be given a diet to help with their digestion. Peppermint leaves help to relieve digestive issues like bloating, gas, and indigestion.
- Mint relieves respiratory issues
Mint contains menthol, an active ingredient that helps chickens breathe better in case of respiratory issues. It also helps them to get rid of cold and decongestion.
- Mint has strong anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties
Since chickens are free-rangers, they tend to pick up bacteria from the surroundings quite often. Adding mint to their diet plan can help kill or naturally repel pathogenic bacteria, thereby preventing infection.
Mint helps to improve the blood flow to an infected area, acting as an analgesic to reduce pain.
- Mint aids in blood circulation
Mint is rich in manganese and iron. These minerals help improve the hemoglobin level in the blood, thereby promoting healthy blood flow and regulating organ function.
- Mint boosts immunity
Hens undergo a lot of stress due to unruly roosters or predators. Mint has a calming and soothing effect on their nerves, thereby alleviating their stress levels.
Mint also contains a plethora of vitamins and antioxidants that help boost the immune system of your chickens.
- Mint keeps the body naturally cool during hot days.
Mint stimulates the brain that signals a cooling sensation in the body. It is therefore believed that mint has a cooling effect on the body. Keeping these herbs near the nesting box helps to keep the flock cool.
- Mint protects against parasites.
Mint is a natural insect repellent. Farmers usually add mint to nesting boxes so that newly hatched chicks rub their bodies against the leaves to get protection from mites and fleas.
Other Uses of Mint for the Chicken Coop
Mint has many benefits for the coop and yard apart from health benefits for the body. These are:
- Natural Deodorizer
These aromatic herbs serve as a natural deodorizer for a chicken coop. As chickens poop a lot, their coops have a stink, more so during the summer months.
As mint is an aromatic herb, it helps to quell the smell a little. Farmers sprinkle dried mint leaves in the nesting boxes.
- Organic Parasite Repellent
Chicken coops attract a lot of pests, parasites, and rodents. Adding peppermint essential oil to the corners of the coop to deter mice.
Farmers can also sprinkle dried herbs around the yard to keep parasites at bay. Some farmers even hang dried bundles of mint plants inside the enclosure to keep flies away and keep chickens stress-free.
How to Feed Mint to Chickens?
There are several ways of ensuring your chickens eat the mint leaves and stems:
- You can grow a herb garden near your chickens free range. Chickens will forage to the mint plants and eat the leaves and stems while foraging. Chickens love to peck at fresh herbs.
- Apart from herbs from the mint family, you can also grow other herbs such as oregano, basil, thyme or cilantro.
- Plant mint in your backyard if you are raising backyard chickens to encourage them to eat the mint leaves regularly.
- You can also add dried mint leaves to their chicken feed or even fresh leaves along with other herbs to make a delicious and nutrient-rich meal.
- Baby chicks can be given these herbs to boost their immune system, lower body temperature during the hot summer days and to help them benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of this natural stress reliever plant.
- Adding herbs, particularly mint varieties to their daily meals can aid digestion and benefit the flocks from the antioxidant properties.
Growing mint or a full-fledged herb garden can benefit your flocks as the mint plant has a calming scent and medicinal properties that can boost chicken’s immune systems.
Mint plants have strong anti-inflammatory properties that can keep chickens happy and cool during summer days. The essential oils ensure a peaceful environment as they help to discourage rodents and parasites.
Farmers can hang bundles of fresh herbs such as thyme, lavender leaves and any other herbs growing nearby. These herbs have a strong smell and antibacterial properties that can benefit your chickens in various ways.