5 Reasons to Plant a Chicken Garden and What to Grow

4 min


There are numerous benefits to planting a chicken garden, including benefits to you, your family, the environment, and your flock.

Growing a chicken garden may appear silly at first, but it can help to mimic a chicken’s natural diet, vastly improve your flock’s health, produce better tasting eggs, and save you money.

Spend less money on chicken feed

Many people get chickens for the enjoyment of raising livestock in their own backyards and for the “free eggs.” Then they realize the eggs aren’t free; they have to pay for chicken food, bedding, the coop, and healthcare.

Growing your own chicken feed is one of the best ways to save money on chicken feed!

If you only have time to take care of a few plants in your chicken garden, growing big plants like squash, tomatoes, and sunflowers will give your chickens a lot of healthy food without much work on your part.

With the right amount of sunlight, these three plants grow like weeds and can produce an abundance of crops for you and your flock.


Provide nutritious food for your flock

Chickens are omnivores, which means they eat a diverse diet that includes vegetables, grains, fruits, seeds, and meat. If you grow a chicken garden, you can give your chickens a rich diet that is similar to what their ancestors and cousins in the wild eat.

Chickens in the wild do not survive on chicken pellets, and it is critical to mimic their natural diet as closely as possible in order to get your flock to optimum health and wellness.

This varied diet gives your flock all the vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber they need to thrive. When you consider how many different kinds of food chickens can eat, it seems silly to feed them boring old chicken pellets.

Growing a wide range of fruits, grains, vegetables, and herbs will improve your chickens’ health, resulting in more eggs and a longer life with fewer health issues.

This tasty diet benefits not only your chickens, but also you and your family.

Chickens fed diets high in vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids lay eggs that are healthier and more flavorful. It’s a win-win situation!


It can also feed your family!

Your chickens aren’t the only ones who can benefit from a backyard garden; your family can eat from it as well!

The majority of the garden crops listed below would be enjoyed by humans as well as chickens.

We grow our garden in the back yard to help all the animals that live on our property. We cook and eat what we can from the garden, but everything else goes to the rabbits and chickens.

We always grow extra of everything so that when we’ve had our fill, whatever is left in the garden goes to the chickens.


Herbs have many applications in the chicken coop

You can use the herbs you grow in your chicken garden in a lot of different ways around the chicken coop.

Herbs, whether fed to your flock or scattered around the coop, are an excellent health booster for your chickens.

Mint is beneficial to your chickens’ eggs and respiratory health.

Basil is an excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting supplement for your chickens.

Oregano is the ideal herb to grow for your chickens because it can aid in the fight against parasites and infection.

Herbs, both dried and fresh, are scattered in the nesting boxes and the dust bath. When the herbs are abundant, we feed them to the chickens fresh!


Chickens aid in pest control in the garden

There’s no denying it: chickens adore bugs, and what do bugs adore? Plants for the garden!

This cycle of life can work in your favor. Bugs are an excellent protein source for your flock. Pick them off and feed them to the birds if you find them eating from your garden.

Our chickens put in a lot of effort in their own garden, providing fertilizer, scratching the soil, and eating pests like insects and weed seeds. Growing a chicken garden or allowing your chickens to assist you in your garden can benefit both you and them!


What to grow in your chicken garden


  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard
  • Bok Choy
  • Beet Greens
  • Butternut squash
  • Acorn squash
  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini
  • Pumpkin
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Potatoes
  • Herbs:
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Comfrey
  • Thyme
  • Lemon Balm
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Chamomile
  • Dill


  • Strawberry
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Gooseberries

Grain / Seeds:

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Oats
  • Sunflowers

Here are some tips for your chicken garden

Never feed mildewed or moldy vegetables or fruits to your chickens. If you wouldn’t eat it, neither should your chickens. Mold and mildew can be harmful to your flock’s health.

Dried beans should not be fed to chickens. If you grow your own beans, make sure to cook them before feeding them to your flock.

Create a separate perennial garden for easier growing! Perennials return year after year with little effort from you and are an excellent way to supplement your chicken feed.

Herbs like mint, lemon balm, and thyme, and fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, will all grow again.

Leafy greens and cabbage can be combined to make a veggie ball for some high-quality chicken entertainment.

Allow the chickens no access to a newly planted garden. I know it’s tempting to let your flock loose in the garden, but if the garden is still in its early stages, the seedlings and sprouts will be trampled, dug up, or eaten by hungry chickens.

You can safely let your chickens into a more established garden or a spent garden to help eat weed seeds and insects while leaving some fertilizer behind!


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