Have I mentioned that I love chickens?? I think they're awesome. I also love aromatherapy. So when I found this here article, I couldn't wait to try it.
I have a plethora of catmint (or, yes, catnip) growing in our yard. Like. Everywhere. So I've been collecting it and tossing it in the hens' nesting boxes. Really, it's quite a brilliant idea. A hen will take up to a half hour to lay an egg, and that whole time, she just sits. So if she's sitting on good stuff that can help her in a variety of ways, why wouldn't I try it? Mint, in particular and in all forms, is good to deter insects, is a sedative (catmint) and is a rodent repellent. (I also have 2 cats who do this naturally.) Today, I also added rose petals (highly aromatic, and anyone who has ever been near a chicken coop knows they need all the help they can get!) and lavender (stress reliever & insecticide).
They often eat the stuff that I put in their nest boxes too, which would also benefit them from the inside out.
I planted some nasturtiums and parsley to add to the boxes as well. Nasturtiums are purportedly a wormer, have antiseptic properties, act as an insecticide and a laying stimulant, while parsley is a laying stimulant. I probably won't add all the laying stimulants at once, but rotate them around, coupling them with the more sedative and aromatic herbs. Ah, for a fresh smelling chicken coop and happy, relaxed hens!