Can Chickens Eat Marigolds? :How Marigolds Can Benefit Your Chickens

A lot of the conventional chicken feeds on the market have chemical supplements in them that are meant to strengthen the chickens’ immune systems. Yes, Chickens can Eat Marigolds but in limited quantities.

Antibiotics are routinely provided to both commercially produced and certain private flocks in an effort to prevent sickness. Two problems arise from this practice: first, hens should never be housed in conditions that routinely need the use of antibiotics. In most cases, just practicing standard husbandry will be enough to keep diseases at bay.

And secondly, before resorting to medicines, it’s preferable to first try boosting the chicken’s immune function with some natural substances.

There is no need to resort to chemical additions to protect the chickens from the elements; natural methods are just as effective. One of the most popular and simple to cultivate flowers in gardens combines both characteristics. 

Effect of Marigolds on your Chicken –

Although they are all commonly referred to as “marigolds,” the many distinct plant species that fall under this “umbrella” moniker really have quite distinct appearances and functional specializations. 

Research demonstrates that not many of them provide the qualities we need to maintain the health of the chickens

Being aware of the distinctions is crucial. If you don’t, you’ll end up accidentally feeding your hens the wrong genus and also be left wondering why you aren’t seeing the results you expected. 

Each of these tiny varieties is identical to the full-size original. A helpful hint while looking for marigolds is to use the botanical (Latin) name rather than the common (English) moniker. 

What Do Marigolds Look Like? 

Calendula officinalis is most often known as the “pot” marigold. 

With its vivid orange or yellow flower head & daisy-like petal design, the marigold (also known as calendula) is easily distinguished from similar-looking flowers. 

Although it is technically a perennial, the calendula is often seen as a seasonal plant because it dies off throughout the winter in colder regions. The antibacterial characteristics of calendula make it ideal for use in natural chicken coop cleaners. In most cases, you may find calendula seed packets in the spring.

Can Chickens Eat Marigolds

Also Read:

Can Chickens Eat Nectarines? :Why They’re a Top Choice for Chickens


Types of Marigolds Chickens Can Eat – 

  • French marigold

This is the type most commonly found in planters and flower beds. The most common ones are vibrant orange as well as sunny yellow. 

It blooms from the summer through the first frost and spreads more than it grows. It can handle wet weather just fine, yet it may not thrive in extremely dry settings. Constant hydration!

If you want to improve the healthfulness and aesthetic appeal of the eggs by giving them a deeper orange hue, this is the shrub you need. 

  • African marigold

The African marigold, also known as the Mexican marigold because of its pom-pom-shaped flower head, can reach a height of up to 90 cm (35″). Because of its lofty stature, it is frequently used by florists to accentuate the verticality of arrangements. 

If you keep forgetting to water the plants, it is a wonderful option because it does well in dry conditions. We think this one could be the most impressive in the bunch. It contains a high concentration of carotenoids that have been shown to boost health and immunity thanks to their antioxidant properties. 

The use of marigolds as an organic alternative to chemical treatments for hens –

  • In order to promote cell growth & immune system function, antioxidants are essential. 
  • Marigolds are rich in flavonoids, lutein, & lycopene, three carotenoids discovered via scientific study. 
  • Antioxidants play a crucial role in the maintenance of health in all forms of life. They protect healthy cells from being broken down & damaged by “free radicals,” which, if left to their own ways, might cause illness and disease. 
  • Numerous studies (e.g., 1, 2) suggest that including marigolds or marigold extracts in a chicken’s diet boosts the bird’s antioxidant capacity & aids in skin tissue healing. 

Can Chickens Eat Marigolds

A Guide to Feeding Marigolds to Hens

It’s not hard to get chickens to eat marigolds because of their natural preference for bright colors like red, orange, & yellow. With the obvious caveat that chickens can also be finicky eaters. 

  • Only use organic flower food on flowers cultivated organically. Putting insecticides into the food your flock eats is the very last thing you wish to do. 
  • You can try fresh food, but you can have better luck with a dry one. 
  • Cut the marigolds to the ground, tie the stems together, and hang them upside down in a hot, dry area for around three weeks to dry the petals. 
  • Mix in around 10 grams (less than half an ounce) of petals to every kilo (2.2 pounds) of their regular food. 
  • Don’t stress yourself over the precise sum, though. Marigolds and marigold extracts have been included in studies with no ill effects found. 


What kinds of Marigolds do Chickens Eat?

The African/Mexican marigold, tagetes erecta, works best for the chickens. 

How can Chickens be fed Marigolds? 

Carotenoids found in marigolds (particularly lutein) are responsible for the deeper yellow hue of egg yolks & chicken skin. Include 3 grams of dried flowers in their daily food. 

How can you get your Chickens to eat Marigolds? 

The marigold plant as a whole can cause tongue irritation, so we simply collect the petals. The hens enjoy them fresh, but we have found that drying and crushing them before adding them to their layer meal yields the best results. 

Is Marigold Poisonous to Animals? 

Dogs should avoid coming into contact with marigold plants since they can be somewhat poisonous if consumed or cause skin or fur irritation if touched. Exposed chickens may feel uneasy, but there is no danger to their lives from this plant.

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