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Best Plants to Grow That Chickens Can Eat

Best Plants to Grow That Chickens Can Eat

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What are the best plants to grow that chickens can eat? A blend of shrubs and wildflowers in my backyard creates amazing scenery to look at. For my flock of chickens, these plants are a great source of food and a place to hide. But not every plant is suitable for your chickens; others are poisonous and can harm your birds. Allow me to take you through a list of plants that I find appropriate for chickens to eat.

Plants such as sunflowers, fennel, Swiss chard, cucumbers, watermelon, oregano, and others are a reliable source of food for your chickens. Also, they provide shade for your flock, especially in the summertime.

These plants are easy to grow and they mature early. As such, they can transform your garden into a lush green setup in a matter of weeks. Most importantly, your birds will find them delicious while on free-range during the day. Let’s have a look at the best plants to grow that chickens can eat in the following discussion.

The Best Plants to Grow That Chickens Can Eat


Top on our list of the best plants to grow for your flock of chickens is the sunflower. These decorative plants come packed with hundreds of seeds for your birds to eat. The flowers come in different sizes and various shades of red, yellow and orange.

Some species appear dark red and you can even think they are black. Therefore, make sure that you grow a variety of these plants in your garden at the onset of the rainy season. Since they mature early, you should expect them to form flowers and seeds a few months after planting them.

Upon maturity, you may harvest the seeds for your chickens to eat. Start by cutting the seed heads and drying flower heads before feeding them to your chickens. Certainly, your flock will enjoy these nutritious sunflower seeds all day long.


Cucumbers are one of the major favorite treats for your chickens. They can feed your flock for a long time, saving you money you would have spent on commercial feed. Besides, cucumber plants decorate your garden bed in addition to protecting the soil beneath against erosion. Anyway,  that’s a topic for another day.

When it comes to feeding your birds, ensure that you slice these plants into small pieces. Your birds will definitely find it easy to eat a relatively small piece of this plant. Cucumber seeds are also important as far as feeding your birds is concerned.

These seeds are a good remedy for radical intestinal worms. In this case, make sure that you supply them with plenty of seeds to keep them safe from worms. Cucumbers grow well in warm and relatively humid regions although you can plant them in a greenhouse.

Green Swiss Chard

Your birds will find the green Swiss chard a good treat just in the same way as humans do. This healthy green plant is rich in nutrients for your birds’ health. Most likely your birds will enjoy eating the leaves as well as the green parts of the plant.

Swiss Chard is a great addition to your mixed garden bed at home. The plant needs enough spacing to grow well alongside other garden crops.

Ensure that there are at least four inches of space between two plants if you want them to grow well. As a matter of fact, Swiss chard can thrive well in different climatic conditions as well as different regions.


If you think watermelon is only for you to eat, then you are wrong. Your chickens can as well enjoy this fruit, especially on a hot day. Your birds will likely devour the whole fruit starting with the seeds, flesh, and rind.

Chickens love this delicious and massive fruit when it is ripe. For that reason, you need to include a few watermelon plants in your garden to feed your chickens.

Most of the watermelon varieties thrive best in almost all growing zones. The plant takes almost 80 days or three months to be ready for harvest. Remember to provide adequate space between two or more plants for better growth.


Although corn is mostly used as human food, you can also feed it to your chickens. This is one of the most common feeds that chickens enjoy on a farm.

That is why growing it is a bonus for you and your birds as well. This means you will save a lot of money by feeding your chickens on corn when it matures.

You may also grow two to three rows of corn in your garden to feed your birds in the future. This means that you don’t have to be a crop farmer to provide your chickens with corn. Once ready, dry them out or simply feed your flock of birds straight away. Sweet corn is the most preferred by almost all chicken breeds.


Oregono is also one of the best plants to grow that chickens can eat. Actually, chickens love it a lot and will do anything to have a share of it. Apart from that, Oregon can boost your chickens’ immune system because it is an antibiotic. As a result, your birds will remain healthy, strong, and productive.

When growing this plant in your garden, make sure that you water it regularly. On top of that, set it in a place it can access plenty of light and well-drained soil. Oregano grows well in different regions across the world.


Unlike other types of the best plants to grow that chickens can eat, fennel serves two functions. First, it is an excellent treat for your chickens. Secondly, it attracts insect pollinators, which becomes another treat for your chickens.

The seeds play a crucial role in improving your chicken’s reproductive health. The plant thrives well in sunny conditions although it can withstand winter conditions as well.

Carrot Greens

Carrots are one of the foods that humans enjoy the most. But your chickens will find these roots and leaves to be delicious as well. Once you harvest your carrots, don’t discard the greens but take them to your flock of birds and see how useful they are.

Chickens love this leafy section of the carrot plants a lot especially when it is still fresh. Carrots are easy to grow and you can harvest them twice a year.


Although dandelions are a breed of weeds, chickens love them so much. These herbs flourish best in almost every region. Also, they grow wildly but you may cultivate them in your garden for your chickens to eat. Dandelions prefer wet soils and a little bit of shade. You will always see them sprouting and growing in the summertime.


Chickens eat all types of berries, including strawberries. For that reason, you need to protect these plants from the invasion of chickens until maturity. That is if you are growing them for your own benefit.

Otherwise, your birds will find strawberries irresistible, sweet and delicious. Strawberries grow well during the spring season but some start producing berries even in summer. Ensure that your chickens enjoy strawberries in summer and spring by growing a few of them in your garden.


Kale is a pleasant leafy greens that have become popular in a number of households. This is due to their ability to grow fast and remain available throughout the seasons.

Apart from being a delicacy for humans, kale can also be a great threat to your chickens. These leaves are rich in nutrients such as vitamin A and many others. They grow well in different climatic conditions and soils. Therefore, you may plant a few of them in your garden for your chickens to munch on their leaves.

Related questions

What is the main reason for growing your own chicken treats? The main reason is to supplement your chicken’s diet with fresh plant treats. Some of these plants come in the form of leaves, stems, seeds, and fruits. Each of these has its own nutritional value that is beneficial to your chickens.

How often should you subject your chickens to plant treats? You may leave your chickens to forage in your garden as long as you want during the day. As a result, they will sample a variety of crops and herbs while looking for bugs and insects from the ground.

In Conclusion

Growing chicken treats is the best idea if you want to save money and promote the health of your birds. These plants are a rich source of different nutrients that your chickens need to grow and become productive.

In addition to that, the plants are tasty and nutritious and your chickens will enjoy eating them. From our list of the best plants to grow that chickens can eat, you can find a variety of these crops.

Most significantly, the plants grow fast and can flourish almost anywhere. Take a look at each one of them and choose the ones that will suit your chickens’ needs.

Below is a Pinterest-friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!

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