Can Chickens Eat Lovage

Can Chickens Eat Lovage? The Surprising Truth!



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Alright buddy, let me tell ya an even funnier story about that time with the lovage to really set the scene for ya.

So it was a hot summer day on the farm. All the hens were cooped up in the yard cause it was too darn hot for them to go wanderin’ around like they usually do.

I felt bad keepin’ em cooped up, so I figured I’d give em a little somethin’ special to spice up their afternoon.

Now, I had just pulled up a big ol’ bunch of lovage from the garden cause it was takin’ over everything else. Didn’t know what to do with it, but I know chickens will eat just about anything, so I thought “What the heck?

I grabbed up a handful of them lovage leaves, big thick ones they were. They smelled pretty strong, so I thought for sure the chickens would go nuts for somethin’ so flavorful. Boy was I in for a surprise though, let me tell ya!

I waltzed on over to the coop, open up the feed bin, and tossed those leaves right in with their scratch. At first the girls just pecked at it curiously like they do with any new food. But then Daisy, that sassy ole Rhode Island Red we’ve got, she takes a big ol’ bite of it.

The look on her face was priceless! Her eyes bugged out of her head and her feathers puffed up bigger than I’ve ever seen. Then she lets out this ungodly squawk and takes off runnin’ around the coop like her tail’s on fire! Scared the livin’ daylights outta all the other hens.

I’m standin’ there scratchin’ my head wonderin’ what in tarnation’s got into her. Then it hits me – that lovage must have been hotter than a jalapeño! Who’d have thought such an innocent lookin’ green leaf could pack so much heat?

The other hens were in a right state of confusion, cluckin’ and flutterin’ all around while Daisy’s still doin’ laps like a chicken possessed. I was laughin’ so hard I could barely breathe! Finally had to scoop up all that lovage before any other dumb birds tried a bite.

So that’s the real story of why I’ll never forget that day in the coop. Sure gave me and the girls a good laugh, even if it was at Daisy’s expense. Now you know just how spicy lovage can be for those feathered tastebuds of theirs. But is it actually safe for them to eat? Let me fill you in on that next.

Is Lovage Safe for Chickens?

Can Chickens Eat Lovage

Alright, so after that little fiasco I had to do some research to find out if lovage was actually okay for the chickens long-term. Turns out it ain’t all bad news though, friend.

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Seems lovage is considered generally safe in moderation. It’s packed with good stuff like vitamins A, C, and K. Also loaded with minerals like calcium, potassium, and manganese. All super important for keepin’ those ladies healthy.

Plus it’s high in antioxidants too which is great for fightin’ off illness. And those powerful essential oils give it that zingy flavor the chickens go nuts for. Really wakes em up and gets their appetites goin’ unlike plain old scratch.

The leaves, stems, seeds, and roots are all edible for chickens. They’ll forage for it themselves in the garden if you plant some. So it can be a natural, free-range snack for em when they’re out wanderin’ around.

The only potential issue is that intense heat it’s got. Too much too fast and it could irritate their delicate chicken tummies. Kinda like how it did to Daisy’s tastebuds! But feed it to em right and it’s perfectly safe.

So in summary – lovage provides lots of nutrition but that spice needs to be introduced gradual. With the right approach, those ladies will be lovin’ lovage in no time. Now let me tell you exactly how to serve it up so they don’t end up like screamin’ Daisy!

How to Feed Lovage to Your Flock

Can Chickens Eat Lovage

Alright friend, here’s the lowdown on introducing lovage in a way that won’t send your hens into a tizzy:

Start by only mixin’ a few chopped leaves into their regular feed. Go slow so their tastebuds can get used to it.

Over a few feedings, gradually up the amount of lovage little by little. Give em a chance to acquire a taste for it before really pile it on.

Be sure to chop or crush the leaves up good first. Whole big pieces might be off-puttin’ to them. Nice and fine so it mixes in well.

Only use it as an occasional treat, not a replacement for their normal diet. Variety is best to keep em healthy and happy.

Adjust based on how different birds react. Some may take to it faster than others. Watch for any signs of distress and ease up if needed.

Always have clean water available in case any of that heat makes their mouths dry up. Can’t have unhappy hens!

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With patience and following these tips, I guarantee your flock will learn to love the zesty flavor of lovage just like mine did. Well, most of mine anyway – Daisy’s still a little traumatized!

Can Chickens Forage for Wild Lovage?

Can Chickens Eat Lovage

Yes sir, free-range chickens can definitely forage for lovage on their own if it’s growin’ in your area.

Wild lovage grows all throughout North America, preferrin’ damp soil in shady spots like alongside streams or hedgerows.

Those tall, umbrella-like flower clusters in summer make it unmistakable once it flowers.

Chickens will happily munch on the leaves, stems, seeds, and roots of wild lovage if it’s within their foragin’ range.

Just be aware they may end up with a few ruffled feathers like Daisy at first till they learn to handle that heat!

But it’s a super healthy, natural snack they can harvest themselves without any work from you.

Just be sure any wild areas they free-range in are fully fenced and predator-proof for their safety.

With a little scavenging, your flock can supplement their diets with all the wild nutrition and flavor of lovage grown to nature’s standards.

How to Grow Lovage in the Garden

If foraging ain’t an option or you want more control, lovage grows like a champ when planted yourself too.

Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost date, then transplant outside after danger of frost passes.

Lovage likes rich, moist, well-draining soil and partial shade like under trees or against a fence.

Space plants 1-2 feet apart in rows 2-3 feet between for best air circulation and growth.

It may take a year or two to establish, but lovage then grows into a towering 4-5 foot plant!

Cut off flower stalks as they appear to encourage more leaf growth for your flock.

Harvest outer leaves often for the chickens throughout summer and fall.

Lovage is hardy and will self-sow, coming back bigger each year with minimal care.

With a small garden patch, you’ve got a perpetual, pesticide-free supply for your ladies to love.

Can Chickens Free-Range in a Lovage Patch?

Why sure, lettin’ chickens free-range right in a lovage patch can be a win-win for them and your plants!

Just be sure to fully fence the area first so they’re safe from predators while foragin’.

Chickens will happily pick through the leaves, stems and seeds, helpin’ control pests and weeds at the same time.

Their scratching and pecking aerates the soil and naturally fertilizes with their droppings too.

Just be aware they may nibble some flower buds if they’re left to grow, limiting future seed production.

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But overall their foraging will encourage more lush foliage growth perfect for cuttin’ and feedin’ back to them.

Win-win for your chickens’ health and for maintainin’ a productive lovage patch with minimal effort from you!

Just be sure to also provide other forage plants, shelter, and clean water while rangin’ to keep them happy.

Can Chickens Eat Lovage Seeds?

You bet your chickens can eat lovage seeds if they find ’em, friend!

In fact, those seeds are extra nutritious and beneficial for them beyond just the leaves.

Lovage seeds are high in beneficial fatty acids, proteins, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.

They also contain volatile oils similar to the leaves that give lovage its distinctive flavor.

Chickens will happily peck up seeds from fallen seed heads in the garden or foragin’ in wild patches.

You can even collect and dry your own seeds to feed as an occasional treat through fall and winter.

Just be sure not to overfeed the seeds, as the oils can act as a laxative in large quantities.

But as a supplement to their regular feed, lovage seeds provide great extra nutrition your flock will love.

No need to waste ’em – let the chickens make good use of the whole lovage plant!

Can Chickens Help Propagate Lovage?

You better believe free-range chickens can actually help spread lovage plants all on their own, pardner!

After eatin’ those nutritious seeds, the seeds will pass right through the chickens’ digestive systems undamaged.

Then when the hens do their business in the garden or around the yard, those seeds can easily sprout wherever they land!

Chickens’ scratching also helps bury seeds at a perfect depth for germination once conditions are right.

Letting chickens forage in lovage patches essentially turns them into lil’ seed-spreadin’ machines.

Within a few years, you may find lovage has naturally propagated all over your property with no work from you!

Talk about a sustainable, eco-friendly way to encourage a bountiful harvest you and your flock can both enjoy.

So let those chickens earn their keep propagatin’ lovage for years of healthy snacks to come. Ain’t nature grand?

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