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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Marigolds are perfect for Chickens, and a tour of our Montana chicken coop!

Show your hens some love. Harvest the Marigold flower tops for your chickens! Marigolds are perfect for chickens! Fresh or dried, Marigolds added to nesting boxes will help repel insects and keep bugs out of the coop. Plus they will help keep your chickens insect-free. From the DIY Homemade Household side of the blog!

Welcome to our Coop D'ville! 

We did in fact get many of the needed chores completed around the property this year, but as with most folks new to a home with acreage, our chore list was longer than the time available! One of the chores that did get completed was a chicken coop with an attached run.

And I have to tell you, having chickens is more fun than I could have imagined! There are 10 chickens in our flock, and today they got Marigolds placed in the nesting boxes and a few to munch on in the run! As it turns out Marigolds and chickens are a perfect twosome!

Marigolds naturally repel insects, while being high in antioxidants. Chickens can eat the flower tops (not the stems and leaves) for the antioxidant properties and the natural coloring which will enrich the color of their yolks. But they are more than just a snack, according to Bonnie Plants, they work perfectly in the nesting boxes to repel bugs helping to keep your chickens insect-free. 

The coop and the run are one structure with a drop-down door closing off the coop from the run. The door is closed in the fall and winter to keep the warmth from the heat lamp in the coop. But at all other times, the door is open so they can go into the run through the night if they want to. 

Today I weeded out the volunteer Marigolds that had taken over my flower pots and put them to good use in the coop. We have more Marigolds to harvest, when that happens there will be more bags of Marigolds drying in the run. 

Our weather is quickly changing here in Montana. We now leavE a heat lamp on at night to keep the chickens safe and warm. The heat lamp is easy to install, but we had another important task to complete before winter sets in. We needed to build a heavy barrier around the coop to protect our little flock from hungry predators. 

We were fortunate to get broken (and jagged!) pieces of broken concrete from our neighbors, and they were happy to let us have it! I wheeled it back to our field to where the coop sits and began building a barrier around the perimeter of the coop. The larger pieces in the back where the solid wall is were a joint effort by hubby and me. They are so heavy they had to be lifted by the two of us into the wheelbarrow.   

The run also has toys for the chickens to play on, a large watering system/bucket to keep them hydrated, and an old tire filled with scraps that are composting. The hens love to dig around in the tire! In the evening I take out any veggie scraps or fermented brown rice for them to enjoy. While there I also gather the eggs. 

We decided to put a bit of whimsy on the outside of the coop as well! We have purple chalkboard paint on the door to the coop in case we need to leave a message and a Sasquatch weather vane! The nesting boxes cantilever out and can be opened from out of the coop if needed. Under the nesting boxes, I keep gardening tools and supplies dry and out of the weather.

And that brings us to the end of the tour, and since we started with a photo of Miss Henrietta, we shall end with one also! She is such a sweet chicken, tiny in size but big in personality!

Did I mention that I love having chickens?

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Would you like to comment?

  1. I have never heard this about Marigolds. Passing this info along to my sister who has a chicken coop.


    1. I have been on a learning curve regarding having our own chickens, but was happy to come along and find the Bonnie Plants link for planting a "chicken's herb garden". Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

  2. I didn't know they liked marigolds. But I know swiss chard goes over really well with chicks!
    Thanks for sharing this at the FWF link party.


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