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How to Use Mint for your Chickens

Mint is a great herbal ally for humans, but mint is also great for chickens! It’s one of my favorite herbs to grow in the chicken yard – here’s why!

I have a love-hate relationship with mint. Sometimes, I also have a love-hate relationship with my chickens… like when they decide to re-landscape my flowers! But, chickens and mint (while both annoying at times!) make a pretty fantastic combination!

When we moved in to our new home late last summer, the mint had taken over an entire flower bed and was working on another! I had no idea how I was going to use it all and keep it under control! It didn’t take me long to realize what a wonderful benefit it was to have mint in the chicken yard! (Yes, our chickens have their own yard, although they still like to poop in ours!)

Now, I put all that mint to good use! Mint has some amazing health benefits for both people and animals. It’s hardy, requires few inputs and is easy to grow. In my opinion, mint is probably one of my favorite herbs for the homestead because it’s so low maintenance and multifunctional!

Awesome ways to use mint for chickens


These are my favorite ways to use mint to benefit my chickens:


Mint provides shelter & hiding places for chickens

My chickens love to hang out in the mint! Since our chickens free range all day, we try to provide a lot of bushes, plants and trees that give them protection from ariel predators like hawks and owls. Mint is a perfect chicken yard companion for this reason! It can grow to be anywhere from a foot to two plus feet tall depending on the variety. My chickens will hunker down in it throughout the day. Sometimes, I just see the tops of their heads poking out and other times, I can’t see them at all! They also like to lay their eggs in the mint from time to time!

Awesome ways to use mint for chickens

Mint can provide shade for the chicken run

I think one of the reasons that my chickens love to be in the mint patch so much is because it’s a nice cool place to be during the warm weather. Because certain mint varieties can grow so tall, mint can be a great source of shade. Another bonus is that it grows quickly! While trees and bushes can take years to grow large enough to provide adequate shade, mint can be grown in just a couple months! We have peppermint growing around one of our coops and it easily grows to be three feet tall during the summer months, providing a lot of extra shade for the coop!

Awesome ways to use mint for chickens

Mint helps repels insects and rodents

Mint has a wonderful and strong smell that a lot of insect and rodents don’t like! Which is fantastic reason to plant mint around the chicken coop! In addition to mint growing near our coops, we trim the mint throughout the summer and toss it into the coop and run to help repel insects. We dry our excess mint leaves to use in the coop throughout the year. You can also hang bundles of mint inside the coop or run to deter pests. Mint can be used to freshen up a nesting box and the scent helps stimulate laying. You can also make a lovely mint insect repelling spray to keep flies off you and your pets. Check out my recipe for Herbal Mint Insect Repellent!

Awesome ways to use mint for chickens

Mint helps cool during hot summer days

If you’ve ever had a glass of mint water or tea on a hot summer day, you have experienced the cooling and refreshing powers of mint! I place mint and ice cubes in a tray of water during the summer heat to help keep my flock cool on hot days. In addition to mint’s cooling properties, it also provides digestive and respiratory support as well as antioxidants. Win-win-win!
Fun fact: mint doesn’t actually change body temp but it does trick your brain into thinking you’re cooler! Here’s why! 

Awesome ways to use mint for chickens

Mint is chicken-proof

Mint is probably the most indestructible plant I’ve ever grown! I’ve literally dug it out by the roots, only to have it return a couple weeks later, as healthy as can be! Pre-plan before you plant mint because it will spread quickly and be very hard to remove once it’s established! You will also need to continue to coral it throughout the year if you don’t want it to overtake an area. New shoots are generally much easier to pull than older, established roots. That being said, mint’s hardiness is one of the reasons that I love it for chickens. My chickens have pretty much destroyed every flower, plant or seedling I’ve ever put within their reach – except the mint! Even with them trotting through it, scratching, and pecking at it on a daily basis, it stays healthy and happy!

Awesome ways to use mint for chickens



  • Kaylee Vaughn

    Kaylee is the Founder of She has set up and run two homesteads, a one-acre in Idaho, and her current two-acre dream homestead in the Pacific North West. Her qualifications include a Permaculture Design Certification from Oregon State University, and she is a Gardenary Certified Garden Coach. Kaylee currently produces at least 80% of her own food. She contributes to our site through articles, training and coaching to our clients. You can read more about her at


Friday 1st of September 2023

Does the apple mint do ad well for the chickens?

Terese Marie Bingisser

Friday 30th of September 2022

Will mint make my eggs taste like mint? And loved this info

Rooted Revival

Saturday 29th of October 2022

I have never noticed any difference so I don't think it carries over. :)

Linda F

Sunday 1st of November 2020

What kind of soil does mint need to grow, do you know?

Project Zenstead

Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

Mint is a very tenacious plant! It can grow in a huge variety of soils - even poor and compact soils! That being said though, it would prefer rich compost-amended soil that is moist but drains well. Mint does well in part shade to full sun. It really is one of the hardiest herbs though! In fact, it grows so well that you might find it hard to control after a while! For this reason, I try to keep my mint beds fairly separate from other planting beds because it will take over if given the opportunity.

Anyanwu, Jude

Friday 25th of September 2020

Good article.

Project Zenstead

Friday 25th of September 2020

Thank you! Glad it was useful for you!