Apr 12, 2013

Herbal Pest Control: Spruce the Coop Herbal Fusion for Chicken Coop Nest Boxes

If aromatherapy is the only natural benefit to placing herbs in my chicken coops, I’m fine with that,  however, aromatherapy may not be the end of the herbal story.
I have grown culinary herbs longer than I have kept chickens and with the addition of chickens to my backyard, it was natural to cut sprigs of herbs to tuck into the chicken coop bedding, hang from the ceiling and toss into nest boxes to freshen things up. If aromatherapy for my chickens is the only benefit to placing herbs in my nesting boxes and coops, I’m fine with that,  however, aromatherapy may not be the end of the herbal story. 
 If aromatherapy is the only natural benefit to placing herbs in my chicken coops, I’m fine with that,  however, aromatherapy may not be the end of the herbal story.
An article by Herbalist Susan Burek, published in the June/July2011 edition of Backyard Poultry Magazine suggests that many herbs are effective insecticidals.  Burek explains that various varieties of herbs can repel or kill insects. An important point she makes throughout the article is that in order to be effective, different herbs must be employed differently: ingested by the birds, distributed throughout the coop, grown around the coop, prepared as an extract and applied to the bird's body, and/or prepared as a liniment and applied to the coop itself.
An article by Herbalist Susan Burek, published in the June/July2011 edition of Backyard Poultry Magazine suggests that many herbs are effective insecticidals.  Burek explains that various varieties of herbs can repel or kill insects. An important point she makes throughout the article is that in order to be effective, different herbs must be employed differently: ingested by the birds, distributed throughout the coop, grown around the coop, prepared as an extract and applied to the bird's body, and/or prepared as a liniment and applied to the coop itself.
Another important message in Burek’s article is that herbal pest management should be part of “[a] multi-faceted prevention plan.” Keeping coops clean, keeping chickens healthy in order to be able to fend off pests, and avoiding toxic chemicals as well as natural products such as food grade diatomaceous earth, which upset the natural environmental balance, are all integral parts of that plan.
 If aromatherapy is the only natural benefit to placing herbs in my chicken coops, I’m fine with that,  however, aromatherapy may not be the end of the herbal story.
 If aromatherapy is the only natural benefit to placing herbs in my chicken coops, I’m fine with that,  however, aromatherapy may not be the end of the herbal story.
BUSTED! Marilyn's first eggs were found tucked into this lemon balm nest in my garden.

When my White Orpington hen, (Marilyn) began egg-laying last summer, she made a habit of laying them in my lavender and lemon balm plants. Perhaps she found them soothing to be in and around,  perhaps she knows something I still don’t about her chosen locations, but what we do know is that there are aromatic benefits from the essential oils in herbs that affect the mood and stress levels of both people and animals. 
 If aromatherapy is the only natural benefit to placing herbs in my chicken coops, I’m fine with that,  however, aromatherapy may not be the end of the herbal story.
Another nest of eggs were found in the lavender in the front of my house.

Whatever the reason for Marilyn’s nest choices, they validate my practice of sprucing up the coop with my freshly grown herbs. Unfortunately, one of the disadvantages of living in New England is our pitifully short growing season and lack of year round access to fresh herbs. One of the disadvantages of my schedule that includes two children, a husband, house, dog, 40+ chickens, a blog, Facebook page and small business, is that I have no spare time for some of the smaller pleasures in life such as cutting and drying herbs to use throughout the winter and spring.
 If aromatherapy is the only natural benefit to placing herbs in my chicken coops, I’m fine with that,  however, aromatherapy may not be the end of the herbal story.
Sage in my garden this winter.
I missed the scent of fresh herbs in the coop this winter, so I decided to purchase dried herbs to concoct my own herbal blend for my chicken coops. 
In selecting the herbs for my herbal fusion, I consulted with Master Gardener and Herbalist, Kathie Jones in Forest Hill, MD to ensure their safe use around my chickens. While this mixture is not intended to be eaten, my flock may taste-test bits of it and it's important to me to know that all of these herbs are safe if ingested. I chose the following herbs, based upon their safety, aromatic properties and/or ability to repel pests.
In selecting the herbs for my herbal fusion, I consulted with Master Gardener and Herbalist, Kathie Jones in Forest Hill, MD to ensure their safe use around my chickens. While this mixture is not intended to be eaten, my flock may eat bits of it and it's important to me to know that all of these herbs are safe if ingested.
Spruce the Coop Herbal Fusion nest box herbs available at www.CustomEggCartonLabels.com
  In selecting the herbs for my herbal fusion, I consulted with Master Gardener and Herbalist, Kathie Jones in Forest Hill, MD to ensure their safe use around my chickens. While this mixture is not intended to be eaten, my flock may taste-test bits of it and it's important to me to know that all of these herbs are safe if ingested.
I chose the herbs for my chicken coop nest box fusion, based upon their safety, aromatic properties and/or ability to repel some small insects. "Through an insect's acute sense of smell, these strong smelling herbs make it overwhelmingly unpleasant for many insects and so then work as a repellent."1  With my next batch, I’ll dial back the amount of oregano, as I don’t particularly care for the Italian Baked Chicken vibe it evokes in my coop.   
 I chose the herbs for my chicken coop nest box fusion, based upon their safety, aromatic properties and/or ability to repel pests. "Through an insect's acute sense of smell, these strong smelling herbs make it overwhelmingly unpleasant for many insects and so then work as a repellent.
 I sprinkle the herbal fusion sparingly in nest boxes and coop-a little goes a long way. I use approximately one tablespoon of herbs per nesting box.
Spruce the Coop Herbal Fusion nest box herbs available at www.CustomEggCartonLabels.com
 Spruce the Coop Herbal Fusion is available in my store, HERE!!
 Spruce the Coop Herbal Fusion nest box herbs available at www.CustomEggCartonLabels.com
I never use fresh herbs underneath a broody hen; the humidity and warmth of the hen’s body can cause a hastening of decomposition and encourage the growth of mold, endangering the embryos and the health of the hen and any chicks that hatch.
  never use fresh herbs underneath a broody hen; the humidity and warmth of the hen’s body can cause a hastening of decomposition and encourage the growth of mold, endangering the embryos and the health of the hen and any chicks that hatch.
My Chief Broody, Freida, doing what she does best. 

In researching the use of herbs in poultry flocks, I read blogs and other online articles essentially claiming that herbs in and around the coop are a parasite eliminator and general health panacea. Some of the same buzz words I found from page to page are: anti-bacterial, insecticide, anti-parasitic, natural wormer, stress reliever, sedative, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, rodent-repellent, laying stimulant and calming. Whew! Really? While there is little doubt that many culinary herbs have some “beneficial properties,” the preparation, application and concentration of the herb are critical pieces of information notably missing in these sweeping generalizations, which make them useless. 
I never use fresh herbs underneath a broody hen; the humidity and warmth of the hen’s body can cause a hastening of decomposition and encourage the growth of mold, endangering the embryos and the health of the hen and any chicks that hatch.
Caution must be exercised when reading claims of beneficial properties when there are no directions for how those benefits can be elicited from certain herbs. In other words: the Herb Fairy cannot sprinkle mint leaves in the nest boxes and expect them to produce all of the beneficial effects listed in the buzz words above- she must at least leave a note detailing the proper preparations and applications of the herbs if they are to work their magic in our coops and in/on our chickens. For more information about using herbs as insecticides in various preparations and for general poultry health, do your own research or visit Herbalist Susan Burek at her website or Facebook page, Raising Chickens Naturally.
  NOTE: I do not use dried or fresh herbs in my brooder due to the volatile oils and the risk of irritating chicks’ sensitive respiratory systems.
Notes, sources & further reading:
NOTE:  On the subject of diatomaceous earth, Burek states: “Even though DE is not contributing to adding toxic chemicals to our environment, it can still be killing beneficial bugs as much as any chemical pesticide would. As good stewards of the environment, it makes more sense to me to make our poultry's living space an inhospitable place for harmful bugs to choose to live, and let them duke it out in nature for the proper living balance to be achieved.” A Personal Perspective on using DE, Herbalist Susan Burek
NOTE: I do not use dried or fresh herbs in my brooder due to the risk of irritating chicks’ sensitive respiratory systems.
Spruce the Coop Herbal Fusion nest box herbs available at www.CustomEggCartonLabels.com


Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

277 comments :

  1. WoW, this smells good !! LOL

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  2. Love this blog! Hope to win to give away! That would make it even better :)

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  3. I love your emails and blogs and facebook page!
    Herbal pest control is awesome. Thank you for the chance to win some.
    Donna L. Creamer

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  4. I love everything I learn from your blog. Will definitely try this! Thanks!

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  5. Superb article, I have it bookmarked for future use.
    Got my fingers crossed for the chance to win.

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  6. Wow, I'll have to give it a try in my coop

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  7. Wonderful idea! I have learned a lot from you. I am already following your blog by email. Thanks!

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  8. Nancy Sheretko4/12/13, 9:13 PM

    I have been following you on facebook and now I have signed up for your email blog and to follow you on pinterest....would love to win

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  9. Very informative! Thank you so much! :)

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  10. Susan Fitts Davis4/12/13, 9:18 PM

    I truly enjoy the information you provide for us to read on your blog and also on FB! Thanks for sharing your passion for the wonderful chickens. I wish everyone could have a chance to enjoy them as much as we do!

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  11. I would like to make some of this for my coop. Just wondering about amounts. How much did you use? equal parts of all the ingredients?

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  12. Hi Kathy! My chickies would love to smell like foo-foo!!!! Please enter me in the contest!

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  13. I have been giving my girls fresh herbs from my garden now all week. I love the smell of the basil near the coop. Thanks, Lisa

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  14. Beth Burnham4/12/13, 9:23 PM

    Loved this article. I am starting all kinds of herbs in the dining room....just hope they make it to the outdoors!!

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  15. wow i love this articel i can almost smell it. how wonderful after smelling the little stinkys in the baby box lol

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  16. Spruce the Coop Herbal Fusion; Yes I would like to try this on my Black copper marans chicks as they stink and it could only improve the smell of their coop!

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  17. Joann Fleming4/12/13, 9:48 PM

    Love your blogs. As a science teacher I appreciated your honesty and calling out of the authors that did not give specific details just promises. I will have to read more on the DE debate. Hope to win your bundle of smells to try in my coop. My daughter is wanting to learn more about herbs also. I find raising chickens and gardening fascinating. Thanks for all you do to help us.

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  18. Suddenly I need to plant a bigger herb garden!

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  19. Thanks for all you share into the chicken community. Hoping to get my second coop up after the snow melts!

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  20. Heather Schleifer4/12/13, 10:00 PM

    Kathy, thanks for the very informative article, I will try to employ this for my hens this spring....IF it ever gets here lol.

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  21. As always, wonderful information! Thanks, Kathy!

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  22. Donna Crystal4/12/13, 10:27 PM

    How many wonderful and helpful things am I going to learn on this blog??? :D I have been enjoying this tremendously and the ones who gain the most benefit are my lovely hens, Pippa, Jilly, Alfie and Whitney. I would love to spruce up their laying area - no concerns of chicks' sensitive systems, no rooster! I'm looking forward to ordering some of this after the drawing! I have also been inspired previously (and now, definitely) to plant many of these herbs just for the coop! Take care :D

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  23. Shawn Barker4/12/13, 10:58 PM

    Very enlighting. I have been pondering the idea of trying herbs.

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  24. thank you for sharing all your chicken knowledge. Our chicks are almost ready to be moved out to their coop. Would love to try the herbal fusion!

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  25. Everyday I find another reason why I am thrilled to have found your blog. Wonderful nuggets of knowledge everyday! Thank you Kathy

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  26. TheChickenChick4/12/13, 11:22 PM

    It drives me nuts, Joann! As a science teacher, I know you share my frustration when you read articles promising results that cannot be delivered in the fashion presented. Such a disservice to the chicken-keeping community. :(
    Let me know what you think about the DE debate. It's an interesting issue. More interesting still is the same authors that advocate herbal pest deterrents in the coop also advocate DE in the coop, which makes no sense at all. Let me know what you think!

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  27. TheChickenChick4/12/13, 11:22 PM

    Thank you, Laura! ♥

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  28. Joann Fleming4/12/13, 11:31 PM

    Will do!

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  29. TheChickenChick4/12/13, 11:36 PM

    Mmmm. Me too!

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  30. I'm a newbie, but learning so much; thanks for the helpful info you provide, & your willingness to respond to my questions :-)

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  31. Since I grow many of your mentioned herbs, it will be easy for me to start using them in the girls' coop. Thanks for all the great advice in your well-written and interesting blog. Cheers!

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  32. Love your blog. Learn something new everyday. Thanks

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  33. I would love one of these for my girls!
    Thank you!
    back2ack88@yahoo.com

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  34. As a person who uses natural means for dealing with bugs and illnesses, I like this article , it gives a lot of useful links and information.

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  35. I cant belive the very interesting ideas you come up with - so happy I found your blog!

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  36. Elizabeth Sawyer4/13/13, 8:38 AM

    I have learned so much from your blog. Thank you for all the info. It has helped me and my girls so much :)

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  37. Langela Richardson4/13/13, 8:39 AM

    The hens may love it, but I'm sure I would. Thanks for the giveaway. I'm a follower and a commenter. :)

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  38. I'd love to receive a little sample of your herbs! But mostly I just want to say THANK YOU for sharing all that detailed information about the herbs you chose and their benefits. It is so kind of you to care about the welfare of hens all around the world!

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  39. Will try this for sure.

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  40. This would make a great addition to my new home for our chicks! We live in south Texas and bugs and smells are always a problem. I have read so many of your helpful articles and shared the information with my husband. We are learning together.

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  41. I use different herbs around the house to repel ants, spiders, and unwantables. Its nice to learn about using them in our coop to help our feathered friends chase bugs away as well. Thanks for another enjoyable read.

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  42. Very cool, never thought of that!

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  43. What a wonderful idea. I am going to start some of these herbs in the garden. Thanks for such good ideas.

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  44. chris n amanda4/13/13, 9:56 AM

    This us great, thanks!

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  45. I love how your blog is the perfect new chicken owner manual. This week I painted the inside of the coop and picked fabric for my nesting box curtains. Now I just need a little aromatherapy. :)

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  46. Monica Ammerman4/13/13, 10:02 AM

    Ooooohh... this is my first year growing a herb garden and I am so excited to try this. I have a few that I won't be growing that I will buy to add in but I have most on the list above. I can't wait until harvest time. Ah, the wait...

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  47. love your information and your photos! Don't know if this competition is open to we Australians, but I hope so!! :-)

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  48. I have been researching what herbs to plant so I can use them. Hoping I don't kill them (can keep animals alive no problem...plants on the other hand...) Would love to win this giveaway.

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  49. I'm with djeanae... I'm a newbie too and you are very gracious in responding to questions.
    I am growing herbs in my garden too and will definitely use some throughout my coop to freshen things up a bit.
    Thanks so much for this giveaway!

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  50. Lynette Mattke4/13/13, 10:45 AM

    THanks for the tips, as always. I'd love to try the herbal fusion.

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  51. Follow by email and GFC Michelle S. Always enjoy your blog posts! buckyandtux at gmail dot com

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  52. I learn so much from you. thanks for the giveaway.

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  53. I love this! I just made a window box on my coop and planted mint, tyme, and chocolate mint ! I would love to add dried herbs to the coop, apparently the wind at 'coming home from work time' blows right by our front door...

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  54. this is so cool! we're getting chickens next month bc we just bought a new house with more land!

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  55. disqus_xH66n4BU5f4/13/13, 2:07 PM

    Thank you so much for all your info - you're helping us "first timers" in so many ways. Glad to have found a reliable source to place my chicken trust in. Would love to add some herbs to my coop!

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  56. Willow Fast Horse4/13/13, 2:08 PM

    Love all of your contests and prizes! thank you!
    startreegirl@gmail.com

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  57. So happy to have found a reliable source for all my chicken raising info. Looking at 20 chicks in a brooder as I type this - they'd LOVE some herbs for their new coop!

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  58. Thanks so much for sharing this! We have used similar things on our other animals, but hadn't seen anything more for the poultry yet. THanks for sharing!

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  59. Heidi Carlson4/13/13, 3:40 PM

    I warned my husband that some of the herbs we're planting this summer will be going to the chickens! It would be amazing to win and try your combination!

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  60. Great idea, our chickens would love a sprucing up of the ol coop this spring!

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  61. I'm learning from all the important information you provide!
    The herbal fusion you make is beautiful, I can see that smells just the same. I'd love to win. Thank you.

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  62. Such good info here, thanks for sharing your wisdom!

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  63. Shannon Gaydeski4/13/13, 8:07 PM

    I love herbs! Excited to learn more about using them with chickens.

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  64. I was just out looking for herbs today, but i think I'm a little early. Didn't see too much.

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  65. Do you know that Susan Burek has a facebook group called Poultry natural living and herbal care? She posts all her articles and recipes there.

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  66. Love this idea! Where did you purchase you supplies? Are they available online? Thanks so much for all the information you provide-so appreciated :) Greetings from Alberta, Canada-where winter just keeps going on and on and on....

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  67. Katlyn Koester4/14/13, 7:59 AM

    Would love to try an herb satchel and see if my girls like it.

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  68. Love the idea of this! I am new to chickens and raising them so learning all I can for my group of SLW!

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  69. this is great! I'm hoping to win this but even if not I will purchase the ingredients and make it myself. What a great idea! Thankyou!!!

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  70. My herb bible is the first place I go when my family has an ailment. Why not do this for our pets too. Great idea! Love your blog. I'm new to chickens and learning everyday. Thank you.

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  71. Thanks for the great tips. I am gonna to add this to our coop. The place I found that sells bulk herbs it will cost $39.50 for 14 oz. One ounce of each herb listed. But I like to support the CO local business!!

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  72. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:24 PM

    Bonnie, that is OBSCENE! I'm all for supporting local businesses, but local businesses need to price their wares reasonably. There is nothing reasonable about $40/lb. :o

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  73. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:24 PM

    Thanks Kris!

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  74. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:27 PM

    Thank you Patsy!

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  75. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:28 PM

    Thanks Karen. :)

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  76. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:33 PM

    Thanks Alison! There are very few original ideas and this is certainly not one of mine- people have been using herbs in and around the chicken coop for centuries and animals instinctively forgage on pastured plants that they know have health benefits for them. :)

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  77. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:33 PM

    Thank you, Nessa. ♥

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  78. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:35 PM

    Thank you, Amanda. ♥

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  79. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:36 PM

    It IS, Julie! Good luck!

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  80. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:37 PM

    My pleasure, Michelle. Thank you!

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  81. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:38 PM

    How wonderful! Enjoy!!

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  82. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:40 PM

    Thank you, Sandy!

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  83. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:40 PM

    I do know that, thank you. The links that I provide in the bottom of my article link to articles on her Facebook page. :)

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  84. TheChickenChick4/14/13, 7:42 PM

    My pleasure, Jan. You can purchase them all online here: http://bit.ly/129GL8x

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  85. I always have extra herbs and now I know what to do with them! I planted them thinking I would do more fancy meals with them but... no, that happen as often as it should!

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  86. Thanks for all you do, Im growing herbs as well and willl be doing this!

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  87. Sarah Hildreth4/14/13, 8:14 PM

    We have a great little organic co-op about 30 minutes from my house. I guess I know where I'll be getting my herbs!

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  88. I have never used anything like this for my hens, or myself ! Would love to try it out :)

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  89. I just love your blog - always so many great ideas. I recently switched my girls over to nipple waterers after reading your post about them, and I'm so very inspired by your beautiful coops!

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  90. The herbs listed on the link in this blog is $4 for 4 oz, so how do u save by getting them with all your ingredients for $9 a lb?

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  91. Crossing my fingers !!!!!!

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  92. :) I just planted 3 lemon balm plants ~ plus a couple of others. I appreciate all the wonderful information you share in every one of your posts . . . and my girls would love it if we won one of your herbal

    sachets. Thanks for the chance!

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  93. Great info. I'll be Growing some herbs this summer and I will share them with our new flock of six chickens!

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  94. this is awesome! I'm hoping to win this but even if not I will purchase the ingredients and make it myself.

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  95. I am studying to become a certified herbalist and so this is GREAT...and right up my alley. Add, I am just researching chickens and am about to get my first chicks. Thanks!

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  96. I Love all natural ideas! This is great! Thanks for contest & all the tips!

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  97. i love your blog,,,always so helpful

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  98. Willow Fast Horse4/14/13, 9:50 PM

    I hope that this is another enter once daily post because if it's allowed I'm entering again today if it's okay again love love love your contests!

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  99. Jackie Johnson4/14/13, 10:04 PM

    I have most of these herbs growing in my herb garden. I will have to see about putting this mix together. Sounds great! Thanks Kathy!

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  100. Thanks for the great advice and can't wait to mix some of this to try on my coop!

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  101. Im just starting on my first chickens and you have been so helpful and informative!. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge...

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  102. Hmm, not sure what happened, but I got this..."The feed does not have subscriptions by email enabled" and "Welcome to FeedBurner, laurihof@yahoo.com." Hoping I'm connected!

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  103. Linda Wilfong4/14/13, 11:26 PM

    Thank you again for ALL your great blog articles!! You cover so many topics before I ever need to know, which makes feel feel armed and prepared for anything that could arise :) I LOVE and use herbs for my family as well!!

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  104. Thanks for sharing. I love reading your blogs.

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  105. Thanks for this article! I've been saving rose petals to put in with my hens when they start laying. I'll have to try some herbs too, especially if I win! :-)

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  106. I follow you on FB, subscribe to your email updates. I like how this is a natural way of getting rid of pests. I wonder if it would also be beneficial in outside dog houses and beds to deter fleas and ticks? Any thoughts on that? Laughed out loud at the oregano chicken vibe. Are you trying to give your chickens a complex? This would be as traumatic as naming your hens Baked, Fried, and Crockpot. Thanks for the giveaway

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  107. The only ingrediant I don't grow is the cinnamon chips...would love to win this prize so I could have a good model to go by to make my own. Love your blog!!!!

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  108. Paula Nordheim4/15/13, 11:27 AM

    I love your blog!! I have learned so much I Thank you

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  109. Congrats!Read your article in Chickens [May-June}issue,loved hearing about you,creative,kind, wonderful mom ,wife and beauty queen to boot,love that your an educated thinker to top it off!Your the BEST!

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  110. Maybe I should consider a online source?

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  111. Want!! I have some of the herbs growing but want to purchase a pouch so that I can get the whole blend!! Thanks for this =)

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  112. Tracy Cowern4/15/13, 10:09 PM

    I love using herbals for freshening - Using them in the coop is a great idea =)

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  113. Would have never thought of this. Thank You!!!

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  114. TheChickenChick4/15/13, 10:44 PM

    Nope, it's a one time entry.

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  115. Awesome post. I love herbs, so am excited about integrating them in the coop.

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  116. TheChickenChick4/16/13, 12:40 AM

    You are, Laurie! :)

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  117. TheChickenChick4/16/13, 12:41 AM

    Thanks Matt!

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  118. TheChickenChick4/16/13, 12:52 AM

    Thank you, Dena! ♥

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  119. Lisa Steenberg4/16/13, 3:17 AM

    I love lavender and lemon balm. If I was laying eggs, I think that I would probably want to lay them there too! :D I love herbs and I am always finding myself drawn to finding new ways to using them. Thanks for the great information!

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  120. Laura Johnson4/16/13, 9:51 AM

    looks like I'm going to need a larger herb garden this year!

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  121. I have learned so much from your blog, thanks for all the great tips!!

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  122. You are so awesome! Thank you for sharing all your chicken tricks!!

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  123. SPRUCE THE COOP I LOVE IT!!!

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  124. Bonnie try Mountain Rose Herbs for better prices. I really like Lemon Balm and I put some fresh springs in my car for a super clean and sunny smell! I hope I win!

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  125. Kathleen Vasa4/16/13, 9:29 PM

    I love your blog! I don't currently have any chicken, I'm still chicken. I plan to learn as much as I can before I take the leap. Your blog is amazing! I've learned so much! I just might give it a go sooner then later. Thanks!

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  126. Gina Lunsford4/16/13, 9:32 PM

    I hope I'm not too late! I had to wrest the computer from my husband, since I couldn't follow the blog on my phone. I'm sure that's user error. Anyway, I was inspired by your post to plant herbs this weekend! Thank you for the great tips!

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  127. This is a great idea. Your info is always so educational. Thank you.

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  128. Wow. You are amazing. I sure I can finally get all my gardening, herbs , & such together. Thank you for the information.

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  129. The herb mix sounds perfect for nesting boxes. There is a natural spray insecticide called EcoSmart Organic which contains Peppermint oil and rosemary oil. It has a pleasant smell and works well keeping insect pests out of the coop. It kills ants and roaches quickly so I use it inside my home as well. Like to win the herbs!

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  130. TheChickenChick4/18/13, 8:46 PM

    If you like. I'm affiliated with this one: http://bit.ly/10Rv8QL All of the items in my blend are available there.

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  131. TheChickenChick4/18/13, 8:47 PM

    Thanks Jennifer! My pleasure. :)

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  132. TheChickenChick4/18/13, 8:50 PM

    Thanks Jenn! ♥

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  133. TheChickenChick4/18/13, 8:51 PM

    I hope you do, Kathleen! Please let me know if I can help with any questions you may have.

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  134. I'm a new chicken chick. I'm inspired to grow more herbs this year and use them in the hen house! thanks!

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  135. I love chickens and have approximately 50 hens and two roosters...not to mention the six babies still under warming lights in my living room :) I'd love to get a copy of Chickens Magazine...sounds so fun!

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  136. Oh I would just love to have a copy of this magazine signed by Rachel. I buy every magazine on chickens that I can get my hands on and keep all of them. It is amazing how handy they are when questions come up. Thanks once again for all the information and tips you provide!

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  137. Love your blog and your facebook page. You have helped me out a great deal with your knowledge. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with all of us novice chicken owners :)

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  138. That's a great photo! Would love to have a copy of the Hobby Farms, Chicken magazine!

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  139. Rachel is already star status at our house!! Thanks for all of the great information!

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  140. Love your tips and great info. Had 4 chicks hatch this weekend! :-)

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  141. Would love to win an autographed copy!

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  142. Just LOVE your tips and know-how!!! I don't have backyard chickens yet, but am trying to learn all I can before starting out~~~ Thanks for all of our awesome info!!!

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  143. Never heard of the magazine, so would love to win it.

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  144. ramel raymondo4/30/13, 9:31 PM

    Love the articles and hints...learning bunches from you, Thank You Kathy.....

    PS Would love a signed edition with Rachels autograph !!

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  145. TheChickenChick4/30/13, 9:49 PM

    Congratulations!

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  146. TheChickenChick4/30/13, 9:52 PM

    Thank you Tina. Happy to help. :)

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  147. TheChickenChick4/30/13, 9:52 PM

    Thanks Meriem. :)

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  148. TheChickenChick4/30/13, 9:52 PM

    Welcome to chicken keeping, Lisa!

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  149. Looks like a great mag, love all your tips...thanks for the contest

    catlady1957ATgmaildotcom

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  150. I think it is so cute that you speak of your chickens like kids. Would love a signed copy of the mag.

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  151. S Summersell4/30/13, 11:34 PM

    Congrats on another great article.

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  152. This is soooooo awesome, Congrats on the Bumble Foot Article and CONGRATS to blaze, what a stud muffin, So Sorry Rachel :(

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  153. What great timing - just as I'm planning what to get for my new herb garden I see your post! So the garden just got a bit bigger with a few extra plants for the girls. It's amazing how much information I've found here. Thank you!

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  154. Thank you for not only your entire site / page but especially this article...I just set up my first coop with 4 feather'd babies and need all the info I can get my hands on...and ps anyone who has any good tips for me please friend me on fb or email I would love info from you experienced ones. Thank you again. Julie mpk911lady@hotmail.com

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  155. Thank you for the tips. I don't have chicks yet, the fertile eggs didn't hatch, but I want to get day old chicks and I want to learn all I can so they can be healthy because I know I'll treat them like pets.

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  156. I'm trying to educate myself on the many uses of herbs. I recently listened to a great webinar with Susan Weed and one with Rosemary Gladstar.

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  157. Vicki Damon5/1/13, 3:40 PM

    I love your blog, very noteworthy information.

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  158. Hey, Bumblefoot, you're a star now just like Rachel!! ^_^ Good going!! <3

    and thanks for the herbal concoction!! Gonna try that.

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  159. I love your chickies....so much personality....so pretty....makes me want some of my one! Deborah Campbell in Roanoke, VA

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  160. Dawn Morrison5/1/13, 9:44 PM

    I NEED this article! I think one of my hens has this. Can't wait to read the article

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  161. Lynette Mattke5/1/13, 10:49 PM

    Your articles are so informative. Keep 'em coming please!

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  162. Adair Knutowicz5/2/13, 2:12 AM

    We are almost done with building our beautiful coop! Our chicks will arrive in June! Your blog has been very informative & helpful! We are implementing many of your suggestions. We would like to be entered into the drawing for the chicken magazine :)

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  163. I love this magazine. This is how I found you.

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  164. Indra Matthews5/4/13, 8:05 PM

    I just found your site today, it is wonderful! I have kept chickens 12-16 in my back yard for about 8 years and never have had problems with disease. I have lost 3 chickens in the past 3 weeks for no apparent reason. I was changing my bedding today and noticed a bunch of tiny black dots creeping around on my arm. I think I have a mite or lice problem. My garden//chicken area is organic so I don't want to use any chemicals unless absolutely necessary. Is there anything that works to get this infestation under control with out chemicals? I really don't want to use 7 dust. Help!

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  165. TheChickenChick5/4/13, 11:03 PM

    I know of no chemical-free cures for a mite infestation this severe.

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  166. Great tips. I'll share this with my sister since she has chickens.
    Thanks so much for sharing at the Creative HomeAcre Hop!
    Hope to see you again this week!

    http://back2basichealth.blogspot.com/2013/05/join-us-at-creative-homeacre-hop.html

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  167. I have a young pullet whose right leg appears to b dislocated near the body. Can u offer any help in possibly fixing this. The leg turns out at a 90 degree turn. If she is perching she can hold it straight.

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  168. Can you tell me how to dry rose petals ? I have some flowers that I can dry, but don't have a clue what to do. Also, what do you think about Peony flowers used around chickens? Have lots of those too!

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  169. TheChickenChick6/14/13, 9:15 PM

    Just hang the flowers upside down and they'll dry out nicely, Kim.

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  170. Jennifer Garcia7/20/13, 10:01 AM

    You can also buy small quantities of many of these ingredients at your local hispanic store fore a dollar a bag which is at minimum an oz. I know they carry dried baby rose petals, cane cinnamon (super cheap), eucalyptus, Lemon grass, chamomile , and oregano. Also Mrs. Chicken Chick, they have a bunch of herbs that we don't commonly sell. It might be fun to look into some of that when you want a new adventure! Btw, ever consider packing and selling your herb concoctions? We sell our bulk herbs broke down into ziplock bags with printed paper labels on top. There are specification that you have to have for the health dept. ie, Contact info, weight or quantity, and ingredients but it's not difficult! Maybe it's something your kids would like to do and they could keep the profits!

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  171. Taylor Ridge Fiber Ranch7/29/13, 12:20 PM

    A golden rule of herbs and herbology is to always, always go by the latin name of an herb when purchaing. This ensures you are getting the same herb regardless of if its origins (East coast, West coast). Many herbs have the same common name i.e. Cats Claw for different regional herbs but they are not the same. Having shared that I love the mixture you put together and so do my chickens!

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  172. Use Lavender oil.

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  173. Mums make lists8/13/13, 7:29 AM

    Fab post - who'd have thought the herbs would have worked for the chickens as well. We've got our first really good load of herbs from the garden this year and I just need to start making use of them, Alice x

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  174. I just wanted you to know that I finally got all the ingredients, put it together and used it this evening in my girls new coop! It smelled so wonderful and my girls (and boys) were checking it out. I also spruced up the small coop and even put it in the nest boxes. I will have to wait until morning to see if they will like it but I am sure they will. It smells heavenly and I look forward to using more for quite awhile. It does make a huge batch and that is just 4oz of each ingredient! Thanks again for this wonderful recipe!

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  175. TheChickenChick8/14/13, 10:49 PM

    I'm thrilled to know that you tried it and like it, Barbara! Thanks for the feedback. :)

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  176. bat masterson8/28/13, 7:28 AM

    Best insecticide in the nest I've found is tobacco..Grow some plants and place the leaves in nest..works good..plants can be found in some comerical greenhouses or on line

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  177. Catie Evenson9/5/13, 7:10 PM

    Where might one find these ingrediants? lol!

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  178. TheChickenChick9/6/13, 12:36 AM

    Catie, all of the ingredients in the list are hot links to a source where you can read about each herb's properties and purchase them if you wish.

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  179. Ellen Riddle Marique10/9/13, 1:17 AM

    Can you but the herbs in a dehydrater? I have lots of Mint lemon balm roses. I can dry them and have them ready to go. I love tansy. I want to eat it. the smell is just amazing. Love all the herbs and essential oils.

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  180. I love the idea of using herbs in the coop - thanks for this great article!

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  181. I recently made my first order for this and I love it!! So do my girls apparently, the first day or so they would eat every little bit. They have been better recently and are leaving it to enjoy the fragrant benefits. Makes the coop smell beautiful!

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  182. Would like to spruce up my coop!

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  183. S
    Was about to order the spruce the coop for my girls....now I'll wait, maybe I will win one...;-) Or order tomorrow...

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  184. I would love some of this for my coop! The girls would think they were even more special than they are now!! Thanks for all your great give-aways!

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  185. love all your ideas!

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  186. Jennifer Brum2/3/14, 10:12 PM

    We used DE in the house to control fleas when I was pregnant. Did nothing except for create a huge mess and kill a vacuum. In the late fall, it did kill a few ladybugs that came in the house. After the mess and nasal/eye irritation (even with masks, vacuuming dredged it up later), I will never use it again.

    Thanks for this wonderful article. I Pinned both this and the Etsy site so I can refer back to it in the spring. Right now we have over a foot of snow down, more coming, bugs aren't an issue right now ;) I am thinking of growing herbs next to the pen and see how that goes.

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  187. Barbara Wright Fontaine2/4/14, 7:13 AM

    Kathy I can't seem to find the link to order and etsy is showing sold out. I would like to order two. How can I do that? Thank you

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