Can Chickens Eat Marigolds? Yellower Egg Yolks

Marigolds are popular flowers to grow in the yard and garden. With their bright colors, it makes the garden more beautiful. If you own backyard chickens, you may wonder if your chickens can eat marigolds. After all, the plant is edible to eat. 

So, can chickens eat marigolds? Yes, chickens can eat marigolds. The flower provides them with nutrition that they can benefit from. Also, it has antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory that can benefit their health even more. You can feed them all parts of the marigold, which includes the flowers, stems, and leaves.

Are Marigolds Toxic To Chickens?

Marigolds themselves do not contain any toxins that can harm your chickens.

However, depending on where it’s grown, it can be toxic to them. If you use chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides in the garden or yard, this will contaminate the marigolds.

As the chickens eat the flowers, the chemical will go inside their body. These chemicals are dangerous to them and will harm their health.

To ensure the marigolds don’t have any toxins, plant them in an area that’s free of chemicals or in a pot.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Marigolds?

Marigolds are healthy for chickens to eat due to their nutrition. Below are some benefits of feeding marigolds to your chickens:

Anti-inflammatory properties

Marigolds have anti-inflammatory properties, especially pot marigolds. This can help them with skin issues, fungal infections, and muscle pain.

Powerful antioxidants

Marigolds have a high content of antioxidants. This compound helps prevent free radicals from damaging the cells in the body.

If there are too many free radicals, the cells will be damaging, which will lead to illness and diseases.

By feeding chickens plenty of food that is high in antioxidants, they will less likely to become ill.

Pest repellent

Marigolds are popular among gardeners due to their effectiveness in repelling pests.

For chickens, you can place them around the chicken coops to help ward off parasites, lice, and other pests.

By feeding them marigolds, the flowers give your chicken a natural and healthy supplement that will help strengthen their immune system.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Marigolds?

Yes, baby chickens can eat marigolds. However, you should wait until they are about 3 weeks old to feed them the flowers.

Under 3 weeks old, their digestive system has not developed enough to be able to digest the marigolds. Instead, they should be on a diet of starter feed. This feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chick’s dietary needs. Also, the texture of it is small enough for them to digest without the need of grits.

After they are 3 weeks old, you can start to feed them marigolds. Give them a tiny piece of the flowers to start with. Leave the marigold next to them and see if they will eat it. It may take a little while for them to eat it. Remember to never try to force them to eat it.

Can Chickens Eat Marigold Leaves?

Yes, chickens can eat the marigold leaves and stems. However, it may cause them mouth irritation, so some chickens may not eat them.

A way to get them to eat the leaves and stems is to dry and crush them first. Then mix them into their feed or other food.

Marigold leaves and stems provide nutritious carotene, flavonoids, lutein, and lycopene, so it’s worth it to try to feed them.

How Do You Feed Marigolds To Your Chickens

When it comes to feeding marigolds to your chickens, you have several options. Choose the one that best fits you and your chickens.

Feeding them Fresh Marigolds

Fresh marigolds are the best way to feed your chickens. The flowers will contain the highest amount of nutrition. Simply wash the flowers first and either toss the entire marigold to them or cut them into smaller pieces. Chickens will have no problem eating both of them.

Letting Chickens Eat From The Garden

If you have a garden full of marigolds, you can simply let them in and eat the flowers. There’s nothing like fresh plants for them to eat.

Before you let your chickens into the garden, give the marigolds a quick wash. Simply hose the flowers for a minute to remove dirt, pests, and debris from them. Then let them into the garden to enjoy the flowers.

If you are planting other flowers or plants in the same garden, it’s a good idea to block it off. Chickens are opportunistic eaters and will eat the entire plants from the garden if given the chance. You can wrap chicken wires or wire clothes around the area you don’t want the chickens to get into.

Feeding Chickens Dried Marigolds

Marigolds grow during the warmer months of the year only. If you want to give them marigolds throughout the year, you can feed them dried marigolds. It has the same nutrition as fresh marigolds do.

On their treats or feed, sprinkle some dried marigolds on it. This will give them a boost in nutrition and help keeps them healthy.

How Marigolds Make Yolks a Deeper Yellow

Marigolds contain a pigment known as xanthophyll. This pigment is responsible for giving the flower that deep yellow color.

In commercial farming, xanthophyll is often used to artificially boost and make the color of the yolk more vibrant.

Most people like to assume the darker the yolk is, the healthier it is. While it isn’t true, it does more the eggs look more appealing.

So, if you want a deeper yellow-colored yolk, simply give egg-laying hens some marigolds to eat.

Other Flowers That Chickens Can Eat


Dandelions are packed with nutrition that the chickens can benefit from. All parts of the plant, which include the flowers, leaves, stems, and roots. One thing to be aware of is the location that you’re picking them from. In an area that is treated with chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, the dandelions should not be fed to them. These chemicals are harmful to the chickens and could even be fatal for them.


Roses are safe and make a healthy snack for your chickens. The flower cleanses blood toxins and acts as antiseptics and antibacterial agents for them. All parts of the rose are safe for them to eat, but it’s best to just feed the rose petals, which are the softest part of the plant.


Violets not only make the garden beautiful, but it’s also edible. You can feed them to your chickens, and they will enjoy munching on them. Not only is it delicious for them, but it also benefits their health. Violets help with circulation and stop inflammation of the arteries.


If you have marigolds growing in your yard or garden, offer some of them to your chickens. Not only will be enjoying a delicious snack, but they will gain a lot of health benefits from it too. For egg-laying hens, give them some marigolds as part of their diet. When they lay eggs, you’ll get a nice deep yellow-colored egg yolk.