Herbal Roots

Herbs, herbs, glorious herbs!

image of oregano cutting in water

Oregano cutting with new roots

From luscious lavender to invigorating rosemary, herbs have been around since the beginning of time. Their uses are many, and can be preventative or restorative. I certainly have my favorites, like rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, sage… the list goes on. I cook and bake with them, and use them quite a bit with the chickens: in their coop, run, nesting boxes, and as part of their treats.

One of my ongoing projects is expanding my herb garden. One way I do this is to take cuttings from favorite herbs, stick them in water, and watch new roots grow. It’s that easy! I’ve had great success with rosemary and oregano, and plan to try it with a few other herbs.

The oregano you see in the photo was actually trampled by the chickens getting into the herb garden when I wasn’t looking (turn your back for a second… geesh!) So, I brought the larger pieces inside and put them in water. The smaller pieces went in the coop and nesting boxes. The main plant is still alive, so I guess it’s a win-win. 

Come spring, the new oregano will find a permanent home back in the herb garden—oregano overwinters well in this area. The rosemary will mostly be confined to pots, so I can take it inside for the winter.

Having herbs on my kitchen windowsill brings me extra joy in the dead of winter. Some of my indoor rosemary plants have bloomed in winter, even while still in the water! Ah, herbs, you bring me such happiness!

Homemade Flock Block

Even though my girls get to free range daily, they seem to sometimes get bored. That is, every time I approach them they rush towards me as if to say, “Oh my gosh, we have missed you sooo much—please entertain us!” Or, maybe they’re just saying, “Where ARE our treats, lady?!” Either way, I decided to try my hand at making my own Flock Block. I read a few recipes, but none really fit what I was looking for. So, I created my own, and it came out rather well.


I did initially make a hole in the block, thinking I would hang it, but I was afraid it would break. So, instead I hung the block in netting. And, I think the netting will help make it last longer.

I used ingredients I had readily available, so of course I added many herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage, as well as rose petals and dried rose hips.


Homemade Flock Block Recipe:
(I use organic, non-GMO ingredients)

1 c Scratch
1/2 c Layer feed
1 c Black oil sunflower seeds
1 c Oats
1 t Cinnamon
1/2 t Cayenne pepper
1/2 t Garlic powder
3 T Flax seed
3 Small diced apples (no seeds)
Herbs, Rose petals & Rose hips

3 Eggs & crushed shells
1/2 c Molasses
4 T cocnut oil (warmed)
1/3 c Water (as needed)

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and mix well. You may need to get your hands messy to mix it well. It should somewhat stick together, but not be dripping wet. Add more water or dry ingredients to get right consistency. Spread in greased pan (I used a bread loaf pan) and pack it down.  Bake at 325˚F for 2 to 2.5 hours. Let it cool in the oven (for a few hours, or better yet, overnight).


I decided to put my flock block in netting and hang it. It works very well, and I think it helps make it last longer. Other ingredients I might try using next time include applesauce, sprouts, different herbs or flowers, and whatever I have on hand. So, give it a try. Use what you have, and give your girls some fun feeding time. Mine seem to really like it!