Comfrey as Feed
& Fodder for Poultry
"Many thanks for the best comfrey site. I can't wait for the plants to arrive and get growing, soon to be followed by chickens." -Elizabeth, Charlottesville, Virginia
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High Protein, Nutritious Animal Feed
It (comfrey) is protein rich with 15 to 30% dry-weight protein content,
rivalling some legumes."
"It is used as a pig fodder successfully in amounts up to 80 to 90% of the
diet! For poultry, it can reduce the need for other feed (be that your concoction
or processed feed) by 50%. Egg quality will improve with yolks being brighter."
"Cows don’t bloat when eating comfrey like they do with clover. And too
much clover can taint the milk – not a problem with comfrey. Also, mastitis
is reduced in cows fed comfrey."
"Wilted comfrey mixed with straw fed to sheep at a ratio of one part comfrey
to one and a half parts straw increases the digestion of the straw."
(Permaculture Reflections, www.permaculturereflections.com/2009/02/species-of-month-comfrey.html)
Eating for All Farm Animals,
Lower Your Feed Costs
own animal food with perennial comfrey. I feed comfrey to my goats, ducks
and chickens. They love it.
It is better to plant comfrey where chickens and other animals can not eat
or peck at them all day. They like it so much that they kill it. Plant it
away from the animals and then cut the leaves off and bring to them. Or
use rotational grazing.
In this photo the comfrey is mixed with other plants such as yarrow,
clover, chicory, dandelion, plantain, vetch and grass. I let the goats in
here for a few days, then close the gate so the plants grow back.
For my chickens and ducks I throw the comfrey on the ground or in a weed
rack. This photo is a poultry weed rack. They eat the entire herb.
All my animals get very excited when I feed it to them. I used to have pigs
and rabbits, and it was a great treat for them. Sheep, cattle and other
farm animals like it too.
Consult your veterinarian or animal care specialist about comfrey and your livestock and pets.
grow comfrey and am feeding it to my chicks. LOVE what it does for them!
Thank you for writing about it!" -Lisa, Norfolk, Virginia
Non-Profit Group Recommends Comfrey for Chickens
is well-suited as a feed for chickens. Chickens’ digestive systems are not
equipped to handle much fiber. Comfrey is low in fiber and high in protein
and minerals, especially when cut regularly. It has a protein to fiber ratio
of about three to two."
"If the high-yielding
Bocking 14 strain of comfrey
is planted, 30 plants
spaced at 3 feet by 3 feet will yield enough comfrey to feed 12 birds their
entire allotment of green plant matter."
(ECHO Development Notes, April 2014. ECHO is a non-profit
organization that helps the poor grow food around the world. They also recommend
comfrey for cattle, goats and pigs.)
This photo is a
in comfrey, stinging
nettle, and chicory.
Comfrey for Poultry
can be an inexpensive source of vitamin A. Second-year hens fed half a ratio
of comfrey laid large eggs with deep yellow yolks. The flesh of chickens
that have been fed comfrey also ends up being more yellow, perhaps because
of increased vitamin A content."
"Chopping comfrey with a chaff cutter is especially recommended for
birds less than eight weeks old. Another method for feeding comfrey to chickens
is to hang it on a string and let birds jump for it (so it doesn’t get trampled
(ECHO Development Notes, April 2014.)
is High in Vitamin A
A is a fat-soluble vitamin. Supplied in concentrated form to the poultry
mash it is extremely expensive, but a deficiency produces disastrous results.
Because Comfrey is the cheapest of all sources of Vitamin A in terms of
labour, it deserves experiment by poultry stations, and by private poultry
farmers. Ample Vitamin A would mean good colour in the egg yolks for the
"Though Comfrey seems of considerable value to growing poultry, before eight
weeks old it should be fed chaffed." Chaffed means cutting into chick-
or duckling-sized small pieces.
("Russian Comfrey" book by Lawrence Hills.)
and Stinging Nettle
useful plants I recommend to all homesteaders are comfrey and stinging nettle."
"In addition to myriad food, medicinal, and soil-building uses, both plants
are excellent feed for poultry. Protein content is high (higher than alfalfa,
and can if well grown be as high as soybean, dry weight basis)."
"I cut and feed as needed, more at times in the season when the pasture
is less generous. Chickens eat comfrey well. Geese love it. Both comfrey
and stinging nettle can be dried and fed as hay."
(The Modern Homestead and Backyard Poultry magazine- October/November
The first photo is a Dominique hen in comfrey and stinging nettle. Then
stinging nettle with seeds. I sell Stinging Nettle seeds.
as Animal Fodder
Kingdom Henry Doubleday research had many years of documented information,
freely available, that showed data of high comfrey concentrations that could
be fed to animals. Some were 50-80% of daily fodder."
(Herbs Are Special, Australia, www.herbsarespecial.com.au/free-herb-information/comfrey.html)
The Henry Doubleday Research Association was founded by Lawrence D. Hills
in 1954. Henry Doubleday (1810–1902) was a Quaker farmer who devoted most
of his life to promoting comfrey.
The first photo is Ancona
ducks walking among comfrey plants. One duck has a comfrey
leaf in her beak. She looks happy.
is Loved by Farm Animals
is very widely used in Japan as an animal fodder, without any ill effects,
"And I have spoken to several homesteaders who regularly give small quantities
of comfrey leaf to their chicken or duck flocks and even to pigs. The chickens
absolutely relished the stuff. I never observed any detrimental effect on
the hens after feeding them comfrey leaves."
(The Simple Green Frugal Co-op, simple-green-frugal-co-op.blogspot.com/2010/02/comfrey-wonder-plant.html)
Comfrey Roots and Seeds for Planting
your own Comfrey: True/Common Comfrey, Russian Bocking #4, and Russian Bocking
#14. Your order includes a flyer about how to take care of your plants.
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