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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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Comfrey: High Protein, Nutritious Animal Feed

"Animal Fodder: 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,

Good Eating for All Farm Animals,
Lower Your Feed Costs

Grow your 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.

Poultry Love Comfrey

For my chickens and ducks I throw the comfrey on the ground or in a weed rack. This photo is a poultry weed rack.

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.

"Yes, I 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

"Comfrey 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 Dominique hen in comfrey, stinging nettle, and chicory.

Nutritional Comfrey for Poultry

"Comfrey 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 on)."

(ECHO Development Notes, April 2014.)

Comfrey is High in Vitamin A

"Vitamin 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 whole period."

"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.)

Comfrey and Stinging Nettle

"Two extremely 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 2006,

Comfrey as Animal Fodder

"United 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,

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.

Comfrey is Loved by Farm Animals

"Comfrey is very widely used in Japan as an animal fodder, without any ill effects, evidently."

"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,

Comfrey as Feed for Livestock: Pigs, Cattle, Goats, Sheep, Horses, Rabbits

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Grow your own Comfrey: True/Common Comfrey, Russian Bocking #4, Russian Bocking #14, Symphytum Hidcote Blue.

Your order includes a flyer about how to take care of your plants.

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Farm & Garden Calendar
Comfrey Book, Volume 1     Comfrey Book, Volume 2

Site Map    Rare Heritage Dominique Chickens
Juice Plus: Powder concentrates from fruits, vegetables

General Comfrey Information     How to Grow Comfrey
3 Types of Comfrey     Improving Soil with Comfrey
Comfrey Container Gardening
Permaculture & Fruit Trees     Comfrey as Feed for Poultry
Comfrey as Feed for Livestock     Comfrey: Animals & Health
Comfrey & Healing     Comfrey Research: Symphytum
History of Russian Comfrey, part 1     Comfrey History & References

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