Dobies – Herbs for hens!

Posted 22nd March 2017 12:27pm by

The BHWT is delighted to be working with Dobies, part of Suttons, who have created a special seed range of herbs specially selected to delight our feathered friends! In addition, Dobies are offering special discounts to our supporters on products in their catalogue or online and donating a percentage of proceeds back to us. We are so grateful.

If you are a gardener, you may well have heard of Dobies who have been supplying flower and vegetable seeds direct to gardeners since 1880.  Their main annual catalogue features an extensive range of products including seeds, young annual plants available by post, plus bulbs, fruit and garden equipment.

You may not know that they are also experts in backyard hen keeping too. Many Dobies’ customers have either a large garden, or an allotment and also enjoy the wonderful world of hen keeping. Indeed several of their employees are fervent backyard hen keepers themselves and this is a side of their business that they want to grow, with their down to earth approach on pricing. And we are delighted!

Dobies recently acquired Ascott Small Holding Supplies Ltd initially adding poultry supplies to their range, with more ranges to come that are perfect for serious gardeners/growers, allotmenteers or small holders.

Lis Wallace, Head of Customer Care at Dobies, herself a hen owner, was keen to work with us to raise funds and awareness of our work.

She said: “Dobies are delighted to be supporting the BHWT in two ways. First, we have developed an exclusive range of four Herby Hen Seed Collections. These allow keepers to grow herbs that are beneficial for hens to eat. Each collection contains packets of herb seed that focusses on a particular health benefit. We all know that chickens enjoy green food; they love grass and many of the leaves and wild flowers growing in that grass. So, most will happily munch on herbs and those herbs will in turn help to keep the chickens healthy in the most natural of ways.

“For every collection sold we will donate £1 to the charity. Secondly, we are offering supporters 10% off the Dobies general seed ranges with an extra 5% going to the BHWT. We will also help to generate awareness by featuring these products in our own catalogues and on our website and social media.”

Herby Hen Seed Collections

The herbs chosen each have multiple benefits and can be used as follows:

  • Scattered in the run and nesting box to repel insects, parasites and rodents
  • Fed fresh by being hung up to also create healthy interest
  • Dried, crushed and added to feed or water

The following four herb collections are easy to grow, will help to keep your hens happy and healthy and will raise funds for British Hen Welfare Trust. What more could a chicken lover possibly want? Oh yes, and the humans can eat the herbs too!

Egg Production Collection

Fennel – an excellent laying stimulant with the bonus of being an effective insect repellent (435081 £1.79)

Marigold – will result in vibrant orange egg yolks and is both an insect repellent and antioxidant (421699 £2.19)

Marjoram – a laying stimulant, decongestant and anti-inflammatory (436168 £1.79)

Individually RRP = £5.77    Collection price = £4 with £1 donation to BHWT

Insecticide Collection

Lavender – what hen wouldn’t be happy in a nest box scattered with sweetly scented lavender? Lavender will relax your hens by acting as a natural and aromatic stress reliever and is also a useful insecticide (426504 £2.79)

Catnip – not just for cats! Catnip will relax your hens whilst also repelling insects (414917 £1.79)

Mint – scatter in the henhouse as both an insecticide and rodent repellent. Mint also reduces body temperature so is useful for when your hens go broody (435960 £1.29)

Individually RRP = £5.87    Collection price = £4 with £1 donation to BHWT

Health Collection

Nasturtium – Your chickens will enjoy both the flowers and the leaves and these will act as a natural wormer. Nasturtium also has antiseptic properties and is believed to stimulate egg production (416847 £1.99)

Dill – Good for improving respiratory health, has antioxidant properties and is a natural sedative/relaxant. Dill will also stimulate the appetite of convalescing chickens (436109 £1.29)

Rosemary – Good for pain relief and respiratory health (436184 £1.49)

Individually RRP = £4.77    Collection price = £3.50 with £1 donation to BHWT

General Maintenance Collection

Parsley – Packed with vitamins and minerals.  Your chickens will enjoy both the stems and the leaves of parsley. If yours are the few that don’t then add dried, crushed parsley to their feed. Parsley aids blood vessel development and stimulates egg laying (438088 £1.79)

Sage – Rich in vitamins and antioxidants feed sage fresh, scattered or hanging in the coop or feed it dry, added to feed (436192 £1.29)

Oregano – Research has shown oregano to be one of the most powerful natural antibiotics. It will strengthen the immune system and help keep infections at bay (435952 £1.29)

Thyme – a good all-rounder thyme promotes respiratory health, is an antioxidant, has antibacterial properties and helps control parasites (436222 £1.29)

Individually RRP = £5.66    Collection = £4 with £1 donation to BHWT

A £1.99 carriage charge per order will also apply, irrespective of the number of collections ordered.

A complete range

The range includes everything needed for keeping chickens – housing, fencing, feeders, drinkers, incubators, egg boxes, etc, plus a discounted starter kit.

They are seeking out some exciting new products, including some great chicken housing to make even the most spoilt of hens proud!

So do please take advantage of the discount available to BHWT supporters – 10% off the Dobies seed range, with 5% of all sales going to the BHWT.

We’d love to hear how your girls enjoy their herbs, so do send us some pictures. We’re certainly going to give them a try and promise not to steal too many for kitchen use!

How do I order?

Their order line number is 0844 967 0303 and the website

To request a catalogue go to

Please quote offer code BHWT17, when you order (post, phone or online). This code must be given at the time the order is placed, it cannot be added retrospectively. The 10% discount will automatically be deducted from any seed you have ordered.

NOTE this discount does not apply to the 4 seed collections above.

So, by ordering seed and quoting the offer code you are not only saving money but also helping to raise funds.