Juniper (Juniperus communis
) is a medium-sized evergreen coniferous tree with wide spreading branches or a multi-branched shrub that contains awl-shaped needles. It is native to the northern parts of Asia, Europe and the United States. It usually grows between 5-10 ft in height and can get up to 12 ft wide. Juniper berries are known for their use as the primary flavoring in gin (which was named after the dutch word for juniper, genever
. Juniper berries contain flavonoids, glycoside, bitter compounds (juniperine), resin (10%), invert sugar (15-30%), catechin (3-5%), organic acids, essential oil (0.5% in fresh and 2.5% in dry fruit), terpenic acids, and leucoanthocyanidin
Juniper can be a beneficial shrub to plant in poultry enclosures for aesthetic and functional purposes---as it can provide shade (from the heat of the sun), block the wind (to help keep chickens warm in the winter), insect-repellent (may help keep away red mites), and hiding areas (for enrichment and cover from flying predators). Juniper can also serve an aesthetic value, as it is one of the few plants that chickens do not destroy due to their dislike of the taste.
Red poultry mite repellent
Juniper leaf essential oil was shown to be repellent against poultry red mites (Dermanyssu gallinae
) at 0.14mg oil/cm. Hexane and methanol extracts from J. communis
inhibited the growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis
. M. avium
was inhibited by J. communis
hexane extract. High level validity for endoparasites.