There are many vegetables available on the market that you can feed to your chickens. Most of them are healthy and safe for them to eat. When it comes to broccoli, can chickens eat it? Also, is it safe for them?
So, can chickens eat broccoli? Yes, chickens can eat broccoli, both cooked and raw. It’s best to cut the broccoli into small pieces, so it will be easier for them to eat it. This vegetable is packed with nutrition that your chickens can benefit from.
Is Broccoli Safe For Chickens?
Broccoli is a vegetable that contains a natural compound known as goitrogen. This compound is also found in other vegetables such as cabbage and cauliflower.
Chickens and humans alike can have health issues resulting from eating broccoli
However, the problem only occurs when broccoli is eaten in excess. Research has shown that when broccoli is over-consumed, whether it’s humans or poultry birds, it can result in metabolic issues.
In addition, for chickens specifically, it can result in feather issues and lethargy.
Again, you only need to worry about this problem if the chickens eat too much broccoli.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Broccoli?
Broccoli is a vegetable that’s very nutrient-dense, yet low in calories, carbohydrate, and fat. This means that broccoli is healthy for chickens to eat.
One cup (91 grams) of raw broccoli packs:
- Carbs: 6 grams
- Protein: 2.6 gram
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Fiber: 2.4 grams
- Vitamin C: 135% of the RDI
- Vitamin A: 11% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 116% of the RDI
- Vitamin B9 (Folate): 14% of the RDI
- Potassium: 8% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 6% of the RDI
- Selenium: 3% of the RDI
The above data is according to NutritionData.
Below are some of the health benefits of feeding broccoli to your chickens:
Fiber is important for the digestive system. For chickens, fiber plays a very important role in the health of the bird.
One reason is that fiber helps bulk up the stool, which moves the food through the digestive tract smoothly. Also, it prevents the chickens from getting constipation.
Another reason is a good amount of fiber in their diet will reduce salmonella and other pathogens in the chicken’s tract.
Broccoli has a good amount of protein in them. It has about 2.8 grams of protein per 100 grams of broccoli, which is quite a lot.
Protein is important for the health of the chickens since a lot of organs depend on it to function properly.
Protein plays an important role in muscle growth, egg production, immunity, and stress resilience.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Broccoli?
Baby chickens should not eat broccoli. Their digestive system has not developed enough to be able to digest the vegetable.
Instead, they should be fed a diet of starter feed. This feed is mixed with the right amount of nutrition that the chicks need to grow strong.
Once the baby chickens are at least 3 weeks old, you can start to introduce them to broccoli. Start by giving them a tiny amount to see if they’ll eat it.
If the chicks don’t eat the broccoli, you can mix small pieces of it into their feed.
How To Feed Broccoli To Your Chickens
When it comes to feeding your flock, it’s pretty much straightforward. You can either feed the cooked or raw broccoli and there are a couple of different ways to feed them.
Regardless of how you offer the broccoli to them, make sure it’s fresh. A spoiled vegetable can cause the chickens to become sick.
Also, be aware of any pesticides or other chemicals used to grow the broccoli. It can be harmful to their health.
The first method is to give them fresh broccoli. Simply wash the broccoli to remove any dirt and pests from it. Then cut them into small pieces and toss them to the chickens.
If you’re cooking the broccoli to give the chickens, make sure to not use any salt or other seasonings. The vegetable should be plain as possible.
Since the broccoli is cooked, there’s no need to cut them into smaller pieces. You can give them the whole broccoli and chickens will peck and eat it.
The second method is to mix broccoli with other vegetables. By mixing broccoli with other vegetables, you will give your chickens a boost in nutrition. In the mix, you can add lettuce, carrot, radishes, and corn. Make sure to use a small amount of each vegetable to make a salad.
Besides mixing broccoli with other vegetables, you can mix it with their feed. Dice the broccoli into smaller pieces and mix it into their feed. The chickens will not mind the broccoli and will eat it all.
How Much Broccoli Should You Feed Your Chickens?
Broccoli should be fed to your chickens in small amounts. This means for each adult chicken, you should give them a small piece of broccoli, whether it’s cooked or raw.
For baby chicks, once they are about 3 weeks old, you can give them a tiny piece of broccoli.
Broccoli isn’t one of that food that should be fed to the chicken too much. This vegetable should only make up 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come in the form of quality commercial feed. The feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary needs.
How Often Should You Feed Your Chickens Broccoli?
When it comes to broccoli, it should be fed to them in moderation. This means once or twice per week is plenty enough for them to enjoy.
There are two reasons why broccoli should not be fed to them too often. The first reason is that broccoli is not a complete food for the chickens. It doesn’t contain all the nutrients that the chicken needs to remain healthy and strong.
The other reason is that broccoli contains goitrogen. When fed to them too much, it can be toxic for the chickens.
Other Vegetables That Chickens Can Eat
Carrot is a good source of beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. All of these nutrients are essential to keep the chicken’s health at the optimal level. You can either feed them cooked or raw carrots.
Okra is an excellent source of vitamins C and K1. Also, the vegetable has a decent amount of fiber and protein. Chickens can be fed okra that is cooked or raw. Make sure to cut them into smaller pieces first, so it will be easy for the chickens to eat.
Zucchini is packed with nutrition, yet low in saturated fat and sodium. This vegetable is safe for chickens to eat. They can eat the leaves of the zucchini plants as well.
Broccoli is healthy for chickens to eat since it’s nutrient-dense, yet low in calories. However, broccoli belongs to a family of vegetables that contains a compound known as goitrogen. This compound is harmful to the chicken, only when it’s consumed in large amounts.
To prevent broccoli from causing your chickens any health issues, feed them in moderation.