If you enjoy eating cabbage and also own backyard chickens, you may wonder if you can feed them some.
So, can chickens eat cabbage? Yes, chickens can eat cabbage. The cabbage can be served to them cooked or raw. Cooked cabbage is easier for them to eat and digest. This vegetable contains a decent amount of nutrients that your chickens can benefit from. While it’s healthy for them to eat, cabbages also contain a lot of water. To prevent your chickens from having diarrhea from too much water, it’s recommended to feed cabbages in moderation.
Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Cabbage?
Cabbage doesn’t contain any toxins, so it’s safe for chickens to eat. You can feed them the cabbage leaves as well.
However, cabbage is only safe for chickens if it’s fed to them in moderation. If the chickens eat too much cabbage, they could have digestive issues such as diarrhea and an upset stomach. This is due to the high amount of moisture that’s in the cabbage.
Therefore, as long as you feed cabbages to your chickens once or twice per week, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Cabbage?
Cabbage contains several nutrients that are beneficial for the chickens. It’s a good source of vitamin A, C, K, and B6. Also, it has a good amount of calcium and omega-6 fatty acids.
One cup of chopped raw cabbage contains:
- Calories 22.2
- Omega-6 Fatty acids 15.1 mg
- Water 82.0 grams
- Vitamin A 87.2 IU
- Vitamin C 32.6 mg
- Vitamin K 67.6 mcg
- Thiamin 0.1 mg
- Vitamin B6 0.1 mg
- Calcium 35.6 mg
- Sodium 16.0 mg
- Selenium 0.3 mcg
- Betaine 4 mg
- Potassium 151 mg
- Phosphorus 23.1 mg
The above data is from NutritionData
Below are some of the health benefits of feeding cabbages to your chickens:
Keep Chickens Hydrated
Cabbage has a good amount of water in it. This is a great way to keep your chickens hydrated, especially during the summer.
Improve Egg Quality
Cabbage is a good source of calcium. The eggshell is made up mostly of calcium. This means hens that are fed a good diet of food that has calcium will produce stronger eggs.
Cabbage has a good amount of vitamin C. This will prevent your chickens from getting sick too easily. If they do get sick, plenty of food that has vitamin C will help them recover back to good health quickly.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Cabbage?
Baby chickens can eat cabbage, but wait until they are at least 3 weeks old first. Chicks under 3 weeks have not developed a strong digestive system yet.
Instead, chicks should be fed quality starter feed. This feed contains the proper nutrition to support your fast-growing chicks.
Once the baby chickens are 3 weeks old, you can start to introduce cabbages to them. Start with a small piece and place it next to them. The chicks may not eat them right away, since cabbage is new to them.
After a while, they’ll get curious and start to peck at it and eat it.
Can Chickens Eat Cooked Cabbage?
Cooked cabbage is safe for chickens to eat. When it’s cooked, the cabbages become soft, which will make it easier for the chickens to eat and digest.
Most people like to cook their cabbage with seasonings added. If that’s the case, you should avoid feeding them to your flock. The salt is bad for the chickens in large amounts.
Therefore, if you want to feed them cooked cabbage, give them those that don’t have any additional seasoning added.
Can Chickens Eat Cabbage Leaves?
Chickens can eat cabbage leaves. You can serve the leaves raw or cooked. The chicken will peck and eat pieces of the leaves.
When feeding them the cabbage, you can give them the leaves as well.
Can Chickens Eat Pickled Cabbage?
Pickled cabbage is also known as sauerkraut, which is safe for chickens to eat.
However, it’s best to feed them in moderation to prevent any health issues.
How Do You Feed Cabbage To Your Chickens
When it comes to feeding cabbage to your chickens, there are a couple of ways of doing it.
Whatever method you choose, it’s best to feed them organic cabbage. While it’s a bit more expensive than non-organic, it will have less exposure to chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides.
Below are some of the methods to feed cabbage to your chickens:
Feeding Chickens Whole Cabbage
A method to feed your chickens while keeping them active is to make a cabbage ball.
Below are the things you need:
- Head of cabbage
- Twine or rope
With a drill, make a hole through the middle of the cabbage. Then run the rope through the hole.
Take the rope and hang the cabbage from a branch of the tree or something that’s sturdy. Make sure it’s low enough for the chickens to peck at.
Once your chickens start to peck at it and eat some, you can raise the cabbage higher. This will make them have to jump to peck at the cabbage.
Chickens not only are you giving them a nutritious treat, but you are keeping them active as well.
Mixing Cabbage With Other Foods
A great way to give them a boost in nutrition is to mix cabbage with other vegetables or chicken feed. Shred the cabbage into smaller pieces and mix it with other vegetables. Besides cabbage, you can use kale, lettuce, radishes, and watercress.
For chicken feed, simply cut the cabbages into pieces about the size of their feed. Then mix it together and toss them to the chickens.
How Much Cabbage Should You Feed Your Chickens?
When it comes to feeding cabbage to your chickens, you should feed them in small amounts. Cabbage doesn’t have the proper amount of nutrition to support the chicken’s health.
Also, too much cabbage will cause them to have diarrhea.
Therefore, for each adult chicken, you can feed them half of a cabbage. For a baby chicken, just a small piece.
Since cabbages are highly perishable, you should feed them what they can finish in 10 minutes. Anything that’s leftover after that time should be discarded.
How Often Should You Feed Cabbage To Your Chickens?
While cabbage doesn’t have any toxin that could harm your chickens, this vegetable should be fed to them in moderation.
Cabbages should be served to them as a treat. This means cabbages should only make up 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come in the form of quality commercial feed.
Therefore, you can serve cabbages to your chickens, once or twice per week.
Other Vegetables That Chickens Can Eat
Celery makes a good treat for your chickens. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals that they need to stay healthy and strong. You can feed them all parts of the celery as it is safe. However, only feed celery to your chickens in moderation. Too much could cause digestive issues for them.
Radishes have a lot of nutrients that your chickens need daily. Due to their bitterness, some chickens won’t eat radishes. If that’s the case, you can cook them first to remove some of the bitter taste.
Zucchini is a vegetable that has a lot of nutrition. You can feed them to your chickens as cooked or raw. All parts of the zucchini are safe for them to eat.
Cabbage is safe to feed chickens, only if it’s in moderation. Always make sure your chickens get enough feeds to eat each day. This is what keeps them healthy and strong.