Can Chickens Eat Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are known as a superfood due to their high nutritional value. If you have backyard chickens, you may wonder if you can feed chia seeds to them. 

So, can chickens eat chia seeds? Yes, chickens can eat chia seeds. It is rich in nutrition that includes fiber, protein, and omega-3. Also, it is a good source of vitamins and minerals. All of these nutrients are healthy for the chickens to eat.

Is Chia Seeds Safe For Chickens?

Chia seeds don’t contain any toxins, so it’s safe for chickens to eat.

The only concern most people have about chia seeds is when it’s fed to them raw. When it’s ingested, the chia seeds will expand in the chicken’s stomach. Usually, the swelling isn’t drastic and causes no danger to them.

However, some chickens will overeat chia seeds if you give them too much of them. When they eat too much of the seeds, it could cause them digestive issues.

Chicken Eating Food

To prevent any digestive issues, I recommend feeding chia seeds to your chickens in small quantities.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are known as a superfood due to their high nutritional value. It’s a good source of fiber, protein, calcium, folate, manganese, choline, phosphorus, zinc, and antioxidants.

A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains:

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s).

The above data is according to NutritionData

High In Calcium

Chia seeds are high in calcium. This nutrient is essential for the development of the chicken. It helps bone development and maintains strong bones.

Also, calcium is important for laying hens. The eggshells are made up entirely of calcium, so the hens need a lot of calcium to produce strong eggs.

Fiber

Chia seeds have a good amount of fiber in them. Fiber is important to the overall health of the digestive system. It helps move food through the digestive tract more smoothly.

Also, fiber will help prevent and reduce constipation.

Prevent Cell Damage

Chia seeds are high in antioxidant content. These antioxidants are important to the health of the chicken.

Antioxidants help fight the production of free radicals. When there are too many free radicals in the body, it will damage cells. The consequence will be the chickens prone to having cancer and other diseases.

Can Chickens Eat Chia Pets?

If you’re growing chia sprouts from Chia Pet, your chickens can eat them. Make sure that it’s grown without any pesticides or any other chemicals.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Chia Seeds?

Baby chickens can eat chia seeds, but it’s best to wait until they are at least 3 weeks old first. When the chicks are under 3 weeks old, their digestive system has not developed enough to properly digest the chia seeds.

Instead, chicks should be fed quality starter feed. The starter feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chick’s dietary needs. Also, the texture of the feed is small enough for the chicks to eat without choking.

Once the baby chickens are at least 3 weeks old, you can start to feed them chia seeds. Start by giving them a couple of seeds to eat. It may take them a while to eat the seeds as this is something new to them.

Also, be sure to provide them with grits. Chicks need grits to help grind down the chia seeds.

Can Chickens Eat Cooked Chia Seeds?

Yes, cooked chia seeds are safe for the chickens to eat. Chia seeds are cooked like oatmeal.

When cooking them, make sure to not add any salt or sugar. These things are bad for the chickens and can cause them health issues. It’s best to feed cooked chia seeds without any other ingredients.

How Do You Feed Chia Seeds To Chickens

When it comes to chia seeds, you can feed them either cooked or uncooked. Both options are safe for the chickens to eat.

For cooked chia seeds, you can simply scatter them on the ground. The chickens will start to peck and eat the seeds.

For uncooked chia seeds, it’s a good idea to soak the seeds first. Let them soak in water for about 10 minutes. This will make it easier for the chickens to digest them. Then toss the chia seeds to the chickens for them to forage.

Another way to feed them chia seeds is to mix them with other foods. This can be fruits, vegetables, and chicken feeds. This is a great way to give the chicken a boost in nutrition.

Sprinkle some seeds onto their food and give them to the chickens to eat.

How Much Chia Seeds To Feed Chickens?

While chia seeds are nutritious and healthy for the chickens to eat, they should only be fed to them in small amounts. Chia seeds don’t have all the nutrition that the chickens need to stay healthy. Feeding them too many seeds will cause them to become full. This will prevent the chickens from eating their staple foods.

Therefore, for an adult chicken, you can give them a tablespoon of chia seeds. For baby chickens, a teaspoon of chia seeds is sufficient.

How Often Should You Feed Chia Seeds To Chickens?

Chia seeds can be fed to the chickens often. This means the seeds are safe to give every day. However, make sure that you are still feeding them their staple food of quality commercial feeds. Chia seeds are to be given as a treat and should only make up 10% of their entire diet.

As long as they get plenty of chicken feed to eat every day, adding a handful of chia seeds to their diet will not cause any health issues for them.

Other Edible Seeds That Chickens Can Eat

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are nutritious and healthy for chickens to eat. They can be given to the chickens as cooked, baked, or raw. The chickens will peck and eat the seeds.

Sunflower Seeds

Chickens love to eat sunflower seeds. It’s nutritious, and you can give them every day. However, make sure to only give them a few sunflower seeds for each chicken. If you have sunflower seeds that are salted, do not give them to your chickens. Salt isn’t healthy for chickens and can cause them health issues.

Quinoa

Quinoa makes an excellent choice of food for your chickens to eat. In bird feeds, quinoa is commonly used due to its high nutritional value. It’s high in calcium, protein, and some vitamins and minerals.

Conclusion

Chia seeds are nutritious and healthy for chickens to eat. You can feed them chia seeds every day if you like. However, make sure it’s in small amounts, and you’re feeding them the proper amount of chicken feed each day.