There are many foods that chickens can eat. They will usually eat just about anything that is edible. When it comes to garlic, you may wonder if you can feed them to your backyard chickens.
So, can chickens eat garlic? Yes, chickens are allowed to eat garlic, and it is helpful when fed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. It is because garlic contains medical qualities beneficial to poultry birds – garlic is thought to help prevent many of the illnesses that hens suffer, such as respiratory issues, and it boosts the immune system.
Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Garlic?
Chickens should not eat garlic excessively. Also, you should avoid giving them dishes containing a lot of garlic. For them to stay healthy, chickens require a well-balanced diet rich in macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). It’s not a good idea for them to overeat one sort of food.
Garlic is not harmful to chickens. It is not, despite popular belief, a member of the onion family; its composition is entirely distinct. Onions contain a high concentration of the element thiosulfate. In excess, this chemical has been shown to damage red blood cells, resulting in anemia or jaundice in chickens, and can even be deadly.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Garlic?
Besides the vast amount of vitamins and minerals that it has, garlic has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiprotozoal properties as well.
In addition, garlic possesses anti-cardiovascular disease, antitumor, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects.
If your chickens appear ill, their feathers appear drab, and they refuse to leave the coop, garlic can help them feel better and heal faster.
Garlic for Chickens Instead of Antibiotics
Garlic can help a sick chicken return to total health faster since it targets harmful bacteria rather than healthy bacteria. Studies have shown garlic to be effective against viruses such as salmonella, cholera, and colibacillosis.
Adding antibiotics to chicken feed is prohibited in certain countries and discouraged in others. Garlic is a better option than antibiotics. Chickens underweight or are not eating require something to stimulate their appetite, and garlic does precisely that.
Helps Underweight Chickens
If you have chickens that are underweight or not eating enough, you can help increase their appetite with garlic. Sprinkle a little crushed garlic on their food or in their water.
The garlic will help the chickens extract the nutrition from the foods that they are eating.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Garlic?
Baby chickens can eat garlic, once they are about 3 weeks old. When the chicks are younger than that, their digestive system has not developed enough to digest the garlic. Feeding baby chickens garlic could cause them to have crop impaction.
Instead, chicks should be on a diet of starter feed. The feed is formulated with the proper amount of nutrition to help them grow strong and healthy.
Once the baby chickens are around 3 weeks old, you can start to introduce garlic to them. It’s best to add garlic to their drinking water. The chicks that have had their first taste of garlic water soon after hatching are more inclined to accept it as adults. I recommend adding one clove (not a bulb!) to one liter (1.5 UK pints; 4 US cups; one quart) of water. Crush the garlic and place it into the water. Make sure to not give them more than twice a week.
There are undoubtedly advantages to adding garlic to newborn chicks’ drinking water and food when placed in the brooder. It strengthens their immune system and protects them against worms.
How To Feed Garlic To Chickens?
When it comes to feeding garlic to your chickens, you can either mix it with other food or place it into their water. Chickens will highly unlikely eat fresh garlic due to the smell of it. They will simply leave it alone if you give them any garlic.
If your chickens are unfamiliar with garlic, add one chopped clove to their meal. Crushing a garlic clove releases a substance called ‘allicin.’ This element is a potent antioxidant that can work alone or with other agents to enhance the immune system.
The best and most straightforward method to crush the garlic is to use a garlic press. It saves time and effort and has many additional valuable applications.
Alternatively, you can use a chef’s knife and press on it to crush the cloves.
Garlic in water: Begin by crushing one clove per liter and incorporating it into their drinking water. You may do this twice a week, but you can continue to feed garlic to your hens until they recover if you have sick birds.
Garlic in oil: Soak two to three cloves in one liter of oil for six hours and use it on the same day. Pour some of this oil on your flock’s feed.
Garlic in food: Crush the garlic and mix it with fruits, vegetables, or chicken feeds.
How Much Garlic To Feed Chickens?
When deciding how much garlic to give your flock, keep in mind that moderation is essential. You should provide only raw and fresh garlic to chickens.
Consider the following advice when giving garlic to your chickens:
- In water: one clove per liter or four cloves per gallon
- In oil: one clove every four pints or half a clove per liter
- Over food: Twice a week, one clove, coarsely cut or crushed.
Other Vegetable Chickens Can Eat
Cucumber makes an excellent snack for your chickens in the summer. The vegetable contains a lot of water, so it will keep them hydrated. Also, cucumber is full of vitamins and minerals.
Red cabbage is a healthy treat for your chickens. The vegetable is nutrient-rich, yet low in calories. Feeding them red cabbage will complement their overall diet. You can either feed cabbage that is raw or cooked, as it is nutritious for them.
Potatoes are safe for chickens to eat, whether it’s cooked or raw. However, you should avoid giving them any parts that contain solanine, which is toxic for the bird. Solanine is found in the leaves, stems, peel, and flowers of the potato plant and should be avoided.
Garlic is safe for chickens to eat and when fed to them in moderation, it can help them in many ways. Since chickens won’t eat fresh garlic, you’ll need to mix it with their other foods or place some crushed garlic into their water.