Can Chickens Eat Jicama? It Could Be Harmful

There are many vegetables that chickens can eat. Most of them are good to feed to your flock. As for jicama, can you feed them to your chickens?

Yes, chickens can eat jicama. The root vegetable contains a lot of nutrition that your chickens can benefit from. However, avoid feeding them the skin or leaves of the jicama plant. It contains a toxin that is extremely harmful to chickens.

Is Jicama Safe For Your Chickens?

Jicama is safe for the chickens to eat, only if you feed them the root without the skin.

The rest of the plant is harmful to the chickens to eat. This includes the leaves and seeds.

Chicken Eating Food

If you are growing jicama in your garden, make sure the chickens are not able to get near it. You can cover the plant with chicken wire to prevent the birds from eating it.

If you’re buying jicama from the store, it will mostly come as just the root. If it doesn’t, ensure that you place the vegetable in their own separate bag.

Sometimes, the skin may break and touch other food in the bag. If you give that food to your chickens, they could get sick from it.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Jicama?

Jicama contains many important vitamins and minerals. Also, it has a significant amount of fiber. This makes jicama a healthy treat for feeding the chickens.

Nutrition Facts

A single 100 g serving of raw jicama contains:

  • 38 calories
  • 8.82 g of carbohydrates
  • 1.80 g of sugar
  • 0.09 g of fat
  • 0.72 g of protein
  • 4.90 g of fiber
  • 150 mg of potassium
  • 12 mg of calcium
  • 20.20 mg of vitamin C

Source: USDA

Below are some health benefits of feeding jicama to your chickens:

Good For Hydration

Jicama contains a high amount of water. This means the root vegetable is good for hydration. By giving jicama to your chickens, it will help keep them from becoming dehydrated.

Improve Digestion

Jicama is a good source of fiber. Fiber is carbohydrates that cannot be digested by the body. Instead, it helps improve digestion for the chickens. Fiber helps bulk up the stool, which will make it easier to pass through the digestive system.

Prevent Illness and Diseases

Jicama is a good source of antioxidants, which are important for preventing illness and diseases. The antioxidant helps prevent free radicals from causing damage to the cells in the body.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Jicama?

Yes, baby chickens can eat jicama, only when they are around 3 weeks old.

During the first few weeks of their lives, the digestive system of the chick is not well-developed. If they eat jicama, it could lead to crop impaction.

Instead, baby chickens should be fed a diet of starter feed. The feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition that they need to be healthy.

Once the chicks are around 3 weeks old, you can introduce jicama to them. Start with a piece of the vegetable and cut them into tiny pieces. This will prevent choking and crop impaction.

When feeding them jicama or any other food besides starter feed, be sure to give them plenty of grits. Chicks need grits to help them break down the jicama.

Can Chickens Eat Jicama Skin?

No, you should not give the skin of the jicama plant to your chickens. It contains rotenone, which is a toxin that is harmful to chickens.

A small amount of the toxin will be enough to cause them digestive issues. In a larger amount, it will be fatal for the bird.

Therefore, peel the entire skin of the root vegetable and give them just the flesh part.

How Do You Prepare Jicama For Your Chickens

Before giving jicama to your chickens, you’ll need to prepare them first. Due to the skin containing rotenone, you’ll need to remove the skin.

With the jicama in hand, give it a good wash to remove any dirt and pest that may be on the vegetable.

Then with a sharp knife, peel away the skin. Make sure to remove all the skin completely off the jicama.

With another knife, cut the jicama into smaller pieces. You can cut the vegetable in halves too. This will keep them busy pecking at it. 

Once the jicama is cut, toss them to your chickens. You can also mix it with other foods such as vegetables, fruits, and even chicken feeds.

How Many Jicamas Should You Feed Your Chickens?

When feeding your chickens, jicama should be served in small amounts. While it’s high in a lot of nutrition, it also has a high content of water. Too much water in their diet can lead to diarrhea and an upset stomach.

For each adult chicken, you can give them a slice of jicama. As for young chickens, a small piece of the vegetable is enough for them to enjoy.

Jicama should only be a treat for your chickens, and not replace their staple diet of chicken feeds.

How Often Should You Feed Jicama To Your Chickens?

Jicama should only be fed to your chickens in moderation. The root vegetable doesn’t have enough nutrition to support the health of the chickens.

Jicama should only make up 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come in the form of quality commercial feeds. The feeds are formulated with the proper amount of nutrition to meet the nutrition needs of the chickens.

Therefore, chickens should be served jicama, once or twice per week.

Other Vegetables That Chickens Can Eat

Carrots

Carrots are packed with nutrition. Chickens can either eat raw or cooked carrots. The carrot greens are good for them too.

Avoid canned carrots since it contains a high amount of salt.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a great treat for chickens on a hot day. They contain a lot of water, which is good for keeping the chickens hydrated. Also, cucumbers are full of vitamins and minerals.

Pumpkins

Pumpkins are nutritious and healthy for the chickens to eat. You can feed them fresh or cooked pumpkins. Both are safe for chickens to eat.

In addition, the pumpkin seeds can be fed to the chickens as well. The seeds are known to aid in the prevention of worms.

Conclusion

Jicama is nutritious and safe for the chickens to eat, but only the root with the skin peeled. You can chop the vegetable into smaller pieces or cut it in halves.