Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms? Which Is Safe And Unsafe?

In the spring and summer, you’ll notice that there are a lot of mushrooms growing in your backyard. Some grow on the ground, while others grow on trees and other objects. If you are raising backyard chickens, you always want them to eat different types of food. As for mushrooms, they seem edible, so you may want to feed some to your chickens.

So, can chickens eat mushrooms? Yes, chickens can eat mushrooms, but only certain types of mushrooms. There are many types of mushrooms in the world and some are poisonous. To keep them from being poisoned by the mushrooms, it’s recommended to always buy them from the grocery stores. Wild mushrooms can be toxic and can cause serious harm to your chickens.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Mushrooms?

Chicken Eating Food

Most edible mushroom is nutrient-dense, yet low in calories. It’s high in protein and vitamin D, and a good source of vitamin B12. All of these nutrients are important for the chickens to stay healthy and strong.

Can Chickens Eat Raw Mushrooms?

When it comes to raw mushrooms, it’s not a good idea to feed them to your chickens. Uncooked mushrooms are hard for them to digest.

Also, the risk is greater for raw mushrooms as they can get stuck in their throat, which will cause them to choke on it.

Therefore, all mushrooms should be cooked first before you give any to your chickens.

Can Chickens Eat Store Bought Mushrooms?

Mushrooms that are sold in the store are perfectly safe to feed your chickens. All mushrooms are free from toxins and poisons since they are grown under controlled conditions.

Before any mushrooms are sold in stores, they have been researched to make sure it’s safe for consumption.

Some of the popular mushrooms you will find in stores include Button, Chestnut, and Oyster mushrooms. You can find them sold as regular mushrooms or organically grown. Of course, I would prefer to buy organic since no chemicals of any kind are used.

Can Chickens Eat Wild Mushrooms?

Chickens can eat wild mushrooms, but I recommend that you do not try to feed them any. About 20% of wild mushrooms are poisonous and can harm your chickens or even kill them.

Wild mushrooms are hard to distinguish from the popular edible ones. Some are the same in texture and size, but they are very poisonous.

However, there are some mushrooms that grow in the wild that are safe to eat. If you’re concerned that your chickens may eat them, you should not have to worry about it at all.

Due to instinct, chickens are only attracted to food that is easy to eat. Luckily, fungi don’t fall into that category. Raw mushrooms have a slippery surface that’s not appealing to chickens. Therefore, they will stay away from mushrooms, whether it’s safe or not.

However, not all chickens are the same. Some are not picky eater and will eat anything they can find, including mushrooms. If you let your chickens roam freely, it’s in the best of their interest to go through the yards and pull out any mushrooms you see.

Types of Mushrooms That Are Safe For Chickens

There are many types of mushrooms around the world, but only a few are safe for chickens to eat.

Below are the 12 of the most common types of mushrooms available:

  • Black Trumpet Mushrooms
  • Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms
  • Crimini Mushrooms
  • Chanterelle Mushrooms
  • Matsutake Mushroom (AKA “pine” mushroom)
  • Morel Mushrooms
  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • Porcini Mushrooms
  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • Reishi Mushrooms
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • White Button Mushrooms

How Do You Prepare Mushrooms For Your Chickens

To prepare the mushrooms for your chickens, following the instructions below:

  1. Wash the mushrooms to remove any dirt and debris from them.
  2. On a cutting board, place the mushrooms on there.
  3. Cut the mushroom into small pieces. You don’t want to cut them too small, as the mushrooms will get even smaller when it’s cooked.
  4. On the stovetop, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Try to avoid using oil as it’s not healthy for chickens.
  5. Once the skillet is hot, drop the mushrooms in it.
  6. Cook the mushrooms for about 8-10 minutes. Every 2-3 minutes, give it a quick stir.
  7. Once it’s cooked, remove it from the skillet and place it onto a plate.
  8. Allow the mushrooms to cool down to room temperature.
  9. Once it’s cooled, toss the cooked mushrooms to your chickens. You can also mix it with other vegetables or chicken feeds to give them a boost in nutrition.

How Many Mushrooms Should You Feed Your Chickens?

Mushrooms don’t contain a lot of nutrients, and it’s not one of their main food, so it’s best to not feed them too many of them. For an adult chicken, you can give them a handful of mushrooms to eat. 

As for baby chickens, just a piece of mushroom should be enough for them to enjoy.

How Often Should You Feed Your Chickens Mushrooms?

Mushrooms should be fed to the chickens in moderation. Mushroom doesn’t contain a lot of nutrition, so you don’t want to give them too often. Otherwise, they’ll stop or eat less of their staple diet of chicken feed.

Mushrooms should only be given to them as a treat. This means the mushrooms should make up 10% of the chicken’s entire diet. The rest should come in the form of chicken feed. These feeds are formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s daily nutritional needs.

Therefore, you can feed mushrooms to your chickens, once or twice per week.

Other Vegetables That Chickens Can Eat

Cucumber

Cucumber is high in nutrition, yet low in calories. It’s a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. This makes them a perfect treat for chickens. However, it’s also high in water content. Too much water can cause them to have diarrhea and an upset stomach. For that reason, feed cucumber to your chickens in moderation.

Radishes

Radishes are packed with Vitamins E, A, C, B6, and K. In addition, it’s high in antioxidants, fiber, and zinc. All of these nutrients are what the chickens need to stay healthy and strong. Besides radishes, you can feed them radish greens as well.

Zucchini

Zucchini is nutrient-rich, yet low in calories. This vegetable is rich in manganese, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A and C. It’s also a good source of protein and fiber. You can either feed them zucchini that is cooked or uncooked. Also, the leaves of the zucchini can be fed to the chickens as well.

Conclusion

Mushrooms are nutritious and healthy for chickens to eat. There are many different types of mushrooms, of which some are poisonous and some are not. It’s best to avoid mushrooms in the wild unless you know which one is safe. Otherwise, you could cause your chickens to become ill from eating poisonous mushrooms.

Therefore, I recommend that you always buy mushrooms from the grocery stores, since they are all safe for chickens to eat.