Okra is a vegetable that grows mostly during the warmer months of the year. This is a vegetable that people will either hate or love. It has tough skin with a mild flavor. For humans, okra is safe to consume, but what if you want to feed them to your chickens as well?
Can chickens eat okra? Yes, chickens can eat okra, including the pods, leaves, and stems. The vegetable can either be given to them cooked or raw. Make sure to cut the okra into smaller pieces to make it easier for them to eat it. Okra is packed with nutrition and the chickens can benefit a lot from eating it. Since it’s not one of their staple foods, okra should be fed to them in moderation.
Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Okra?
Okra is also called “lady’s fingers” due to their shape. This vegetable comes in both green and red colors, with green being the most popular.
Okra is safe for chickens to eat in small amounts. Too much can be harmful to them. The reason for that is that okra contains solanine. Solanine is a compound that’s known to be toxic.
The toxin is found in all parts of the vegetable.
Due to their low levels, it won’t harm the chickens if they are not fed too much okra.
By feeding okra to your chickens as a treat, you shouldn’t worry about any health issues affecting them.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Okra?
Okra has a lot of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. This vegetable offers a wide range of health benefits.
Just like how it provides many health benefits to humans, okra also has benefits for chickens.
Here are some of its health benefits:
Improve digestion – Okra has a high amount of dietary fiber. This will help promote regular bowel movement and prevent constipation. Foods that the chicken eats will move smoothly through the digestive tract.
Improves eyesight – Okra contains vitamin A, which is vital to eye health and good vision. This will help the chickens see better, especially in dim light.
Boost immune system – Okra is high in antioxidants. This compound will help prevent free radicals from damaging the cells in the body. If there are too many free radicals, it could lead to diseases and illness.
Can Chickens Eat Okra Leaves and Stems?
Chickens can eat the leaves and stems, but it’s not recommended to do so. These parts of the plant contain the highest level of solanine. While these parts are edible, you don’t want to risk them.
If they ate just some of it, you don’t have to worry about your chickens being harm by it.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Okra?
Baby chickens can eat okra, but you should hold off on it until they are about 3 weeks old. Under 3 weeks, their digestive system hasn’t properly developed yet. While they can eat okra, it will be hard for them to digest it. It may lead to crop impaction or even get stuck in their throat.
Once they are at least 3 weeks old, you can start to introduce okra to the chicks. Give them a small piece of okra and see if they’ll eat. Also, make sure to have grits available for the chicks, so their gizzard can break down the okra plant.
How To Prepare Okra To Feed The Chickens
When it comes to okra, you can either feed them to the chickens cooked or raw. Both of fine for the chickens, but you have to cut them into smaller pieces first.
Okra is too tough, even when it’s cooked. The chicken may peck at the vegetable, but unable to eat it.
After cutting the okra into pieces, you can place them into their feeder or toss them directly to the chickens.
Another way is to add the okra to a salad. This is for those chickens that won’t eat okra, or you want to give them a boost in nutrition. Besides okra, you can add spinach, carrots, radishes, and jicama to the mix. Make sure to cut all the vegetables into smaller pieces first. Then mix them all together and place them into their feeder.
How Much Okra To Feed a Chicken?
For adult chicken, you can feed them a pod. This should be enough for them to enjoy it.
For baby chickens, a small piece of okra is enough for them to gain some nutrition from it. Make sure to cut the vegetable into small pieces. This will make it easier for them to eat and digest the okra.
How Often To Feed Okra To a Chicken
While this plant is nutritious for the chickens, it should be fed to them only in moderation. This means you should feed okra to your chicken once or twice per week.
Okra should make up only 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come from commercial feeds. These feeds have been formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary needs.
Other Vegetables That Chickens Can Eat
Celery makes a great treat for chickens. This vegetable is a great source of vitamins B2, B6, C, and K. It also contains a small amount of calcium, fiber, and potassium. You may need to chop up the celery to make it more enjoyable for them.
One of the chicken’s favorite food is tomatoes. It’s high in vitamin C, B9 and K, fiber. It’s also a good source of antioxidants and potassium. Chickens can eat only the flesh of the tomatoes. The leaves, stems, and flowers contain solanine, which is poisonous to the chickens.
Lettuce can be fed to the chickens but in moderation. The lettuce has a good amount of vitamins and minerals which can benefit the chickens. Avoid feeding them iceberg lettuce as it doesn’t have any nutrition and has too much water. Feeding them a large amount of iceberg lettuce will lead to them having diarrhea and an upset stomach.
Okra is a vegetable that can make a good treat due to its nutrients. However, you will only want to feed okra to them in moderation, just like any other vegetables. Once or twice per week is perfectly fine for chickens. They will gain some health benefits from it and be happy and healthy.