Can Chickens Eat Quinoa? A Superfood For Chickens

Quinoa is a grain that is popular since it’s nutrient-dense, yet low in calories. This makes them a perfect food to add to food or eaten raw for a boost in nutrition. For humans, quinoa is safe to eat, but what if you want to feed some to your chickens?

So, can chickens eat quinoa? Yes, chickens can eat quinoa. It’s very nutritious and healthy for the chickens to eat. It is high in calcium, protein, and some vitamins and minerals. Quinoa is a common food used in chicken and other birds feed.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Quinoa?

Quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains, so it’s known as a “superfood”.

This grain is packed with vitamins and minerals. Also, it’s a good source of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. All of these are what the chickens need to stay healthy and strong.

Below are some of the health benefits of quinoa when it’s fed to the chickens:

Improve Digestion

Quinoa is a good source of fiber, which the chicken needs for a healthy digestive system.

Fiber is not digested by the body, so it helps bulk up the stool. This results in the food moving through the digestive tract smoothly.

Prevent Cell Damage

Quinoa is also a good source of antioxidants. This is a compound that helps prevent free radicals from damaging the cells in the body.

If there are too many free radicals, the cells will get damaged. This will lead to illness and diseases in the chicken.

By feeding them plenty of food like quinoa that’s high in antioxidants, it will prevent the chicken from becoming ill.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Quinoa?

Baby chickens should not be fed any quinoa. Their digestive system has not developed enough to be able to digest it.

Instead, they should be on a diet of starter feed. This feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chick’s dietary needs. Also, the texture of it is small enough for them to eat without choking on it.

However, once the baby chickens are at least 3 weeks old, you can start to feed them quinoa. Start by giving them a small amount first.

Also, make sure to have grits available for them. Chicks need this to be able to grind down the quinoa in their crop.

Can Chickens Eat Uncooked Quinoa?

Yes, chickens can eat uncooked quinoa. It may be a bit tough for them to eat it though.

Before giving them any raw quinoa to your chickens, you may want to rinse it first. Doing so will get rid of the saponin coating that’s on the seed. This coating makes the quinoa bitter and less palatable to the chicken.

Rinse it for about 20 seconds. Then place it onto a dry towel and let it air dry for about 10 minutes.

Once it’s dried, give them to your chickens.

How Do You Feed Quinoa To Your Chickens

When it comes to feeding quinoa to your chickens, it’s pretty much straightforward. You can either feed them just the quinoa or mix it with other food.

Feeding Quinoa

You can feed them raw or cooked quinoa. Simply toss them to the chickens, and they will peck and eat it all within a minute.

Mixing Quinoa With Other Food

Since quinoa is nutrient-dense, you can mix it with other food to give your chicken a boost in nutrition.

You can mix it with fruits or vegetables. If you’re mixing it with fruits, make sure to use small pieces of each fruit. Most fruits contain a high amount of sugar and too much of it is bad for the chicken’s health.

Besides fruits and veggies, you can mix quinoa with their feeds. Chickens will not be able to tell the difference and will eat it all up.

How Much Quinoa Should You Feed Your Chickens?

Quinoa is rich in nutrients and healthy for chickens to eat. Since it’s not one of their main food, it’s best to give them in small amounts.

For an adult chicken, you can give them a tablespoon of quinoa. It won’t hurt them if you want to give them more than that though.

For baby chickens, you can give them a pinch of quinoa.

How Often Should You Feed Your Chickens Quinoa?

Quinoa should be fed to your chickens in moderation.

While quinoa is safe for the chickens to eat, most people will not want to feed them often. Quinoa is quite expensive for feeding chickens.

Therefore, most people will not want to feed them too much of it.

Other Grains That Chickens Can Eat


Barley is found in many commercial chicken feeds. This grain is healthy and perfectly fine to feed your chickens. You can either feed them cooked or raw barley.


Oats are an excellent source of antioxidants, proteins, and vitamins. You can feed them either raw or cooked oats. Raw oats help treat pasty butt in baby chickens and cooked oats make an excellent treat for chickens in the winter.


Wheat contains many vitamins and minerals that the chickens need in their diet. However, wheat also contains a high amount of carbs which in large amounts is unhealthy for them. Too much wheat can lead to obesity and heart problems. For egg-laying hens, a lot of wheat in their diet will reduce or even stop egg production. To avoid any issues, feed wheat to your chickens in moderation,


Quinoa is not only healthy and nutritious for humans to eat, but also for chickens. This grain can help give your chicken a boost in nutrition. You can sprinkle some over their treats or feed.