Yes, chickens can eat broccoli safely. In fact, most chickens love to eat this nutritious vegetable. As a chicken owner, you must make your chickens eat broccoli to ensure a healthy and balanced diet.
But, do not replace regular chicken feed with broccoli. Although this cruciferous vegetable is loaded with health benefits, it does not provide your flock with all the nutrients required in a balanced diet.
Scroll along further to know all about feeding chickens broccoli.
Should Chickens Eat Broccoli?
The answer to this is yes! Chickens can consume both cooked and raw broccoli safely. Chickens can eat plain broccoli as table scraps or in between meals as healthy treats.
Chickens love eating broccoli florets, and you will not have to fight with your flock to feed them this very healthy treat. But, feeding broccoli should be done in moderation.
Although it contains a plethora of health benefits, it should not be replaced with their main meals. Broccoli lacks essential carbs and proteins required for their healthy growth.
Health Benefits of Broccoli for Chickens
There are several benefits of feeding chickens broccoli:
- Broccoli is loaded with calcium
Calcium helps to strengthen the bones and makes chickens less prone to diseases.
- Broccoli has high amounts of iron
Iron is an essential nutrient that helps prevent bone diseases. Iron also helps in the synthesis of DNA.
- Broccoli is rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps in better egg production and reduces the side effects of stress, thereby increasing the heat tolerance in birds.
- It is loaded with fiber
The high fiber content helps in the easy functioning of the digestive system and ensures proper bowel movement. Fiber also reduces the prevalence of salmonella bacteria and other pathogens in the chicken’s digestive tract.
- Broccoli has high amounts of protein
Protein helps in cell growth, egg production, stress resilience, and immunity.
Nutritional Value of Broccoli:
- Carbohydrates – 6.64gm
- Fiber – 2.6gm
- Water – 89.3gm
- Energy – 34 calories
- Fat – 0.37gm
- Protein – 2.8gm
- Calcium – 47mg
- Magnesium – 21mg
- Iron – 0.73mg
- Potassium – 316mg
- Folate – 63µg
- Vitamin K – 101µg
- Vitamin C – 89 mg
This is the nutritional content per 100gm of raw broccoli (Source).
How much Broccoli can Chickens Eat?
Many chicken keepers include different foods of the brassica family in their chicken’s daily diet. These cruciferous vegetables have cancer-fighting properties.
Having said so, you must avoid feeding too much broccoli to your flock. Mix raw broccoli with other vegetables and fruits to ensure your birds get the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Remember that broccoli is not a complete food. Feeding excess raw or cooked broccoli can lead to other health issues. This is because broccoli has goitrogens. This can be toxic when fed in excess.
Although high in nutritional value, broccoli does not contain enough proteins and carbs required to stay healthy. Fruits and vegetables should make up 5 to 10% of their diet. Chickens can eat broccoli twice or thrice a week, but not more than that. You can also give them a mix of different healthy foods to ensure they get all the vitamins and minerals their regular feed lacks.
It is best to rotate with different seasonal fruits and vegetables to avoid any health complications.
How to Feed Broccoli to Chickens?
As per veterinary advice, most fruits and vegetables should be fed to chickens raw in between meals or as table scraps to ensure they fulfill all their nutritional needs.
You can also feed broccoli to your flock by placing it in a chicken coop where they can peck at it. You can, likewise, break the florets and throw it in their foraging area. This will ensure chickens eat broccoli while also engaging in some activity.
Chickens enjoy eating fresh broccoli. It can be mixed with commercial chicken feed, but the florets should be diced in small pieces. You can feed chickens broccoli along with other fruits after coating them in honey or coconut oil for its many benefits. Coating the florets in honey makes a great treat for the birds.
Feed your chickens broccoli mixed with other grains if they are picky eaters. You can boil the florets in unsalted water if your birds do not eat raw broccoli. Cooked broccoli becomes tender and is easier to gobble up.
Can Chickens Eat Broccoli – Conclusion
Chickens can eat all kinds of cruciferous vegetables, and broccoli is one of them. How much broccoli you feed your flock is an important factor to keep in mind, as the nutrients found in broccoli are not sufficient enough for healthy growth.
You must feed them this healthy and great food twice a week to ensure they get diverse minerals and vitamins. Feeding chicken broccoli can ensure healthy bone formation, better digestion, better cell organ functioning, and overall healthy growth and well-being.