Yes, chickens can eat cheerios. But ensure that your chickens eat cheerios in moderate quantities. You can feed breakfast cereals to your flock once a week and not more than a tablespoon per chicken at one time.
Cereals like cheerios are rich in carbohydrates and sugar. Cheerios are fortified with human levels of vitamins and minerals, which are not suitable for your birds when fed in large amounts.
Often a box of cheerios is left open and gets stale. So, can chickens eat cheerios that have gone stale? Here is the A to Z of feeding your flock cheerios.
Can Chickens Eat Cheerios?
Yes, chickens can eat cheerios, but only as a treat and not as a main meal. Different flavors of breakfast cereals, such as honey nut cheerios, multigrain cheerios, corn flakes, etc., are high in carbs and sugar.
These are fortified with human levels of vitamins and minerals. Feeding cheerios and other breakfast cereals in large quantities is not good for the chickens’ digestive system. It is better to feed chickens with whole grains than breakfast cereal for proper functioning and growth.
Breakfast cereal can be given to chickens once a week as a treat and not as a main meal. You can feed honey nut cheerios to your poultry as unique treats. Feeding chickens cheerios is better than feeding them junk food, but you must be wary of the added sugar content in them. Cheerios do not contain artificial colors and are better than many other processed foods.
Can Chickens Eat Honey Nut Cheerios?
Honey Nut cheerios may sound more nutritious, but, in reality, these are lower in protein than original cheerios. The carbohydrate content is 74gm per 100gm, and the sugar content is 22gm per 100gm.
It is better to feed chickens a diet of whole grain oats or brown rice with added raw honey. But, if you want to feed Honey Nut cheerios to your flock, ensure you do it in minimal quantities.
Are Cheerios Good for Chickens?
You can feed chickens breakfast cereal only as a treat because:
- Cheerios are high in sugar and starch content:
A packet of nut butter or other flavors of cheerios has almost 18gm of sugar per 100gm and 72gm of carbohydrates per 100 gm. These values of carbohydrates are very high for birds who need more protein in their diet for egg production.
- Cheerios are fortified with human levels of vitamins and minerals:
The added vitamins and minerals in cheerios are good for humans and not really required for birds. If you feed cheerios to your chickens in large quantities, it could lead to an overdose of these minerals and vitamins. A 30gm serving provides 51% of vitamin D, which is suitable for humans but is 14 times more than the RDA for chickens (Source).
- Cheerios are low in protein:
Cheerios are processed food that provides chickens with only 7.1% protein, but they need a minimum of 16% protein from their diets.
As a chicken enthusiast, you can make your chickens and ducks eat cheerios as nutritious treats once a week. Chickens and baby chickens eat cheerios easily because of their great taste.
But remember not to feed cheerios in the evening before roosting time. Chickens need food that takes longer to digest when they are roosting at night.
Can Chicks and Baby Chickens Eat Cheerios?
All the flavors of this breakfast cereal, including multigrain cheerios, honey nut butter, and others, should be given to baby chicks as an occasional treat only. If you want, you can feed your flocks with original cheerios or other unsweetened cereals to reduce the sugar intake.
Baby chicks need an extremely nutritious and balanced diet with high protein content for optimal weight gain and growth. Feed chicks cereals only as a new treat every now and then in a minimal amount only.
Ways to Feed Cheerios to Chickens
- Cheap old cereal can be used to feed your chickens if you dislike wastage. You can also feed multigrain cheerios and other flavors to your chickens once a week in between meals as a tasty treat.
- You make your chickens eat cereals mixed with their regular feed as well. Cheerios are high in sugar and low in protein. But, if you mix other high-protein foods with cheerios, it will make a great meal for your birds. You can mix cheerios with high protein milk or curd to make a nutritious meal for your flock.
- You can mix cheerios with whole grain oats to make a healthy treat for your birds.
- Boost the nutrition content in cheerios by adding soluble fiber and fat in the form of chia seeds and flax seeds. This high sugar, high fiber and high fat diet will be better than a diet of rice. Healthy fats enhance the quality of eggs in laying hens.
- You can also add cheerios to mixed fruits to feed a diet rich in vitamins and minerals.
This way, one can enhance the nutrition content of cheerios by mixing them with other foods like nuts, fruits, seeds, vegetables, whole grain oats, corn, etc.
To sum up – chickens can eat cheerios, but they should be given in moderate quantities and not as an only feed. This processed food can harm a chicken’s body when fed in large amounts as it is high in sugar and low in nutrition.
This cereal can be fed to chickens as a treat and not as a main meal.