There is an ongoing myth that onions are harmful to chickens. That’s not true. All varieties of onions – green, white, red, and spring onions, aren’t harmful to chickens, but you cannot include them in chickens’ regular diet.
Green onions are harmful to other animals like cats and dogs, so most flock owners believe them to be poisonous for chickens as well. Onions are loaded with vitamins and minerals, hence allowing it once in a while to your chickens isn’t going to harm them.
I have covered all details about feeding chickens onions in this article; hence to get complete details, continue reading this article.
Do Chickens Eat Green Onions?
Yes, chickens can eat onions. Green onions are beneficial for chickens’ bone health and colon function and may reduce inflammation. Chickens like to eat green onions, and they prefer them cooked rather than raw.
But you should not feed chickens onions too often. Eating large quantities of onions increases the risk of hemolytic anemia. It’s a disease that makes chickens weak, and if not cured on time, it may lead to serious health issues.
Therefore, even if you feed chickens onions, the quantity should be very less, and chickens should have onions only once in a while.
Which Are Edible Parts Of Onions?
The onion bulb that grows under the soil is safe for chickens to eat. The bulb contains maximum energy and nutrition. The white parts that grow outwards outside the bulb have the same nutrition and are equally beneficial for the birds as well.
But the top green part isn’t safe for chickens, so you are not supposed to feed it to your backyard chickens. Additionally, onion peels or the onion plant are not to be fed neither to humans nor to the flocks.
Although onion peels won’t harm your chickens, these don’t have any nutritional value. Besides, it’s very unlikely that your chickens would eat the onion peels.
Onions aren’t a favorite treat for the birds, be it the bulb or the white parts, so chickens would likely not eat raw onions. Therefore, the best way to feed onions is to give them cooked onions and mix them with other foods.
Benefits of Feeding Chickens Onions
Scientific studies have shown that allowing small quantities of onions to chickens has many health benefits. Mentioned below are some of the potential benefits chickens may get from eating onions.
Improves Meat Quality
A study shows that feeding chickens onions and garlic helps to improve their meat quality. Onions also help chickens gain weight. If chickens eat 50 to 100mg of onions increases the bird’s feed and water consumption.
But the chicken’s eggs develop an onion like smell and taste after eating them.
Loaded With Antioxidants
Onions are loaded with antioxidants, which improve bone health and reduce blood sugar levels. Red onions have fiber, fats, carbs, and lots of water that keep the chicken’s gut healthy.
Vitamins And Minerals
Onions also contain vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin K and minerals like potassium, zinc, phosphorus, folate, iron, etc. Plus, they are also rich in fibers like quercetin, anthocyanins, sulfur compounds, and thiosulfates, which will help keep your flock healthy.
Here is a better look at the nutritional value of onions (per 100g of onions)
How To Feed Your Chicken Onions?
Since onions have a slightly spicy taste, these aren’t a favorite treat for chickens. If you give them onion peels or onion stalks, your chickens would hardly eat them, so plain chopped onions are the best to give your chickens.
Here are some of the ways to feed your chickens onions-
Roast onions on a grill or in the oven till they get tender and give them to the birds. Chickens would easily peck on the soft roasted onions but don’t give them straight out of the oven or grill. Let them cool before giving them to your birds.
First, boil the onions and then mash them with other scraps available in the kitchen. Chickens would love to have the scrapped mash and then just simple onion mash.
Onion Trail Mix
Boil the onions till they are soft. But don’t add any oil or butter since these two aren’t at all healthy for the chickens’ digestive tract. Let them cool before serving. You can mix boiled onions with other chickens’ treats for a balanced diet.