Yes, chickens can eat spinach but not frequently or in large quantities. Spinach has many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients necessary for chickens. But it also has oxalic acid, which can prevent calcium absorption and lead to decreased egg production in laying hens.
Backyard chickens eat spinach and pretty much anything you feed them. That doesn’t mean you feed chickens food that is not good for them. You should not feed chickens anything that will interfere with the egg-laying process or affect their immune system. So, much too much spinach is bad for chickens.
Let’s read in detail about how spinach is good for chickens in moderation and what benefits it offers.
Are Spinach Leaves Good For Chickens?
Yes, spinach is good for chickens as it contains vitamins A, B, C, and K and minerals like calcium, choline, iron, magnesium, etc.
However, you should not feed spinach to chickens more than once a week just like how you feed other vegetables in moderation.
It is also better to boil or steam spinach as this process removes most oxalic acid and reduces the risk of a chicken laying soft shell eggs.
- Vitamin A
It helps maintain the health of chicken skin and strengthens the reproductive systems, digestive tracts, and respiratory systems.
- Vitamin B1, B2, B6, & B9
B1 deficiency leads to dull feathers and muscle paralysis. B2 is necessary to prevent a decrease in egg production and avoid dead chicks. B6 promotes metabolism through amino acids and prevents jerky movements in chickens. B9 or folic acid promotes healthier eggs in egg-laying chicken. Folic acid should be a part of chickens’ feed.
- Vitamin C
Spinach is rich in vitamin C which aids in building a healthy immune system and relieves stress in chickens.
- Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that promotes a healthy nervous system and prevents infections like e.coli. It also promotes reproduction and cell growth.
- Vitamin K
Vitamin K binds calcium to bones and muscles. It should be a part of the chicken feed. Spinach is rich in Vitamin K and is a nutritious treat for chickens.
Magnesium helps the chicken’s body absorb nutrients and produces energy from the food they consume.
Iron deficiency in chickens can lead to anemia and affect the health of your backyard hens. Iron is vital for healthy blood in chickens.
It prevents dehydration in summer and reduces muscle pain. Spinach is a nutritious snack for chickens in many ways.
Calcium is a must for egg production in backyard chickens. Sufficient calcium builds healthy bones and ensures better eggs. Oyster shells are also a rich source of calcium and allow laying hens to lay eggs easily.
It is necessary for DNA synthesis, muscle development, and pulse regulation in chickens.
These are responsible for bringing the bright yellow-orange color of the yolk. Spinach has high carotenoids and can help hens lay eggs with a perfect orange yolk.
Manganese has many roles to play in the chicken’s body. It improves reproduction, heals wounds, aids in egg shell construction, and builds strong bones and cartilage.
Do Chickens Actually Like Spinach Leaves?
Chickens eat spinach, though whether or not they like the taste is a matter of preference. Feed cooked spinach to chicken instead of raw spinach leaves. Raw spinach has too much oxalic acid, which is dangerous for chickens.
How you balance calcium absorption and chicken feed will determine if your poultry birds stay healthy or not.
Low stomach acid is also a reason for calcium deficiency. You can add apple cider vinegar to the chicken’s water supply to boost the immune system and promote absorption of calcium. Then, you can happily feed spinach to chickens.
That said, remember that too much spinach is still not good for chickens. You also need to moderate the quantity of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar keeps the water bacteria-free, though too much of it is bad. Make it a point to include oyster shell calcium as in chickens commercial feeds.
Are Spinach Leaves Good To Include in Your Chicken’s Diet?
Yes, spinach leaves are good as a nutrient-rich snack and can be fed once a week to chickens. Despite the oxalic acid (which can be reduced by boiling spinach), these leafy greens have various health benefits.
Healthy growth, healthy feathering, and healthy eggs are possible when you offer a balanced diet to your chickens. Other leafy greens are also good for chickens, though kale can also cause calcium deficiency like spinach.
Chickens peck at raw fruits, fresh fruits, leaves, and any other foods you give them. It’s up to you to ensure that they eat only a few leaves of the leafy greens to avoid health ailments.
Chickens eat spinach, leafy greens, and other vegetables. Just make sure to feed spinach treats more than once a week. Also, don’t feed chicken food that is old, moldy, or gone bad. No processed foods with preservatives either. What’s not good for you is not good for your chickens in this case.