Humans and other animals have been eating sweet potatoes for ages.
While it is absolutely safe for human consumption, the same isn’t true for all animals. But if you are asking can chickens eat sweet potatoes? Yes, they can!
Sweet potatoes are a healthy and nutritious treat for your backyard chickens.
Chickens love to eat this delicious sweet treat, and you can add this healthy snack to your flock’s diet. But if you think of adding the other type, the regular white potatoes, please don’t.
White potatoes are a part of the nightshade family, and they contain a toxic substance called solanine.
Sweet potatoes, however, do not have solanine hence are safe for chickens. More insight on feeding sweet potatoes to chicken is mentioned in the following paragraphs.
Do Chickens Like Sweet Potato Skins?
Yes, chickens like eating sweet potato skins.
I prefer to boil the whole sweet potato and give it to my flock. They enjoy munching on the sweet potato tuber with the skin.
You can peel off the potato skin and boil them separately. Either way, chickens would love to feed on them. But try to chop or grind the skins, which make it easier for chickens to swallow and digest.
Can Chickens Eat Sweet Potato Vines?
As opposed to the white potatoes, which are part of the nightshade family, sweet yellow potatoes are not a part of it.
Sweet potatoes are a part of the morning glory family.
Sweet potato stems, vines, leaves, and sweet potato peelings are safe for chickens.
So yes, chickens can eat sweet potato vines. They don’t contain any toxins and are absolutely safe to feed chicken sweet potato vines.
But you should refrain from feeding moldy sweet potatoes to chickens. They are not safe for the flock’s health and may cause infections.
Are Sweet Potato Leaves Safe for Chickens?
Yes, sweet potato leaves are safe for chickens.
As also said earlier, sweet potatoes and white potatoes are part of two different plant families. So sweet potato leaves are not harmful to chickens like the regular potato leaves.
Sweet potato leaves also have some amount of proteins in them, making them a healthy treat. However, you should not feed dried leaves of sweet potatoes. They are not safe for the bird’s digestive system.
Can Chickens Eat Raw Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, chickens can eat raw sweet potatoes.
The difference between feeding chickens raw sweet potatoes and cooked ones lies in the digestive ratio. The digestibility content in the body for raw sweet potatoes is 45 to 48%, and the same for cooked varieties is 60 to 65%.
Additionally, if you are feeding raw sweet potatoes, you should cut them into small chunks. Chickens don’t have teeth, and giving whole raw potatoes will create difficulty in eating and digesting.
You can also prepare raw potato peels. The thin slices of the vegetable will be easy to eat. If you plan to feed your chickens cooked potatoes, give them as it is. Don’t add salt, butter, or milk to the food. Simply place the plain boiled potatoes in front of your backyard chickens, and they would love eating them.
Do Chickens Get Any Nutrients from Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, chickens get nutrients from sweet potatoes.
Researches have shown that sweet potatoes are a rich source of nutrients for domestic animals and birds. Some of the key nutrients found in sweet potatoes are- vitamin, niacin, thiamin, ascorbic acid, starch, and riboflavin.
The roots, vines, leaves, and stems of sweet potatoes have fiber and fats. Sweet potatoes are a high-calorie food. They are high in fiber and protein and low in carbs. Also, the scratch present in sweet potatoes isn’t easy to break into sugars.
Additionally, decent amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D3, potassium, and beta carotene are present in sweet potato tubers, making it a healthy option for chickens’ diet.
Vitamin A is essential for a chicken’s growth. If your birds get sick, there are damages caused by infections, inflammations, etc. Vitamin A plays a crucial role in reviving or regenerating the flock’s health.
Vitamin A deficiency may also affect egg production. So it is essential to feed vitamin A rich foods like sweet potatoes to egg laying chickens. Similarly, vitamin D3 also is important for chicks growth and egg production.
Overall, if you see, sweet potatoes are safe and healthy for chickens. So as a chicken owner, you can definitely add sweet potatoes for a well-balanced diet. Raw yams provide important nutrients which are vital for chickens’ growth and development.