5 Things You Should Know About Chickens and Rice

Chickens and rice are two things you would usually find on a farm. It’s not surprising to see them together, so it only seems right and logical to think that chickens can eat rice, doesn’t it?

If you’re thinking of introducing rice to your chickens, then we have all the information you need. Today, we’ll try to tackle that question and everything you might need to know about chickens and rice.

Here are five things you need to know about chickens and rice.

Can Chickens Eat Cooked Rice?

The simple answer is yes! Chickens can eat cooked rice.

Here are some chickens happily chowing down on some rice:

Looking at the components of rice, there is nothing there that could be labeled as toxic for chickens. In fact, it has some substances and minerals that are good for the little critters.

Not only does cooked rice offer some possible health benefits for your little critters, but most chickens would also consider it a tasty treat. As you can see from the video, the little fellas seemed to love it. Chances are, your flock would most probably love and thank you for it as well.

When the cold starts to kick in, it would be a good idea to offer your flock freshly cooked rice in the morning. It will surely wake them up, give much-needed heat, and be a hearty meal to start the day.

Something to keep in mind when cooking your rice is to avoid adding any seasoning. It might taste good to you, and your chickens may find it tasty as well, but this would introduce extra sodium into their diet. Despite its tastiness, sodium is not healthy for chickens.

Why is Sodium Bad for Chickens?

Why is Sodium Bad for Chickens

Sodium (which is found in sodium chloride, or what you already know as table salt) isn’t inherently bad for your feathered little friends. If anything, sodium is good for the avian body; it is essential for maintaining the birdy’s osmotic balance, facilitating muscle contractions, and regulating nerve impulses.

As you know, too much of anything (however good it may be) is harmful. And that rings true with sodium from table salt. We, humans, love it; it makes our rice tastier and our mouth water. But our bodies are much bigger than the chicken’s, and we can handle a lot more “sweet” sodium than the little friendly bird ever will.

In comparison to humans, chickens have a low tolerance for sodium. Their feathery bodies are not equipped to handle high quantities of this mineral. Too much sodium threatens the very peace that the right amount of the chemical promises to restore. Let me explain.

Enough sodium restores the bird’s osmotic balance (as I mentioned before). Crank up those sodium levels, and the mineral will tip the osmotic balance, leaving you a thirsty, dehydrated bird. And not only that, an off-the-rails osmotic balance can lead to damaged kidneys and other health complications.

On average, a chicken lives for five to seven years, though some can live up to 12 years or more under optimal conditions. Do not shorten that life by feeding them salty foods. Remember, what’s good for us may not be what’s good for the little critters.

Now that you know why salt is not good for little folks, it’s time to answer our next question.

Is Rice Good for Chickens?

can chickens eat raw rice

As stated earlier, yes, it is. Nevertheless, it must be given in moderation.

However, the amount or frequency of their rice intake and consumption shouldn’t be the only thing you should know. There are different types of rice, and having an idea of how much nutritional value each type holds is worth noting in order to create a better diet for your little critters.

Nutrition of 100g Rice



% Daily Value (DV)




28.7 g



2.36 g



0.19 g


Brown Rice

can chickens eat cooked rice

First on our grocery list is some brown rice. In terms of preference, it ranks higher than that plain white stuff. Plus, it hasn’t been processed much, so it still has all those nutrients (minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants) intact. Did I mention it even helps lower your risk of heart disease? Talk about bonus points!

White Rice

can chickens eat dry rice

And now to what you picture when somebody shouts “Rice!” White rice is pretty popular around these parts. But don’t forget, just because something’s common doesn’t mean it’s automatically healthy. In fact, sometimes, that extra processing can strip away some important nutrients. Don’t worry, though – it’s perfectly fine for your chicken buddies to snack on some white rice.

Just remember: the less processed a food is, the more nutritional value it typically retains.

Flavored Rice

feeding chickens rice

This third type is not really advisable for your chickens. Not only have the nutritional values been greatly reduced or removed, but large amounts of sodium have been added as well. If you have some of it among your table scraps, you can still feed it to your chickens. However, make sure they eat this type of rice sparingly.

There are many other types of rice out there (e.g., red, black, etc.), and we have only discussed some of the most common or readily available variants.

In general, you can feed your chickens rice. In moderation, it is healthy for the critters. However, if you wish to introduce different types of rice to your chickens, then it’s a good idea to check the nutritional value to know how much you should let your flock indulge in a particular type or if they should be allowed to eat it at all.

Can Chickens Eat Uncooked Rice?

can chickens have rice

Since we’re already talking about rice, let’s talk about uncooked rice, as it has been a somewhat controversial topic in the poultry world.

Many have said that uncooked rice is fatal for chickens. Supposedly, chicken consumption of uncooked rice would make them explode and would ultimately lead to their death.

This belief has even altered a long-held tradition. For years, it has been a tradition to throw rice at newlyweds as a wish for a good life. However, due to fear of harming chickens and other birds alike, rice has often been replaced with bird-friendly alternatives like birdseed.

The origin of this story is unclear, but this long-standing belief has been debunked as a myth. Multiple chicken keepers would also attest to how false this claim is. Today, many chicken owners and handlers, especially those living in places where rice is a staple, feed their flocks uncooked rice. You can check this forum out to read more about chicken owners’ opinions on the matter.

Furthermore, there is no science behind it, and studies have even debunked it numerous times. While Jim Krupa – a biologist and professor at the University of Kentucky – did not specifically use chickens for his experiment, he successfully disproved the claim. Read more about Krupa’s experiment here.

For one, chickens have an amazing digestive system. Regardless of how rice is prepared, these birds do a better job of digesting it. Additionally, while the scenario is theoretically possible, it is a process that needs time. Food is processed quickly through chickens.

With that said, yes, chickens can also eat uncooked rice! But how about their young?

Can Chicks Eat Rice?

do chickens eat rice

First thing first: Chicky babies aren’t quite ready for everything just yet. They might look like they’re growing fast, but they’ve got to take baby steps until their under-developed digestive systems catch up. So, no matter how much pressure they exert with their “feed me now” eyes, don’t go overboard on the treats! Wait out until later on down the road. Until then, stick to starter meals and feed recommended for chicks.

Delayed gratification is the name of the game. So, when is it safe to feed rice to chicks? People tend to disagree on this matter – some say go ahead and treat them to a bowl as soon as they hit six weeks, while others think it’s best held off until around the half-year mark.

Me? Well, seeing as how baby birds still got plenty more growing to do, why risk starting something that may cause problems down the line? Just stick to starter meals & feeds for now. Delay the rice introduction for as long as possible.

Furthermore, it’s not like you’re withholding heaven from them. As you will see in the video below, it seems they’re not as fond of rice compared to their older counterparts.

However, if you have to feed the younglings rice, ensure it’s cooked and that you only give minimal amounts (ideally, not more than a few bits).

Here, you can see some chicks eating some rice:

On that note, let’s answer how much rice the adults should have.

How Much Rice Can I Feed My Chickens?

Okay, you’re not supposed to feed your chicken seasoned rice; that much is clear. But how much rice is recommended for your chickens?

You have to be careful with giving too much rice to those lovely hens (remember, too much of something…). Sure, they might go crazy for a nibble, but you need to maintain a balanced diet to raise healthy birds.

So here’s the deal, just make sure rice isn’t replacing too much of their regular diet. Think of rice as a treat, a once-in-a-while indulgence, not the main course. Do that, and your feathered little friends will be fine.


Can chickens eat cooked rice? The answer is a definitive yes.

After a thorough analysis, we realized there’s nothing about rice that screams “deadly” or “fatal.” In fact, some components can actually be beneficial for chickens.

Now, here comes the interesting bit – contrary to popular opinion, rice is totally fine for birds to eat! Whether they munch on cooked or raw versions, there is no need to freak out. But before you start whipping up some fancy recipes, remember to keep salt levels low because those crystals can mess them up big time.

Now let’s chat about quantities and types. Go for the less processed options. As for the fancy seasoned varieties, maybe just stick to small portions if you have them.

As for tiny chickies, those little guys shouldn’t depend on rice alone for sustenance. Give it to them every once in a while, all in moderation and only after cooking.

We shouldn’t forget that rice does contain items that could be bad for chickens in large amounts – for example, sugar. Rice is a good treat to give to your chickens from time to time. However, it should not replace any essentials of your chickens’ diet. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

Chickens would most likely eat whatever you give them. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to learn more about what your chickens will eat. What goes inside your chickens contributes to what your chickens bring out, after all.

If you specifically want to know more about what types of rice you can feed your chickens, then you can head on over here to see the nutritional value of the other types of rice.


can chickens eat rice

4 thoughts on “5 Things You Should Know About Chickens and Rice”

  1. Living in Rice farming area our chickens eat rice straight from the field or from rice mills they lay great and put plenty of weight if you want to Bucher.l

    • Hi, so I’ve read it’s ok in moderation, what do consider moderation? Is it bad to give it to them every day with all the other mixture I add, such as spinach, cabbage, lettuce and mixed vegetables?

  2. So I be got layers for eggs..they are 120 so when can I feed them with rice at night or day…are they going to produce eggs if I give them rice


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