Can chickens eat cooked 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 you covered. 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.
However, something to keep in mind when cooking your rice is to avoid adding any seasoning. It might taste good for you, and it could possibly taste great for your chickens as well, but that would introduce extra sodium to your chickens. However tasty, sodium is not healthy for the critters.
Is Rice Good for Chickens?
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)
First up on the list is brown rice. It’s high up on the list and much preferred from white rice. It undergoes minimal processing, so it retains a lot of the good stuff such as minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
White rice is probably the most common type of rice out there. However, as you already know, it is not the most nutritious of all. It has been processed, so a lot of the good stuff has been eliminated or reduced during the procedure. While it’s not as nutritious as brown rice, it’s still safe to give to your flock. As you’ve probably realized by now, the less rice is processed, the more it is good for your chickens.
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?
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 good life. However, due to fear of harming chickens and other birds alike, rice was replaced with a supposedly more bird-friendly alternative.
We’re not sure where the story started, but this long-standing belief is nothing but 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!
Can Chicks Eat Rice?
The different body systems of chicks are not yet as developed as the adults, and therefore a balanced diet is integral in ensuring that they grow healthy. Starter meals and feeds would be best for your chicks. Treats and varieties should be put off for when they grow older.
Nevertheless, the answer to the question is yes, little chicks could eat rice. Not everyone agrees when the chicks should be allowed rice. Different people say different things. Others say that you could start feeding your chicks rice as early as six weeks, while others contest that you should wait as long as six months. For this reason, we would suggest the delay of giving your chicks rice as late as you possibly could.
Furthermore, you’re not withholding anything 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, in case you decide to give the little ones some rice, make sure it’s cooked and that they are only given a minimal amount. Ideally, they are not to receive more than a few bits. As stated earlier, their body systems are not yet fully developed. Their digestive system is not yet as strong and fast at processing food as adults are.
Here, you could see some chicks eating some rice:
On that note, let’s answer how much rice should the adults have.
How Much Rice Can I Feed My Chickens?
Even for adults, rice can only be considered nutritious for your chickens if maintained under a certain quantity.
As stated earlier, chickens should be given rice in moderation, which means that rice should not take over a large portion of your chicken’s diet. All the more, replace any essentials.
Your chickens will love rice, but make sure you watch and control how much of it they eat. It should remain as a treat. Make sure you keep it to a minimum, and only take around 10% of your chicken’s overall diet.
Can chickens eat cooked rice? The answer is a definitive yes.
Upon closer inspection of the food in question, it has no component that could be described as deadly or fatal. On the other hand, it contains elements that are considered good for chickens.
Contrary to popular belief, rice is safe for consumption for chickens whether it is cooked or uncooked. If you’re going to cook it, make sure to avoid adding extra sodium in the form of seasonings.
It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the quantity and type of rice you give your flock. Generally, the least processed ones are the healthiest, while the most seasoned ones are the most harmful ones.
Rice could be consumed by little chicks. However, it is not advisable to be part of their diet. If the little ones should consume rice, it should be cooked and given sparingly.
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.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken & Scratch.
4 thoughts on “5 Things You Should Know About Chickens and Rice”
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?
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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