Many people enjoy the taste of brussels sprouts, but does that mean the same for chickens? These leafy green vegetables are packed with all the nutrients that chickens need to grow healthy.
Do you want to know if chickens can eat brussels sprouts too? Continue reading here.
How Nutritious are Brussels Sprouts?
As we all may know, brussels sprouts are very nutritious. These nutritional powerhouses are packed with protein, fiber, manganese, and different kinds of vitamins that will help your chicken grow healthy.
If you want your chickens to produce quality eggs, you need to add manganese to their diet. Manganese is an essential nutrient that has a large effect on the thickness of an egg’s shell. It also helps eggs to develop properly.
In their early years, chicks will need a lot of protein to help them grow. Giving them Brussels sprouts, which contain protein, will help them develop properly throughout the years.
Although it may seem unnecessary, vitamin K is a great help when chickens have injuries. They make sure that a chicken’s blood will properly clot and won’t cause nonstop bleeding.
To keep your chickens healthy at all times, you need to include at least 10% fiber in their diet. This will help increase your chicks’ appetite and keep them healthy and peaceful. Letting your chickens eat brussels sprouts will improve their digestive system and blood sugar while reducing the risk of any heart problems.
Every chicken diet needs to have folate. This nutrient will help their feathers grow, increase their appetite and prevent them from developing anemia.
For young chicks, they find it hard to produce mucus in the early years. That is why it’s important to put them on a diet that is rich in vitamin A which can help their glands produce mucus.
If you want to know more about these nutrients, read it here.
Can Chickens Eat Brussels Sprouts?
Chickens are known to eat almost anything they’re given, including most vegetables and fruits. Giving them a nutritional diet can ensure their growth and health. Brussels sprouts, just like most vegetables, are healthy foods that you can feed to your chickens.
Most chick owners have questions with regard to what they can and cannot feed to their chickens. If you’re one of these people, check out the answer to your question below.
Can Chickens Eat the Stalks of Brussels Sprouts?
Chickens can eat the stalk of a Brussels sprout if it is cooked thoroughly to soften it. It will make the stalk softer and easier for chicks to eat. The stalk will help increase and maintain nutrients to the brussels sprouts which will be very beneficial for your chickens.
Can Chickens Eat the Leaves of Brussels Sprouts?
The leaves of this vegetable are packed with a lot of nutrients that can keep your chickens healthy and strong. Before feeding it to your chickens, make sure to cut it into tiny bite-sized pieces or cook it so that it will be easy for chicks to swallow.
How Should You Feed Brussels Sprouts to Your Chicken?
There are a lot of various ways in which you can feed brussels sprouts to your chicken. You can do it in an entertaining way and keep your chickens wanting more, or you can do it the old-fashioned way by serving it to them simply. There is a lot of options for you to choose from so go check them out.
Mixed with their regular feeds
If you want to add a healthy, nutritional boost to your chick’s regular feeds, mixing it with brussels sprouts is one good way. Just cut the sprouts into bite-sized pieces and mix them well into your chick’s feed. Your chicken can get twice the nutritional content in a single meal.
Cooked Brussels Sprouts
Humans cook brussels sprouts in many different ways such as roasted, braised, boiled, or stir-fried. Feeding these to your chicken won’t be a problem since the brussels sprouts would then be soft and easy for them to gobble up.
Just make sure to cut them all up in tiny pieces so that your chickens will be able to eat them easily. Don’t add too much salt to it because it can be unhealthy for chickens.
Raw Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are rich in nutrients, but they can lose some of that when cooked. However, raw brussels sprouts can be rough for chickens to eat. As long as it is chopped into tiny pieces, you won’t have a problem feeding raw brussels sprouts to your chickens.
Do you want a new and exciting way to feed your chicken? Then why don’t you try stringing the brussels sprouts? Your chickens will be intrigued by some sort of food hanging over them. It can also be quite entertaining to watch them peck the brussels sprouts from time to time.
Frozen in a Block of Ice
Worried that the summer heat might be affecting your chicks? Try feeding them brussels sprouts in a frozen block of ice. Make sure that the brussels sprouts are chopped already before letting them freeze in a block of ice so that your chickens can eat them.
Which Vegetables are Good for Chickens?
Now that we’ve covered everything about brussels sprouts and how you can feed it to your chickens, it’s time to find out what other vegetables are good for chickens. We prepared a list to help chick owners figure out which vegetables should they add to their chickens’ diet.
This leafy vegetable, a close relative to the brussels sprouts, is filled with the right vitamins and nutrients that your chicken has to have in order to grow. Chick owners can never go wrong with adding broccoli to their chick’s diet now and then.
Another great vegetable to feed to your chickens is carrots. If they’re chopped to the right size for chicks, they can gobble it up in no time. It’s an amazing snack that can keep your chicks strong and healthy. Just make sure to not feed them canned carrots as those are high in sodium content.
Rich in minerals, antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins, pumpkin is one of the best vegetables to feed your chick. While most of the nutrients they need can be supplied by their feeds, adding pumpkin to their diet can boost their health.
Cabbage is another leafy vegetable that’s packed with all the right nutrients that every chicken needs. The two most common kinds of cabbages, the green, and red cabbage, are both good for chickens so you don’t have to worry about feeding these to your chicks.
It’s better to feed your chicks with red cabbage because it has 10 times more Vitamin A than regular green cabbage. If you want to know more about chickens and red cabbage, you can check out this article.
Zucchini is a vegetable that has high water content. This food is very helpful, especially during the summer, as it will keep your chickens hydrated.
If you want something rich in carbohydrates, nutrients, and minerals, sweet potato is the one you’re looking for. This vegetable can help boost and improve your chick’s health while making them full and satisfied. The high carb factor can also boost your chick’s energy.
What Foods Are Not Good for Your Chicken?
In the last section, we talked about foods that are good for your chicken. Here in this part, we will talk about what’s not good for your chicken. The following foods and treats can be pretty harmful to chickens so make sure to keep an eye out and do not serve your chicks some food with these following items.
While there are a lot of benefits that come with feeding vegetables to your chicks, there are also some vegetables that are not good for them. Nightshade vegetables such as eggplant, chilis, peppers, and the green parts of tomatoes have toxins which can be harmful to chickens.
Chocolates and Candies
While humans enjoy eating chocolates and candies, the same cannot be said with chickens. These treats have ingredients that are toxic to chicks which can cause them harm so make sure they are not fed with any of these sugary treats.
Since chickens lay eggs for you, you shouldn’t feed them anything that you wouldn’t eat. That said, it’s important to not feed them foods that are already expired. Mold spores, which usually form on expired foods, are toxic to chickens and can instantly kill them.
Caffeine is toxic to chickens, so make sure to keep it away from them. If you’re the type of person who uses ground coffee or tea bags as a recycling unit for their compost pit, I suggest that you refrain from using them for as long as you have chicks.
In general, chickens can eat brussels sprouts, and it’s very beneficial for them. The nutritional content of this vegetable is enough to help chickens become stronger and healthier. Now that you know the answer to ‘Can chickens eat brussels sprouts?’, you can now give your chickens a healthy diet.
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 The Foundry.