As a chicken owner, you must provide your chickens with foods that enhance their health, maximize their egg production and increase their meat. Celery is one of such foods, and your chickens can eat it. However, your chickens might turn up their noses at it, except you serve it more appealingly.
This article will cover
- Do Chickens Like Celery?
- 6 Benefits of Celery For Chickens
- 4 Tips For Picking Good Celery For Your Chickens
- 6 Other Vegetables You Can Give Your Chickens
Do Chickens Like Celery?
Celery is enriched with the vitamins and minerals your chickens need in the right quantities. However, since chickens are picky, it’s possible that they don’t eat it at first when you give them. Therefore, you have to find ways to make it more appealing. Below are some of the things to note about giving your chickens celery.
The leaves are the most nutrient-dense parts of celery. They are enriched with nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, etc. Besides, they are very juicy. Your chickens will love them.
Chickens can eat celery stalks. However, if you give them the stalks without cutting them up, they will only peck at them and leave them. For them to eat the stalks, you have to cut them into smaller sizes that each chicken can carry in its mouth.
Celery roots, also known as celeriac, are safe for your chicken. You can hang the turnip-rooted celery over in their pen for your chickens to peck at. However, ensure the roots have no growth on them.
In short, all parts of celery are suitable for your chickens. To make your chickens eat this goodness, below are some ways to serve it more appealingly.
Chop the Celery
Celery is stringy, and your chickens’ teeth aren’t strong enough to tear it into pieces suitable for eating and swallowing. Always chop whatever part of celery you’re giving to your chickens up. If you’re giving them the celery roots and you want them to peck at it instead of cutting it up, ensure the roots aren’t too stringy.
Mix With Other Foods
It might be difficult at first to get your chickens to eat celery. Chickens determine what they want to eat or not. However, if you want them to eat this healthy vegetable, mix the chopped pieces with their feed. This way, they’ll eat it, and you’ll also be preventing food wastage.
Celery has a high nutritional value, so you shouldn’t give your chickens too much. It’s not their feed; it’s a treat, which should only constitute 10% of their diet.
6 Benefits of Celery For Chickens
Celery is one of the vegetables that provide nutrients your chickens need. Besides, it is enriched with medicinal properties that fight diseases and keep your chickens in the right health condition. Below are some benefits of celery for chickens.
Celery is a low-calorie vegetable with a fiber that helps to reduce the low-density lipoprotein in the blood. Low-density lipoprotein, also known as bad cholesterol, causes many health issues in chickens ranging from fatty liver damage to sudden death syndrome.
It also causes cardiac problems, which are likely to kill your chickens. Regular but moderate consumption of celery will stabilize the cholesterol levels in your chickens.
Strengthens immune system
Enriched with vitamin C, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, etc., celery helps to boost the immune system. It strengthens it to fight against diseases such as colds, which chickens are prone to. It also prevents chickens’ organs from suffering from oxidative damage.
100g Celery Nutrition
Protects the liver
Celery also protects the liver by reducing the fat in it. Fat buildup in the liver isn’t good for chickens. Celery contains nutrients that help remove every toxin and fat from the liver.
Strengthens the gut
A healthy gut equals a healthy chicken. Celery contains nutrients that help the body produce enzymes that aid the digestion of food, cleanses and activates the gut when necessary, and deals with constipation, water retention, etc. In short, celery is a natural diuretic.
Protects against bacteria
Celery contains antibacterial properties which kill dangerous bacteria and encourages the growth of good bacteria in the body. Considering the fragility of chickens, they shouldn’t be exposed to harmful bacteria, primarily through feeding. However, in some cases, this is unavoidable. As such, you can include celery in their diet to combat this.
Due to its high moisture content, celery makes for a good source of hydration for your chickens. Staying hydrated is essential for your chickens, as dehydration can increase the chances of gut problems such as liver stones, uneasy bowel movements, etc. However, don’t overfeed your chickens with celery, as too much moisture can lead to health complications such as frostbite, especially in winter.
4 Tips For Picking Good Celery For Your Chickens
Just like other perishable items, celery becomes unsafe to eat once it stays past its shelf life. Giving your chickens that type of celery only harms them. If you need help with choosing the right celery, below is a guide for you.
The leaves should be vibrant green. The stalks should be green, too but aren’t always as green as the leaves. There should be no browning or yellowing on any part of the celery. Discoloration indicates that the celery has expired and should be thrown out instead.
Thick and crisp stalks
Celery stalks should be thick, firm, and crisp. You can test their crispness by breaking them into two. If they break easily, they’re good. If they don’t, the stalks are probably rubbery and aren’t suitable for your chickens. They will find it challenging to munch on rubbery celery stalks. If you’re buying a bunch of celery, check for thin stalks in the middle. Also, check the undersides of the stalks for insect damage.
If you want insect-free celery, go for the organically grown ones. They are safer to eat and have more nutritional value than the ones grown with chemicals. To be sure of what you’re feeding your chickens, you can decide to grow celery by yourself or buy from a reliable, local farmer.
In addition, organic celery tastes better and is likely to be more appealing to your chickens. If you’re considering growing celery, you need to know that celery needs direct sunlight and plenty of water. You have to keep the soil enriched with compost and water. Celery is pretty easy to grow, so there are fewer chances of plant diseases.
It’s likely your chickens won’t eat all the celery you buy at once. You can store the remaining for later use. Celery can stay up to four weeks when you refrigerate it properly. But it shouldn’t be frozen as frozen celery gets mushy when it thaws. Wash and dry the stalks before refrigerating. You can put them in an aluminum foil or Ziploc bag before you put it in the fridge.
6 Other Vegetables You Can Give Your Chickens
Celery isn’t the only nutritious vegetable your chickens can eat and enjoy. There are other vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, etc. Whatever vegetable you give your chickens, make sure it is in the best condition.
Cucumbers have high moisture content, so they are good sources of hydration, especially during the hot season. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce any swelling on your chickens’ bodies, high fiber content that prevents constipation, vitamin A to help enhance the immune system, and vitamin K to make your chickens’ bones strong.
Chickens love to eat carrots also. You can serve them raw or cooked. Carrots contain vitamin B6, K1, and A, biotin, glutathione, and potassium. The vitamins help your chickens to stay active, improve their bone health and regulate their blood coagulation. Glutathione improves liver health, while biotin aids metabolism. However, don’t give your chickens canned carrots because of their high salt content.
Cabbage is another excellent vegetable you should give your chickens. It is enriched with magnesium, calcium, potassium, and other nutrients which prevent indigestion, maintain a healthy gut and safeguard your chickens’ health. Besides, cabbage is succulent and makes for a tasty treat.
Asparagus comes in three different varieties: white, purple, and green. It is rich in folate, vitamin K, riboflavin, iron, zinc, etc. It boosts cell growth and other essential processes in the body. It also protects your birds from oxidative damage.
Considered one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables, kale contains copper, manganese, potassium, vitamins, etc. It is rich in antioxidants and helps to lower cholesterol levels. Its high vitamin C content promotes collagen synthesis in your chickens.
Pumpkins aren’t only one of the chickens’ favorite treats; they are also medicinal and entertaining. For instance, you can place a pumpkin in the coop for your chickens to peck at. This will keep them busy and reduce the noise they make, giving you some peace.
Pumpkins have vitamin A which regenerates cells, vitamin B to aid metabolism, zinc to enhance egg production, and potassium to help your chickens survive hot seasons. You can also give your chickens either dried or fresh pumpkin seeds.
Chickens can eat celery if it is well-presented to them. Originally, celery has a bland taste, but if you mix it with their feed or other tasty treats, your chickens will eat it. Considering its high nutritional value, you can make celery a vital part of your chickens’ diet. However, this should be done in moderation
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.