Chickens eat a variety of foods if given a chance. They also like to peck on green vegetables or plants when they walk around their space. Sometimes, it makes people wonder, can chickens eat cilantro? It’s edible for humans and used pretty much in every restaurant. What about chickens? Do they like these types of greens too?
This article will cover
- All About Cilantro
- Cilantro and Coriander, How Are They Different?
- Chicken and Cilantro Relationship
- Cilantro and The Good Things It Offers
- Preparing Cilantro For Your Chickens
- Other Herbs That Your Chickens Might Love and Enjoy
All About Cilantro
Cilantro. The word is very familiar, especially for people who like to cook. It can often be found in restaurants, too, as it accompanies a lot of dishes. Cilantro is an herb that’s from the coriander plant.
This herb comes from and is a member of the parsley family. In fact, cilantro is also called Chinese parsley and Mexican parsley. People often confuse the terms coriander and cilantro. So, which is which?
The two are from the same plant species called Coriandrum sativum. However, they are termed differently in different parts of the world.
- Asia – Chinese Parsley or coriander leaves
- North America – Cilantro (leaves and stalks)
- International – Cilantro is for leaves and stalks, while seeds are called coriander seeds.
Cilantro and Coriander, How Are They Different?
Aside from their names, these two are different in terms of other aspects too. For one, they are different in terms of their Nutritional Value. Despite being from the same species, they present and offer different nutritional help.
|Higher levels of vitamins and lower levels of minerals
|Lower levels of vitamins and higher levels of minerals.
|Aroma and Taste
|Cilantro as a herb is fragrant and citrusy.
|Coriander’s smell can be described as the following: nutty, warm, spicy and a little bit citrusy. It’s smell and taste is less polarizing.
|Uses in Cooking
|Cilantro leaves and its refreshing and citrusy taste is usually used as garnish in South American, Mexican, Asian, Thai, and Chinese dishes. It’s added fresh as a finishing touch before serving the dish
|Coriander has a warm and spicier taste. It is mostly used in dishes that has a kick of spicy or those that are all in all spicy!
- Rice dish
- Meat rubs
- Soups and stews
- Borodinsky Bread
- Dhana dal
As laid out by the table, these two herbs are quite different from each other. Thus, they are not the type of elements you can interchange in a dish. However, they can be called or labeled differently in different countries and places. So, it would be recommended that you do a little bit more research when you encounter it in an ingredient and etcetera.
Chicken and Cilantro Relationship
Since the preferences of people and animals differ, it’s reasonable to question if chickens also like cilantro. Even though they can eat cilantro, it’s essential to know whether they actually like it or not. Cilantro is an herb, and it has a noticeable scent that may or may not bother chickens. So, do chickens really like cilantro?
Chickens are known to like almost all types of food. From grains of wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables, and many more, chickens like to peck their way until they get their fill. Some foods repel chickens because of their smell or looks.
However, you have nothing to worry about when you have cilantro on your menu because chickens like cilantro! Not only are these herbs edible and loved by flocks, but they are also suitable for them. Cilantro provides good stuff for your chickens.
Cilantro and The Good Things It Offers
Chickens like cilantro. The relationship between them and this herb is not useless as cilantro actually provides them with good things that help in their overall well-being. Generally, herbs always have excellent and beneficial nutritional content for flocks. Here are some of the great stuff cilantro contributes to your chickens.
- Low in calories – Too many calories are bad for chickens. This is one of the causes of obesity in chickens, a common starting point for diseases.
- Vitamin A – Cilantro is rich in vitamin A which helps your chickens grow properly, keeping their reproduction and maintaining their epithelial cells (cells that lines the surface of their bodies like skin, digestive, respiratory, and reproductive tracts) in good condition. Vitamin A is also very helpful in improving their vision.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps regulate and keep the flock’s metabolism of amino acids and minerals in proper motion, working as they should. Vitamin C also helps strengthen their immune systems.
- Vitamin K – Vitamin K works in the fields involved in chickens’ clotting mechanisms. Thus, this vitamin helps them fight against coccidiosis. Vitamin K helps your chicken minimize/ eliminate the blood spots in their eggs, get rid of hemorrhages due to poor blood clotting, or in worst-case scenarios, failing to conduct the blood clotting process overall.
- Source of antioxidants – Having helpful antioxidants help your chickens maintain their good condition, become productive, and improve breeding performance for the case of breeders, layers, etc.
While cilantro is totally safe and healthy for your chickens to eat, it’s important to note that even these types of herbs have their limitations in your chickens’ diet. Cilantro is low in sugar and calories, and therefore it’s okay for your chickens to eat them on a daily basis.
However, it’s important to note that chickens also have their feed that should compose 90% of their overall diet. Herbs should not occupy more than 10% of your chicken’s diet. You can give your chickens cilantro two times a week, making room for other greens in their diet as well.
Preparing Cilantro For Your Chickens
You can give and prepare cilantro for your chickens in many ways. You can gather the herbs and give them to them by scattering some on the ground. This requires some aftercare, though. Be sure to clean up any extra cilantro on the ground after they have consumed their fill. This way, you can avoid rotting cilantro in their space.
One good way to feed cilantro to your chicken is by hanging them. Not only can your chickens have a little bit of exercise but also, the herbs can be distributed to them more fairly without the tendency for them to fight with each other. You can have different places where you hang them as well as enough piles for them to have their fill without trying to shoo each other out.
Having cilantro plants is also very useful for your flocks. Aside from avoiding the hassle of going to the market to buy some cilantro, it is also very good to provide your chickens with cilantro that is as fresh as possible.
Having a cilantro or herb garden can be beneficial, ensuring that they have access to the freshest herbs possible. This also gives flock owners easier access to complementary food that can help their chickens grow properly.
When buying from the market, the herbs should either be fed immediately after washing or stored in the fridge or in any cool environment. These steps will help the herbs stay fresh and retain as many nutrients as possible, even if they are being stored for later use.
Other Herbs That Your Chickens Might Love and Enjoy
Chickens love their greens! Here are some more of the herbs they love to peck on.
- Thyme – These herbs are rich in beneficial nutrients for your chickens too. Thymes help in improving the respiratory system of your chickens. This herb has antiparasitic and antibacterial properties too. These herbs are also not quick to get worse as long as stored properly. Therefore, this is one of the smart herbs to plant or buy.
- Mint – If you ever plan on planting herbs for your chickens, this one goes to the top of the list. Mint is helpful in many ways and is very easy to grow. Mint helps in lowering body temperature. They are pretty much good for your flock during the times of the year when it’s hotter. These herbs also help in keeping rodents and insects out of the vicinity.
- Oregano – Oregano also has antibacterial and antiparasitic properties, vitamins, antioxidants, and calcium. It helps strengthen their immune system and the respiratory system. With all this good stuff in a plant, oregano is also one of the herbs that’s easy to grow and propagate.
- Comfrey – This herb is one of the herbs with healing properties that help your chickens aid digestion. Comfrey is a perennial plant. Therefore, it’s sure to come back most times of the year.
Knowing all these herbs and many more that are good for chickens, the menu for your chicken friends has expanded and has become more diverse. Nevertheless, it’s essential to follow the right diet for them.
So, can chickens eat cilantro? They absolutely can! Not only that, but chickens also love cilantro. This means cilantro can now be added to the items you can incorporate into their diet. It’s good to provide variety to what your chickens eat. So, do not be afraid to do your research and add some food to your flock’s menu.
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.