Cinnamon is a fragrant spice most commonly associated with autumn and the holiday season. Aside from adding a deeper flavor to desserts and drinks, it also contains several health benefits. This spice is great for humans but can chickens eat cinnamon? You’ll find the answer and a lot more in this article.
What is cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a reddish-brown spice loved for its sharp yet sweet fragrance. It comes from the bark of evergreen trees that belong to the laurel family. It is usually added to sweet dishes such as bread, pies, and pastries.
It also adds an exciting flavor to savory meals like vegetable hash and soups. You can also make your coffee, hot chocolate, and tea taste more festive by sprinkling some cinnamon.
What are the varieties of cinnamon?
The most common cinnamon used in North America is Chinese cinnamon which came from the bark of the Cinnamomum aromaticum tree. This variety comes from China, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Uganda. It has a richer flavor than the true cinnamon, which earned it the name “bastard cinnamon.”
Another kind, the Ceylon cinnamon, is commonly grown in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, Brazil, Vietnam, and Madagascar. Its color is slightly lighter than the Chinese cinnamon. The bark consists of several thin layers, unlike the other variety, with only one strip of coiled bark. This “true cinnamon” is soft enough that you can pulverize it in a coffee grinder or food processor.
What is the taste of cinnamon?
This ancient spice has an aromatic scent that enhances its sweet and warm flavor. It has a unique aroma and taste from 80 aromatic compounds, including cinnamaldehyde. With its floral notes, Ceylon cinnamon has a milder flavor than Chinese cinnamon.
Can chickens eat cinnamon?
Yes, chickens can eat cinnamon. It can be good for them if given in moderation. If you have leftovers that contain this spice, don’t hesitate to feed them to your chickens.
Can chickens eat powdered cinnamon?
It won’t be a good idea to serve your birds powdered cinnamon. They may not enjoy its texture and intense flavor. The ideal method is to mix it with their food or cook it with cinnamon.
Can I give cinnamon rolls to my chicken?
There may be instances when you have leftover cinnamon rolls that you want to give to your chickens. While cinnamon, in general, is suitable for your chickens, the sugar content of cinnamon rolls is not safe for your pets. Too much sugar can cause diarrhea and discomfort to your flock. It can also mess up their digestive system or lead to unnecessary weight gain.
The chickens would not even enjoy feasting on the cinnamon rolls as much as people do. They do not have the same taste receptors as humans, so they can’t taste the sweetness of the bread or the unique flavor of the cinnamon.
If you have extra cinnamon rolls and don’t want to waste them, you can still give them to chickens. However, you need to ensure that you remove as much sugar as possible. Please scrape off the frosting and the glaze. Then, chop the rolls into manageable pieces. Give this food only as a rare treat and opt for healthier options such as grains and vegetables instead.
How healthy is cinnamon to chickens?
Cinnamon is beneficial to humans, but is it healthy for chickens? The answer is a resounding yes. Cinnamon offers the following benefits to your birds.
1. It can guard against respiratory infections.
The winter months can be difficult for chickens since they are more susceptible to respiratory ailments. The cold and damp weather makes them more prone to bacterial infections that can harm their lungs. Cinnamon can fight off not only diseases but other breathing issues as well. It can also help treat coughing, nasal congestions, and cough.
This video shows some of the most common bacterial infections in chickens.
2. It is a potent blood-thinning agent.
Cinnamon is a potent blood thinner that can help the chicken’s circulation. It enables the blood to flow correctly to the wattle, feet, and comb, protecting them from frostbite.
3. It is a powerful antioxidant.
Chickens and other pets will not get sick quickly if they have an abundant supply of antioxidants. These antioxidants can prevent harmful free radical molecules from forming inside your chicken’s body.
4. It contains anti-inflammatory substances.
The anti-inflammatory compounds of cinnamon aid in the overall health of your flock. It reduces swelling and other negative symptoms such as neurological disorders.
5. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Experts have proven that cinnamon can slow down or stop the growth of several bacteria that can cause severe infections. The disease-causing bacteria that cinnamon can inhibit include E.coli, streptococcus, listeria, and salmonella.
On the other hand, cinnamon also contains antifungal substances that can inhibit the growth of several fungi, such as Candida albicans.
6. It improves gastrointestinal functions.
Adding cinnamon powder to your chicken feed can help them digest and absorb the nutrients in their food better. It also helps their stomach utilize their feeds and enhances the activity of their gut flora, resulting in improved immunity.
7. It can help repel red poultry mites.
Cinnamon can help prevent red poultry mites from irritating your flock. Drop some cinnamon essential oil into a spray bottle and apply it to their shelter. You won’t have to worry about harming your chickens with toxic insect repellants.
The US Department of Agriculture lists the following nutrients found in one teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
|Nutrient||Amount per teaspoon|
|Total sugars||0 grams|
|Total fats||0 grams|
|Dietary Fiber||1 gram (4% daily value)|
|Calcium||26 mg (2.6 % daily value)|
|Magnesium||2 mg (0.5 % daily value)|
|Potassium||11 mg (0.23% daily value)|
|Vitamin K||1 microgram (1.22 % daily value)|
|Vitamin A||8 international units (0.16% daily value)|
|Phosphorus||2 mg (0.2 % daily values)|
How can I prepare chicken food with cinnamon?
How do I give cinnamon to chickens?
Feeding your chicken with food sprinkled with cinnamon can be good for them. However, it is unnecessary to add it to every food you serve your pets. As with any chicken-friendly herb or spice, moderation is always the key.
The ideal way to introduce this spice to your pets is to mix it with their food or treats. Serving cinnamon-flavored food no more than two times a week would be best for their health. Exceeding the recommended limit may do more harm than good.
It would be best to mix the cinnamon with the poultry feeds or treats instead o giving the bark or the powdered versions. Your chicken will find it challenging to eat and digest cinnamon in its raw form.
To give you an idea, here’s a recipe for a snack made more delicious and nutritious with cinnamon. Your roosters and hens will be excited to have them as a treat.
Homemade Chicken Feeds with Cinnamon
- Baking pans
- Kitchen scale
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Large spoon or spatula
- 500 grams chicken scratch ( a mixture of barley, oats, rolled corn, wheat, sunflower seeds, and millet)
- 500 grams of chicken layer pellets
- 2 cups mealworms
- 375 grams black oil sunflower seeds
- 250 grams flour
- 250 grams rolled oats
- 250 grams unshelled peanuts for birds
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper
- 8-10 crushed eggs, shells included
- 1 cup liquefied coconut oil
- 2 cups molasses
- Dunk all dry ingredients in the bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Pour in wet ingredients and mix until desired consistency.
- Spray cooking oil on the baking pans.
- Add the mixture to the pan and press down to make it even.
- Bake the treats for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Celsius.
- Remove pans from the oven and flatten the mixture.
- Pop it again in the oven and cook for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the cooked treats from the oven and allow them to cool before serving to your flock.
This homemade snack is a healthy option for your chickens. It can be prepared beforehand and stored until you’re ready to feed them to your pets. Your chickens will love munching on these treats and will keep them busy for a long time. It also contains several spices that can provide a world of benefits.
You can buy the raw materials in bulk to save money and store them in a cool, dry place. Having nutritious food on hand will take the stress away from raising chickens.
Please watch this video to learn more about other vegetables and herbs to feed your chickens.
So, can chickens eat cinnamon? They surely can! This fragrant spice can boost your pet’s immune system, enhance their gut health, and improve their respiratory functions. It will help if you give this spice in moderation to ensure that your birds can safely enjoy its health benefits.
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.