Some people like to eat Okra, and some do not because they lose their appetite taking into account its slimy texture. If some people who dislike Okra exist, then how about animals? Can chickens eat Okra? It would be nice to know if they can.
This article will cover
- What is Okra?
- Can your chickens eat Okra?
- Nutrients found in every 1 cup of Okra at 100g
- Can your chickens eat the pods, seeds, and skin of okra?
- Is Okra Good for my chickens?
- How do you feed your chickens Okra?
- How much Okra should you feed your chickens?
What is Okra?
Okra is famous and described to be a green, finger-like bristly vegetable. Its name varies in each country. Okra, or otherwise known as the ladies’ fingers, gumbo, bendi, or ochro, is more prevalent during the summer season. Hence, it is harvested mainly during the warm season but can be regarded as an all-year-round vegetable.
Okra is just a young pod of the seed of the okra plant or scientifically known as Abelmoschus Esculentus. We have mentioned that this fleecy green vegetable is often harvested during the warm season. It is mainly seen in hot countries that are almost humid throughout the year. Amongst all countries with humid weather and most of it is Asian countries, India is an outstanding producer of this plant.
Even though people dislike Okra due to its slimy texture, it is one of the favored vegetables to most counties in the Southern part of the United States, other parts of the Middle East and Africa, South America, and the Caribbean, to list a few.
To make things clear, Okra has only been deemed a vegetable when it comes to culinary matters. However, it is considered a fruit for botanical purposes because it is the plant that carries the seed.
Can your chickens eat Okra?
If you are hesitant to feed Okra to your backyard chickens, then we are here to take away your worries. Okra is deemed to be one of the safe organic foods to feed your chickens. So yes, definitely your chickens can eat Okra. However, the only concern you need to look out for is not to include it as part of their primary diet.
Despite the fact it is rich in nutrients, Okra still contains a low solanine level. However, Solanine is a toxin compound that prompts health issues to your poultry. Hence, to avoid future health concerns, it is necessary to feed them Okra moderately.
Nutrients found in every 1 cup of Okra at 100g
Similar to zucchini and cauliflower, Okra is also abundant in nutrients. Protein makes Okra a superb food that is safe for your chickens mainly because it is a nutrient that is scarce to any other vegetables and fruits that can be fed to chickens.
Apart from the vitamins mentioned above and minerals, Okra is also rich in niacin, phosphorus, iron, and copper our body demands. Moreover, it is one of the excellent vegetable supplies of antioxidants that help counterbalance the free radicals we have in our bodies.
Out of all the nutrients found in Okra, there are some vitamins and minerals that stand out the most with various benefits:
Similar to humans, chickens, too, need various nutrients for them to stay healthy. One of those is Vitamin A. It is essential to improve vision, reproduction, as well as the immune system. In addition to this, it also helps internal organs to do their responsibility and work properly to keep the body host healthy. Vitamin A deficiency may lead to vision impairments and medical concerns such as Xerophthalmia, infectious coryza, and a lot more. Though Xerophthalmia is a rare occurrence in commercial poultry, it is then very prevalent in backyard poultry.
Watch the video below to learn more about the infectious coryza
Chickens need just as much Vitamin B6 to help improve their brain development and metabolism. Some signs of Vitamin B6 deficiency include reproductive health issues, metabolism concerns, and partial molts.
Vitamin C, widely recognized as ascorbic acid, typically operates as the antioxidant that helps in protecting cells against free radicals that result in any damage. It also promotes growth and serves as a repair for all tissues found in our body. Enough supplies of vitamin C are also beneficial to your chooks, especially when they are distressed.
Vitamin K has multiple responsibilities, including the normal regulation of blood clotting and helps keep the bones healthy. It is necessary to synthesize prothrombin. Vitamin K will help prevent chickens from bruises or, worse, lead them to their death due to excess bleeding. Thus, vitamin K deficiency symptoms cause chickens to suffer internal bleeding.
Can your chickens eat the pods, seeds, and skin of okra?
Feeding your chicken okra will not take much of your time to prepare because all of it is edible and is safe for your poultry; the seeds, pods, and the leaves. Okra pods, especially compact ones, are preferred because they can be easily digested compared to the bigger ones. After all, the risk of choking is relatively high. In addition to that, okra pods are where most nutrients are found.
Apart from the pods, the seeds can also be fed to your chickens. Your chooks will never find it difficult to eat the okra seeds because it is the smoothest part. Moreover, it is also rich in nutrients and can be fed in various ways. Due to its texture, it can be mixed with the chicken pellets. Moreover, you can do the same for the skin part of the Okra.
Thus, Okra is rich in nutrients in general. Make sure to feed your chickens fresh okras because the nutrients in them are at their peak. So in case, you grow some okra in your backyard, provide your chooks the moment you harvest your Okra.
Is Okra Good for my chickens?
Much like all the other fruits and vegetables, Okra is packed with various nutrients and is considered one of the safe organic foods fed to poultry. Although chicken owners may only feed commercial chicken pellets to the chooks as they already have the essential nutrients, it is not restricted to just that. It is always a great idea to include some vegetables and fruits in their whole, healthy diet.
Some health benefits of Okra to the chickens include
1. Improvement in the digestion process
Okra is rich in dietary fiber. It helps in hindering constipation your chickens may suffer, and it also helps in promoting a regular bowel movement. Therefore, your chickens will easily digest the food they take, having it move conveniently throughout the digestive tract of the chicken.
2. Improvement in vision
Like us humans, chickens are prone to blindness and vision impairment when they are vitamin A deficient. Therefore, feeding chickens okra also serves them the amount of Vitamin A their body needs, helping them have a better visual, especially in the darkness.
3. Helps boost the immune system
Okra also has a high volume of antioxidants that helps in preventing the free radicals from destroying the body cells. Thus, it assists in restricting future illnesses and diseases your poultry might suffer.
Learn how to treat your chickens just in case they get sick:
How do you feed your chickens Okra?
Okra can be fed to your chickens whether it is raw or cooked. Although you can give it as is, they may find it challenging to peck on because of its hard external texture, which is the same when cooked. Therefore, assure that you will dice it to pieces before giving it to them.
Another way to feed Okra to your chickens is to mix commercial chicken pellets with a salad and then place it in a feeder. Chickens do not choose what to eat and will eat whatever you give them, so make sure that you serve them Okra that is already diced to prevent choking.
How much Okra should you feed your chickens?
It is already mentioned that chickens should only moderately eat Okra. Therefore, you can feed them a few times a week. Apart from Solanine, Okra also consists of fructans that could lead to gastrointestinal problems for your chickens. If you notice that your chickens have been suffering from diarrhea, it may be because you have fed them an excessive amount of Okra.
The response to the question “Can chickens eat okra?” is undoubtedly a yes. Therefore, together with zucchini and cauliflower, we can now include them in our list of fruits and vegetables that are safe for chickens to eat. However, it is not recommended to have Okra as part of their staple diet.