Yes, baby chickens can eat oatmeal. Not only can they eat it, but they also should. Oatmeal is packed with good nutrition, can help clear up pasty butt, and is inexpensive and easy to feed to chicks.
Is Oatmeal Healthy for Baby Chicks?
Oatmeal is healthy for chicks, yes. It’s one of the better foods you can give them during the early stages of their development.
Boasting a wide range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other important key nutritional content that is important to growing chicks - it’s a no-brainer.
I’ve also read some studies that it can help prevent or clear up pasty butt, which is a common problem with chicks where droppings stick to their vent area.
Taking all of this into account with the fact that oatmeal is inexpensive and easy to prepare, it’s one of - if not the - best food to supplement a chick's starter feed.
How to Feed Chicks Oatmeal
Feeding chicks oatmeal couldn’t be any easier. They can eat it raw or cooked, but let’s be honest here, dry oats aren’t the most appealing.
So, even if you’re not going to cook them, I recommend adding some warm water at least.
I often eat oatmeal by soaking it overnight in milk, water, and even applesauce sometimes instead of cooking it - so it works for me too.
You can also mix some other foods in there that are good for chicks. Like little bits of fruit, for example. Kind of like serving up a nice bowl of healthy oatmeal for yourself, but instead you’re treating your chicks.
Place it wherever you keep them and just watch them peck away. I’ve never met a chick that didn’t like oatmeal, so I’m sure it will go down a treat.
Some Foods Chickens Should Not Eat
With chickens hungry to eat just about anything that gets in their way, you need to know what is potentially harmful to them.
This isn’t everything they shouldn’t eat, but covers most of the foods you’re likely to come across:
Chocolate - Chocolate is harmful to a lot of small animals and household pets. The scientific reason is that chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, two compounds that can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and worse in the long-term.
Tea and Coffee - Chickens aren’t known for enjoying a brew, which is a good thing as coffee also contains caffeine. Tea also has both the same harmful compounds as found in chocolate.
Related - Can chickens drink beer? (This’ll surprise you!)
Raw Beans - This often comes as a surprise, but lectins found in undercooked or raw beans are toxic, even fatal to chickens. Definitely one to be aware of if you grow beans.
Greasy/Salty Foods - While not toxic in the same way as the aforementioned foods, fatty junk food isn’t good for chickens. If you want your girls to lay big tasty eggs you should feed them quality nutrition.
Avocado Pits/Skin - The skin and the stone of an avocado contains a fungicidal toxin called persin. This toxin is harmful to chickens and other household pets, beware.
Green Potatoes/Tomatoes - Plants in the nightshade family, like potatoes and tomatoes, are able to produce a toxin called solanine. It’s present in these two when they’re green, but not when they’re ripe.
Some Foods Chickens Can Eat
It’s easy to feed chickens scraps, as I’m sure you’re very aware. You just need to be sure they’re safe for them to eat.
Here are some of the best foods to give your flock:
Grains – Grains make up an important part of chicken feed. Oats, wheat, rice, corn, cornmeal, etc are all fine. If you scatter then it gives your flock something to scratch around for too which they like.
Herbs - Chickens love herbs, and each herb contains its own unique wellness benefits. I recommend becoming familiar with herbs and seeing which you want to feed your flock.
In Summary - Can Baby Chickens Eat Oatmeal?
There you have it, oatmeal is one of the best foods you can give to your chicks as a treat to supplement their starter feed.
Who would have thought it? You can (kind of) share a bowl of oatmeal with your chicks in the morning if you like.
It’s not that far fetched. Oats and other grains are a staple in commercial chicken feeds, and due to the high nutritional value and low cost it’s a popular choice with backyard flock owners around the world.
Pasty butt: SIck baby chick symptoms and care - Purinamills.com
Image credits - Header image by Prince Abid, oats image by Melissa Di Rocco on Unsplash