It’s fun sharing table scraps, vegetables, herbs, and so on with chickens. Most of the stuff that’s good for us is also good for our chicks, too.
So, it’s a good way to recycle scraps and save wastage - while giving them a tasty treat.
Can chickens eat arugula? Yes, arugula is fine to feed to chickens. It’s a healthy and nutritious vegetable, and while the strong peppery taste isn’t for all chicks it’s a good treat.
What Is Arugula?
You’re forgiven if you don’t know what arugula is exactly. It’s not that popular, at least I rarely hear it being talked about or used where I’m from.
An interesting fact - arugula is a vegetable in the same family as kale, radish, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, and provides a lot of the same nutritional benefits as these healthy veggies.
I love making salads, so I’ll have some here now and then to try and keep my salads interesting. When I do, I usually spare some for the coop.
Will Chickens Eat Arugula?
This question always makes me smile. Because anyone who has backyard chickens will know all too well that it’s easier to ask what chickens will not eat, rather than if they will.
This being said, arugula is an interesting leafy green because it has quite a strong peppery smell and taste.
I’ve given it to chickens on a couple of occasions and they ate it up pretty quick, just as they would any leafy greens. Reading through some forum posts, however, not everyone can say the same.
Some owners said they think the smell was too strong. Their chooks would take a sniff, a little peck, then go on their way foraging for something better.
So, don’t be offended or think something is up if your chickens turn their noses up. It’s just one of those foods that come down to personal taste.
Is Arugula Healthy for Chickens?
According to WebMD, arugula is packed with loads of good nutrition for us, and most of this also applies to chickens.
It contains 0.7% fat, 3.7% carbs, 2.6% protein, and 27% sodium. Obviously the high sodium level is a bit of a concern, but perfectly fine in small amounts, you’ll be giving them.
It’s also rich in a range of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, like a lot of leafy greens. This is why greens are an easy and effective way to add loads of nutritional content into your chicks diets.
Just be sure to only give them a small number of leafy greens and vegetables each day. Table scraps and such should make up no more than 10% of their diet.
How to Feed Arugula to Your Chickens
When feeding any greens to chickens, the best way is to chop them up into little bite-sized pieces and either throw them in with their feed or scatter into their run.
As long as you’re cutting or tearing the arugula leaves into small enough pieces for them to peck on and leaving it where they’ll find it, you can be sure they’ll eat it if they want.
It’s also fun to hold bits of leaves and hand-feed chickens. It’s a good way to bond with your chickens and socialize them and something I do each day.
If your chickens are leaving it, it means they don’t like the smell or taste. Chickens are really clever when it comes to choosing what they eat, despite being such persistent foragers.
If you need any tips on how to feed herbs and other plants to your chickens, check out this video:
Other Leafy Greens That Are Great for Chickens
Keeping in mind that greens are treats and shouldn’t make up more than about 10% of their overall diet. Some of the most common veggies and herbs that are great for chickens include:
- Beet tops
When you start getting into the swing of feeding your chickens a more varied diet, you should start growing some greens in your garden.
This is an easier and less expensive way to keep the greens flowing. One thing to be careful about is letting your chickens have access to where the plants are growing. This is a quick way to get them stripped down and pecked away.
You’re better off snipping and handing over plant clippings when they’re ready. This way you can let your plants grow and keep them healthy.
On this note, this is also a good way to let your chicks clear your yard of weeds. Chickens will eat a lot of weeds and other plants we think of as weeds if you let them roam free.
Arugula is one of the leafy greens that are great for chickens and they’ll happily munch it up if you share some.
If you can spare some arugula or any of the other herbs and vegetables I’ve listed above, then you’re enhancing your chicken’s diet. This means happier and healthier chickens and tastier eggs. It’s win-win.