Yes, chickens can eat asparagus. Asparagus is a great source of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrition. You can feed it to them raw or cooked, either way they’re going to gobble it up.
Is Asparagus Healthy for Chickens?
Just like most vegetables – there are some exceptions that I go into later – asparagus is packed with good nutrition and makes for an excellent supplement to their commercial feed.
Chickens have different dietary requirements from us. They can’t live on healthy fruits and vegetables alone, but they do help add some variety to their diets.
As long as your flock is getting at least 90% of their diet from a good commercial feed, you can be sure they’re getting all the important nutrition they need.
Good foods like asparagus are fun to feed to chickens and provide some additional nutrition.
How to Feed Chickens Asparagus
You can feed asparagus to them either raw or cooked, it’s up to you. Obviously, it’s a lot harder raw, so you might need to break it up for them.
They tend to peck away at it and break it up pretty well in my experience though. Most people just hold out a piece and let their chooks chip away at the head.
Then you can just leave the stems on the floor and let them take what they want. If you’ve left anything in a chicken run before you’ll know all too well that they’ll take everything they want.
Foods Chickens Should Not Eat
As I’ve explained, asparagus is fine, as are most vegetables. There are some foods that are toxic to chickens though, some of which might come as a surprise.
Here are some of the more common foods that you should never give to your backyard friends:
Chocolate – One of my favorites, so I’m happy to keep it to myself. Jokes aside, a couple of compounds called theobromine and caffeine found in chocolate is harmful to chickens, cats, dogs, and some other pets.
Raw Beans – Undercooked or raw beans are potentially fatal to chickens, even in small doses. Beans have to be properly boiled to destroy the harmful lectins before eating.
Tea and Coffee – Seeing as tea and coffee also contain caffeine, and coffee contains theobromine, it’ll come as no surprise that these are also toxic to chooks.
Green Tomatoes and Potatoes – It’s commonly known that potatoes can be toxic to chickens. The facts are, however, that it’s only when potatoes and tomatoes are green that they’re harmful.
When they’re green it’s a sign that they’re producing a toxin called solanine. They do this to ward off bugs from eating them, it’s powerful enough to affect chickens and us though so beware.
Avocado (Pit/Skin) – I love avocados, and obviously I don’t eat the stone or the skin – who’s tried? You need to be aware that you can’t give it to your chickens either as it contains a harmful toxin called persin.
Salty/Greasy Foods – Chickens don’t need added salt and greasy foods. They can cause some digestive issues and generally don’t provide enough decent nutrition.
Sugary Treats – Don’t give your flock sugary foods and soda drinks. They won’t benefit from them in any way, and will most likely have digestive issues.
Foods That Are Good for Chickens
If you’re wondering what else you can feed to your chickens, there’s quite the list. Here are some of the best foods to send their way:
Vegetables – Most vegetables are fine. As long as they’re fresh and healthy for us, they’re going to be good for your chickens. Some of the best are cabbage, broccoli, carrots, etc.
Fruits – Fruits contain a wide range of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and other good stuff. Most are fine for chickens, try them on berries, figs, melons, and bananas and I’m sure you won’t see any going to waste.
Grains – Oats are great as I’ve already explained, as are lots of other grains. If you want to make a feed or give you chickens something to scratch for try; wheat, rice, corn, cornmeal, etc.
Herbs – I love herbs. Some smell great and some have good wellness properties.
In Summary – Can Chickens Eat Asparagus?
Yes they can. Asparagus is a healthy snack food for chickens that they’ll be more than happy to see you waving in their direction.
Just remember that 90% of your chicken’s diet should come from a good commercial feed. Anything else you give them on top is just for fun and to add some variety to their diet.
As long as it’s safe, it’s fun feeding chickens different foods. If it’s nutrient-dense and healthy like asparagus, kale, and broccoli, even better.
5 Powerful Health Benefits of Asparagus You Probably Didn’t Know – EatingWell.com
Image credits – Header image by Capri23auto on Pixabay, asparagus image by Christine Siracusa on Unsplash.