Can chickens eat Brussel sprouts? Are they healthy for chickens? Do they like the taste (lots of people hate sprouts, but I love them)?
If you want to know the answers to these questions and learn more about what backyard chickens can and can’t eat, please read on:
Do Chickens Eat Sprouts?
I can’t speak on behalf of every chicken, but I can tell you from my experience that chickens love Brussel sprouts.
Chickens like eating most vegetables, as well as fruits… scraps ….treats, etc. If you have chickens, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The important thing to know is that sprouts are fine for them to eat. So, go ahead and see if your flock like them if you have some.
Are Sprouts Good for Chickens?
Yes, Brussel sprouts are nutritional powerhouses.
They’re packed with great nutrition that both us, and chickens can benefit from. They are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
All the important stuff to ensure your chickens are getting some variety in their diet and a boost to their immune system.
Can Chickens Eat Brussel Sprouts Raw?
It’s perfectly fine to feed them raw sprouts, but they’re pretty tough when raw.
The best option is to feed them some leftovers when you’ve cooked them. Although, chopping up raw sprouts is fine too.
Chickens aren’t that picky when it comes to eating, as I’m sure you know. As long as they don’t pose a choking hazard or causing a blockage in their crop, they’ll gobble them up.
Other Vegetables That Are Good for Chickens
Brussel sprouts aren’t the only vegetable that is great to feed to your flock. Here are some other nutritious veggies to spare their way next time you have some:
Cabbage – I wrote about how much my chickens love red cabbage here.
Broccoli – A superfood that’s packed with good stuff, you can’t go wrong giving them some broccoli.
Pumpkin – Pumpkins are great for chickens, and easy to feed too as you can just slice the top off and let them tuck in.
Sweet Potatoes – A bit tough raw, I boil mine to soften them up.
Spinach – More leafy greens that are great for chooks.
Zucchini – A nice water-dense vegetable that’s easy to eat and provides some moisture when it’s hot out.
Carrots – Never given mine carrots personally, but I hear from other owners they get gobbled up pretty quick.
Onions – They can make your hen’s eggs taste different – of onion – but still a healthy treat for them.
Some Foods You Shouldn’t Give to Your Chickens
OK, so chickens eat just about anything, we know that.
For this reason, it’s important you are aware of the foods that you shouldn’t let them get their beaks into.
Here are some of the more common foods that are potentially toxic or harmful to chickens:
Chocolate and Sugary Treats – Remember, they’re not kids, keep the candy and chocolate for yourself. Chocolate, in particular, contains compounds that are toxic to chickens too, so don’t share.
Coffee and Tea – I’m not thinking you’re going to be taking them a cup of morning coffee out or anything like this.
This is for those who recycle coffee grounds and tea bags in their composting pile. Caffeine is toxic to chickens and can cause them some serious health issues.
Nightshade Vegetables – I covered a lot of the good vegetables above, this group of vegetables are on the bad list.
Some are safe, which makes it more confusing. Such as parts of bell peppers, white potatoes (not the green bits), and tomatoes, but not the leaves or plants.
It’s best to double-check before giving your flock any vegetables, especially if they’re part of the nightshade family; so peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, some chilis, etc.
Moldy Foods – It’s always tempting to give foods that are a little past their best to chickens, but this isn’t a good idea.
First of all, you shouldn’t give them anything you wouldn’t eat. They’re your precious egg-laying friends, not living dumpsters.
Plus, mold spores are toxic to them. The food might not be moldy when you put it out, but if it’s past its best it might turn moldy overnight if left.
In Summary – Can Chickens Eat Brussel Sprouts?
Yes, chickens can eat Brussel sprouts. In fact, they are one of the best vegetables you can give them as they’re packed with good nutrition.
Personally, because I love the taste of them I’ve never understood why they get such a bad rap for tasting bad. If you’re one of those people who don’t like the taste, you know what you can do with your sprouts now!
Benefits of Brussels sprouts – Healthline.com
Image credits – Header image by Kim Gorga, sprout image by Keenan Loo on Unsplash