There are few ways to bond with our chickens more fun than feeding them treats, table scraps, and other foods they haven’t tried before.
If like me, you enjoy celery, you’re right to check can chickens eat celery before sharing some with them.
The good news is that chickens can eat celery. Furthermore, it’s packed with good nutrition and is good for them (in small amounts).
Here’s everything you need to know when it comes to feeding your chicks celery – as well as some other common table scraps:
Can Chickens Eat Celery Scraps?
Yes, the absolutely can.
This doesn’t mean they will eat celery if you give it to them though. Chickens can be picky about what they eat, especially certain vegetables that tend to be bland and not the easiest to eat.
Remember, chickens do not have teeth. They can’t break up celery, and it can be quite stringy and tricky to eat. They’ll have no issues digesting it, but if you hand it over in long string they might leave it.
Is Celery Healthy for Chickens?
Yes, celery is healthy for us and chickens. It’s low in calories and high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other good nutrition (source).
Celery actually has around 12 kinds of antioxidants, is rich in vitamins, A, B, C, and K, and best of all it is a source of calcium. Making it a great treat for laying hens needing a little extra calcium and goodness in their diets.
As long as it’s in date, you’re serving it correctly, and you’re not giving them too much, there are no downsides to sharing celery with your flock.
What About Stalks, Pulp, Stems, Leaves, Tops, and the Roots?
There is a general rule of thumb when it comes to feeding table scraps to your chicks; if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t give it to them.
If you have other parts of the celery plant you want to share with them, following this rule it’ll be fine.
In fact, the leaves contain the most vitamin C, potassium, and calcium so this part is even better for chickens.
The root, which is also known as celeriac, is also edible for us. It has a denser texture and is more starch, but tastes the same as the stalk if you want to try it.
As far as vegetables go, celery is one of the best. You can eat or share almost all of the plants if you’re growing it yourself.
How to Feed Celery to Chickens
Waving a stick of celery at your chickens isn’t how you feed it to them. Here is what I recommend:
Check It’s Good
First of all, check it’s still in date and fresh. Like I said earlier, you shouldn’t be feeding your chickens anything that you wouldn’t eat yourself.
This includes how fresh foods are, your chickens are not recycling dustbins for foods that you no longer want to eat. The toxins that grow on moldy foods are potentially very harmful to your flock.
Chop It Up
Celery is stringy, and without teeth to break and chew it up it can cause problems for chickens if given to them in long strands.
Chop it up sideways or dice it so it’s easy for them to peck at and eat. Once in their crop, it should be fine, along with grit they will be able to break it up further if needed.
Add it to Their Feed
Foods you’re chopping up into small pieces can easily get lost on the floor or degrade before being eaten. I like to add celery to their feed so I know they’re benefiting from it soon after having it.
Don’t Get Carried Away
If they are clearly enjoying eating celery, that’s great. Don’t get carried away and keep giving it to your flock though.
Keep rotating in different scraps for them to try. Also, remember the 90/10 rule, 90% of their diet should be formulated feed and only 10% should be scraps and treats.
In Summary – Can Chickens Eat Celery?
The short answer is – yes, chickens can eat celery. It provides some good nutrition, is easy to feed to them, and helps complement their overall diet.
All reasons why you should consider it if you have celery in your home. It’s best chopped up and added to their feed, but see what works best for you and your backyard flock.