Chickens can eat noodles, yes. Noodles come in many forms, from ramen to buckwheat, quinoa, and squash. But generally speaking, noodles are not toxic or harmful in any way, so feel free to give your hens some leftovers.
Are Noodles and Pasta Good For Chickens?
Noodles, pasta, and spaghetti are usually classified as being very similar, and in most parts of the world, they are.
Both noodles and pasta are made from some form of flour and egg or water. The main difference is that noodles are made from wheat flour, and pasta is traditionally made from durum wheat.
In terms of nutrition and whether or not noodles and pasta is OK for chickens to eat, the short answer is that they’re both fine in moderation.
I say in moderation because noodles and pasta do not provide the kind of nutrition that chickens need to maintain optimal health.
Chickens, and this applies to laying hens in particular, require a protein rich diet with some specific vitamins and minerals.
All of which is easily met by providing a good quality commercial feed.
Noodles and pasta are low in fibre and protein, and high in carbohydrates. while this doesn't pose a problem for chickens, as such, it's far from Ideal.
Effectively, it's similar to us eating junk food.
How to Feed Noodles to Chickens
Feeding chickens is never a difficult task as they're happy to tuck in to just about anything that’s edible.
You can feed them noodles either raw or cooked, it really doesn't matter. If you give them noodles raw, it's probably going to be a little bit easier for them to pick up and eat.
Don't worry about giving your hens hard foods, chickens have an internal organ called a gizzard that's perfectly capable of crunching up hard foods.
Related - Do hens have teeth? How chickens chew food explained.
Can Chickens Eat Ramen Noodles?
Japanese ramen noodles are popular due to being inexpensive and tasty. The difference between ramen noodles and regular instant noodles is that ramen noodles have a springier, stronger texture due to being made with a different base.
The nutritional value is slightly different from instant noodles, but in terms of whether or not you can give them to your chickens the answer is the same.
Ramen noodles are fine for chickens as an occasional treat (if you can call them a treat!).
Other Table Scraps and Leftovers Safe for Chickens
If you want to experiment with other table scraps and leftovers, the good news is that most foods are fine for chickens.
Here is a summary of some of the most popular and easiest foods to give to your chickens:
Fruits – Most fruits are also fine as they are typically nutrient-dense and packed with the good stuff. Try giving them some berries, figs, apples, bananas, etc.
Vegetables – Most vegetables are fine chickens. Things like yams, carrots, split peas, jicama, etc provide a nice range of nutrition.
Grains – I love feeding my chickens grains as it gives them something to scratch around for. You can feed your flock wheat, quinoa, corn, cereals, etc. as well as nuts like almonds, pecans, etc.
As you can see, most of the foods that are good for us and provide a good balance of nutrition are fine for chickens.
Just keep in mind the “90/10 rule”. This is the rule most chicken owners work to, which states that 90% of a chicken’s diet should come from their formulated feed.
The other 10% is open to other foods, which is a great way to bond with your chickens and provide some variety to their diet.
Potentially Toxic Foods You Should Avoid Giving to Chickens
It's more important that you are aware of the foods that are potentially toxic or poisonous for your flock, and some of these might come as a surprise.
According to the RSPCA and some other chicken welfare sites, the main foods you should avoid giving to your flock includes:
- Avocado skins and pits – there is a toxin present in these parts of this fruit
- Green potatoes and some nightshade foods – this family of vegetables also contain toxins (more about eggplant here)
- Tea and coffee – not like you’d offer your chickens a brew, but some people compost tea bags and coffee grounds in their yard
- Chocolate and foods with cocoa or chocolate in – chocolate contains compounds that are toxic to most pets
- Any moldy or spoiled foods – it’s tempting to use chickens as recycling machines for foods you don’t want, just make sure you only give them food you’d be willing to eat yourself!
- Candy and other sugary treats, soda, etc. – keep the sugary treats for yourself!
- Foods high in fat or salt, greasy fast foods, etc. – similar to sugary treats, fatty foods are bad for chickens’ digestive systems
This is not a complete list, so always err on the side of caution when feeding your chicken something new for the first time.
If you know that your chickens have eaten any of the above foods, try and get an idea of how much they’ve eaten and keep a close eye on them for the next 24-hours.
If you spot any signs that your chickens are not eating or drinking normally, are acting lethargic, or generally just not acting themselves, call an avian vet and seek professional advice.
Like a lot of human foods, noodles are fine for chickens and they certainly love eating them, but they don't provide much in the way of good nutrition.
As long as the bulk of their diet is coming from a formulated chicken feed, a few noodles here and there won't do any harm.
Image credits - Photo by Henrique S. Ruzzon on Unsplash