Chickens can eat rose petals, yes. Rose petals are just one of the many flowers and plants that chickens will eat given the chance. Chickens eat a lot of vegetation in the wild and can get some decent nutritional content from plants.
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Are Rose Petals Good for Chickens?
Roses are one of the oldest flowers in the world and have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
While the same medicinal uses do not apply directly to chickens as they do to us, they're still great for chickens.
According to WebMD, rose petals are a good source of vitamin A, C, and E, as well as iron and calcium, and have antioxidant properties.
All decent nutrition for your chickens, and the reason why they choose to graze on them if available.
Keep in mind that chickens have done a good job of surviving in the wild for tens of thousands of years, they tend to know what they should or should not eat (generally speaking).
You should also be aware that there are more than 100 species of rose. I could not find any evidence that any of them are poisonous, but it's worth identifying what type of rose you have in your garden
Can Chickens Eat Rose Hips?
If you have rose bushes you may have seen the round, seed-filled bulbs beneath the petals, these are called rose hips.
Rose hips are also fine for chickens to eat. This part of the rose plant is also rich in nutrients and is used in a number of health and beauty products.
I just leave them there on the bush, and if chickens choose to eat them then so be it.
How to Feed Rose Petals to Chickens
Ideally, your chickens will have free-range roaming privileges and the ability to pluck some rose petals themselves without destroying your plants.
Even better, as rose petals are prone to falling off, your chickens might help by clearing them up for you.
Other parts of rose plants can be eaten. But the stalks are covered in thorns, so you do have to be careful just how much of your rose bushes your chickens are able to get a hold of.
As long as the petals are free from pesticides and not turning bad, adding a few into your chicken’s diet should only have positive effects.
Can Chickens Eat Store Bought Roses?
Chickens can eat store-bought roses, yes. I would be cautious though, as a lot of store-bought flowers are treated with pesticides and other chemicals to enhance their colors.
If you're thinking about recycling your flowers or reducing waste by giving them to your chickens instead of throwing them out, that's not a good idea.
What Flowers Do Chickens Like to Eat?
Some of the flowers and plants that chickens like to eat - and more importantly are safe for them - are:
- Dandelions, dock leaves, and other weeds.
Obviously, this is not a complete list, but it covers a lot of the flowers and plants most backyard chickens are going to come across.
What Flowers Are Bad for Chickens?
It’s more important that you’re aware of plants (and foods) that are potentially toxic or poisonous to chickens.
As I mentioned earlier, chickens are pretty smart when it comes to knowing what they should eat, but there's always a risk that they will eat something that's poisonous to them.
Again, this is not a complete list so you should always be cautious when introducing chickens to new plants.
But here are a list of some of the flowers and plants that are known to be toxic to chickens and should be avoided:
- Jimson Weed
- Trumpet Vine
- Morning glories
Feeding Backyard Chickens Balanced Diet
Providing a well-balanced diet for backyard chickens is pretty easy. As a general rule of thumb, at least 90% of a chicken’s diet should come from a good commercial chicken feed.
There are different feeds formulated for chickens at different stages in their lives. More often than not you will have laying hens eating a layer feed, for example.
The other 10% of a chicken’s diet can be filled with ‘treat’ foods. This is typically fruits, vegetables, grains, table scraps, and leftovers in general.
If your chickens have the freedom to roam free-range, this is even better as they will scratch around and find plenty of bugs and plant matter to graze on too.
Chickens get by on plants and bugs in the wild, so it's perfectly fine for them and provides a decent range of nutrition if there is enough available.
Chickens can eat rose petals, so you can give them some petals or let them roam around your rose bushes with peace of mind.
This doesn't mean that your rose bushes are going to survive for very long, do let your chickens loose around your plants at your own risk!
Variety is the key when it comes to feeding chickens and making sure they’re maintaining optimal health and laying eggs at their best.
As long as you're providing a good feed and a variety of other healthy foods, you're going to have a flock of happy and healthy chickens.
Image credits - Photo by Anton Malanin on Unsplash
Rose tea Benefits - WebMD.com