Chickens can eat turnip greens, yes. In fact, most greens like broccoli, collard, and mustard greens are great for chickens’ health. As long as you feed them in moderation, turnip greens are a good food supplement.
Are Turnip Greens Good for Chickens?
Turnip greens, which are part of the same family of vegetables as broccoli and kale, are the leafy greens on the top of turnips.
All parts of the turnip plant are edible and provide some good nutritional content for chickens. This includes the leafy tops, the turnip, and the stems.
Turnip greens are rated as one of the most nutritious greens in terms of their nutritional content – so it’s a no-brainer that they’re great for chickens.
Chickens will benefit from the wide range of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants in addition to a formulated feed.
I’ve read some accounts from owners that routinely feed their flock turnip greens that say their chicken’s eggs taste better.
I’ve not done a taste test myself, but I’ll take their word for it! In my experience, chickens certainly love munching up greens, so it’s a win-win.
How to Feed Turnip Greens to Chickens
When feeding vegetables and leafy greens to chickens there are two things to be aware of;
The first is that you need to make sure the food is not past its best or spoiled, and the other is that you’ve washed it so it’s free of any pesticides.
Chickens may not have teeth, but they do not have any problems breaking apart vegetables and eating them.
Chickens will make quick work of leafy greens like turnip greens. You can chop them up if you want, but you may as well just throw them into your chicken’s enclosure as they are.
Feeding Backyard Chickens a Balanced Diet
There are lots of vegetables, fruits, and other foods that are great for chickens from a nutritional standpoint, but you still have to feed these to them in moderation.
The bulk of a chicken’s diet, which is widely agreed to be around 90%, should come from a formulated chicken feed.
Chicken feeds are specifically designed to meet all the nutritional requirements chickens have, which is particularly important if you have laying hens.
Leafy greens like turnip greens, vegetables, fruits, and other ‘leftovers’ from what we eat should be treated as occasional treats for chickens.
It’s certainly something you should do though. It’s a lot of fun feeding chickens different foods, and the variety provides a more well-rounded diet.
Other Foods That Chickens Can Eat; Table Scraps, Treats, Etc
If you want to experiment with other foods and table scraps (or recycle leftovers), the good news is that most foods are fine for chickens.
Some of the most popular foods people share with their feathered friends are:
Vegetables – You have to be careful with beans and some vegetables discussed below, but generally speaking, vegetables are as awesome for chickens as they are for us.
Fruits – Most fruits are also fine as they are typically nutrient-dense and packed with loads of good nutrition. Try giving them some berries, figs, apples, bananas, etc.
Grains – Grains are a staple of chickens’ diet, both in the wild and from commercial feeds. Any wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, etc will be appreciated by your feathered friends.
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, the flesh is fine if you want to separate that out for your chooks.
Parts of nightshade plants – Plants belonging to the nightshade family contain a harmful toxic, but only in certain parts of the plants. Before feeding your chickens potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, etc, be sure you know no what is safe.
Chocolate – I love chocolate, so I’m happy to keep it to myself. Jokes aside, there are a couple of compounds in chocolate called theobromine and caffeine that are harmful to chickens, dogs, cats, and some other pets.
Coffee and Tea – Just like chocolate, caffeine and other compounds in teas and coffee are bad for chickens. I’m not suggesting you’d feed these to your chickens or make them a brew. It’s more so for those who recycle tea bags and coffee grounds in their garden.
Foods high in fat or salt, greasy fast foods, etc – Keep junk food off the menu for your chickens, they need quality nutrition to maintain optimal health.
Candy and other sugary treats, soda, etc. – Keep the sugary treats for yourself as they’re hard for chickens to digest and do not provide any good nutritional content!
Any moldy or spoiled foods – Mold spores are toxic and can potentially cause some health issues to chickens, keep an eye on foods left out and feed them fresh stuff.
Turnip greens can be fed to chickens, yes. In fact, much like a lot of greens and vegetables, turnip greens provide some awesome nutritional benefits.
If you’re able to get your hands on some on a regular basis, I recommend throwing some to your chickens to supplement their diet.
Image credits – Imagine used with permission from firsttimefarming.com
Everything you need to know about turnip greens – MedicalNewsToday