Beets are popular root vegetables used in many cuisines around the world. Beets are highly nutritious and are easy to grow in the garden. If you enjoy eating beets, you may be wondering if your chickens can eat beets too.
Can chickens eat beets? Yes, chickens can eat beets, including beetroots and beets leaves. These root vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. All of these are beneficial to the chicken’s health. You can feed the chickens either raw or cooked beets.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Beets?
Beets are definitely healthy food to feed the chickens. With its high nutrition content, beets make an excellent treat for your chickens.
Here is an overview of the nutrients found in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked beetroot:
- Calories: 44
- Protein: 1.7 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin C: 6% of the RDI
- Folate: 20% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 3% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 6% of the RDI
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI
- Phosphorous: 4% of the RDI
- Manganese: 16% of the RDI
- Iron: 4% of the RDI
The above data is from NutritionData.
Below are some of the health benefits the chicken will get from eating beets:
Beets Has High Content of Water
Beets are very high in water content. This means this root vegetable is an excellent source of hydration. During the summer months, feeding them plenty of beets will keep the chickens hydrated.
Beets are High in Protein
Protein is required by the body for the proper functioning of many organs in the body. One of those is the muscles. Muscles require proteins for building, repair, and strengthening.
Protein also helps with bone metabolism, control sugar levels, prevent heart-related diseases, and improve the immune system.
Beets are a Good Source of Fiber
Fiber is important for the digestive system. Fiber helps promote regular bowel movement which helps moves food along the digestive tract smoothly.
Can Chickens Eat Beets Leaves?
Chickens can eat beet leaves. The leafy greens are packed with nutrition and feeding it to them will be very beneficial for the chickens.
The beet leaves can be fed to them either raw or cooked. Due to their soft texture, chickens will be easy to tear the leaves apart.
Also, most people tend to throw away the leaves when preparing a meal. The next time, save the leaves and toss them to the chickens.
How To Feed Beets To Chickens
When it comes to feeding beet to chickens, you can either feed them raw or cooked. Both offer plenty of nutrition for the chickens, but cooked beets are easier for them to eat and digest.
Below are a couple of different methods to feed chickens:
Feeding Chickens Whole Beets
With this method, you can feed them either raw or cooked beets. Since all parts of the beets are toxin-free, you can simply give them the whole beets.
For raw beets, they’ll peck at it and eat pieces of it at a time. This is a great way to keep them active and busy. Just one beet can keep a couple of chickens busy for hours.
For cooked beets, since the flesh is soft, they’ll consume it quickly. You can cook the leaves and stems of the beet plants too.
Mixing Beets With Chicken Feeds
This method is a great way to add additional nutrition to their feeds. While their feeds contain enough nutrition, adding beets to the mix will cause them no harm.
You can use either raw or cooked beets when mixing it in with chicken feeds. Before mixing the vegetable with the feeds, dice the beets into small pieces first. It’s best to make it as small as their feeds so it’ll be easier for them to eat it.
How Much And How Often To Feed Beets To Chickens
While beets don’t contain any toxins and it’s loaded with nutrition, you should still feed the chickens in moderation. There are two reasons why you should feed them occasionally.
The first reason is that beets don’t have enough nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary needs. Feeding them strictly beets or too much of it could cause them to become nutrition deficient. This will lead to a lot of health issues, especially hens that are laying eggs.
The second reason is chickens could become addicted to eating beets. When they do, they will ignore chicken feeds and that could lead to a lot of problems, especially their health.
Therefore, beets should be given to the chickens as treats. This means a couple of times per week is enough beets for them.
Also, beets and other vegetables should only make up 10% of their main diet. The rest should come from quality commercial feeds.
Other Vegetables That Chickens Can Eat
Spinach is known as a superfood due to its nutrient-rich packed in a small leaf. These leafy greens can be fed to them either raw or cooked.
Kale is another vegetable that’s high in nutrition. Kale is very nutritious, which makes it an excellent treat for chickens.
Broccoli is very low in calories, yet high in nutrition. This is one of the vegetables that’s high in water content. Due to their high content of water of about 90%, it makes an excellent treat to keep the chickens hydrated.
Carrot is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Also, it’s high in antioxidants which is very beneficial to the chickens. Like broccoli, carrots are very high in water content. This makes them a good source of hydration for the chickens.