Cauliflower is a vegetable that is very versatile. The vegetable can be used for soups, stir-fries, topping for salads. Besides being versatile, cauliflower is easy to grow which makes them popular to grow in the backyard garden. If you own chickens, you may be wondering if chickens can eat cauliflower.
Can chickens eat cauliflower? Yes, chickens can eat cauliflower including the leafy greens. This vegetable is packed with nutrition and a good source of fiber and antioxidants. Cauliflower can be fed to the chickens cooked or raw.
Health Benefits of Cauliflower for Chickens
Cauliflowers are low in calories, yet high in vitamins. This makes them a perfect treat to give to the chickens.
Here is an overview of the nutrients found in 1 cup, or 128 grams, of raw cauliflower:
- Calories: 25
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 77% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 20% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI
- Folate: 14% of the RDI
- Pantothenic acid: 7% of the RDI
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI
- Manganese: 8% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
The above data is according to NutritionData.
Below are some of the health benefits the chickens get by eating cauliflower:
Cauliflowers is High In Fiber
Cauliflower is very high in fiber, which is beneficial to the digestive system.
Fiber is important since it feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut. This, in turn, will help reduce inflammation and promote digestive health.
Also, fiber promotes regular bowel movement and helps move foods through the digestive tract more smoothly.
Chickens that eat a good amount of fiber are less likely to develop any digestive problem.
Cauliflower is a Good Source of Antioxidants
Another nutrition cauliflower has a lot of is antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent and protect harmful free radicals from damaging the cells.
Free radicals are a molecule that comes from many different sources. These molecules can be from natural metabolism that occurs in the body. Also, free radicals can be from the food that chickens eat and even cigarette smokes.
Cauliflower contains carotenoid and flavonoid antioxidants as well. This helps anti-cancer properties and may reduce the risk of several illnesses, including heart disease.
Cauliflower is High In Vitamin C
Cauliflower is packed with vitamin C. This vitamin has a lot of health benefits for the chickens. For one, it helps strengthen the immune system. This is very important as chickens tend to get ill during the winter and rainy season. By giving them plenty of vitamin C, it will help the chickens from becoming ill.
The second benefit of vitamin C is in the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. These vitamins will help keep strengthen their bones and keep them from becoming brittle and weak.
The third benefit of vitamin C is the healing wound. If chickens are allowed to free roam, they’ll more than likely get cuts and bruises while foraging for foods and doing other activities. By giving them plenty of vitamin C, it will help heal the wounds much quicker.
Can Chickens Eat Cauliflower Leaves?
Yes, the leaves of the cauliflower are safe for chickens to eat. That is very nutritious to eat and most people will throw that part away. Instead, you can give them to the chickens.
When feeding the leaves, make sure to cut them into smaller pieces first. This will make it easier for the chickens to eat them.
How To Feed Cauliflower To Chickens
Cauliflower can be fed to the chickens either raw or cooked. Both ways are fine and chickens will eat both of them.
However, cooked cauliflower is better for them since it’s softer. This will make it easier for them to eat and digest it.
On the other hand, if you want to keep them active, feeding them raw cauliflower is a good option. You can either toss them to the chickens and let them eat off the ground or hang it from a tree branch.
Another great way to feed cauliflower to them is to mix the vegetable with chicken feeds. Doing so will add a boost of nutrition to their feeds. Simply cut the cauliflower into small pieces and mix it in with the feeds. You can either use cooked or raw cauliflower. Once it’s mixed thoroughly, place it into their feeding bowl and the chickens will start eating it.
How Much And How Often To Feed Cauliflower To Chickens
Cauliflower is full of nutrition and has no toxin in them, but for chickens, you should feed them in moderation.
Cauliflower doesn’t have all the necessary nutrition that the chickens require each day. Feeding just cauliflowers will cause them to have health issues due to not having the proper amount of nutrition each day.
The vegetables should make up 10% of their main diet. The rest should come from quality commercial feeds. These feeds are formulated with the proper amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary requirements.
Other Vegetables That Chickens Can Eat
While celery isn’t one of the chicken’s favorite food, it makes them a good treat due to their high nutritional content. Celeries are a great source of vitamins B2, B6, C, and K. Also it contains a good amount of fiber and calcium. This vegetable can be fed to the chickens either cooked or raw.
Cabbage is an excellent treat to give the chickens. It’s full of vitamins and minerals that chickens can benefit from. Besides being nutritious for them, cabbage can help keep the chickens active. Hang it as a tetherball and the chickens will peck at it and eat it. This will keep them busy for hours.
Pumpkin makes an excellent treat during the fall season. These pumpkin seeds are known to aid in the prevention of worms, which is similar to those of sunflower seeds. This vegetable s great for keeping chickens active. Since there are no toxins in any part of the pumpkin, cut it in halves and feed them to the chickens. They will peck at it for hours.