During the spring and summer months, dandelion is a wildflower you see growing in your backyards and fields. Most people would never think of feeding them to the chickens due to the dandelions growing in the wild. If you do let the chickens eat it, would it harm them?
So, can chickens eat dandelions? Yes, chickens can eat dandelions, including the leaves and stems. This wildflower is packed with vitamins and minerals, and other nutrition. Dandelions make an excellent summer treat for them, as it’s naturally found in backyards and fields.
Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Dandelion?
Yes, dandelions are safe for chickens to eat. They do not contain any toxins, but depending on where it’s grown could be a problem.
The backyards and fields could be contaminated with chemicals such as pesticides Ned herbicides. If that’s the case, you should carefully watch the chickens, making sure they don’t eat any of the dandelions.
Ingesting the dandelions with these chemicals can seriously harm the chicken, even death can occur.
Therefore, only allow them to eat dandelions that have not been exposed to chemicals.
Health Benefits of Dandelions for Chickens
Dandelions are highly nutritious plants from roots to the flower. All parts of this wildflower are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Chickens that eat dandelion can benefit a lot from the plant’s nutrition.
Below are some of the health benefits the chickens can benefit from eating dandelions:
Dandelions Contain Potent Antioxidants
Dandelion is full of potent antioxidants, which are beneficial to the health of the chickens.
Antioxidants are molecules that help neutralize and prevent free radicals from damaging cells in the body.
Free radicals are a product of normal metabolism that occurs in the body. The presence of too many of these free radicals can allow diseases to accelerate in the body.
Besides normal metabolism, free radicals can be from the foods that chickens eat and from cigarettes and cigar smokes.
Dandelions May Promote a Healthy Liver
Dandelions have a protective effect on liver tissue when toxic substances are present.
It could help reduce levels of excess fat stored in the liver and protect against oxidative stress.
Dandelions Support Healthy Digestion
Dandelion is rich in fiber, which helps with the overall health of the digestive system.
Fiber is known to help with normal bowel movement, which will increase intestinal movement.
Also, dandelion root is an excellent source of prebiotic fiber inulin. This inulin has a strong capacity to reduce constipation.
Can Chicken Dandelion Greens?
Yes, chickens can eat dandelion greens or leaves. It’s safe for them to eat. The leafy greens are very nutritious and contain a lot of important nutrition that the chickens require.
The leafy greens can either be fed to them as whole leaves or cut into smaller pieces. Due to their soft texture, they make an excellent addition to add to their feeds.
How To Feed Dandelions To Chickens
Dandelions naturally grow in the wild, such as in the backyard or in the field. If the chickens are allowed to roam freely, they will eat the dandelions in the field.
However, take precautions when letting them eat dandelions in the field and backyards. If you or your neighbor are using chemicals to treat their yard or garden, it could be dangerous for the chickens to eat them.
If you’re sure there are no chemicals used, feel free to let them roam and eat as many dandelions as they want.
Another option you have to feed dandelions to chickens is to buy them. Grocery stores and online stores sell dandelion greens. You can buy these fresh or dried. Of course, fresh leafy greens is the best since it will contain the most nutrition.
For the dandelion greens, you can either feed them the whole leaves or dice them up.
How Much And How Often To Feed Dandelions To Chickens
While these are wildflowers, and they don’t contain any toxins naturally, they can eat as much as they want.
If chickens are allowed to free roam, they will most likely stop eating when they had enough of it.
Dandelion greens are also sold in stores when it’s in season. If you do buy some to feed the chickens, only feed them in moderation. Chickens tend to eat everything that you give them. While it’s not dangerous to let them eat a lot of it, dandelions don’t have a lot of nutrition. It’s best to give dandelions as treats to your chickens.
Dandelions, whether it’s the stems, leaves, or flowers, should only make up 10% of the chicken’s entire diet. The rest should come from quality commercial feeds. These feeds are formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary requirements.
Other Flowers That Chickens Can Eat
Marigolds are loaded with nutrition that’s healthy for the chickens to eat. It’s rich in antioxidants and promotes the growth of new skin tissue. For hens laying eggs, marigolds will make the eggs with more bright yellow yolks.
This flower makes an excellent treat for chickens. They can eat both the leaves and the flowers, which are both very nutritious. Also, nasturtium is a natural wormer and has antibiotic properties.
This flower is very nutritious, especially the sunflower seeds. Due to the flowering plants not containing any toxins, chickens can eat any parts of it. Feeding them the entire sunflower head is a great way to keep them busy. The stalk is tough and fibrous, so you’ll need to cut them into smaller pieces for the chicken to eat them.