Chickens will usually get all the daily nutrition requirements from commercial feeds. Sometimes, chickens do get bored with the same food given to them every day. By giving them other food to eat as well, not only does it keep them interested in eating, but it can benefit their overall health. One of the vegetables that are popular and very high in nutrients is okra. Since it’s a vegetable, you may wonder if it’s safe to feed okra to chickens.
Can Chickens Eat Okra?
Okra is filled with nutrition that your chicken can benefit from. Therefore, okra is safe to feed to the chickens.
However, since this isn’t their staple diet, you should not feed too much of it to them.
Okra contains a toxin called solanine. This compound is known to cause health issues in chickens. Besides that, solanine can cause health problems for humans as well.
However, the solanine in okra is at very low levels. This means the chickens will not have any health problems from eating okra. Still, too much of the fruit can become a problem for chickens.
Besides okra, solanine is found in a lot of other fruits and vegetables. Like okra, most of the product has low levels of the toxins that it’s not a cause for concern.
Like most other vegetables, it’s best to feed the chickens the freshest okra that’s available. As they start to ripen, the okra will lose their nutrition and flavors. Therefore, it’s best to harvest the okra from your garden when you’re ready to feed the chickens.
Health Benefits of Okra for Chickens
Okra is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins C and K. What makes this fruit stands out from the rest is that it has protein. This is a nutrient that a lot of other fruits and veggies lack.
One cup (100 grams) of raw okra contains :
- Calories: 33
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Magnesium: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Folate: 15% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 26% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 26% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 14% of the DV
The data above is according to the USDA.
Vitamin A – Is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction.
Vitamin B6 – Aiding hemoglobin production and helps turn food into energy.
Vitamin C – Promote growth, development and repair of all body tissues.
Vitamin K – It’s important for blood clotting and healthy bones.
Protein – An important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Fiber – Helps maintain bowel health.
Can Chickens Eat Okra Pods
Yes, chickens can eat okra pods. This is the part that you should feed the chickens with. It is usually the part of the okra plant that has the most nutrients.
The smaller okra pods are best to feed chickens. They are tender which makes it easier for the chickens to eat and digest it.
The larger okra pods are not recommended for feeding chickens. They tend to be tough and fibrous. This can be a choking hazard for the chickens.
When feeding the chickens, always choose the freshest ones. If you grow them yourself, harvest them when you’re ready to feed them okra. Fresh okra will contain the most nutritious.
Can Chicken Eat Okra Seeds
The seeds of the okra plant can be fed to the chickens. It’s edible and full of nutrients for the chickens to eat. It’s the softest part of the okra so the chickens will likely eat it than the other parts of the okra.
The seeds can be mixed with the chicken feeds and fed to the chickens, or you can simply sprinkle the seeds over the chicken feeds.
Can Chickens Eat Okra Skin
Yes, you can feed okra skin to the chickens. Like other parts of the okra, the skin contains a lot of nutrients too.
When feeding the okra skin, dice them into smaller pieces so it’ll be easier for them to eat. The skin of the okra can also be mashed and mixed with the chicken feeds to make it easier for the chicken to eat them.
Can Chickens Eat Cooked Okra
Chickens can eat cooked okra, but it’s not recommended. Cooked okra will have fewer nutrients than raw ones will. This is due to the fruit being cooked.
Okra also has this gooey slimy substances called mucilaginous. This substance will start to excrete from the okra pods when it’s cooked. When mixing it with the chicken feeds, it will cause the okra and feeds to become sticky. This is something that could cause an issue for the chickens.
Also, cooked okra is high in water content. Too much water can cause the chicken to have digestive issues such as diarrhea and upset stomach.
How To Feed Okra To Chickens
Chickens are not a picky eater and will consume just about anything that are given to them. As for okra, it’s highly unlikely that they will eat whole okra. You’ll need to cut or dice them into smaller pieces and feed to them that way.
The entire okra should be diced into smaller pieces before feeding them to the chickens. All parts of the okra can be fed to the chickens.
After the okra is all diced, you have two options to feed them to the chickens. You can either premix them with the chicken feeds or sprinkle them over the feeds on the ground. Both ways are great ways to get the chickens to eat okra.
However, premixing them first is better as the nutrients from the okra will get absorbed by the chicken pellets.
How Much And How Often To Feed Okra To Chickens
Chickens should be fed okra in moderation. They can eat okra a couple of times each week. You should rotate okra with other healthy fruits and vegetables that are healthy and good for chickens too.
If the chickens eat too much okra, it could cause them gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Okra contains fructans, which is a type of carbohydrate. Too much of it will cause the chickens to have diarrhea and upset stomach.
When feeding okra to chickens, you can feed them a couple of okra at a time. Make sure to cut off the stems and dice the rest of the okra. The smaller it is, the easier it will be for the chickens to eat and digest it.