Chickens can eat collard greens. Collards are a member of the cabbage family, so they provide similar vitamins and nutrients as other greens in this family, including kale and broccoli.
Chickens are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and meat. They can eat a wide variety of foods, but they do best with a balanced diet that includes nutrient-rich greens.
Why you should feed chickens with Collard Greens? *HENS INCLUDED*
Collard greens are high in calcium, which is essential for laying hens.
Calcium helps with eggshell formation and prevents soft shell eggs.
Is it okay to feed collard greens to chickens?
If your hens don’t get enough calcium, it can cause them to stop laying eggs altogether.
Yes, collard greens are suitable for chickens. They are rich in vitamin A, which helps with the immune system and eye health.
A deficiency can cause eye problems such as night blindness or even blindness if left untreated.
Vitamin A is also important for skin cell regeneration, which keeps your chicken’s feathers looking bright and healthy throughout their life cycle.
Vitamin C helps prevent diseases like scaly leg mites by strengthening the immune systems of your chickens so they can fight off infections more easily than they would otherwise be able to do on their own.
How to feed your chickens and whether or not to buy or grow collard greens?
So, now you know that collard greens are a great vegetable in your chickens’ diet. But you’re curious about whether there are any other options for serving this delightful treat?
Of course, you may incorporate them into your hens’ diet in a variety of ways:
- Recently harvested leaves
- Mix it in with their meal (chopped).
- Fermented or pickled leaves (yum!)
Are collard green stems safe for hens to eat?
Yes, in fact, they love eating raw collard stems. One of our chicken keepers in the Facebook group said:
I just threw some leftover raw collard green stems in my chicken’s feeder, and they ate them right up. I’m not sure how much they will eat, so I only gave them a small amount.
If you have at least 50 hens, you can also cultivate your own collards!
Look for organic, pesticide-free kinds of collard greens while shopping at the supermarket or farmers market.
If you are growing your own collards, make sure they haven’t been treated with pesticides or herbicides.
Before you offer collard greens to your hens, make sure you give them a good scrub.
Is it possible to overfeed chickens with greens?
The problem with feeding chickens too many greens is that they will start eating less of their regular chicken feed and more of your garden produce!
This can lead to nutritional deficiencies in your flock if you don’t provide enough protein-rich food for them to eat along with their greens.
We suggest giving your chickens’ a regular chicken feed, and occasionally like 20% of their diet should be veggies and greens.
Are collard greens safe for baby chicks to consume?
What chicken chicks eat affects how they grow and develop. If you feed them grains, legumes, insects, and greens, they will thrive.
Nevertheless, collard greens are safe for chicks to consume.
What kind of greens do chickens like best?
Many of the things we ate are fine for chickens to eat, like:
- Beets (beet greens),
- carrots (tops),
- celery (tops),
- zucchini (cut into chunks or slices)
They also like seedy bread topped with dried fruits like raisins or grapes.
Rice or spaghetti with dried fruit added after cooking also works nicely.
They may be given cooked egg yolks as a treat or added to their regular meal as a nutritional boost.
What foods are poisonous to chickens?
Chickens can and will eat nearly anything!
Here are the only things you should NOT feed them…..
These are some of the foods that are harmful to chickens:
- Dried/raw beans, onion, or potatoes. Once cooked they are safe.
- Green tomatoes
- Avocado pits and skins. The flesh is safe but very fatty.
- Chocolate. Like dogs, chickens can not metabolize theobromine which is present in chocolate.
Things flavored with a cocoa powder such as chocolate milk or pudding are safe though.
Cooked onions and too much garlic while safe can give the eggs a slight off-flavor.
Garlic in moderation however is a great natural pesticide. We add a small bit of garlic powder to our animal feed and it keeps away lice mites and fleas.
We thought we’d go back to the beginning to wrap up this guide. Do chickens like collard greens? Yes, collard greens are one of the greener choices, so they’re great for chickens and other animals.
They pack a hefty vitamin and mineral punch and are especially rich in calcium.
It’s possible that chickens may not ever eat the collards you offer them, because they’re extremely wary of new greens at first.
But if you feed them consistently and reliably, your chickens will eventually start eating them…and once they do, they’ll be a nice affordable green vegetable that you can feed your chickens without worrying too much.
Shannon Stansberry has been engaged in the business of raising chickens for more than 12 years. In 2016, she accomplished the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. At present, she tends to more than 80 chickens on her 4-hectare farm. Shannon regularly shares her insights and experience on how to raise healthy and contented chickens on the platform Typesofchickens.com