can chickens eat cabbage
Feeding

Can chickens eat cabbage?

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Cabbage is a surefire treat to feed your chickies! I’ve raised multiple breeds and generations of chickens and they all go nuts over raw cabbage. Cabbage is a vegetable in the brassica family and other veggies like mustard greens, kale, turnip greens, and brussel sprouts are also big hits with chickens.

Is cabbage healthy for chickens?

Cabbage is very high in vitamin C, vitamin K, and has a small amount of calcium. It’s also zero fat and low in sugar.

Is cabbage a good food to feed chickens?

Absolutely, as long as chicken feed remains your chickens’ main source of food. Like all fresh vegetables, cabbage is high in moisture. You’ll want to limit the amount of cabbage you feed your chooks to avoid runny poop or problems with diarrhea.

Also, like all brassica vegetables, cabbage has thyroid suppressing compounds so you don’t want to go overboard with the amount you give your flock.

Can silkie chickens cabbage?

Since smaller breeds of chickens have weaker beaks, they can’t peck at a whole head of cabbage like larger breeds. You will need to cut open a whole cabbage into quarters so they can bite into the exposed cut edge.

If you have a food processor or the time to chop your cabbage, thin strips would be even better. Cabbage ‘worms’ are easier for silkies and other bantams to eat and digest. Make sure your cabbage strips aren’t longer than 3″-4″ because they’ll have trouble swallowing the entire strand in one go. You don’t want your poor chicken to have half a strand of cabbage stuck in its crop and half sticking out of its beak with the other chickens chasing after the ‘worm’ hanging out of its beak. Bless their little hearts…my chickens are adorable idiots.

How should I feed raw cabbage leaves to my chickens?

The absolute worst way is to rip off whole leaves. Chickens don’t have hands (duh!) so they have no way to rip off chunks from a leaf of cabbage. You have to help them out either by hanging or staking a head of cabbage in place or shredding the leaves for them.

  • The easiest method: You can cut a whole head into quarters or halves and hang it up on a hook. Keep the stem part intact so the head doesn’t fall apart. Your flock will go crazy pecking at it, knocking it back and forth like a tetherball.
  • Method for silkies, bantams, and seramas: If you have smaller chicken breeds, you will want to shred your cabbage into short, thin strands. Your chickens will think the cabbage strips are worms and chase each other for the ‘worms’.

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