Can Chickens Eat Broccoli?

Can Chickens Eat Broccoli Featured Image
Chickens can definitely eat broccoli in moderation with 1/8 cup per bird being ideal. They'll happily consume both raw and cooked broccoli, including the entire plant. 

While we know that broccoli is considered a healthy and nutritious food for humans to eat, is it also good for our chickens?

This article explains the benefits of broccoli, why your chickens should be eating it, and the best way to prepare it for them.

Broccoli is Safe For Chickens

Feeding broccoli is not dangerous for your chickens but there are some things you will need to do to broccoli to ensure it is healthy and not harmful to your flock.

If you provide non-organic broccoli, you will need to wash it to remove any pesticides. It is a good idea to wash any produce that you provide chickens to remove possible contamination and pathogens such as salmonella which is harmful or potentially deadly to your chickens.

Any uneaten broccoli at the end of the day should be removed from the chicken coop so it doesn’t go bad and cause your chickens to get sick

Why Should You Feed Chickens Broccoli?

Broccoli is chock-full of health benefits for chickens and improves their immune system as well as their digestive system!

Broccoli has few carbohydrates, is fat-free, and relatively low in calories, while also providing a good amount of dietary fiber.

See Also:  Can Chickens Eat Strawberries?

Broccoli has incredible nutritional value and is a solid source of antioxidants, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin C, calcium, vitamin A, folate, magnesium, and phosphorus – all things that your backyard chickens need.

Broccoli is one of the best veggies you can offer your chickens and should be included in their diet. It even helps egg production in egg-laying hens by providing a richer yolk!

How Much Broccoli is Safe for Chickens to Eat?

As part of a balanced diet, broccoli is a safe choice as a chicken treat if fed occasionally and in moderation. Broccoli should be served when it is in season so that it tastes the best and has the most nutrients.

You should never feed a chicken more than 5 to 10 percent of supplemental foods, so keep that in mind when giving broccoli to your chickens. They don’t need to eat a lot (roughly 1/8 of a cup per bird) to gain all of its nutritional benefits.

What is the Best Way to Prepare Broccoli for Chickens?

Chickens can eat raw broccoli or cooked broccoli.

If you decide to cook broccoli, steaming it will keep all of the vital nutrients as opposed to boiling, which can remove some of them. Roasting broccoli will change the taste and texture and your chickens may not like it.

steaming broccoli
Steaming your broccoli like this is better for your chickens than boiling

Remember that if you choose to cook broccoli, do not use any fat or salt as these are bad for your chickens.

How your chicken eats broccoli is really up to you and how you want to prepare it. You can chop it into small pieces to make it easier for them, or provide an entire broccoli crown and allow your birds an opportunity to peck at it as an enriching activity.

See Also:  Can Chickens Eat Cantaloupe?

Can Chickens Eat Broccoli Plants?

Chickens can eat the entire broccoli plant including broccoli florets, stalks, and leaves.

However, if you are providing broccoli stalks, it is best to cut them up because chickens have a hard time eating them with how firm the stalks are. If you don’t cut up the stems, it is likely they will peck a few times and walk away.

cutting broccoli on chopping board
Ensure you cut your broccoli up properly prior to serving

Broccoli leaves can be hung upside down from a bit of string and your chickens will go crazy eating them as it mimics a plant in the wild. If you watch free-range chickens, you will notice that they enjoy pulling leaves off of plants that are neck-high.

Christina

A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

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