Can Chickens Eat Cabbage?

Can Chickens Eat Cabbage Featured Image
Chickens can eat cabbage and will gain a ton of nutrients in the process. You can serve cabbage to your chickens raw or steam it lightly prior to serving.

Chickens enjoy having a diet with a wide-variety. As natural foraging animals who are also omnivores, they seek out and enjoy meat, fruits, veggies, grains and seeds.

Typically, chickens in the wild will eat whatever is seasonally available and as the seasons change, their diets will shift, with the variety of food they consume playing a central role in their overall health.

Is Cabbage Safe for Chickens to Eat?

All types of cabbage is safe for chickens to eat! You should always serve raw cabbage or steamed to keep all those vital nutrients in.

You can serve the whole cabbage to chickens, cabbage leaves and all if you want to because they are healthy and chickens love them.

One of the best ways to feed cabbage to chickens is to take an entire head of uncooked cabbage and hang it by some twine in their feeding area, just like this:

Chickens pecking at cabbage on string
Your chickens will love pecking at the hanging cabbage and will get some exercise too!

Red cabbage is also better than green cabbage as it has over 25% more calcium (and tastes a bit better too). Calcium is great for egg production and can help your chickens lay eggs with thicker eggshells.

Chickens should not eat cabbage that has additives such as oil or seasoning as a chicken has trouble processing both and it could be harmful.

If your chickens consume too much cabbage they are at risk for having thyroid issues, so always feed cabbage in moderation, to keep it as a healthy treat.

See Also:  Can Chickens Eat Oatmeal?

Supplemental foods such as watermelon, cucumber, and cabbage should never make up more than 10% of a chicken’s diet (this includes everything you feed them other than chicken feed).

You’ll need to wash your produce (if it isn’t organic) to rid it of pesticides before feeding it to your flock. Pesticides can build up in the blood of your chickens and poison them.

chickens eating cabbage on ground
Remember to wash cabbage before serving if isn’t spray-free

You should also remove uneaten portions of cabbage from the chicken coop so it doesn’t sit around and go bad – chickens may try to eat it, and moldy foods are harmful.

What Health Benefits do Chickens Gain from Eating Cabbage?

Cabbage has amazing nutritional value and should be something you offer to your chickens on occasion so they can partake of all those wonderful nutrients!

Cabbage contains:

  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Antioxidants
  • Folate
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
  • Phosphorus
  • Riboflavin
  • Calcium

All of these vitamins, minerals, and enzymes can make an incredible difference on the digestive health, immune system, and overall well-being of your chickens but too much of a good thing can be damaging, so you will need to control both the portions and frequency of feeding them any supplemental food – even something as nutritious as cabbage.

As far as baby chickens go – you may not want to give them cabbage until they have reached 8 weeks old. Cabbage is filling, and you want your chickens to primarily eat starter feed which has all the nutrients they require for growing up strong and healthy.


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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