Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms?

Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms Featured Image
Chickens can definitely eat mushrooms, but it's best to choose store-bought varieties to avoid accidentally serving them poisonous mushrooms from the wild. Chickens will also prefer cooked mushrooms over raw mushrooms unless they have been diced.

Chicken owners love to provide healthy treats for their backyard chickens as supplementing a chicken’s diet can lead to healthier, happier birds who in turn produce better eggs and meat.

Mushrooms are a hot topic of debate as to whether they are safe for chickens to eat – and while some are perfectly safe, toxic mushrooms do exist and can harm your flock.

Can Chickens Eat Store Bought Mushrooms?

A good rule of thumb for mushrooms is if it is safe for you to eat, it is safe for them to eat (but in much smaller quantities). Mushrooms that are grown and harvested by humans for commercial consumption are called cultivated mushrooms.

Chickens can safely eat any type of cultivated mushroom variety. It needs to be washed to remove any pesticides that may have been sprayed on them when they were growing, and properly prepared for consumption.

Can Chickens Eat Wild Mushrooms?

Some types of wild mushrooms may be safe for chickens to eat, yet wild mushrooms, in general, should not be fed to your chickens. Many edible varieties have other unsafe counterparts that look just like the safe ones, and only experts can tell them apart.

See Also:  Chicken Harness: What to Know Before Buying One

You should not risk exposing your chickens to poisonous mushrooms. Toxic mushrooms developed these poisons as a self-defense mechanism, and some are deadly to both humans and chickens.

For this reason, if you see mushrooms growing in your chicken run or anywhere that your chickens are allowed to forage, you should remove them completely for their safety.

wild mushrooms
If you see these growing on your property, it’s best to simply remove them.

Chickens may not attempt to eat wild mushrooms (they often don’t like the texture or the bland taste) but it’s better to not take any chances. Bored chickens will peck at just about anything and you wouldn’t want them to accidentally get sick.

What Types of Mushrooms are Safe for Chickens to Eat?

Luckily there are many types of mushrooms that are safe for chickens to eat. Here is a list of cultivated mushrooms that chickens can enjoy:

  • Button Mushrooms
  • Cremini Mushrooms (a matured button mushroom)
  • Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • Oyster Mushrooms
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Portobello Mushrooms

If you simply have to provide wild mushrooms to your chickens, these varieties are safe:

  • Porcini Mushrooms
  • Chicken of the Woods
  • Hen of the Woods
  • Morel Mushrooms
  • Chanterelle Mushrooms

Can You Feed Chickens Raw Mushrooms?

Uncooked mushrooms are definitely okay to feed chickens, but you may find that your chickens will not consume them. If you want to attempt to feed them raw mushrooms, you should dice them finely and mix them with other veggies that chickens love such as cucumbers to encourage consumption.

Your chickens may like different types of mushrooms and not others, so don’t give up on the first attempt. However, if you offer several varieties and they still don’t eat them, you may want to find something else to offer.

See Also:  Can Chickens Eat Cherries?

Can You Feed Chickens Cooked Mushrooms?

If you feed chickens mushrooms, you may find that they won’t touch uncooked mushrooms. Cooking mushrooms can increase the chances that your chickens will enjoy them, particularly if they are mixed with other healthy treats.

Preparing and cooking mushrooms is simple. Thoroughly wash the mushrooms and remove any dirt from them. Slice them into bite-size pieces, and boil or saute in a pan until they are softened.

mushrooms in pot
It may not look fancy, but simply boiling your mushrooms before serving will be appreciated by your chickens

Once they have cooled, you can mix them with other healthy treats and offer them to your chickens. Hopefully, they will love them!

Remember to not use any salt, seasonings, or fat such as oil or butter when cooking the mushrooms because these additives are not good for chickens and can cause digestive problems.

What Health Benefits do Chickens Get from Eating Mushrooms?

Backyard chickens gain many important health benefits when they eat edible mushrooms.

Mushrooms contain antioxidants that fight free-radicals and can reduce inflammation, as well as improve overall body function. They also boost the immune system. Mushrooms contain vitamin D, calcium and potassium so you should feed mushrooms to your chickens if they will eat them.

Mushrooms have good nutritional value and are naturally low in calories, so that makes them a good supplemental food choice for chickens.

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.

Recent Posts