Chickens will happily try new foods as they need a wide variety of them to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Chickens can eat most fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but what about chia seeds? Are chia seeds healthy or safe for your chickens to eat, and how should you go about feeding them?
Can Chickens Eat Chia Seeds
Chickens can eat chia seeds. It is a very healthy treat. Chia seeds are rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3, which are very good for your chickens, and they can be fed to your flock often.
Are Chia Seeds Healthy For Chickens
Chia seeds are one of the many healthy treat options you can feed to your flock. Chickens can eat most fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as long as their daily nutritional needs are being met.
Chickens should obtain 90% of their daily nutrients from their daily feed. The other 10% can be filled with some healthy treats.
Foods that are sugary or processed should be avoided as chickens’ bodies cannot successfully process preservatives and sugars just like ours.
Most whole foods that are good for you are also great for your chickens. This includes chia seeds. Chia seeds are rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals that will support healthy chickens and a healthy flock.
Chia Seeds Nutrient Information
|Water||6% of RDI (Recommended Daily Allowance)|
|Vitamin B-6||0.473 mg|
Benefits of Chia Seeds for Chickens
Chia seeds are known as a modern-day superfood because they contain fiber, protein, fat, calcium, potassium, Thiamin, Folate, manganese, Choliine, magnesium, Lutein, phosphorus, zinc, fatty acids, vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, potassium, and antioxidants.
B vitamins have many health benefits. Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is essential for converting foods your chickens eat into energy and is found in most of the whole grains they consume. Vitamin B2, or riboflavin, boosts the immune system, maintains healthy gut lining, and supports healthy blood cells. Vitamin B3, or niacin, also breaks down food into energy.
Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fats. They contain eight times more omega-3 than wild-caught salmon. This omega-3 not only promotes a healthy chicken but also creates good quality eggs. Chickens that eat chia seeds are shown to produce eggs that are high in omega-3 fats, meaning more health benefits for those consuming the eggs as well.
Omega-3 is very good for heart health. It can reduce the chance of abnormal heart rhythm and deaths related to heart diseases or heart attacks in your flock. They are also linked to healthy brain function and reduced macular degeneration risk, which could cause eye damage or blindness.
High In Calcium
Chia seeds are also very high in calcium. They contain two times more calcium than milk. Calcium is essential for maintaining a good bone mass and strength in laying hens. Chia seeds contain boron, which helps the body metabolize calcium making it easier for the body to absorb and use.
Because chia seeds are high in antioxidant content, they’ve been proven to reduce cell damage. This can slow down the aging process and also prevent certain cancers. It also promotes healthy brain tissue and nervous system function.
Chia seeds are very high in fiber. Fiber promotes and maintains a healthy gut and digestive system. Chia seeds, when fed regularly to your flock, can prevent and reduce constipation.
Chia seeds have also been proven to reduce inflammation. Research has shown that humans who eat chia seeds daily reduce their inflammatory marker by 40%. There haven’t been studies exclusively done on chickens, but the theory and science should be the same.
Can Chickens Eat Chia Pets?
Yes, chickens can eat those Chia Sprouts that come from Chia Pet! As long as they don’t contain any toxins, your flock will enjoy eating them. Just place the Chia Pet on the ground and watch them peck away at it.
If your chickens love it, then consider sprouting the seeds so you have more to go around, especially, if you have a bigger flock.
How To Feed Chickens Chia Seeds
Chickens can eat chia seeds very often, even daily, as long as the rest of their daily nutritional needs have been met. This means your flock should be getting 90% of their nutrition from their feed every day. It is also good to give your chickens treats often in order to increase their variety and give them a wider range of nutrition.
You can feed your chickens chia seeds by merely scattering them around your yard or the chicken run. Your chickens will love to forage around for these new treats. Several pet sites recommend soaking the chia seeds before feeding them to chickens.
Chia seeds can also be cooked first. The seeds are cooked almost the same as oatmeal, letting them soak in water until they are full. This way, your chickens can eat chia seeds without the risk of overeating, as chia seeds have been known to swell up in the stomach.
The swelling isn’t drastic and isn’t a cause for concern as chickens usually know when they are full and will stop eating.
According to this chicken forum, some people have noticed an improvement in their chickens growth, and energy level when supplementing chia seeds with their regular chicken feed.
Not only can chickens eat chia seeds, but they are also very healthy for them. Chia seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients that support a healthy flock.
Chia seeds contain calcium, magnesium, protein, phosphorous, water, fat, manganese, fiber, zinc, vitamin B3, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, potassium, and antioxidants. Fiber maintains a healthy digestive system and prevents constipation.
The calcium present in chia seeds support healthy bones for laying hens, and the B vitamins are essential for converting food into energy and supporting healthy immune systems.
The antioxidants found in chia seeds are known for preventing cell damage and reducing inflammation. Chia seeds are also very high in omega-3 fats containing eight times more than a wild-caught salmon. Omega-3 fats are linked to heart health, promote healthy brain function, and reduce the risk of degenerative eye disorders.
Chia seeds are a healthy treat and can be fed daily as long as your flock has met their 90% daily feed goal. Chia seeds can be sprinkled around your chicken run for your flock to forage around for.
They can also be soaked in water to prevent them from expanding in your chickens’ stomachs, although the swelling isn’t drastic and shouldn’t be a concern.
Chickens will happily try new foods. Next time you’re searching for a healthy treat, remember chia seeds and all of the great benefits they have for your flock.