Farmers who raise chickens know chickens can eat almost any type of food, especially meat chickens whose purpose is to become stuffed. But can they eat certain foods in the herb category? It remains a question that many farmers are curious to know whether or not to avoid certain herbs or to use them to enhance the chicken’s health.
Cilantro is a herb with biases around the taste as far as humans are concerned. As for chickens, they don’t care nearly as much about food flavor and just need enough nutrition to be healthy at any stage of their life.
So, Can Chickens Eat Cilantro?
Yes, chickens can eat fresh cilantro. Not only do they love it, but, it is an excellent source of vitamin A and K and is an antioxidant. That said, it is not meant to be a replacement for their regular chicken feed.
The next time you’re at the grocery store, picking up this herb will be good for your chickens.
Or better yet, if it’s in your garden already, the chickens can feed off of it. You don’t have to worry if they overeat because they will reap the health benefits.
Keep reading for more information regarding chickens consuming fresh cilantro in plants or plant stems.
Can Chickens Eat Cilantro Leaves?
Chicken can eat cilantro leaves, including the rest of the plant. The leaf may be the most nutritious part of the plant as they are the darkest leafy greens.
Studies show that storing cilantro in different temperatures can affect the color and quality.
To ensure cilantro stays fresh, ensure the leaves are thoroughly dry, packaged, and refrigerate immediately after buying. When stored at 32℉, it should have a shelf life of 3-4 weeks.
It will obtain its quality of nutrients when stored properly.
The most desirable color of dark green can be maintained at a low temperature, decrease decay development and increase aroma.
The quality, rich color, and aroma equated to an increase of decay from storing it in higher temperatures.
Suppose the plants are in your garden, no worries. You can feed it to them if they aren’t completely dried out or dying.
Can Cilantro be Poisonous to Chickens?
Cilantro is not poisonous to chickens, and it’s good for them. An owner revealed his experience with his chickens eating cilantro and said they love it and even ate the stalks.
Almost all herbs are safe for chickens to eat, including cilantro. Chickens even love to eat chia seeds, oregano, thyme, parsley and so much more.
The major herbs to avoid are eucalyptus leaves (contain fungi), foxglove (digitalis), or bitter orange, as they can be fatal and cause heart failures in your chicken flocks.
As chickens can eat almost anything, there are lists of bad herbs, and cilantro is not on it.
Eating too much or too little won’t cause them any harm. Eating too little might deny them of vital vitamins and antioxidants for their growth and protection against diseases if they are deprived of the intake of it!
The more cilantro a chicken gets, the better it is for their growth and well-being.
What About Cilantro Stems?
Cilantro stems are one of the most nutritious parts of the cilantro plant, as it contains antioxidant properties to protect against free radicals.
Studies show free radicals can cause severe damage to biological molecules, specifically to DNA and proteins, just by breathing the air in.
So, it’s vital chickens eat this type of antioxidant to protect themselves from exposure to oxidative damage.
Damage to DNA can lead any species or even humans to develop certain diseases as the worst-case scenario.
Better yet, eating cilantro increases the lifespan of birds due to the protective and nutritious factors found in cilantro plants.
Are Cilantro Plants Safe for Chickens to Eat?
Chickens can eat cilantro plants as they have numerous health benefits for chickens. Some of the significant vitamins found in raw cilantro plants are:
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||2.5mg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||310mg|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0.014g|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||27mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||337mg|
There is no significant difference between aroma or taste in stems compared to the rest of the entire plant. They will eat any part of the plant, and it is perfectly healthy.
Here is a video on a chicken flock eating cilantro for the first time. Notice how happy and willing they are to eat it.
How to Use Herbs in Your Chicken Flock
The best way to feed your chickens the herb is to hang it on something for the flock to pick at it or be put on the ground. You can separate the plants so there isn’t a massive pile of chickens on one fresh herb as they can eat a lot in a short amount of time.
It will ensure each one will eat a fair share amount and be distributed evenly. Two sharing one is good enough for them to reap in the health benefits.
If you are sprinkling it on their nest or best, ensure to clean up the rest of the dried cilantro, so it doesn’t go bad and start to decay.
If you have a garden growing cilantro, it’s easy to cut off a couple of stems and throw them in the chicken coop, but spread out.
As a bonus, you have more herbs for yourself, so it’s up to you if you want store-bought or freshly cut herbs out of your garden. But remember to store them in cold temperatures if you want the best quality cilantro not only for yourself but for great food for your flock.
Chickens will eat anything, especially cilantro when it is in their chicken coop. They need enough vitamins and nutrition for their purposes, of either laying eggs, stuffing up as a meat chicken, or for a dual-purpose.
Even if you are raising chickens without a specific purpose, feeding them the right herbs will enhance their state of health to live longer.
Knowing what herbs to avoid and what your chicken will get out of eating cilantro regularly, the chicken will appreciate your care and live their best chicken lives.