Since we’ve had chickens, we’ve learned that a lot of chicken owners feed their chickens yogurt. So can chickens eat yogurt? Do they really like it and what are the benefits?
Yes, Greek yogurt contains probiotics that can can help build up good bacteria after worming or illness. Avoid yogurts with artificial flavors and sweeteners and don’t overfeed them.
Learning the types of foods that will not only be safe for them, but also the ones that can be beneficial and boost their overall health is vital. Chickens will eat anything even if it’s not good for them like styrofoam, chocolate, lemons and etc.
Greek yogurt is extremely healthy for chickens, just know that it will get messy when you feed them!
What Is Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is strained, to remove liquid whey and lactose, while regular yogurt is not. It also contains almost double the amount of protein than regular yogurt.
In fact, plain Greek yogurt is packed with beneficial nutrients that makes it a healthy snack for both humans and chickens.
Greek Yogurt Nutritional Information
2/3 cups (150g) of Greek yogurt contains:
|Vitamin A||200 IU|
|Saturated Fat||5.0 g|
Is Yogurt Safe for Chickens?
Greek yogurt is safe for chickens as long as it is fed in moderation. Feeding them too much will result in diarrhea, as chickens and birds are not able to digest lactose.
Benefits of Yogurt for Chickens
Like humans, chickens require certain vitamins and nutrients to help them live a healthy life. Greek yogurt has been proven to be beneficial for a chickens diet and here’s some of the benefits they will receive.
Priobiotics are “good” or “helpful” bacteria that helps keep a chickens gut healthy. They are especially beneficial for balancing the “good” and “bad” bacteria to help a body function properly.
“Overtime, the probiotics will populate the digestive tract with “good” bacteria, and there won’t be enough room for pathogens like Salmonella, Clostridium, and E. Coli to grow.” according to Dr. Julian “Skip” Olson, Milk Products LLC – Animal Welfare.
Feeding your chickens probiotics can help support their immune system and help keep your flock happy and healthy. Other foods that have probiotics are: kefir, sauerkraut, Tempeh, pickles, and some cheeses.
Make sure you know which foods are safe for chickens to eat before feeding them.
The most important thing to remember is moderation is the key!
Yogurt That Is Bad For Chickens
Avoid feeding your chickens yogurts that contain high amounts of sugar and other harmful additives such as Vegetable oils, flour, milk powder, artificial colors and flavors, or anything from concentrate.
Some of the worst yogurts for both you and your chickens as they are loaded with sugar.
|Chobani Blueberry Greek Yogurt||5.3 ounces||15 grams|
|Yoplait Greek 100 Strawberry||5.3 ounces||9 grams|
|Dannon Oikos Blueberry Greek Nonfat Yogurt||5.3 ounces||24 grams|
|Yoplait Light Blueberry Patch Yogurt||6 ounces||10 grams|
|Yoplait Blueberry Greek Yogurt||5.3 ounces||18 grams|
|Stonyfield Organic Smooth & Creamy||8 ounces||29 grams|
|Brown Cow Nonfat Vanilla||6 ounces||25 grams|
|Dannon Activia||4.4 ounces||19 grams|
Healthiest Yogurts for Chickens
Chickens can live an entire life without eating yogurt. That being said, I know a lot of people like feeding them human food. (at least we do) If you do buy yogurt to share with your chickens, always read the lable.
Only feed them Greek yogurt that does not contain any artificial flavors, and huge amounts of sugar.
According to Women’s Health Magazine, here’s 5 of the healthiest Greek yogurts you shouldn’t feel guilty about sharing with your pets.
|Fage Total Plain Greek Yogurt||6 ounces||5 grams|
|Chobani Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt||5.3 ounces||4 grams|
|Dannon Two Good Plain Greek Yogurt||6 ounces||2 grams|
|Trader Joe’s Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt||1 cup||6 grams|
|Maple Hill Plain 100% Grass-Fed Organic Greek Yogurt||0.75 cups||7 grams|
Do Chickens Even Like Yogurt?
Believe it or not, chickens love eating yogurt. Many people on forums have said their chickens go crazy for it whenever they feed it to them.
But like any type of animal, the key is finding a
When feeding yogurt or any other snacks to your chickens, they should not consume more than 10% of their regular diet.
How to Feed Chickens Yogurt?
The best way is to clean out some bowls with water and put a small amount in the bowls. Be sure to use heavy bowls or saucers with a flat bottom, so they don’t tip them over.
Now put the bowls down and get back, as the yogurt will start flying everywhere. Don’t forget to give them fresh water, whenever you feed them.
Some pet owners will even create yogurt treats specifically for them.
Yogurt Treats for Chickens
It’s very easy to create frozen chicken treats using the store-bought yogurt in your refrigerator. Some people will give their chickens ice cream, although it’s not recommended.
Always use plain unsweetened yogurt for the homemade chicken treats.
Grab some ice cube molds, muffin tips, or silicon molds to fill them with the yogurt. Place them in the freezer overnight.
In 24 hours, remove the yogurt treats from the molds and store them in a Ziplock freezer bag to keep them fresh.
If your chickens love eating them, you can mix in some other healthy ingredients such as;
- Unsalted Nuts
- Apple (dice it into small pieces)
- Chopped Veggies (peas, spinach, carrots, broccoli)
- Sunflower Seeds
- Mealworms or crickets (they will love this)
Give it a try and see how happy your chickens are when you feed them a special treat!
When Not to Feed Chickens Yogurt?
Even though chickens love eating yogurt, there are some instances you shouldn’t give it to them.
If The Yogurt Is Rotten and Moldy
Never feed your chickens any rotten or moldy food. Just like moldy food can make you sick, it can make them sick.
When It Is Full of Sugar
Too much sugar can be bad for humans, it can also be bad for chickens. It can cause chickens to become overweight and lead to less production of eggs.
Can Baby Chicks Eat Yogurt
Baby chicks require a diet that is high in protein, as it will aid in the development and growth of muscles, tissues, and organs. If your young chicks are a few days old to 8 weeks old, I would avoid feeding them just any type of food.
However, according to Dr. Olson, starting your chicks early with probiotics can give them a head start to good health.
You can give them yogurt and cottage cheese as a treat, as the probiotics is good for gut health.
Other Types of Foods That Are Good For Your Chickens
It’s normal to want to feed your chickens human foods or fruits and veggies you eat. Chickens are omnivores and love eating a variety of different foods.
In addition to a good quality poultry feed, you can feed them some of these fruits and veggies on a daily basis.
- Vegetable Peels
You can even feed them small amounts of cooked foods such as beans, bread, rice, and pasta.
In summary, chickens can eat Greek yogurt and they love it! Make sure they get a well-balanced diet that consists of all the nutrients they need.
Yogurt should only be fed as an occasional treat. If you’re unsure of whether to feed your chickens yogurt, consult with your veterinarian.
References and Further Reading
NSW Agriculture – Poultry Keeping on a Small Scale
Exotic Pet – Dairy and Birds