Chia seeds are widely known as a superb food because of their high nutritional value. As a backyard chicken keeper, you might be wondering if you can feed chia seeds to your chickens.
So, can your backyard chickens eat chia seeds? The answer is yes. You can feed your chickens on chia seeds. They are rich in nutrients such as proteins, omega-3, and fiber.
Besides, chia seeds are a good source of minerals and vitamins. All of these nutrients are good and healthy for your chickens to consume.
Is Chia Seeds Safe For Your Chickens?
It is safe to feed your chickens on chia seeds because they do not contain toxins. However, most chicken keepers’ only concern with chia seeds is serving them raw to chickens.
The seeds will expand in the chickens’ stomachs when they are ingested. Generally, the swelling will not be drastic and will not cause any danger to the chickens.
However, some birds may overeat chia seeds if you offer them a lot. Eating a lot of chia seeds will more likely lead to digestive issues.
It would be better if you provided your birds with small quantities of the seeds to avoid any digestive issues.
Is it Healthy For Backyard Chickens to Eat Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds have a high nutritional value. They are a good source of various nutrients such as calcium, protein, fiber, manganese, folate, zinc, phosphorous, choline, and antioxidants.
One-once chia seeds feed contain the following:
- Fiber: 11 grams
- Fat: 9 grams (which contains five omega-3s)
- Protein: 4 grams
- Calcium: 18% of RDI
- Magnesium: 30% of RDI
- Manganese: 30% of RDI
- Phosphorus: 27% of RDI
High in Calcium
Chia seeds are rich in calcium. This is a vital nutrient both for your chicks as well as laying hens. It helps in the general development of chickens. Besides, calcium will help develop bones in young chickens and maintain strong bones.
The calcium in chia seeds will also be vital for your egg-laying hens. It helps in the formation of strong eggshells. A chicken’s eggshells are entirely made of calcium.
Therefore, they will need a lot of calcium in order to form strong eggs. A calcium deficiency will likely lead to your hens laying poor-quality eggs.
If you feed your hen on chia seeds constantly, she will lay healthier, bigger, and much stronger eggs.
Most backyard chicken keepers consider feeding chia seeds to their chickens because they contain a high amount of fiber. It is vital for the overall health of a chicken’s digestive system.
Besides, fiber helps move food consumed by chickens through their digestive tract smoothly. Giving your chickens fiber will also help to reduce and prevent constipation.
Prevent Cell Damage
Chia seeds are typically rich in antioxidant content. The antioxidants are very crucial for the general health of chickens.
Antioxidants will help in fighting the production of free radicals in birds. The body cells can be easily damaged if there are many radicals in the body. As a result, the chicken may be prone to a wide range of diseases such as cancer.
Can Backyard Chickens Eat Chia Pets?
Yes, your chickens can eat chia pets. Therefore, if you are growing sprouts from chia pets, then you can give them to your birds without any worries. However, you will have to ensure that they are not grown with pesticides or other farming chemicals.
Can Baby Chickens Be Fed on Chia Seeds?
Have you been asking yourself if baby chickens can eat chia seeds? Yes, they can. However, it would be good if you waited for the chicks to be at least four weeks of age.
You should avoid giving them chia seeds when they are not yet four weeks old because, at that age, chicks do not have a developed digestive system that can digest the chia seeds properly.
Instead, you should give your chicks quality starter feed that is formulated with the appropriate amount of nutrition to meet their dietary needs. Besides, the starter feed has a small and smooth texture that the chicks can feed on without choking.
Once your chicks are about four weeks old, you can introduce them to the chia seeds as you monitor them closely. It would be best if you start by giving them small amounts of the seeds to feed on.
Since this will be something new to them, consuming the seeds may take them a while.
In addition, you will have to remember giving them grits. You chicks will need grits in order to help them with the grinding of chia seeds.
Can Backyard Chickens Eat Cooked Chia Seeds?
Yes, it is safe feeding your chickens on cooked chia seeds. You will not find it hard cooking them since they can be cooked like oatmeal.
When cooking chia seeds, you should avoid adding any sugar or salt. Both sugar and salt are harmful to chickens and can easily lead to various health issues.
Therefore, it would be better if you gave your birds chia seeds without any ingredients.
Feeding Chia Seeds to Chickens
If you are keeping backyard chickens, feeding them on chia seeds will not be a problem. You can give them either raw chia seeds or cooked ones. The two options are safe for the birds to eat.
Serving cooked chia seeds is quite easy. All you will have to do is scatter the seeds on the ground. Your chickens will start pecking and eating the seeds.
On the other hand, you will have to soak the seeds first if you are feeding your chickens on uncooked chia seeds.
Soak them in water for about ten minutes to make it easier for the birds to digest them. You can then toss them to your backyard chickens for them to forage.
In addition, you can feed your chickens on chia seeds by mixing them with other chicken feeds. Such feeds may include vegetables, fruits, and commercial chicken feeds such as layers feed. This is one of the best ways to boost your chickens’ nutrition. Sprinkle a few seeds onto the chicken’s feed and have them enjoy.
How Much Chia Seeds Can Chickens Eat?
Although chia seeds are healthy and nutritious for the backyard chickens to eat, you should only offer them in small quantities. Chia seeds do not have all the necessary nutrition that chickens require in order to stay healthy and live a more productive life. This means that giving them many chia seeds will make them whole and prevent the birds from feeding on their staple food.
If you give them to mature chickens, you can offer them a tablespoon of the seeds. On the other, a teaspoon of the seeds is enough for the baby chickens.
How Often Should You Feed Chia Seeds to Your Chickens?
You can often feed ch9ia seeds to your backyard chickens from time to time. This means that it is safe to give them the seeds daily. However, you will have to give it to supplement their staple commercial feed. The seeds should only be given as a treat. Besides, they should not make more than 10% of the entire diet of the chickens.
As long as you supply your birds with plenty of the necessary chicken feed, adding a handful of the seeds to their diet will not result in any health issues.
Other Seeds That Chickens Can Eat
There are several other seeds that you can feed your backyard chickens on. Here are some of them:
Pumpkin seeds are healthy and nutritious for your chickens to eat. You can give them to your birds as raw, baked, or cooked. The chickens will freely eat and peck the seeds.
Here are some of the reasons why you should include pumpkin seeds in the diet of your chickens:
- Vitamin E: Essential for the chicken’s neurological development and protects them from coccidiosis.
- Vitamin B: Helps to keep the energy levels of your chickens up. It will also benefit hens with hatching problems.
- Vitamin A: Regenerates white and red blood cells. A deficiency of Vitamin A can lead to respiratory issues.
Backyard chickens enjoy eating sunflower seeds. They are very nutritious, and you can give your chickens daily. However, you must remember to give only a few seeds for every chicken. You should avoid giving them salted sunflower seeds because salt can be harmful to chickens and cause health issues.
Quinoa is one of the best foods you can give to your chickens. It is commonly used because of its high nutritional value. It is rich in various nutrients such as protein, calcium, and some minerals and vitamins.
Chia seeds are healthy and nutritious for your chickens to eat. Your chickens will benefit from feeding on them because of their abundant nutrients. You can give the seeds to your birds every day if you wish to. However, it would be best if you remembered to serve it in small quantities.