If you should ask yourself if chickens can eat Okra then you are at the right place. Keep reading to learn more.
Chickens usually get all daily nutritional requirements from commercial feeds. However, they may get bored if they are given the same feed every day.
Giving them another type of feed will ensure that they are more interested in eating and benefit their general health. Okra is among the most popular and nutritious vegetables.
What is Okra?
Okra is a well-known green and finger-like bristly vegetable. It is more prevalent during the summer seasons and is referred to as ochro, ladies’ fingers, or gumbo.
It is mainly harvested during the warm season, although it can also be regarded as an all-year-round crop.
Okra is typically a young pod of seed derived from the okra plant. It is mainly found in warm regions that experience a humid climate throughout the year.
Such regions include Asian countries such as India. Although some people do not like Okra because of its slimy texture, it is among the most favored vegetables in several counties in the Southern part of the USA.
It is also common in other regions such as the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and South America.
Can Chickens Eat Okra?
If you have been thinking of feeding your chickens on Okra, then you should worry no more. Okra is regarded as one of the safe organic feeds that a chicken keeper can give his chickens.
Your chickens can therefore eat it. However, you must ensure that it is not included as part of your chicken’s primary diet.
Although Okra is rich in nutrients, it has low solanine levels. Solanine is a harmful compound that may eventually lead to health issues for your chickens.
It is usually advisable to feed them on Okra moderately to avoid any future health concerns.
Nutrients Found in Okra
Okra is abundant in nutrients, just like cauliflower and zucchini. Here are some of the most outstanding nutrients.
Like human beings, chickens, too, require a variety of nutrients for them to stay healthy and live a more productive life. Vitamin A is one of those essential nutrients.
It helps in the improvement of your chicken’s immune system, vision, and reproduction. In addition, it helps the internal body organs to work properly and do their responsibility to keep the body healthy.
A deficiency in Vitamin A can easily lead to vision impairments in chickens as well as medical concerns like infectious coryza and Xerophthalmia.
Although the latter is very rare in commercial poultry, it is likely to affect backyard chickens.
Another important nutrient component in Okra is Vitamin B6. It helps in improving the metabolism of chickens as well as their brain development.
If your birds lack Vitamin B6, they will show several signs such as partial molts, reproductive health issues, and metabolism concerns.
Vitamin C is widely recognized as ascorbic acid. Typically, it acts as an antioxidant that helps protect body cells against free radicals that may result in any damage. Vitamins C also serves as a repair for all body tissues and promotes general body growth. A sufficient supply is vital for your chickens, especially when they are stressed.
Vitamin K serves various purposes, such as keeping the bones healthy and the normal regulation of blood clotting. Besides, it helps in synthesizing prothrombin. It will help in preventing your chickens from bruises that may cause death because of excessive bleeding. If your hen has a deficiency of Vitamin K, she will more likely suffer from internal bleeding.
Can Your Chickens Seeds, Pods, and Skin?
It will not take you a lot of time to feed your chicken okra as nearly all of it is safe and edible for your chickens; pods, leaves, and seeds. Compact okra pods are preferred because they can be digested easily, unlike the bigger ones. Besides, most nutrients are found in okra pods.
You can also feed okra seeds to your chickens. Since they are the smoothest part, your birds will find it easy to eat them. In addition, seeds can be fed in several ways and are rich in nutrients. You can mix them with the chicken pellets because of their texture. This can as well be done for Okra’s skin part.
Generally, Okra is rich in nutrients. It could help if you feed your chickens on fresh okras because they have rich nutrients that are at their peak. Therefore, if you are growing Okra in your backyard, you should give it to your chickens the moment you harvest it.
Is Okra Good for Your Chickens?
Like other vegetables and fruits, Okra is packed with a wide variety of nutrients. It is considered one of the best organic foods for chickens. Although commercial chicken pellets have the essential nutrients, chicken keepers are not restricted to feeding their birds on them only. It is always good to include some fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Below are some of the benefits of feeding Okra to your chickens.
Helps to Improve the Digestion Process
Okra is widely known for being rich in fiber. If you give it to your chickens, it will help in promoting a regular bowel movement and hinder constipation. Therefore, your birds will digest food with ease. The food will also move conveniently throughout the chicken’s digestive system.
Improvement in Vision
As human beings, chickens too are prone to vision impairment and blindness when they lack Vitamin A. Providing your chickens with Okra will serve them the right amount of Vitamin A that their body will require. This will help them to have a good visual.
Helps in Boosting the Immune System
Okra has high levels of antioxidants that will help to prevent the free radicals from destroying your chicken’s body cells. It will therefore assist in restricting diseases and illnesses your chickens might suffer.
Feeding Your Chickens Okra
You can feed Okra to your chickens either as cooked or raw. Although you can serve it just the way it is, your birds may find it difficult to peck on because of the hard external fixture. Therefore, it can help if you cut it into smaller pieces before giving your chickens.
Besides, you can feed Okra to your chickens by mixing a salad with commercial chicken pellets and then placing it in a feeder. Birds are not picky about what they should it but would instead eat whatever you give them. It would be best if you remembered to serve diced Okra to prevent your chickens from choking.
Foods That Are Toxic to Chickens
As mentioned earlier, solanine can be toxic to your backyard chickens. Besides, there are several compounds in some foods we eat that can be harmful to your chickens.
Here are foods that can be harmful to your birds:
Green Tomatoes and Potatoes
Some vegetables and fruits may contain toxic amounts of solanine. This applies to potatoes as well as tomatoes when they are still green. Therefore, you should avoid giving your chickens green tomatoes or green parts of potatoes.
Chocolate has a couple of compounds that are harmful to chickens. It is also harmful to other household pets like dogs.
Coffee and Tea
If you are used to coffee grounds or tea bags in your yard, you must ensure that they are kept away from where your chickens roam. They are harmful and may eventually lead to death if your chickens feed on them.
Most beans have a compound known as lectin that is harmful. If eaten by your chickens, it can result in death. You can neutralize this toxin by cooking the beans. Therefore, you must avoid giving your chickens raw beans.
Although they may not be too toxic, you must understand that chickens require good-quality nutrition to lay tasty eggs and stay healthy. Therefore, it will not be good to give them high in additives and salt or leftover junk food.
Foods That Are Fine For Chickens
Giving your chickens a wide variety of feeds is recommended if they are not harmful to their health. Here are some of the best healthier foods that you can give to your birds:
Grains make a large percentage of commercial feeds and scratch mixes. Many chicken keepers prefer using them because they are easy to feed on chickens and are relatively cheaper. You can use wheat, cornmeal, brown rice, and corn.
You can give your chicken fruits to supplement their daily diet. Some of these fruits include bananas, apples, oranges, melons, figs, and berries.
If you aim to add some more great nutrition to the diet of your chickens, you can include vegetables. They will help in various ways, such as improving the digestion process. Some of the vegetables popularly used by chicken keepers include broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, and carrots.
Chickens can eat Okra. Therefore, together with cauliflower and zucchini, you can include them in the list of vegetables and fruits that are safe for your chickens to eat.