Maybe it’s just me and how it grew up. Sometimes there’s nothing better than fresh radish, straight out of the garden. I pulled a couple from my garden the other day. It made me wonder. Can my chickens eat and enjoy the radishes as much as I do, and could they even eat them?
I did a little bit of digging just to be sure and as it turns out, chickens can eat rashes. They can actually be a great way to help keep your flock properly hydrated. Particularly during the warmer months of the year.
One quick word of caution. Like with things such as garlic, onions, or any other strong-flavored food you give to your chickens. Feeding large amounts of radishes can potentially result in a change in the taste of their eggs.
If this is a concern for you, consider feeding only a small amount. Possibly forgetting them all together for your flock.
Now that you know Chickens can eat radishes. You may be wondering if they can eat them whole and how to feed them, let’s dive into that below.
Which Parts Of The Radish Can Chickens Eat?
There are a wide variety of fruit and vegetables that can contain both good and bad parts for your chickens. Let’s take a look to see if that’s the case with radishes.
Can Chickens Eat Whole Radishes?
As a general rule, chickens could eat whole radishes picked directly from your garden.
As you know, chickens love to choke down just about anything that they can fit inside of their beaks. You may want to consider shopping or grading your radishes before feeding them to their flock. Feeding them whole is not a huge concern, since radishes don’t contain any toxic ingredients
Can Chickens Eat Radish Leaves?
Radish leaves, tops, or greens, as they are often referred to, are often thrown away as food scraps when “we humans” eat radishes in the kitchen.
Thankfully, if you’re looking for yet another thing you don’t need to throw away thanks to your flock. Radish leaves are an excellent source of nutrition. They will be gobbled up quickly by your feathered friends in the backyard.
Can Chickens Eat Radish Seeds?
Like with many vegetable options, radish seeds are a common sight on store shelves. Especially during the spring and summer months. You may be wondering if these are okay to feed to your flock as well.
Thankfully, like with most other types of seeds. Your chickens can happily pack away at them without any concern for their well-being.
One quick trick if you want to give your flock a nutritional boost is to sprout the radish seeds rather than feeding them raw.
You made this referred to as sprouting or refer to otherwise as to the feeding of microgreens.
Radishes grow quickly from seeds. They are an excellent choice if you choose to feed your flock sprouted seeds or microgreens.
What Types of Radishes Can Chickens Eat?
Now That you know your feathered friends can eat any part of the radish. You don’t want or are otherwise thrown away. You might be wondering if all types of radishes (there are quite a few) are safe for your flock.
While it’s tough to say that every single thing in the rash family is safe for your flock, the most common types of radishes are.
Typically, you’ll find one of three types (either fully grown or as seeds) in your local stores and all three are safe for your chickens.
- “Red Radishes”: While these come with a variety of different family names, they’re usually just labeled as red radishes in the store. As the name implies….they’re red (and usually rounded) on the outside with a bright white flesh on the inside.
- Watermelon Radishes: Most Commonly off-white or green on the outside and Bright Red or Dark Pink On The Inside
- Daikon Radish: These are white through and through and sometimes may be labeled as a “white” radish. These can easily be confused with a parsnip, but your flock will know the difference as soon as they taste it
How To Feed Radishes To Your Flock:
Like with most other root vegetables and the rest of their cousins in the Brassica Family (like broccoli and cauliflower), feeding radishes to your flock is a fairly straightforward proposition.
Essentially, you can throw any or all parts of the radish directly into your coop and watch your flock go to town.
I would suggest that with large radishes especially, that you chop or grate the radish first and mix it with other food.
This will be enough to make sure that your flock doesn’t have trouble fitting the entire radish in their beak and will help them go wild for what is sure to be one of their new favorite foods.
If your chickens are particularly picky eaters, they may avoid or crawl radishes because of the snappy “bite” that’s associated with many kinds of vegetables.
In this case, feel free to feed them leftover cooked radishes or consider cooking them for a few minutes first to reduce the bite.
Additionally, as we mentioned above, radishes are an excellent source of hydration.
Depending on the type of radish, it may be up to 95% water, making them an ideal addition to your flock’s food especially during the warmer months wherever you happen to be, so feel free to use them as often as you’d like!
Benefits Of Radishes For Your Flock
In addition to being a great way to keep your chickens hydrated (as we’ve mentioned a few times in this article), Radishes are PACKED with a variety of things that can help your flock thrive.
While the actual nutritional makeup will depend on the exact kind of radishes you’re giving to your flock, there are a few things that carry through most varieties.
First, Radishes are an excellent source of Vitamin C.
While we all know the benefits of vitamin c for humans, most people don’t realize that it’s extremely helpful in keeping your flock in top-notch shape, especially during warmer periods.
Giving your birds foods rich in Vitamin C, like radishes, can help stop and reverse the effects of heat shock or heat stress.
Combine that with the hydration properties and it becomes very easy to see why radishes make an excellent addition to (at the very least) your summer feed.
Additionally, they’re packed full of other vitamins and minerals such as:
- Potassium folate
- Vitamin B-6
- Vitamin K
Lastly, radishes have a variety of excellent natural properties that may help your flock.
They’re one of the few naturally anti-fungal foods and maybe an excellent addition, if any of your feathered friends are dealing with a bout of Brooder pneumonia, Candidiasis (thrush), or even ringworm.
After doing a bit of research, I think it’s fairly obvious that not only can chickens eat radishes, but that just about everyone should consider adding them to their flock’s diet if they’re eating them already.
Like with most other kinds of fruits and vegetables, our feathered friends will go crazy for them and we will want to be careful not to OVERFEED them radishes, but if you have some in season near you, your flock will love you for sharing them!
If you’re curious what else chickens can eat you’ll want to check out our full guide here (it’s absolutely free).