Can Chickens Eat Cabbage? (Yes, but should you?)

So, you want to feed cabbage to your chickens. Immediately you probably wonder, “can chickens eat cabbage?”

Fair question.

But really it just opens it up to more questions. Can you feed cabbage to chickens on a regular basis? Or only occasionally? Do you have to cut it up? Can they eat cooked cabbage? How do you actually feed it to them. (If chickens can even eat it!)

So many questions!

And that’s where this resource comes into play. Our blog post answers these questions (and more) in an effort to help chicken owners understand whether or not their birds can eat cabbage.

So, Can Chickens Eat Cabbage?

Yes! Cabbage is good for chickens as an occasional treat. We grab a head of cabbage from the grocery every other week or so. Then, we poke it through on a specific feeder that comes with a chain.

If you’re interested, here’s the cabbage-feeding device we use here at HomeGardenLabs. (Note: It’s an Amazon link, and they’ll give us a commission, if you buy it.)

Then, we hang it on one of the nesting bars and let the flock have at it.

Nutrition Facts About Cabbage (Vitamins)

Cabbage is high in Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. This veggie is also low fat!

A few other facts include:

  • Cabbage May Prevent Inflammation in your birds by acting as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Cabbage Contains Vitamin C, this nutrient is good for your animals to maintain a healthy immune system in cold weather.
  • Cabbage Can Also Help to Reduce Stress for the flock by acting as an adaptogen that can help the body adapt to stress.
  • This veggie May Enhance Digestive Health in your girls by acting as a prebiotic

So How Often Can Your Birds Enjoy Some of the Green Stuff?

If you, as a chicken owner, feed your birds a healthy regular part of their diet (i.e., every day), then feel free to give them some cabbage leaves at least once per week, even up to every other day.

Types of cabbage (and other foods, fruits) to feed chickens

  • Cooked: By cooking it, you are breaking down the fiber so that it’s easier to digest.
  • Raw cabbage leaves: Can give them a few of the cabbage leaves from time to time, but make sure you don’t give them too much. Can also feed these leaves to your chickens when they are molting or during the winter months so that they can get some Vitamin C.
  • Cabbage stalks: A few of these about once per week, but it’s not recommended that you feed them more than that.
  • Uncooked refrigerated: Refrigerated cabbage is ok, depending on timing. The leaves will last for a few days. After that, they’ll lose their nutritional value.
  • Dangling cabbage: Cabbage (and other vegetables) is food but also becomes a toy when it’s hanging from the cage. If you see a head on sale, buy it and tie it up in their coop. About 18″ off the ground is the right height.
  • Moldy Cabbage: It’s not a good idea to feed your chickens moldy cabbage. If it’s already gone bad, then that would be a no-go.
  • Other veggies: Chickens love things like corn, tomatoes, even certain fruits!
  • Store-bought Cabbage: This is perfectly fine and can be included for chickens.

NOTE: If your cabbage gets old and stale, use them as a bedding material. But don’t go overboard — they’ll start to rot and ferment if you have too many.

Dangle a Head in You Chicken Coop

We’ve already mentioned it, but hanging a whole head in the chicken coop is great as a treat for chickens, but also something to keep them occupied. For example, You tie up any type of cabbage in your coop in January.

It’s cold, all your girls are inside, right?

They’re like, “What’s that? Let’s peck it, instead of each other.”

So, Go Ahead and Give Your Chickens Cabbage!