Can Chickens Eat Eggplant (Not all of it)

Can chickens can eat eggplant. It’s a “yes, but…” answer. Yes, BUT it’s VERY important to know they can’t eat all of it. You must remove the toxic parts like the stems, limbs, and leaflets. Get rid of these and you don’t have anything to worry about. 

Chickens aren’t fussy eaters, so they’ll eat almost anything you give them. The only thing you need to worry about is their health. As long as you remove the toxic green parts that contain sulfuric acid, your chickens can eat eggplant.

The rest of this article will give a more detailed answer to the question ‘can chickens eat eggplant’ by going over the parts that chickens can and can’t eat. It will also explain why some parts are toxic while some are fine. 

So keep reading to find more information about your pet and its diet.

What Parts of An Eggplant Chickens Can Not Eat

While chickens can eat the flesh itself, some parts of the fruit are potentially toxic to them. 

You should be super careful and make sure you don’t give any of them to your pets. Even if the consequences of doing so aren’t severe, you should try to avoid anything that may upset your birds.

The easiest way to remember which parts to steer clear of is by remembering that the green parts are bad

This includes leaves, stems, etc. These green parts have a chemical called alkaloids. Consuming it can lead to symptoms like a burning or flaming reaction in the throat in people.

Since eggplants are part of the nightshade family, they have sulphuric acid. This isn’t super harmful in small doses. However, if birds eat a lot of it, they will experience the same side effects humans do when they consume it.

These impacts are quite uncomfortable for humans and chickens alike. So it is best to avoid the parts of eggplant that cause them.

A less common but more serious impact of eating eggplant parts like the stem that you should know about is getting an irregular heartbeat. This may be accompanied by nausea and sometimes death. This is a rare consequence but a risk that you must consider.

There aren’t any superb benefits of giving the green parts of eggplant to your chickens, so it is best to avoid it. While you may want to fight food wastage, giving your pets potentially toxic food is not a good idea. (Even humans shouldn’t eat eggplant stems.)

Why Chickens Should Eat Eggplant

Eggplant is a great vegetable from a nutritional and supplement standpoint. A raw eggplant has vitamins B6, K, and C, niacin, folate, potassium, fiber, manganese, thiamine, magnesium, and a whole lot more.

Eggplant has many great nutrients that are great for your birds. Chickens will get most of these even if you give them cooked eggplant. While a few may get deactivated, a large chunk of them will stay active.

Vitamin B6

Chickens eating eggplant are significantly less likely to become anemic. Their health is essential to proper egg production, so it’s great that chickens eat this vegetable.

A deficiency of Vitamin B6 can lead to disorders related to the skeleton and nervous system. Both have devastating impacts on egg development.

Antioxidants

Another great thing about feeding eggplants to your chickens is that they get access to antioxidants. These boost the immune system and prevent chickens from getting sick.

Copper

Chicken farmers use copper to increase the growth of their broiler chickens. Since it decreases cholesterol and increases meat consumption, chickens are way healthier with copper intake.

Thiamine

When a chicken eats eggplants, it gets a high dose of thiamine. It prevents digestive issues and regulates body temperature.

Other Foods You Can Feed Chickens

There are a couple of other foods that chickens love to eat, but you would not have expected them to. 

This list is far from extensive but is bound to give you a few surprises. So if your chicken doesn’t like eggplant for some reason or if you want to introduce more unconventional food, you can pick something from this list.

You can give your chickens:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Mango
  • Walnuts
  • Cherries

All of these are regular food items that we consume. But had you ever thought that you could give them to chickens? Well, nobody did!

Food You Shouldn’t Feed Chickens

  • Heavily salted food

One of the biggest no-nos when it comes to feeding chickens is salty foods. 

This is crucial information backyard chicken owners especially need to know. Sometimes they give seasoned eggplant leftovers to their birds without knowing that the seasoning is incredibly harmful to the chickens.

  • Seeds

All seeds are choking hazards for chickens. Some are even slightly poisonous. For instance, while chickens can eat cherries, they can’t eat cherry seeds because those contain cyanide.

Even the seeds that aren’t outrightly poisonous aren’t great for chickens. This is because they can’t chew them and may choke on them.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many eggplants can you feed chickens?

10% of a chicken’s diet can consist of eggplant. This means that you can’t feed only eggplant to your chicken. 

There need to be other chicken foods. While this vegetable is nutritious and can add value to your pet’s life, you shouldn’t give them too much of it.

Eggplants make for a great snack, though. So you can give some to your birds once every other day or however you see appropriate.

Can chickens eat eggplant? Yes, but what about chicks?

Yes, chicks can eat eggplants when they’re older than a month. Baby chicks can’t eat it before this because they haven’t developed enough. 

They also don’t have the teeth or the ability to eat the eggplant yet.

Once they’re grown enough, there is a good chance they’ll love this vegetable. They may enjoy eggplant skin and the various nutrients that come with eating it. They could also be part of the chicken sub-group that prefers eggplant flesh. Only time will tell.

Don’t give your chicks eggplants before they’re ready. Once they come of age, you can explore with them to figure out what kinds of snacks they like.