All chicken owners wish to maintain their flock’s health. If you own a poultry feed, it is crucial to feed them healthy snacks to maintain their health.
Many chicken owners experiment with the poultry by giving them different treats. Undoubtedly, you can supplement your chicken’s diet by offering them nutritious food. But, one of the most asked questions that need attention is ‘can chickens eat mushrooms?’
Typically, you would want to feed your chickens some things you like to eat yourself, including these rubbery foods. First, however, it is crucial to know if your chickens can eat them or not.
Yes, chickens can eat mushrooms, but like people, you have to consider which ones are safe to feed them. So let’s learn more about it.
Are Mushrooms Safe for Chickens?
A poultry owner should be able to distinguish between safe and unsafe foods. There is no way you would want to compromise your flock’s health. Therefore, it is utterly significant to differentiate between the good stuff and the bad one.
Chickens can eat anything edible to humans, including mushrooms. However, the real challenge lies in differentiating between what’s safe and toxic for them.
Regular mushrooms are perfectly safe for chickens. You can feed them a handful of these as an occasional treat. Most chickens, not all, would enjoy this healthy treat.
If your chickens love to roam freely in the backyard, they should be kept away from mushrooms, especially if you don’t know the kind growing around you. Such backyard chickens should feed only the store-bought ones.
Also, there is a never-ending debate among pet owners about the health benefits of wild mushrooms. Let us clarify the underlying doubts about these for all the chicken owners.
Can Chickens Eat Wild Mushrooms?
There are plenty of wild mushroom varieties that make delicious and edible treats for your poultry. However, there are various poisonous ones of which you should be wary. Sometimes, it can be complicated to find the difference between them and the safe ones since both look similar.
These fungi-like vegetables are highly prevalent in the wild, making it easy for the chicken to hunt them down. However, the chickens usually follow their instincts and keep themselves away from the toxic ones.
You might come across many poultry owners who tell you that their flock fell ill after munching on wild ones. Therefore, it would be helpful to feed them only the store-bought.
Not paying attention to the kind of foods chickens eat can invite many health issues. For instance, the toxic varieties can lead to kidney failure or other neurological disorders.
Store-bought Mushrooms and Chickens’ Health
Wild varieties can cause serious health concerns to your poultry, as discussed. However, there are other alternatives available. You can opt for the cultivated ones or feed them the store-bought ones.
Most owners like to make their chicken feed the veggies they get from the store. Whether these are healthy for them or not stays a topic of heated discussion.
This low-calorie, fat-free food is nutritious for anybody. Being overweight is not beneficial for anyone. Even chickens face the same problem. It is a food that is antioxidant-rich and low in sodium and cholesterol.
You can feed mushrooms to your chickens to improve their overall health. It is significantly beneficial for egg-laying chickens. They might not like the raw mushrooms’ texture, but they might develop a taste for it over time.
Feeding Mushrooms to Your Chickens
Nature offers a variety of these foods to feed your poultry. You can get your chickens to eat different types of mushrooms including
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Porcini mushrooms
- Reishi mushrooms
- Morel mushrooms
- Oyster mushrooms
Various poultry owners assert that their chickens prefer cooked mushrooms to uncooked mushrooms. Since they do not get tempted by the texture of the raw ones, they choose to eat the cooked ones.
You can chop them on a cutting board and cook them in the nonstick skillet on medium heat. Make sure you get only the edible ones as eating poisonous mushrooms can harm their health. You can cook their different varieties and dry feed them to the flock.
Alternatively, you can serve them by mixing them with other food that forms part of their regular diet. There is no need to add seasoning, salt, or butter to your chickens’ mushrooms. Make sure you wear gloves while cooking to avoid any transfer of germs to their food.
Benefits of Making Chickens Eat Mushrooms
‘Can chickens eat mushrooms’ is no longer a question of debate since we know they contribute to their excellent health. If they eat safe species of these foods, they shall experience the following benefits.
- It helps flush the oxidants from their systems because they are high in antioxidants.
- It might contribute to enhancing their egg-laying capacity and egg quality.
- It might keep the cholesterol in check.
Most mushrooms have an enhanced level of vitamin D. You can cook mushrooms for your chickens to eat as it can help retain calcium in their bodies, thus promoting good bone health. Though there are many benefits of eating them, one should feed them to their chickens in moderation.
You can feed them different types of mushrooms like oysters, shitake mushrooms, etc. However, the pet owner should be wary of the quantity going into their system.
Other Foods for Your Feathered Pets
There is no use in growing these fungi if your pets dislike them. Some chickens might like the button mushrooms. On the flip side, some might show a distaste for the ones you get from the store.
You can look for alternative foods in such a case. Some foods your chickens would love to eat other than these include:
Poultry farm owners often have some questions in mind:
Can I feed my chickens uncooked mushrooms?
Since uncooked mushrooms are difficult to digest, it is advisable not to feed it to your chickens.
What is the right way to feed them mushrooms?
The best way you can feed the mushrooms to your chickens is when they are cooked and soft. You can also mix them with the feed.
Can they eat wild mushrooms?
Yes, some of them. However, you don’t have to be cautious as chickens cannot easily track wild mushrooms. Even if they do, the texture appears inedible to them, so they mostly stay away.
Mushrooms are one of the best foods that they can snack on. Store-bought mushrooms will make the best choice for your feathered pets.
These foods can contribute to helping your chicken lay delicious eggs. You can even grow a low-calorie edible mushroom in your backyard by getting a few hardwood logs. These will help you build some mushroom logs that your chickens can snack on occasionally.