From vegetables and fruits to pork and cottage cheese, chickens can eat an incredibly wide variety of foods. These omnivorous creatures are not fussy about their food choices. They can effortlessly gulp down varied food items, making it easier for you to choose a feed. However, when it comes to vegetables, there is some uncertainty about feeding beets to chickens. Are you wondering if chickens can eat beets?
So, can chickens eat beets? Yes! chickens can eat beets, including the tops, stems, leaves, and the main part of the vegetable. The root of the vegetable is packed with nutrients as well as antioxidants. Beets are loaded with nutrients and minerals like fiber, folate (vitamin b9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Besides that, beets also possess blood-cleansing properties.
What are the nutritional benefits of beets for chickens?
Beets are a healthy component for a chicken’s feed. In addition to offering a high nutritional value, they can also improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Moreover, they are known to possess some medicinal properties too.
You can feed your chickens raw as well as cooked beets. Chopping up the big beets into smaller chunks is a great way to feed your chickens.
Here is a detailed look into the nutritional components of beets.
Water is the most important of all elements! Beets contain a high percentage of water. This helps ensure a high level of hydration in chickens. As social animals, chickens love to run around. It is, therefore, important that these little birds are well hydrated.
The carbs in beets include glucose and fructose. Both of these are different forms of sugar essential for energizing the body. Glucose provides instant energy that is important for short-term use.
Fructose, on the other hand, offers energy that lasts for a longer period. It is because fructose takes longer to break down.
Sugars are the quickest way of providing your chickens with energy. Sugars are also the easiest way to boost health.
Certain local groups recognize manganese as a medicine. This mineral is often related to the sound functioning of the body. Chickens require a certain amount of manganese in their body to reproduce healthily.
Beets boost the manganese presence in your chickens. Thereby, they aid in the growth and nourishing development of chickens.
Health professionals consider potassium as an important component for maintaining the sound health of the heart. Chickens require some amount of potassium too to lay eggs with ease.
Generally, chickens do not develop potassium deficiencies. However, if dietary potassium intake is low in chickens, it may lead to loss of appetite. Additionally, low dietary potassium may also lead to weight loss in chickens.
In other words, potassium keeps your farm pets from getting too skinny. One hundred grams of beets contain 325 mg of potassium, making them a good source.
Beets contain some amount of iron too. Iron is considered an essential mineral for the efficient functioning of the body.
Like humans, chickens can also face iron deficiencies. As a result of iron deficiencies, chickens can also develop anemia. Feeding beets is an ideal way of preventing this.
Fiber is an important nutritious component often overlooked for breeding chickens or any other form of poultry. Most poultry feeds have little to no fiber content.
This naturally makes it difficult to provide a well-balanced diet. This is where beets become even more relevant.
Their high dietary fiber content makes them favorable feed for chickens. Approximately 100 grams of beets contain roughly about 3 grams of fiber.
Folate (Vitamin B9)
Folate, also referred to as Folic Acid, plays a vital role in brain function. It is often linked to good mental and emotional health. A deficiency of Folic acid can cause our friendly birds to lose feathers. Lethargy and abnormality in the chicken’s growth can also be caused due to a lack of folic acid.
Adult chickens with folic acid deficiencies can give birth to chicks that have deformities. Chickens are more prone to Folic acid deficiencies compared to most other animals. Beets are a great source of Folic acid (Vitamin B9).
Vitamin C is important for bone development in chickens. Generally, chickens can produce Vitamin C for themselves. However, if the chicken is in stress or unwell, then an external source of Vitamin C becomes important.
Beets contain Vitamin C, which makes it even more beneficial for chickens. One hundred grams of beets contain 4.9 mg of vitamin C.
What is the right way of feeding beets to chickens?
When it comes to chicken and beets, there is no right or wrong way. You can choose any way, depending on your personal convenience or preference. At the end of the day, chickens really do love beets. They love it so much that they will eat beets in any form!
Chickens can eat beets raw or cooked. Besides, they can also eat it whole, halved, or even sliced. When not sliced, chickens will peck onto the beet and break up the parts that they want to eat.
Some common ways of feeding beets to chickens are discussed below.
Raw beets contain a heavy amount of minerals, nutrients, and antioxidants that can be lost when the beets are cooked. Beets can be fed to chickens directly from the garden.
As root vegetables, beets do not attract pests or insects and are therefore safe to serve uncooked. This is the ideal way to feed your chickens some beets.
Cooked beets may lose some amount of nutrient richness. However, they are still healthy and safe to serve chickens. Ensure that you do not add salt to your cooked beets.
Additionally, even beet pulp is suitable for consumption for chickens. Beet pulp is the leftover matter when sugar is extracted from beets. Without any sugar or water content, beet pulp still has nutritional value.
Avoiding unfavorable situations
Generally, there are no disadvantages when it comes to feeding beets to your chickens. However, there are a few situations where things can turn unfavorable. You must keep in mind some precautions to not end up hurting your poultry.
Beets should not replace other foods. Beets should be included in chickens’ diet as an addition, and not as the sole item.
Feeding beets instead of basic poultry food occasionally is a good idea for a change. However, other poultry food like corn, pellets, grains, and more should not be eliminated from the chickens’ diet.
Moreover, do not add beets to your chickens’ diet in excess. Excess of anything is bad. This is true even for the most nutritional foods. Too much of beets will cause a dietary imbalance that may lead to more serious health hazards.
Frequently Asked Questions
What part of the beet can chickens eat?
As already mentioned, chickens can eat almost every part of the beet plant. Simply put, beets are practically zero-waste food. Chickens can easily and safely consume beetroot. You can chop it off into smaller pieces for better ease of consumption.
Besides, chickens can also consume beet greens. Beet greens consist of the stems and the roots attached to the beet. These are equally important as the root part. Besides, it also comprises important nutrients for your chickens’ wellbeing.
Can chickens eat beet greens?
Yes, chickens can also eat beet greens. This post has already highlighted the nutritional value of beetroots. However, beet greens are also high in nutrition. Beet Greens are rich in iron and manganese, also present in the beetroot.
Additionally, beet greens are also heavy in Vitamin K, Calcium, and Copper. Let’s understand what nutritional benefits they offer for your poultry.
Vitamin K – Vitamin K is important concerning bone metabolism or bone growth.
Calcium – Chickens require calcium for the development and maintenance of bones. Additionally, chickens also require calcium to form eggshells.
Copper – Copper is important to prevent any deficiencies that can lead to the development of anemia.
Summing it up
It is important to maintain a balanced diet for your chickens. In the interest of adding variety and saving costs, beets make for a great food item. In addition to being absolutely safe and healthy, chickens’ love for beets is a great plus!
You can feed you chickens these flavorful beets packed with nutrients without any inconvenience. The nutritional value of beets is amazing, and your chickens can grow up to be healthier if you feed them beets.