Ginger is a perennial flowering plant whose roots are often used herb or a spice in the kitchen and traditional and modern medicine. It can easily rid us of cough and cold, fever, joint problems and is also effective in lowering our blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you are a chicken-owner and think of adding herbs to your pets’ diet, can ginger work for them?
Can chickens eat ginger? Chickens are very fond of ginger and they will definitely eat it. Gingers are powerful herbs that have several health benefits for your chickens, especially the ones that are laying eggs. Some chickens even like eating their leaves, which, although healthy, shouldn’t be overconsumed, for they can make the taste of their eggs bitter.
Chickens can eat ginger but that doesn’t mean they should eat it all the time. Just like any other herb or veggie but they should only do it in small quantities and only as a treat.
Are you wondering if baby chicks can eat gingers or not? Or are you concerned about them eating ginger leaves? We are going to clear all your doubts and queries regarding feeding ginger to your feathered pets.
Are gingers healthy for chickens?
As a responsible pet parent, it is your job to learn everything about any food before adding it to your pet’s diet. Many pet owners think that just because chickens are not fussy eaters, they can eat anything safely.
However, this is far from the truth.
Several edible things can be harmful to their health. Moreover, chickens have a small stomach and, therefore, a small appetite. So, it is essential to fit enough nutrients into their diet so that they can stay healthy.
Does ginger benefit the health of your feathered pets in any way? Before we talk about that, let’s take a glance at the table below to learn about its nutritional composition:
|Vitamin A||0 IU|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.75 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||0.6 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.203 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.16 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||11 mcg|
|Vitamin C||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.26 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.1 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||16 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.6 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||43 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.229 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||34 mg|
|Sodium, Na||0.3 mg|
|Potassium, K||8.3 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.34 mg|
|Dietary fibers||0.12 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
The table above is proof that gingers are called “superfoods” for a good reason. However, chickens have different dietary and nutritional needs from us. Can gingers help them as well? Listed below are some of the vital effects of ginger on your chicken’s health. Check them out:
- Gingers are the storehouse of many vitamins and minerals, all of which promote the health of your chickens.
- It stimulates their appetite, enabling them to consume more food and have healthier growth.
- It is also rich in several antioxidants that boost their immune system and protect them against all kinds of diseases.
- Ginger also keeps their blood flow regulated and their hearts healthy, thus reducing cardiac problems.
- It is known for reducing the stress in chickens and promoting a calm and peaceful environment in their coop.
- Ginger also has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties to protect them against all kinds of infections and other ill-effects of weather change.
For all the reasons listed above, it would be right to declare gingers as healthy for your feathered pets.
Can egg-laying chickens eat ginger?
For those who didn’t know this, the diet of a normal chicken and an egg-laying chicken should be different because of their different nutritional needs. The latter needs some nutrients in a larger quantity for the proper quality and development of their eggs. So, can these chickens eat ginger? Yes, absolutely.
After much research, we found that in a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, it is proven that ginger roots help the egg-laying chickens not only in improving their egg-laying performance but also in producing better-quality eggs.
Therefore, if you’re one of those who raise chickens for their eggs, you must start feeding them ginger if you aren’t already.
What about ginger leaves? Can chickens eat them?
Gingers grow in the roots of their plant. But are the other parts of these plants edible as well? What about their leaves?
Also referred to as “Bon Shoga” and “Yanaka Shoga,” the ginger leaves also fulfill various purposes. These are generally cultivated in the summers when the roots are still young.
They are long and narrow (blade-like) in structure, are tender and crispy, and have a mild peppery flavor that is less pungent than the gingers themselves. They are used both in the raw form in salads and can also be cooked, boiled, steamed, and sauteed. But can your chickens eat these leaves, too?
While the ginger leaves have no toxins and are completely safe for your chickens, feeding them too many of these would be a bad idea, for it would result in their eggs having a mildly bitter aftertaste.
Almost all leaves have the same impact on the chicken eggs. Moreover, the chickens themselves are not very fond of leaves and usually stay away from them.
How much ginger can chickens eat? And how often?
Do you remember that we had asked you to feed your chickens ginger in moderation at the beginning of this article? After going through all of its health benefits for them, you must be wondering why.
While ginger can benefit them a great deal in moderation when fed in excess, it can also hurt them. Too much ginger in their system can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea and upset stomachs.
We recommend you to feed them ginger a couple of times a week so that there’s room in their diet for other herbs as well. You should mix about 1-2 grams of ginger per kilogram feed. This moderation should also be followed with the ginger leaves in case they like eating them.
Can baby chicks eat ginger?
When the chicks are born, their immediate nutritional needs are taken care of inside the egg itself, which is why they don’t need anything to eat or drink for at least after 24-48 hours of their birth. After that, you should feed them the starter feeds designed for them (containing about 20% of protein).
However, if you’re wondering whether or not these chicks can be fed ginger, yes, they can, in moderation. The health benefits of ginger will help these vulnerable and fragile creatures even more. All you need to be careful about is moderation; too much of anything can be lethal to them.
Ginger for Chickens: Serving Ideas
If you have been raising chickens for a while, you might have figured out by now that feeding chickens anything can never be too difficult. Ginger is no different.
When it comes to feeding chickens ginger, you have two choices: fresh or powdered. Out of these, the former is always the safer and healthier alternative since the store-bought ginger powders might have chemicals in them to increase their shelf life.
Moreover, the nutritional content also gets diluted in the entire manufacturing process. Thus, the fresh gingers are more nutritious for them.
Whether you buy ginger from a store or grow them yourself, your first step should be to clean them with water to get rid of all kinds of dirt from them.
Once they’re thoroughly washed, you can chop them up into small, bite-sized pieces for your feathered pets. You can also grate or grind the ginger to make eating them easier on your pets.
You should keep in mind that you should never feed them ginger separately; its taste might be too strong for your pets. Instead, you can mix sprinkle them in their daily feed. This is tried-and-tested to be the most effective method.
Other herbs and spices you can feed your chickens
Are gingers the only herbs that your backyard pets can feed on? Some several other herbs and spices are both safe and healthy for your little chickens.
Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Being one of the most nutrient-dense herbs globally, basil is one of the most used herbs in many households. It can also benefit your chickens’ health by strengthening their immune system and improving their digestion. Moreover, basil also contains xanthophyll, a compound that can brighten their egg yolk.
Thyme is another healthy herb for your chickens. It helps them with cough, cold, and other common respiratory problems and boosts their immune system.
Known for its sweet and warming aroma, cinnamon is a common ingredient in most kitchens. Not only do they add a unique flavor to our food, but they also quite healthy for both our chickens and us.
They naturally contain anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and can also fight against all kinds of respiratory infections.
Most of us love mints for their refreshing smell. But did you know that they can help your chickens as well? Mints are powerful herbs with many vitamins and minerals, boosting their immune system and ridding them of all kinds of digestive and respiratory problems.
Conclusion: Can chickens eat ginger?
Let’s revisit our first question: can chickens eat ginger? Yes, they can, but not too much. As with every other herb, ginger should also be fed to chickens in moderation if you want them to benefit your pet’s health.
Cinnamon, pepper, catnip, mint, parsley, and thyme are some of the other herbs that you can include in their diet, along with ginger.