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Can Chickens Eat Brussels Sprouts? Things You Need to Know

Can chicken eat Brussel sprouts?

Can chickens eat Brussels sprouts? This may be a question that has got many backyard chicken owners wondering.

Chickens are not fussy eaters. You can feed them just about anything as long as they are safe and do not pose any choking risk. 

People enjoy the taste of Brussels sprouts, and so do chickens.

But, is it safe for chickens to be eating too many Brussels sprouts?

Brussel sprouts as chicken feed

Can Chickens Eat Brussel Sprouts: Nutritional Benefits

These green leafy vegetables are not only delicious but are also nutritional powerhouses! They are rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals essential for the health and growth of chickens.

Here are some of the nutritional benefits of Brussels sprouts to chicken:


Brussel sprouts have high antioxidant content, which is crucial for a chicken’s immune system.

Providing your chickens with foods packed with antioxidants helps protect them from inflammations, improves heart health, and boosts the overall immune system. 

Antioxidant-rich Brussels sprouts also aid in getting rid of free radicals that destroy the cells in the body. Free radicals come from different sources, including foods that chickens eat.


Young chickens have a high energy level and a playful personality. That is why they require more proteins to support their growth.

Introducing Brussels sprouts into their diet is a healthy way to provide them with an extra protein boost.

A cup of Brussels sprouts has 3g of protein. Brussels sprouts make a high-protein snack to support their growth and development.  


Fiber-rich foods are essential for all chicken types. To ensure optimal health, chickens require at least 10% fiber in the overall diet.

Fibers aid in good digestion and reduce ammonia in chicken poop


Also known as vitamin B-9, folate is crucial for proper blood circulation and production.

Like humans, all female animals, including hens, require an excellent folate level to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

If you have chickens actively laying eggs or breeding, provide them with plenty of folate-rich food. Brussels sprouts supply a good dose of folate for the day.


For chickens to produce quality eggs, they need manganese in their diet.

Manganese significantly impacts the quality or thickness of the eggshell and ensures the proper development of eggs.

This essential mineral is also vital for protein absorption and metabolism.  

Vitamin A

Young chicks cannot produce mucus. Incorporating vitamin A-rich food, such as Brussels sprouts, can help them make the mucus in their nose, esophagus, and inner eyelid.  

Vitamin K

Vitamin K benefits your chicken’s bones and ensures blood clotting before an injury occurs.

The lack of vitamin K can put your chicken at risk of severe bleeding, even from the slightest scratch or cut.

Also, laying hens require vitamin K in their diet, as it aids in the metabolism of vitamin D and calcium.

Vitamin K ensures the quality of the eggshell. Vitamin K deficiency can lead to lower bone density and broken bones. Be sure to feed your chickens with Brussels sprouts to prevent these problems.  

Vitamin C

Brussels sprouts are also essential for your chickens due to their high vitamin C content.

Vitamin C aids in the optimal maintenance of your chickens’ health. Unfortunately, chickens cannot produce vitamin C on their own.

They can only acquire it from an external source. Vitamin C deficiency can put chickens at risk of various diseases.

Be sure to integrate Brussels sprouts into their diet to help boost their immune system.  

Can chickens eat Brussel sprouts cooked?

Brussels Sprouts as Chicken Feed

There are different ways you can feed your chickens with Brussels sprouts.

You can serve it in an old-fashioned way or a fun way to keep your chickens wanting more.

Here are some options you might want to consider.  

Raw Brussel Sprouts

Can chickens eat Brussel sprouts raw?

There is nothing to worry about when it comes to chickens eating raw Brussels sprouts.

Feeding raw Brussels sprouts ensures chickens get the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals. Although it may seem tough to chew, chickens can easily rip them apart, piece by piece using their sharp beaks.

You can also chop them into tiny pieces and serve them to your chickens.

Frozen Brussels Sprouts

Feeding frozen Brussels sprouts are almost as good as serving them raw.

Store them in a refrigerator and serve them cold. Serving them frozen proves to be an excellent snack during the summer months.

Not only do they retain their nutrients, but they also make a refreshing snack during the summer months.

Cooked Brussel Sprouts

The easiest way to feed Brussels sprouts to chickens is by cooking and chopping them into halves or quarters.

The best way to serve cooked Brussels sprouts as chicken feed is to toss them in olive oil and pan-fry them until tender.

However, do not add salt when cooking Brussels sprouts for chickens. A high salt diet is toxic to chickens, especially laying hens because it can cause eggshell defects.

Also, never feed your chickens leftover food over three days because it can make them sick.

You can also serve steamed Brussels sprouts to your hens for softer and more palatable treats.


Stringing Brussels sprouts is a new and exciting way to feed your birds.

Hanging the sprouts over the chickens can make each feeding time more enjoyable. 

It will be pretty fun to watch them peck the stringed sprouts from time to time, and it could also act as a boredom buster for chickens. 

Sprout Salad

Serving Brussels sprouts, mixed with other fruits or vegetables, to chickens is a healthier and more delicious idea.

Not only do they enjoy a burst of flavor, but make their diet more nutritious. You can mix cooked Brussels sprouts with sugar snap peas, carrots, and broccoli.

Another option is to add fruits, such as strawberries, apples, bananas, kiwis, and melons, to Brussels sprouts. 

Adding some seeds and grains, such as cooked quinoa, rice, or chia seeds, into the mix can help increase the nutritional value of the sprout salad even further!

Mixed with Regular Feeds

Mixing regular feeds with Brussels sprouts is one way to give your chicken a healthy, nutritional boost.

Slice the sprouts into bite-sized pieces and combine them into their feeds. This will benefit your chicken with twice the nutritional content in a single meal. 

Chicken Eating Too Many Brussels Sprouts: Is it Safe?

Can chickens eat Brussels sprouts? Yes.

While it is safe for chickens to eat Brussels sprouts, just as with other treats, it is important to keep them in moderation.

Generally, treats should never exceed 10% of your chicken’s diet.  

Even healthy treats can increase the risk of obesity in chickens. When giving treats, moderation is always key. 

Chicken’s primary diet should consist of high-quality feed to keep them nourished and promote the healthy production of eggs.

While feeding chickens with Brussels sprouts has no real risks, several things must be remembered.

  • Overfeeding can result in stomach upset, especially when fed raw.
  • Wash the sprouts thoroughly to get rid of the harmful bacteria.
  • Cooking Brussels sprouts reduces the risk of an upset stomach.

healthy vegetables to feed your chickens

Other Vegetables You Can Feed to Your Chickens

Now that we have covered everything about feeding Brussels sprouts to chickens, let us explore other vegetable options to feed your birds.

Here is a list of healthy vegetables you should add to your chickens’ diet.  


You can never go wrong with feeding Broccoli to chicks now and then.

A close relative to Brussels sprouts, this cruciferous leafy green vegetable is packed with vitamins and nutrients that support the growth of young chickens.


Carrots are another healthy and delicious treat to feed your birds.

Chop them into small sizes, and chicks will gobble them up in no time. This tasty snack helps keep young chickens more robust and healthy.

However, avoid feeding canned carrots as they contain high sodium content.  


These are one of the best vegetables you can give to your growing chickens.

Like Brussels sprouts, pumpkin is high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. While feeds already have healthy amounts of nutrients, adding carrots to their diet can boost their health and growth. 


Another green leafy vegetable on the list that is high in nutrients needed to support your chickens’ health.

Both green and red cabbages are suitable for your birds. However, red cabbage has ten times more vitamin A than regular green cabbage.


Zucchini is known for its high water content, making it a good vegetable option to keep your chickens hydrated, especially during the hot summer months. 

Sweet Potato

If you want to incorporate something tasty into your chicken’s diet, go for sweet potatoes.

Not only is it a delicious treat, but it is also high in nutrients, carbohydrates, and minerals.

Sweet potatoes help boost and improve your chickens’ health while keeping them full and satisfied.

Carbohydrates help increase your chick’s energy level. 

Related: The Definitive List of Chicken Treats: What Can Chickens Eat?

Foods That Are Toxic To Your Chickens

Although chickens are not fussy eaters, it is crucial to be wary about what to feed them. Some foods and treats can be harmful to their health.

Be sure never to feed the following to your chickens:

Nightshade Vegetables

Nightshades, such as tomatoes, peppers, white potatoes, and eggplants, contain alkaloids that can trigger loss of appetite, weakened heart rate, trouble breathing, and increased salivation in chickens.

Expired Food

Mold spores in expired food can produce fungal toxins (mycotoxins) that can harm your flock. It can cause various illnesses and egg-laying problems.


Chocolates contain two highly toxic compounds to chickens: theobromine, which causes vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and seizures, and caffeine, which causes arrhythmias, hyperactivity, and even death.

Quick Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to store Brussels sprouts for chickens?

Store Brussels sprouts in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. Brussel sprouts can quickly spoil when stored in warm places.

However, they will also lose their flavor if stored too cold. 

How often should chickens eat Brussels sprouts?

Can chickens eat Brussel sprouts? Yes, but keep them in moderation.

Feed chickens Brussels sprouts in small amounts once or twice a week.  

How can I tell if my chicken is enjoying their Brussel sprouts?

If chickens eat their Brussels sprouts, it means they are enjoying the taste.

Chickens are not picky eaters and will peck at the food you give it a taste. If you see them eating, then it is a good sign.

Chickens will peck at shiny food. Feeding pan-fried Brussels sprouts covered in a shiny coat of oil are likely to entice chickens. 

Can chicks eat Brussel sprouts?

Yes, it is safe to feed chicks with Brussels sprouts. However, make sure to cook the sprouts before serving them to young chickens to ensure that they enjoy their treats. 

Can Chickens Eat Brussels Sprouts: Our Conclusion

Can chickens eat Brussel sprouts? Absolutely! They are nutritional snacks that help keep your chickens healthy. 

When Brussels sprouts are used as chicken feed, they offer antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and it is good to know that you can feed them to your chickens.

They are packed with heaps of nutritional benefits that laying hens can use during laying and foraging.

Also, all parts of the Brussels sprouts, from stems to leaves, are safe and healthy to eat. Feed them raw, frozen, cooked, strung, or mixed with other fruits, vegetables, or whichever your chickens like. 

Now that you know that feeding too many Brussels sprouts is not good for chickens, make sure to feed them regularly as long as it does not affect their usual diet.

Also, never substitute their normal formulated feed with Brussels sprouts. 

Read Next: 7 Surprising Rules for Feeding Chickens

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