Chicken lovers can’t help but treat their chooks to something fun every once and awhile. We love to watch our flock happily gobble up any goodies we offer them. Whether it’s table scraps, worms, or commercial treats, we can’t help but adore our hens as they fight over the morsels we give them.
But have you ever given your chickens a special treat, and instead of scurrying about and chomping it down, they ignore it? And look at it with disgust?
Usually, that’s a sign your chickens either don’t like the smell (and probably not the flavor) or they know it’s dangerous to eat.
If you offer your chickens celery, they probably aren’t going to go for it…mainly because they just plain ‘ol don’t like it
Chickens Usually Know Better (but not this time)
Chickens will often refuse certain foods, like plants from the nightshade family, because they know they are harmful to their health. Celery, is a different story altogether, however.
Celery can provide chickens with vitamins A, C, K, and more. It also gives your chickens a healthy dose of riboflavin (which is a fantastic source of vitamin B Complex). And let’s not forget that celery is an excellent source of calcium…Ummm, strong-shelled, delicious, eggs, anyone?
Most chickens will scratch around a pile of fresh celery until it’s trampled into their droppings and forgotten about.
But Here’s the Good News About Chickens and Celery
Did you know that you can trick your chickens into eating something? It sounds kind of rude, but it’s true. You can chop up your celery leftovers and serve it up with their regular meal. Their curiosity about the unknown greens will get the better of them, and they may try a taste—against their better judgment, of course.
If you’re lucky, your chickens will get a taste of the crunchy green stuff and look for more!
How to Feed Chickens Celery
If you’ve decided to give your chickens leftover celery, make sure to start out with a small amount…and always do the following:
Chop it Up
Chickens can easily get impacted crops if they eat something their bodies are not used to digesting. Celery, as you know, is quite stringy, and chickens don’t have the teeth to grind up fibrous celery. Instead, their crops do the work (along with grit).
As you might have guessed, too much too soon could cause problems for chickens not used to eating celery. Therefore, it’s polite to serve it diced up for easier digestion.
Check the Expiration Date
Ok, so maybe your chickens don’t need fresh celery to reap the benefits of this crunchy treat. Regardless, never give chickens anything that is passed its prime.
Would you eat soggy, rotten, fruits or veggies? Probably not, and your chickens may or may not know better. As a rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t eat it, then don’t give it to your chickens. Moldy fruits and veggies can cause digestive issues and other fatal illnesses in chickens.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t give chickens wilty celery or soggy watermelon (they love this by the way) but try to be tasteful in what you give to them, and no matter what, never give them anything moldy
Feed In Moderation
If your chickens go crazy for something like celery, you might want to take things down a notch. It’s your job to make sure your chickens are always getting a well-balanced diet. And if they like something a lot…they may stop eating the rest of their feed. Pellets and crumbles were created as a complete diet for your chickens. It usually includes everything your chickens need to be healthy and happy.
So, if they like something, like celery, a little too much, they may stop eating the rest of their feed. Which means they will not be getting the nutrition they need to thrive.
To recap…chickens can eat celery. Will they? Maybe. But if they do, make sure you chop it up, it’s still on the brink of fresh, and you don’t overdo it. Oh, and throwing in some extra grit will help them digest their new treat as well. So don’t forget to give them their teeth!