Chickens can devour almost everything. But can chickens eat mushrooms, the spore-bearing fruit formed as an umbrella by fungus or fungi?
Well, the answer can be yes or no. They can eat several mushroom species, but not everything in the wild is safe for your flock.
So, in this article, we’ll talk about the following:
- The types and parts of mushrooms your flock can eat
- How chickens can benefit from eating mushrooms
- How to serve this food to your birds
So, Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms?
Yes, but not all species. There are many more things to consider before feeding mushrooms to chicken, like the edible parts and how they should be served.
So, let’s dig more into it!
Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms’ Stem?
All parts of a mushroom are safe. Your chickens will surely enjoy eating them whenever as long as the mushroom is edible and not poisonous.
In fact, the mushroom’s chewy stem is fun to gorge at.
Can Chickens Eat Mushroom Scraps?
Yes, chickens can eat mushrooms, whether scraps or a whole. So, you can freely give your scraps to your flock without worrying about the consequences.
The only thing that matter is the mushroom’s species.
Can Chickens Eat Mushroom Soup?
Mushroom soup could be a delicious treat for your chickens. However, not all flocks would love that, and too much salt and seasoning are not suitable for them.
So, if you want to try preparing soup with mushrooms for them, cook it properly. And don’t use any seasoning—only a little salt is enough.
Can Chickens Eat Mushroom Compost?
Mushroom compost is an organic fertilizer made by expert growers of mushrooms, whether cultured or not.
This composition is safe for your chickens. Some evaluators say that giving compost mushrooms to chickens has a good effect on them.
Poultry growers observed that 0.5% of this composition could help increase adipolysis and improve their antioxidant capacity. So, it can be a good addition to their supplementations.
Can Chickens Eat Wild Mushrooms?
Mushrooms that grow in the wild and are not cultivated commercially are called wild mushrooms.
The safe and edible varieties of wild mushrooms are morel, chanterelle, and many others.
However, if you can’t distinguish what is edible, do not try to eat them or give them to your flocks. It’s better to keep them away from mushrooms.
If you are eager to know what is edible, you can ask a mushroom expert (they are called a mycologist) in your area.
Can Chickens Eat Portobello Mushrooms?
Portobello mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms in the world because of their large size and savory flavor.
It is an edible mushroom that grows in grassy soil and near the manure of horses in good condition.
So, it is safe for your chicken because it is edible. They will surely enjoy and feel full with its size.
Can Chickens Eat Button Mushrooms?
Button mushrooms are also called common mushrooms because it’s the most popular mushrooms used in restaurants.
Its other name is cremini or white mushrooms because of their color, which is white.
Some places cultivate it as cultured mushrooms to preserve and for production. And it is well known for its delicious taste.
Since it is safe for humans, chickens can have it too.
Can Chickens Eat Oyster Mushrooms?
Oyster mushrooms are also edible fungi that affect your chicken’s body differently.
This type of mushroom helps lower cholesterol levels and treats diabetes, infections, and even cancer.
Your chickens would highly benefit from this mushroom, so why not try adding them to their diet?
Can Chickens Eat Puffball Mushrooms?
Another edible type of mushroom that can be used for medicinal purposes is the Puffball mushroom.
It is an anti-inflammatory plant that promotes the generation of muscle and hemostasis.
This mushroom is mostly known in China—they use it as medicine. So, if it is safe for humans, chickens can have it too.
Can Chickens Eat Shiitake Mushrooms?
Another edible fungus is the Shiitake mushroom. It is also known as Lentinus edodes. This mushroom is popular and mostly cultivated in East Asia, like Japan and China.
It contains polysaccharide chemicals such as lentinan and beta-glucans.
These chemicals help boost the immune system, increase white blood production, and prevent cell damage. So, it can be a better addition to your chicken treat.
Can Chickens Eat White Mushrooms?
White mushroom is the same as button mushroom mentioned earlier. Because they are one, they have the same purposes and benefits for your chickens.
Can Chickens Eat Raw or Uncooked Mushrooms?
Because mushroom is soft and easy to eat, it is digestible for humans, even raw or uncooked. So, it’s the same with your chickens.
You can directly give it to them after buying from the market. Just wash it first and slice it into pieces to prevent them from choking while eating.
However, some people might want to cook it before eating or giving it to their flocks. So, it depends on how you do it.
Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms From the Grocery Store?
Of course, mushrooms from grocery stores are safe. No store owners would even try to sell poisonous ones because they know it could affect their business.
So, any mushrooms bought from the store are all edible for you and your chickens. Besides, store-bought is safer than trying wild ones in your backyard.
Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms Growing in My Yard?
If you were lucky enough that fungus loves your yard, mushrooms might grow there. It mostly grows where manure, waste, and decay plants are.
Will it be safe for your chickens? Not all of them. You need to know what kinds of mushrooms are edible and not.
But, if you’re not certain, you can ask for help from other people if possible. If not, keep your chickens away from them to prevent food poisoning.
Types of Mushrooms Chickens Can Eat
Aside from the mushrooms mentioned above (the Portobello, Button or White, Oyster, Puffball, and Shiitake), there are other edible mushrooms. They are:
- Matsutake or “pine”
- Chicken of the woods
- Black trumpet
- Lion’s mane
Some countries around the world also cultivate these mushrooms.
Can Chicks Eat Mushrooms?
Anything that the hens eat, their chicks could also eat. So, if the mushroom is safe for their mother, it’s also safe o them.
However, they need more extra care and need more proper preparation. They can also enjoy it as long as they are old enough to eat different foods.
It would also be better to cook the mushroom well and slice it into pieces to prevent choking for your chicks.
Do Chickens Like Mushrooms?
They do not particularly enjoy mushrooms and do not care for them. Some bird species enjoy mushrooms. Others will raise their beaks in response to the fungi.
Most birds, including chickens, dislike the texture of raw mushrooms. The mushrooms must be cooked to make them more palatable if you intend to try to feed them with mushrooms.
Are Mushrooms Poisonous to Chickens?
There are numerous tasty and edible mushroom species. However, some are deadly types, particularly wild mushrooms, that remarkably mimic edible ones, which might be challenging to distinguish.
Because they are so common, especially in damp areas, foraging hens are sure to come into touch with mushrooms at some point.
Chickens and other foraging animals typically have good intuition about what foods are safe to eat.
The texture of uncooked mushrooms is typically disliked by chickens as well. When they see mushrooms while exploring, they frequently stay away from them.
What to Look Out for When Feeding Your Chickens With Mushrooms?
It is common for toxic mushrooms to result in kidney failure, neurological issues, and occasionally even death.
Additionally, parasites from wild mushrooms may contribute to the sickness. Despite their hardiness, chickens will suffer if they consume a full deadly fungus.
So how do you spot a poisonous mushroom before it’s too late? It’s interesting to note that a lot of the edible, commercially grown mushrooms resemble their wild counterparts in appearance.
However, your yard’s white or light brown mushrooms are rarely edible. A mushroom with gills, bulbous sacks, or rings on the stem should also be avoided. Avoid anything that has a redcap as well.
Chickens’ Natural Instinct to Avoid Poisonous Foods
What are the possibilities of a hazardous variety sprouting in your backyard and being consumed by a chicken if 20% of all mushrooms on earth are toxic? Low.
But that does not imply that it will not happen. Some breeds of hens lack the instincts for survival that other types do.
And they may unintentionally eat a deadly mushroom that is highly poisonous. Depending on the variety, eating a toxic mushroom will have negative effects.
After moving into a sanctuary, it can be difficult to ensure that the chicken occupants have happy, healthy lives because there are various aspects of caring.
Unfortunately, hazardous and deadly dangers are occasionally missed in the flurry of running a sanctuary.
While a small quantity of exposure to several of these poisons is unlikely to harm health, large doses can tragically result in death.
Many chickens might steer clear of poisonous plants out of instinct or because many taste bitter.
Some toxins are extremely harmful, even at small levels, while others are quite acceptable.
Are Mushrooms Good For Chickens?
As stated above, there are edible mushrooms, and there are also poisonous ones. So, you must know how to determine them.
Nonetheless, many of them unmistakably show that mushrooms may have a beneficial effect.
For example, the production of broiler chickens because they enhance growth performance, enhances gut microbiota status, and regulates immune response.
It can also maintain control tissue antioxidant activity, affect intestinal morphology, and improve lipid profile.
Undoubtedly, the various mushroom species, their place of origin, their method of processing, and their physicochemical makeup, and their amount of supplementation can all impact the effects of mushrooms.
How to Serve Mushrooms to Chickens
There are two ways how to serve mushrooms to your chickens. It could be raw or cooked.
Because edible mushrooms are safe, even if it’s raw, it could be an easy way of feeding your flock.
However, we might prefer to give them the cooked one. And there were many recipes that you could do in serving your flocks with mushrooms.
For example, you might want to prepare a mushroom soup for them or a dry dish. It depends on your choice.
Remember: Don’t use seasoning and spices for your chicken because it’s fatal. Only a pinch of salt is enough.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mushrooms
Can hens eat cooked mushrooms?
Yes, hens can eat mushrooms as long as it’s edible and not poisonous. It’s safer to purchase mushrooms in the market than to pick them in your yard.
But if you don’t want to spend money to buy mushrooms, you can grow them in your yard.
Can chickens eat slimy mushrooms?
Having a slimy film in a mushroom is a sign that it nearly spoiled. It is because of the “spoilage bacteria.”
You don’t have to worry because it doesn’t likely make you sick. However, if you and your chickens want to enjoy the mushroom, it’s better to eat fresh ones.
Can mushrooms poison chickens?
Mushrooms are delicious and healthy. As mentioned earlier, there are wide varieties of these fungi throughout the world.
However, only 80% of these species are edible. The rest 20% are poisonous not only for humans but also for chickens. So, before eating mushrooms, you need to distinguish between edible and not.
Are chickens allergic to mushrooms?
Chickens always love any food given to them. Even mushrooms might not be one of their favorites, but they are unlikely to have an allergy to them.
Only the poisonous varieties could lead to serious health problems. So, it’s your responsibility to determine the good and the bad because they don’t have that ability.
Can chickens have mushroom skins?
Yes, chickens can eat mushrooms even with their skin. It is because all parts of edible mushrooms are safe, and they taste the same as their flesh.
Though mushrooms can grow anywhere, chickens might encounter poisonous varieties when foraging. But, don’t worry because they would likely avoid it because they have an instinct on what is edible or not.
Final Recap: Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms?
So, do chickens eat mushrooms? Yes, they do, but not all types of these fungi are edible for your bird.
Morel, chanterelle, Portobello, button, oyster, puffball, Shiitake, and white mushrooms are among the edible species you can try feeding your bird.
However, you should also avoid using seasonings and too much salt if you want to feed your flock food scraps with mushrooms.
Chickens don’t mind whether the mushrooms are cooked or uncooked as long as they’re not poisonous.
But you also don’t have to worry about them eating mushrooms accidentally because chickens’ intuition automatically rejects tempting wild mushrooms.