Chickens can feed on eggplant and fruits like pears and plums, but can chickens eat okra?
The answer is yes, but there are several parts to consider when feeding them since this vegetable contains traces of solanine.
So, in this article, we’ll discuss whether it’s safe to feed okra and the following parts:
We’ll also talk about the safest ways to feed them to chickens.
So, without further ado, let’s get right into it!
Can Chickens Eat Okra Plants?
Because chickens love foraging, they might encounter okra plants in your backyard. But are these plants safe for your chickens?
Okras come from the Malvaceae family and the genus Abelmoschus.
But some researchers believe that okra belongs to the nightshade family. This type of family of plants can be referred to as Solanaceae, the plants that contain solanine.
Solanine is a toxic substance that causes many health problems in humans and chickens. It can trigger joint pain, arthritis, and inflammation in some humans. But luckily, okra plants are not that dangerous.
They only have traces, especially the plant itself. So, if your chickens accidentally take a bite from the okra plants, they will be okay.
Can Chickens Eat Okra Leaves?
How about the leaves? Do chickens eat okra leaves? Unlike other plants, especially from a nightshade family, okra leaves are safe for your chickens.
So, even if you give them leaves, they might try it. But don’t expect it to become their favorite because it’s not tasty like other feeds and treats.
Can Chickens Eat Okra Pods?
Okra pods are like casing or wrapper that holds the seed to its position. It is the second layer next to the skin of the okra.
These okra pods are edible and completely safe for you and your chickens. So it’s no hassle for you to remove them before feeding.
Can Chickens Eat Okra Seeds?
Seeds were placed in the inner part of the okra. This part of the okra is all safe for your chickens. They can enjoy them until they get tired.
The seeds are the smoothest part of an okra, especially if it is still green and young, so it’s not hard to eat. But, if it gets old, the seed will become hard but still edible.
Besides, it is the part that contains the most nutrients that help your chickens stay healthy.
Can Chickens Eat Okra Stems?
Like seeds, pods, leaves, and skin, the okra stem isn’t harmful to your chooks. So they can still eat them without hesitation.
However, because of its hardiness, it might choke your chickens. And though the level of solanine is low, limiting their consumption of the stems would be best.
Can Chickens Eat Okra Tops?
Generally, all of the parts of okra are edible. Whether it’s the top of the okra or the fruit itself, they are safe for your chickens.
But keep it in moderation to avoid adverse health effects.
Can Chickens Eat Pickled Okra?
Pickled foods are preserved foods using vinegar or brine. Okra can be pickled too. But are they safe for your chickens?
Yes, they are safe as they won’t drink the vinegar, only the okra. Because it’s preserved, it can be used for a long time and won’t get spoiled or mold.
Can Chickens Eat Raw Okra?
Humans and animals can eat uncooked foods depending on what food they’re eating as long as it’s safe. But can chickens eat raw okra?
Consuming raw foods, such as okra, corn, and many other, are safe for your chickens. Feeding them is an easy way, and you don’t need to spend much time preparing them.
Can Chickens Eat Frozen Okra?
Freezing the food for chickens is a faster way to help your chickens beat the heat. The same thing happens when you freeze okra.
Chickens surely like it when they eat cold food. They might find it harder to pick and swallow the frozen okra. But it will unfreeze eventually, so your chickens might enjoy it.
Can Chickens Eat Cooked Okra?
Yes, chickens can eat cooked okra. Whether it’s cooked or raw, frozen or not, it doesn’t matter.
They can gorge on them, but as we reiterated earlier, you need to keep their consumption in moderation since they contain traces of solanine.
Is Okra Good for Chickens?
Okra is a flowering plant, so it is considered a fruit but seen as a vegetable in the culinary world because they’re cooked like other veggies.
Like other fruits and vegetables, it brings a lot of nutritional benefits to us humans and our feathery flock.
It contains minerals and nutrients that help your flocks grow healthy and strong. It is one of the best organic food for your chickens, so it is a good addition to their diet.
Let’s dig deeper into those nutrients and their benefits to get more insights into how beneficial it is for chickens to consume okra.
Nutritional Benefits of Eating Okra for Chickens
Here are the nutritional benefits of eating okra.
1. Improves the Digestion Process
Okra fruit is rich in fiber. This compound helps stimulate good digestion and absorption. That’s why it regulates the bowel movements of your chickens and prevents constipation.
Your chickens need this fiber because they love eating hard foods that can cause indigestion.
2. Improves Vision
Vitamin A deficiency can cause vision impairment and even blindness not only in humans but also in chickens.
That’s why giving food rich in vitamin A, such as okra, can be a great way to prevent this condition. It enhances their visual sight even in dim light.
3. Boost the Immune System
Okra also contains high antioxidant levels. This mineral is the primary element that helps fight free radicals that destroy the body cell of your chickens.
So, feeding them enough okra can help them prevent sickness and diseases.
Aside from these three main benefits of okra, there are other nutrients that your chickens might get.
It includes protein and carbohydrates that help the development of muscles, feathers, and bones. It also promotes good egg production and well-being in general.
Okra also has vitamins C, K, B1, B6, and B9 that help organs and immunity to being efficient. That’s why they make a good addition to your chicken’s diet.
How to Feed Okra to Chickens?
There are two ways to feed okra to your chickens: raw or cooked.
Slice them into pieces so your chooks can swallow them easily. They will eventually soften if you want to cook them before feeding.
However, okra is unappetizing compared to your chicken feeds. So how can you make it more interesting for your chooks?
Try mixing it with their feeds or other nutritional foods; it will encourage your chooks to eat the okra.
You can also add some okra to other veggies or fruits like spinach, carrots, jicama, and radish to create a nutritious salad.
Just make sure you cut all the ingredients into small pieces. And you’re good to go!
How Much Okra to Feed to Chickens
As mentioned above, okra has traces of solanine that can be toxic to your chicken’s body if taken massively.
It also contains fructans that cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea.
Luckily, chickens might not pick it up easily. But you still need to feed them in moderation, especially if they’re hungry and there’s no other food.
How Often to Feed Okra to Chickens
Feeding your chickens with okra every day is not advisable. It is primarily because of its solanine and fructan content.
So, giving them once or twice a week is enough to get all the nutrients that a chicken’s body needs throughout its life.
However, ensure that the okra only makes up 10% of their diet. It is the right amount to fill their dietary needs.
Other Foods Chickens Can Feed On
Chickens are known for having a voracious appetite and can eat almost everything from earthworms to fruits and veggies.
But do you want to know what other foods are safe to feed them?
Here are other healthy foods that are acceptable for chickens’ digestive systems:
Adding vegetables to your chicken diet is a fantastic way to keep them in shape and boost their health and immune system.
Some of the veggies safe for your chooks include broccoli, carrots, cabbage, sprouts, and sweet potatoes.
Other than that, here are other great greeny veggies your chickens can benefit from.
Chickens can eat lettuce but in moderation. Lettuce contains a lot of minerals and vitamins that the chickens may need to support their needs.
But do note that Iceberg lettuce shouldn’t be fed to them because it is too watery and lacks nutrients. They will have an upset stomach and diarrhea if you feed them a lot of iceberg lettuce.
Celery is a great source of vitamins C, B2, K, and B6, making it a desirable treat for chickens.
It also has trace amounts of potassium, calcium, and fiber. To make the celery more appealing to them, you need to slice it up before feeding.
Aside from veggies, fruits are also packed with vitamins and minerals that benefit your flocks.
And chickens can eat fruits like plums, pears, and apples, although you need to get rid of the pits. Other fruits you can feed to chickens are:
Tomatoes are one of the chicken’s favorite foods. It has a lot of fiber and vitamins B9, C, and K. It is also abundant in potassium and antioxidants.
But remember that chickens can only consume tomato flesh. The solanine in the flowers, stems, and leaves are deadly to chickens.
All kinds of berries are edible to chickens, and blueberries are their favorite.
Blueberries contain antioxidants in addition to being loaded with vitamins and minerals.
In commercial scratch mixes and feeds, grains make up a sizable portion.
So, get some brown rice, corn, wheat, and cornmeal, and offer your chicks something else to scratch around for.
Frequently Asked Questions About Okra and Chickens
What are the benefits of okra to chicken?
Okra contains many nutrients that are good for your chickens, including fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins A, C, K, B1, B6, B9, and carbohydrates.
These nutritional elements help them improve their digestion process, improve vision, boost their immune system, and develop overall body growth.
Is it OK to eat okra every day?
Too much can be bad or harmful due to its solanine content.
Because okra has some traces of toxic substances, it might put our flocks or us at risk if it has taken too much. That’s why it’s not advisable for chooks to eat them every day.
What should you not feed chickens?
Chickens aren’t picky eaters. Therefore, they might pick all kinds of food you feed them.
But not all foods are safe for them, including chocolates, citrus fruits, onion, garlic, pits and skin of an avocado, and raw beans. It is because these foods contain a toxic substance for your chickens.
What vegetables can chickens not eat?
Aside from chocolates and other foods mentioned earlier, those belonging to the nightshade family should also be off-limits to chickens, including tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants.
Fortunately, the toxin called solanine is not present in the fruit itself. It can be found in plants, leaves, stems, and calyx.
Chickens Eating Okra: Final Thoughts
So to sum it up, chickens can eat okra and its pods, seeds, leaves, and even tops. And you can serve it to them in different ways because they eat raw, cooked, pickled, and frozen okra.
But kindly limit their consumption to avoid poisoning.
Raw okra isn’t flavorful or tasty, but if there are no other food options and they can’t find any other food when foraging, they might settle and feast on it.
We hope this article answers your question, “can chickens eat okra” and will help you weigh in on how much to feed them.
Have you ever tried feeding your chickens with okra? How did your chickens react, and did they experience any adverse effects? Let us know in the comment section below.