When you think of treats, you often think of sweets, but for chickens, savory treats can be just as nice, if not more enjoyable. In fact, due to their rich and sugary content sweet treats can, if giving in excess be harmful to your chickens. So if you want to give your chickens a treat that will be healthy for your chickens what you should feed them?
One possible option is mushrooms. For many people, mushrooms are common enough that you will have a steady supply to feed to your chickens without having to go out of your way to buy more. Moreover, there are many benefits to feeding your chickens mushrooms that we will look into in more detail later. But as is the case with most types of chicken feed there are a few things to be aware of to make sure your chickens get the most out their treats.
A few things to avoid
The first thing you should know is more of a general rule for making sure your chickens get the most out their treats, and this is to make sure that you don’t overfeed your chickens. Although mushrooms don’t contain as much sugar or salt content as some other treats that you could give them they should not be treated as an alternative to their regular feed.
The majority of your chicken’s diet should still come from dry feed and grit otherwise your chickens could end up having problems digesting their food without these as the main part of their diet. Another thing to be cautious of when feeding your chickens mushrooms is what kind of mushrooms you are feeding your chickens.
It is thought that up to 20% of wild mushrooms are poisonous and given that some of these varieties can be completely indistinguishable from common edible mushrooms feeding wild mushrooms to your chickens is a huge risk and is not something that I would recommend to anyone unless they have are familiar with what types of mushroom are edible and inedible.
Para one reasons to
That said if you are only going to feed your chickens mushrooms that you know are safe for consumption there are a number of reasons that they make a great treat for chickens. The first of these I have touched on briefly before, and this is their lack of sugar and salt. Unlike a lot of other things that chickens love to eat the average mushroom only contains about 5 or so calories per serving meaning that their salt and sugar content is very low.
This means that your chickens will get a treat that they enjoy eating without having any unwanted side effects. In fact, these benefits go even further to the point that spoiling your chickens with mushrooms can actually be beneficial to them. Most mushrooms are rich in the kind of minerals that will support your chicken’s immune system making them far less vulnerable to disease. As well as this mushrooms are also an excellent source of protein, making sure that your chickens will grow to be big and healthy, as well as tasty, if you do, in the end, choose to eat your chickens.
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Tips and tricks
If you do end up choosing to feed your chickens mushrooms, there are a few tips to take into consideration. Chickens are just like people in that they also have likes and preferences, so if your chickens don’t take to eating mushrooms don’t try to force them to eat them, for your chickens a treat should be exactly that, a treat. Another thing that you might want to consider is feeding your chicken’s dried mushrooms. While regular mushrooms are a great treat for a chicken, they will enjoy dried mushrooms much more as without their water content dried mushrooms will be much easier to digest.
Conclusion “Can Chickens eat mushrooms?
There are so many options for little extra treats for your chickens, so it is important to find the option that is right for you and your chickens. With this in mind, it is important to weigh up all the advantages and disadvantages to feeding your chickens mushrooms. So long as you have access to fresh mushrooms and your chickens enjoy eating them, mushrooms can be a great cheap treat that will make you and your chickens happier.
See full list of foods that you should and shouldn't feed you chickens: What can chicken eat? What can’t chicken eat?