If you've ever wondered whether chickens can have celery, you're not alone. I, too, enjoy sneaking off to the chicken coop and surprising my hardworking crew with a treat.
Chickens are omnivores, and if we're being totally blunt, they're pretty much whatever-vores. I've read a hundred posts in chicken-keeping forums about chickens eating styrofoam , dead mice, and even snakes.
It almost makes you wonder why you're googling if your backyard chickens can eat a celery stalk or not, doesn't it? Ha!
Seriously though, healthy treats are a great way to keep your birds happy and occupied. Our birds rush to the gate each afternoon as if they know we are complete softies that take immense joy in giving them treats like celery.
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Can Chickens Eat Celery?
Yes! Chickens can have celery.
BUT, and you knew the but was coming, there are some important considerations to keep in mind when feeding your chickens celery. As with any vegetable, it's important to ensure that you only feed your chickens celery in moderation.
Too much celery can affect your chickens negatively. Their feed is specially formulated to provide all the micro and macro nutrients they need, so adding too much extra fresh food can throw their nutrition out of whack, especially fiber-filled food like celery stalks that don't have much nutritional value in the way of protein and fats.
Celery Is Healthy For Chickens Too!
It is well known that chickens need a healthy, balanced diet to stay healthy and lay effectively, but it's often overlooked how tasty veggies can play a role in their health.
Celery is an excellent example - not only does it provide them with essential vitamins, minerals, and some other benefits, but if you read my do chickens have tongues post you may agree with me that your chooks may get an extra flavor boost from water-heavy veggies like celery!
Celery is a good source of potassium, and vitamins A + C and contains some calcium to help with healthy strong egg shells.
Don't forget that celery leaves are just as nutritious as the stalks and while I find the outermost leaves quite tough, my birds love it when I'm harvesting celery from my garden, cause they get tons of leaves!
What Parts Of The Celery Plant Can Chickens Eat?
Well, they can eat all of it! The roots, the stalks, and the leaves are all edible and are a great treat for your chooks.
If you're like me, and you cut the celery plant at the soil level to allow the roots to break down in the soil or you just don't want to give them the entire plant, it is fine to just feed them the leaves or stalks.
Feeding Chickens Celery
Before you feed celery to your flock, consider the following:
- Rinse and inspect the celery: If you wouldn't eat it, don't feed it to your birds. If there are moldy, rotten spots cut those off and discard them or add them to the compost pile. If there are bugs, you're better to remove them before feeding to the birds.
- Chickens can't just hang out eating celery stalks. They lack teeth and opposable thumbs, which may cause them to get frustrated if the pieces are too difficult for them to pick up and eat - causing them to completely disregard the treat altogether.
- Make sure that whatever part of the celery you are giving your chickens is cut up into small pieces so they can pick it up easily and avoid digestive tract issues. It's possible for the fibrous strings of celery to get caught up in your chicken's crop and cause an impacted crop.
- Don't forget to provide grit. Grit helps to break down food in the gizzard.
Yes. Chickens can have celery in moderation and if it's properly prepared. To make sure it's safe for your flock, ensure the celery is in good condition, and dice it into smaller pieces to ensure your birds are able to pick it up and eat it without risk of injury or digestive upset. Don't forget to offer grit whenever giving your birds fresh fruits and veg.