Can Chickens Eat Kale?

by Farmer Jack
Updated on

Chickens love kale! This leafy green vegetable is full of nutrients that are essential for Chicken health. However, as with any food, moderation is key. Too much kale can cause digestive issues in chickens, so it’s important to feed it to them in moderation.

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1. Introduction

Chickens are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. A chicken’s diet consists of around 20% animal protein and 80% plant-based foods. While chickens will eat just about anything, there are certain foods that are especially good for them. Kale is one of those foods.

The Benefits of Kale for Chickens

Chickens can certainly eat kale, and many people use it as a way to increase the nutritional content of their chicken’s diet. Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with vitamins and minerals, and it can be a great way to help your chicken get the nutrients it needs. Some of the benefits of kale for chickens include:

-Kale is high in vitamin A, which is important for good vision and a healthy immune system.
-Kale is also high in vitamin C, which helps to keep chickens’ skin and feather healthy.
-Kale contains lutein, which is important for preventing age-related eye problems.
– Kale is a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and egg production.
-Kale is also a good source of iron, which is important for energy production and red blood cell health.

The Risks of Kale for Chickens

Kale is a nutrient-rich leafy green vegetable that is often included in healthy human diets. However, there are some risks associated with feeding kale to chickens. Chickens can suffer from something called Gizzard Impaction when they eat too much kale. This condition occurs when the tough fibers in kale become lodged in the chicken’s gizzard (part of the digestive tract) and prevent it from functioning properly. This can lead to malnutrition and even death in severe cases.

In addition, kale can contain high levels of nitrates, which can be toxic to chickens (and humans). Nitrate poisoning can cause chicks to grow slowly and may even be fatal in severe cases. For this reason, it is important to only feed kale to chickens in moderation and to make sure that they have access to plenty of other fresh vegetables and greens as well.

How to Feed Kale to Chickens

Whether or not kale is safe for chickens to eat depends on a variety of factors, including the age and health of the chicken, the type of kale, and how it is prepared. In general, kale is a healthy vegetable that can be fed to chickens in moderation. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when feeding kale to your feathered friends.

Chickens of all ages can eat kale, but it is particularly beneficial for young chicks and laying hens. Kale is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, iron, and magnesium. It can help chicks grow strong bones and feathers, and laying hens produce healthy Eggs

However, there are a few things to keep in mind when feeding kale to your feathered friends. First of all, not all types of kale are safe for chickens to eat. For example, Chickens should not eat raw kale or uncooked kale as it contains goitrogens – substances that can interfere with thyroid function. Cooked or steamed kale is safe for chickens to eat in moderation.

In addition, some chickens may be more sensitive to the effects of goitrogens than others. It’s important to monitor your chicken’s health after they eat kale to make sure they don’t develop any goitre – an enlargement of the thyroid gland due to goitrogen exposure. If you notice any changes in your chicken’s health after they eat kale, discontinue feeding it to them immediately and consult a veterinarian if necessary.

How Much Kale Should Chickens Eat?

Chickens can eat kale, but should not eat too much of it. Kale is a nutritious leafy green vegetable that is high in vitamins A, C, and K. It also contains calcium, iron, and fiber. However, kale also contains goitrogens, which can interfere with the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. For this reason, it’s important to limit the amount of kale that chickens eat.

What Other Greens Can Chickens Eat?

In addition to kale, there are many other greens that your chickens will love. Here are just a few examples:

– Swiss chard
– Bok choy
– Collard greens
– Mustard greens
– Turnip greens

What Should Chickens Avoid?

Chickens should avoid eating anything that is poisonous to them. Some of the things that are poisonous to chickens include:
Avocado pits and skin
-Green potatoes
Rhubarb leaves

In Conclusion

Kale is not poisonous to chickens, and in fact, it’s a nutritious, leafy green vegetable that provides many health benefits. Chickens can eat kale raw or cooked, and it’s a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. However, because kale is a high-fiber food, it should be fed in moderation to avoid digestive issues.


There are a few resources you can consult when trying to figure out if a certain food is safe for your chicken to consume.
The first is the National Farm Animal Care Council’s Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pullets. ThisCode contains recommendations for the care and handling of pullets from one day old to 18 weeks of age. It includes sections on housing, feeding, water, health, and transportation.
Another resource is “Chickens: A Guide to Management” by Gail Damerow. This guide includes information on chicken breeds, housing, feeding, health, and more. It also has a section on common chicken diseases and how to prevent them.
You can also consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about what your chicken should or shouldn’t be eating.

About the Author

My name is Karen and I am a self-sufficiency enthusiast, homesteader, gardener, and chicken keeper based in the United Kingdom. I have been keeping chickens for 5 years now and firmly believe that they are one of the most rewarding animals to keep. Chickens provide us with fresh eggs, fertilizer for our gardens, and plenty of Meat They are also amusing creatures to watch as they go about their day!

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