Can Chickens Eat Quinoa? 3 Ways to Feed

Have you ever admired quinoa for the flavor and the nutritional value it contains while taking a spoon in your mouth? You might have. Quinoa is the healthiest for all of God’s creations; especially humans, animals, and birds. 

We have seen humans and animals snacking on Quinoa. Have you ever noticed it being served in the chicken feeder? Well, you rarely have.

Does that mean chickens can eat quinoa? Does that mean it is safe for chickens? Does that mean you can feed quinoa to your backyard flock as well? It’s time to find out. 

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Can Chickens Eat Quinoa? 

Yes, Chickens can eat quinoa. It’s entirely safe and healthy to be eaten. It contains all the important vitamins and minerals chickens and other birds need to live a balanced life. So, how can a gluten-free treat full of all crucial vitamins and minerals be bad?

Frankly, if that’s not enough to convince you, quinoa is usually added to the bird feed to improve nutritional value.

Chickens are also categorized as domestic birds. So if other birds are consuming it without any issue, it would not harm the chickens as well. 

It’s fair to get protective when it comes to your chicken’s health. We encourage you not to believe what you read on the internet, investigate further until you are satisfied.

Adding something new to the diet can cause an issue even if it’s healthy. It would be better if we discuss quinoa a little so our readers can also judge whether it’s safe or not. 

Quinoa is a herbaceous flowering plant that belongs to the amaranth family. This flowering plant contains edible seeds, yes it’s the seed that humans, birds, and animals consume in the name of quinoa.

According to analysis, Quinoa seeds are rich in fiber, protein, B vitamins, and dietary minerals. The seeds can be eaten cooked or raw.

However, the experts suggest eating cooked quinoa is more healthy. 

Since the worth-knowing information is served, let’s get back to our today’s topic 

Do Chickens Like Quinoa? 

It’s hard to get ourselves into chicken’s shoes and tell whether they like quinoa or not. However, it appears that chickens do appreciate receiving quinoa as a treat.

Isn’t it a win-win as quinoa is healthy and tasty at the same time? 

do Chickens Eat Quinoa

So, quinoa should be fed cooked or raw? 

Well, we have mentioned above that humans, animals, and birds can eat both cooked, sprouted, or raw quinoa. Quinoa in all shapes and forms is safe for these birds to consume. 

How quinoa must be cooked is not mentioned anywhere, however, there is a detailed guide on how quinoa must be sprouted for chickens.

To sprout the quinoa for chickens, soak the seeds in cold water for an hour, rinse and drain the seeds, and transfer it to the sprouting jar.

Keep rinsing quinoa every few hours, sprouting will occur in 24 hours. As soon as the sprouting occurs, quinoa is ready to be served alone or mixed with the regular bird feed, wheat, or barley. 

Serving raw chicken is fine as well as long as quinoa is being served as a treat. Raw quinoa can also be served alone or mixed with the regular chicken feed. 

How to Feed Quinoa to Chickens?

Quinoa is safe and healthy, you do not have much to do. However, these feeding rules would help you in reaping maximum benefits. 

  • Quinoa can be fed separately cooked, raw, or sprouted. All you have to do is throw the seed into their run, the chickens will do the rest. However, feeding it mixed with the chicken feed or other chicken-friendly grains is recommended. 
  • Quinoa seeds are of perfect chicken-friendly size, they do not need any chopping or crushing to play safely in the throat. 
  • It must not be fed more than twice a week. No matter how healthy Quinoa seeds are, they can never be taken as a replacement for the chicken feed.
  • A handful of quinoa is safe, increasing the quantity would not do any good. It would rather harm the poor birds. 
  • Cooked or sprouted quinoa is the healthiest. No, quinoa does not lose it’s nutritional value in the cooking process. 
quinoa

Quinoa is even healthier than Alfalfa, oats, and corn;

Chickens are categorized as omnivores. It means they eat a variety of food like fruits, vegetables, grains, and table scraps.

They happen to eat alfalfa, oats, and corn a lot. However, only a few of us know that there is something that is even healthier than Alfalfa, oats, and corn. Feed Shrimp to chickens as an alternative.

That’s quinoa. However to reap maximum benefits one needs to know how quinoa should be fed. 

So far you might have not found any single legitimate reason to not consider quinoa. Since you are planning to add it to your flock’s diet, here is what else you should know;

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Nutritional Value of Quinoa for Chickens

Quinoa is truly a natural gift as it is loaded with a variety of vitamins and minerals. All these vitamins and minerals are crucial for human, animal, and bird health.

The major vitamins and minerals that make quinoa healthy are;

  • Calcium 
  • Iron
  • Magnesium 
  • Manganese 
  • Potassium 
  • Phosphorus 
  • Vitamin E

Calcium 

As Harvard University stated, Calcium is an essential nutrient that layers need to produce hard eggshells. It is equally beneficial for chicks and spent as well as calcium helps in building stronger bones. 

Iron

Iron is needed by the birds for more or less the same reason as humans and animals. It is mainly demanded to transport oxygen, maintain egg production, and hatch chicks’ indexes. 

Magnesium 

Magnesium assists in the healthy functioning of several important functions in the chicken’s body. It helps with bone formation, carbohydrate metabolism, and activation of several enzymes. 

Manganese 

Manganese is a naturally occurring element that chickens need for a variety of reasons as well. It plays a key role in healing wounds, reproduction function, eggshell formation, and nutrient absorption. 

Potassium 

Potassium is not any less demanded mineral. The laying hens need at least 150 mg to serve up to the keeper’s expectations. 

Phosphorus 

All chicken breeds need an adequate amount of phosphorus to live a healthy balanced life.

The free-range chickens do not need an impressive amount of phosphorus however, the other case demands it in a noticeable amount.

Phosphorus is mainly required to metabolize calcium. 

Vitamin E

The aviculturists are always on the run to find the best organic Vitamin E-rich foods. Spinach, asparagus, broccoli, dandelion, and greens are fed to fulfill the requirements. As quinoa is a good source of Vitamin E as well so what’s the harm? 

In brief, yes chickens can eat quinoa in all forms; raw, sprouted, or cooked. It is exceptionally healthy for chickens as it contains calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin E. 

Resources

  • Shumaila Ijaz is a Livestock expert and animal breeder. She has her own local farms for breeding and livestock nourishment. She is a research writer and answers the questions of readers.

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