Ever used ginger to spice up your recipes or to cure seasonal health issues? Well, you might have, not for once but a million times. Ever wondered if this rewarding vegetable is equally beneficial for our animals and birds? I bet you would be lying if you say no.
Ginger is a vital part of chicken feed in some parts of the world and there must be a legitimate reason for it. We have gathered today to find out why chickens get to eat ginger a lot.
Ginger is a fruit of an herbaceous perennial plant that gets widely used as folk medicine and a spice.
It belongs to the family of turmeric, galangal, and cardamom known as Zingiberaceae.
Ginger is widely produced and distributed, India, China, Nigeria, Nepal, Indonesia, and Thailand are the biggest producers. Several thousand tonnes of ginger are collected every day.
It is the first awarded vegetable that was brought to Europe and used by Romans and Ancient Greeks.
The entire ginger plant is made to facilitate humans, animals, and birds, it’s just not the vegetable ginger plant’s leaves are also used to flavor food and eaten directly for various purposes.
It is probably the only vegetable that can be used in several ways like; ginger herb tea, ginger wine, ginger candy, and pickles, etc. Ginger has one other surprising use as well and that is that it reportedly heals and protects from spirits.
Now the question arises if something it is so beneficial to humans how it would not be good for domestic birds like chickens? It certainly is good for the chickens, other birds, and animals as well. It’s not enough to know that the said vegetable is safe and healthy to be fed, let’s find out how it is healthy.
Health Benefits of Ginger for Chickens
Ginger does not just happen to be a great appetite stimulant, it is a highly beneficial antioxidant, a stress reducer, and a nutritional vegetable.
It is often fed to maintain the poultry’s overall health. Research conducted by the Department of Animal Nutrition and published on National library of medicine stated ”If we get more specific, ginger improves the overall health by
- Providing essential nutrients
- By aiding the blood circulation
- Preventing frostbite
- By healing the affected comb and wattles
- By improving the egg-laying
- By boosting immunity
Providing essential nutrients
Like every other fruit and vegetable out there, ginger is rich in several essential nutrients including iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin C in abundance.
Iron is just as important for chickens as it is for any other bird, animal, or human.
Surprisingly, chickens need iron for the same purpose; to prevent anemia and produce enough hemoglobin to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide to the parts of the body.
Anemia is a deadly disease that is caused by iron deficiency. In extreme conditions, it causes weakness, lethargy, dullness, depression, and paresis.
So, if ginger helps in preventing the disease what’s the harm?
Magnesium is a crucial mineral that is needed for several important functions like carbohydrate metabolism and bone formation.
Magnesium deficiency can be deadly for chickens; it causes lethargy, stunted growth, convulsions, and in worse cases death.
Calcium is an essential mineral for poultry. If the chickens do not get enough calcium their immune system gets weaker and bones become fragile. You can feed raisins to chickens as alternative calcium.
It is mainly needed for two purposes; building healthy bones and producing hard eggshells.
Vitamin C is not needed by chickens unless the birds are under stress. In the period of stress, it helps in improving egg quality, shells, and hatchability.
Other than the period of stress, it is needed in small amounts to maintain normal metabolic activities.
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By aiding the blood circulation
Ginger and a few other herbs like Gotu kola, chickweed, turmeric, hawthorn, thyme, cayenne have been advised as forgiving home remedies for smooth blood circulation and lower blood pressure.
Ginger serves the animals, birds, and humans the same way. It smoothens out the blood circulation delivers nutrients, oxygen and takes away wastes, so healthy blood circulation fixes several functions and improves overall health.
Frostbite is an injury that is induced by freezing skin and underlying tissues.
In this condition, the skin gets cold and red first if this medical condition remains untreated the affected area gets hard, numb, and pale.
Frostbite is a common poultry issue that can occur if the bedding is damp or the coop is poorly ventilated.
Ginger helps in preventing frostbite by improving circulation and blood flow in the chicken’s body.
By healing the affected comb and wattles
Comb and wattle issues are quite common in poultry. The affected comb and wattles are usually healed with rubbing alcohol and antibiotic creams.
Ginger improves the affected chicken’s comb condition by speeding up the comb and wattles recovery process.
By improving the egg-laying
This rewarding vegetable whether it’s in ginger root, powdered, or any other form is proven to improve the egg-laying process.
The hens that consume ginger in any form not only produce eggs with better mass but also add an impressive amount of antioxidants to egg yolks.
By boosting immunity
According to the Department of poultry Zagazig University Ginger has been used to improve immunity for ages.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the said vegetable assist in strengthening the immune system and fighting against diseases.
How to Feed Ginger to Chickens?
Remember! Fruits and vegetables are only safe for the birds and animals if they are fed the right way.
It’s also important to stick to the suggested quantity as a ginger overdose would make the eggs bitter and the underdose would not perform the job effectively.
- First of all, you have to be careful with the quantity, make sure you are not feeding ginger more than 10-15 grams per kilogram of feed.
- Powdered ginger sprinkled over the food is the best way to feed chickens.
- As chickens do not have teeth they can not chew food, even the smallest cubes can create an issue while passing down the throat. Grated or ground ginger is however an exception.
- If the ginger powder is not available and you want your chickens to reap the benefits of this rewarding herbaceous perennial plant, finely chopped ginger leaves can also be fed.
- The chickens find light peppery flavored ginger leaves more delicious than the ginger itself. Ginger leaves are completely safe to feed but they should also be fed in moderation.
- Though ginger leaves are not bitter, too much of it can also cause eggs to taste bitter. Moreover, going against the suggested quantity can also cause diarrhea and several digestive issues.
- Make sure the ginger or the ginger leaves whatever you are planning to feed are thoroughly washed.
- Ginger and all vegetables should be washed to flush off the bacteria and harmful chemicals so this rewarding vegetable gets safer to consume.
- Ginger powder or the ginger leaves must not be fed more than twice a week. Leave room for the typical chicken feed and some other chicken-friendly herbs as well.
- Make sure it is fed once a week.
Lastly, you have to be careful that the powdered, grated, or ground ginger must be fed mixed with the typical chicken feed or fruit or vegetable salad. If fed otherwise, the flavor would be too strong for these domestic birds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can chickens eat ginger roots?
Yes, the entire ginger plant is 100% safe and healthy for the chickens to be fed. So, why would the roots be harmful? Ginger, leaves, and all other parts of the ginger plant would only be harmful if they are not fed in moderation.
Can chickens eat garlic and ginger together?
No, mixing ginger and garlic or feeding both separately would be a terrible idea. Ginger and garlic must be mixed with the typical chicken feed or the fruit or vegetable salad. If the said spices are fed together or separately, the flavor would be too strong for these domestic birds to eat.
Is ginger safe for chickens?
Yes, ginger is 100% safe not just the vegetable but the entire herbaceous perennial plant. It would only be harmful if it is not fed in moderation. The suggested safe dosage is 10-15 grams per kilogram of feed.
Is raw ginger good for chickens?
Yes, ginger is safe for the chickens even if it’s in raw form. Calling ginger safe is an understatement it’s extremely healthy as well.
Ginger is 100% safe and healthy as it provides essential nutrients, improves egg-laying, blood circulation, prevents frostbite, boosts immunity, and heals affected combs and wattles.
In brief, ginger is a rewarding vegetable that is enriched in calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin C. It is 100% safe for the chickens to eat in a powdered, grated, or ground form mixed the chicken feed or other fruits and vegetables.
If fed as suggested, ginger provides essential nutrients, prevents frostbite, boosts immunity, heal affected combs, and improves egg-laying. Ginger should be fed in moderation as it can cause diarrhea and digestive issues.
It can be in grated, ground, or powdered form. Moreover, it must be mixed with fruits and vegetables or chicken feed as the chickens might not eat it otherwise because the flavor gets too strong to be eaten.
- ”Ginger and Its Derivatives as Promising Alternatives to Antibiotics in Poultry Feed”
- ”Effect of dietary supplementation of garlic, ginger and their combination on feed intake, growth performance and economics in commercial broilers”
- ”Potential applications of ginger (Zingiber officinale) in poultry diets”