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Can Chicken Eat Chia – Is It Safe?

Chia seeds are often looked at as a super food because they contain so many important nutrients in such a small body. They are often added to salads, smoothies, and meals to help boost the overall nutritional value of that dish. Since chia seeds are so healthy for humans, you may wonder “can chicken eat chia – is it safe? 

Chickens lining up

Chickens can eat chia seeds, which are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber. These nutrients support feather health and egg production. Chia should be given in moderation and can be mixed with their regular feed for easy consumption.

A good general rule of thumb is to feed 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to your adult chickens. If you are feeding chia to a chick, reduce that amount to no more than 1 teaspoon. Additionally, that amount of chia shouldn’t be given to your chickens more than once a day.  Your chickens would most definitely eat more than that amount if you gave it to them. However, feeding too much chia seeds can cause them to experience diarrhea and stomach pain. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t feed it to your flock. Just make sure that when you do give them chia, that it is only occasionally and not as a main food source.

Is It Safe For Chicken To Eat Chia, Should Your Chicken Have It?

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If you want to maintain the health and wellness of your flock, you will need to research whether or not something is safe for them before you ever give it to your chickens. The said truth is that there are many foods that are completely safe for humans that can pose a serious and even potentially deadly risk to chickens. 

Chia seeds are rich in fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and even omega-3. They make a healthy treat that is easy for chickens to eat. They are completely safe to give to not only adult chickens, but to chicks as well.

What To Look Out For When Feeding Chicken With Chia?

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Just because something is good for you doesn’t mean you should gorge yourself on that food. The same thing applies to your flock. 

Because chia is safe for chickens to eat, the only thing you need to look out for is to ensure you don’t feed them too much. Too many chia can cause your chickens to experience diarrhea. One tablespoon of chia is a good amount for adult chickens, while chicks should get no more than 1 teaspoon. 

Additionally, you should never switch your chicken’s diet to one that is exclusively chia seeds. While chia seeds do contain a lot of healthy things, they do not provide every single nutrient that a chicken needs to be healthy. 

Can Chicken Eat Chia Seeds?

Container full of chia seeds

If you experience raising chickens, you know just how much these birds love to forage for seeds. They will scratch at the ground, looking for things they can eat, such as seeds from native plants. But can chickens eat chia seeds?

Chickens can and should eat chia seeds. Chia seeds come from Salvia hispanica, a plant in the mint family native to Mexico. These seeds are well known for their high nutrient content, containing calcium, fiber, zinc, protein, manganese, choline, phosphorous, folate, antioxidants, and so much more.

Can Chicken Eat Chia Sprouts?

Chia seed sprout

Maybe you have an old chia pet that you decided to finally grow, or you tried your hands at microgreens. No matter what the reason, if you’ve got chia sprouts on your hands, you may be wondering if you can safely feed them to your chickens. 

Chickens can eat chia sprouts, and they can actually be a healthy and delicious treat that your chickens would thank you for. If they could talk, that is. You shouldn’t, however, feed them chia sprouts if the plants have been sprayed with pesticides or other toxins.

Can Chicken Eat Soaked Chia Seeds?

Chia seed soaked in the beaker

Before planting chia seeds, it is recommended to soak them in water. This releases enzyme inhibitors that the seed naturally produces to protect itself. If you have started soaking the seeds and then decided you don’t want to plant them, you may be able to toss the soaked chia seeds out to your flock.

Chickens can eat soaked chia seeds. With that said, however, chia seeds can expand up to 12 times their size when they are soaked. This means you won’t need as many wet seeds as you would dry seeds to give your chickens.

Can Chicken Eat Raw Chia Seeds?

Chia Seeds scattered and some in the wooden spoon

If you have a package of chia seeds labeled as “raw”, you may be wondering if they are safe to feed to your chickens. 

Raw chia seeds are safe for chickens to eat. They are also filled with vital nutrients that can benefit all the chickens in your flock. Just make sure to limit the amount of chia seeds you feed them. Feeding them too many, more than 1 tablespoon a day, could cause your birds to have diarrhea.

Chicks, or baby chickens, should get no more than 1 teaspoon of raw chia seeds a day. 

Can Chicken Eat Chia?

Chicken eating

Now that you have learned a little more about chia seeds and how they are safe for chickens, let’s take a look at whether or not chickens can eat the entire chia plant. 

Chickens can safely eat all parts of chia. From the seeds to the sprouts and even the adult plant, which is called Salvia hispanica. As with anything that isn’t a part of their main diet, you should limit the amount of chia the birds eat to help reduce the chance of gastrointestinal distress.

Diarrhea is the most common gastrointestinal distress symptom that chickens will have if they consume too much chia. While this is an unpleasant side effect of consuming too much chia, it typically goes away on its own after 12 to 24 hours. 

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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on November 20, 2022.

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