Carrots are one of the most popular vegetables within the human diet, so it’s only natural that chicken owners might consider feeding them to their flock as a treat.
So, I wanted to put this post together to show you everything you possibly need to know about feeding carrots to chickens.
Read on to find out more about the best ways to feed carrots to chickens, information on feeding carrot peel and tops to chickens, how to grow carrots if you have free-range chickens, and find out if carrots can make egg yolks more orange.
Is it OK to Feed Carrots to Chickens?
Before we dive into how to feed carrots to chickens, you might be wondering if it’s even ok to feed carrots to chickens in the first place?
In short, it is perfectly safe for chickens to eat carrots as a healthy treat in addition to their normal complete feed. As with any treat, owners should feed carrots to chickens in moderation, so they still get the full nutritional benefit from their usual food.
Carrots are a healthy snack for chickens when eaten in moderation because they contain many vitamins such as vitamin A and B vitamins.
Most chickens will enjoy eating carrots in various forms, as long as they’re prepared in a way that makes them easier to peck at and eat.
Feeding Raw Carrots to Chickens
Chickens can eat raw carrots, but they can be difficult for chickens to peck at because they’re a hard root vegetable.
But, when it comes to chickens, being difficult to eat isn’t always a bad thing because it keeps them busier for longer and is a good way to prevent boredom.
The best way to feed raw carrots to chickens is either in small bitesize pieces that they can peck from the ground or large chunks inside a feeder (such as the Omlet Treat Feeder).
It’s a good idea to give them a little at a time so the hard carrot doesn’t become compacted in the crop if they eat too much.
By feeding chickens raw carrots, you can retain all of the nutrients which are lost in cooking.
Feeding Cooked Carrots to Chickens
It is possible to feed chickens cooked and cooled carrots; although it’s worth keeping in mind, there will be fewer nutrients in the carrot than the raw vegetable. In addition, cooked carrots are softer and easier for chickens to eat.
Chickens can easily eat cooked carrots of any size or shape, and again they should be given as a treat in addition to the chicken’s normal complete feed, which should give them all the nutrients they need.
Can Chickens Eat Carrot Peel?
Chickens can eat carrot peel, providing it’s clean and free from chemicals such as pesticides or anything that can be harmful to chickens.
Most chickens will enjoy eating the peels, which are thinner and easier to eat than large chunks of raw carrot.
Carrot peel should be fed to chickens in moderation as an occasional treat. However, take care not to put too many down as they can quickly become rotten.
Rules Around Feeding Chickens Scraps
Before you feed your chickens any kitchen scraps or food prepared in a kitchen, it’s a good idea to check your local government rules on feeding chickens.
For example, it’s against the law in the UK to feed chickens any foods prepared in a non-vegan kitchen.
So, if you’re in the UK, you can’t feed cooked carrot or carrot peel prepared in the kitchen, but you can feed them carrots straight from the store or garden.
This rule is in place to prevent the cross-contamination of disease from one food source to another.
While many backyard chicken keepers don’t agree or are frustrated by these rules, they can carry penalties if they’re broken and don’t seem to be going away any time soon.
Do Chickens Eat Carrot Tops?
Most chickens enjoy eating carrot tops, and they’re a safe, nutritious food for them to pick at.
If you grow carrots in your garden, you can leave the tops out for your flock to scratch, and peck through will keep them busy at the same time as feeding them a nutritious treat.
Can You Grow Carrots If You Eat Chickens?
Because chickens like to eat carrot tops, this can become a problem if they peck at the young shoots because they can destroy a crop in one go.
Chickens also like to scratch in the soil around vegetables and have the power in their feet to unearth the young vegetables growing below.
If you’re growing carrots in a place where chickens free-range, I would highly recommend fencing or netting them off; otherwise, you might not have much to dig up come harvest time.
How Often Should You Feed Carrots to Chickens?
Carrots should only be fed to chickens as a treat and not as a meal replacement because, although they’re high in nutrients, they don’t provide the chicken with the protein or energy they need to stay healthy.
Chickens are a bit like children when it comes to food, and if they get too many treats, they expect it all the time and don’t eat their normal food.
If your chickens are free-range, they’ll be finding lots of other natural foods as they graze, so a complete feed is enough for them to get everything they need.
Treats should only make up a small percentage of the chicken’s daily food, so try to limit it to two or three times per week.
It’s also a good idea to vary different types of vegetables and fruit, to give them a wider range of nutrients.
Can Carrots Make Chickens Egg Yolks More Orange?
These days the mark of a good egg seems to be focused around the color of the yolk, and generally speaking, the darker and richer the egg, the tastier it is.
This article was first published on May 19, 2021 by Pentagon-Pets.
Some egg producers add certain supplements to the chicken’s feed to make the yolks darker, but for backyard chicken keepers who allow their birds to free-range, this will come naturally.
The best way to achieve a darker orange yolk is to allow chickens onto the ground where they can scratch and graze naturally for bugs and vegetation.
It’s not a good idea to feed chickens carrots for a darker yolk because they would need a lot to make a difference. However, a good happy, and healthy lifestyle will result in great eggs, which are much tastier than anything you could buy in a store.
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Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on May 19, 2021.
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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on May 19, 2021.