So, wondering to yourself, “can chickens eat okra?”
YES, chickens can eat okra ― and it’s safe for them to munch on.
Did you know that okra is not only very high in nutrients but super popular these days?
That’s right― if you’re keen to know more, I’m here to reveal some stunning meal options, so read more about how to feed okra to chickens…
Table of Contents
- A veggie rich in nutrition, okra is an excellent addition to your chicken feeds.
- Okra makes a tremendous treat for chickens and, better yet, a healthy snack or a supplement to their balanced diet.
- To meet their optimal dietary requirements, your chickens should get most of their nutrients from chicken feeds, not okra.
Can Chickens Eat Okra?
“Okra is low in calories and a good source of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals,” writes Public Health Nutritionist Amber Charles Alexis, MSPH, RDN .
Chickens will usually get all the daily nutrition requirements from commercial feeds. Sometimes, chickens get bored with the same food they eat daily.
Giving them other food to eat as well not only does it keep them interested in eating, but it can benefit their overall health.
Okra is filled with nutrition that your chicken can benefit from. So, okra is safe to feed to the chickens.
However, since this isn’t their staple diet, you should not feed them too much.
Okra contains a toxin called solanine, which is known to cause health issues in chickens. Besides that, solanine can cause health problems for humans as well.
However, the solanine in okra is deficient, so the chickens will not have any health problems from eating okra. Still, too much fruit can become a problem for chickens.
Besides okra, solanine is found in many other fruits and vegetables. Like okra, most of the product has low levels of toxins, so it’s not a cause for concern.
Like most other vegetables, feeding the chickens the freshest okra is best. As they ripen, the okra will lose their nutrition and flavor.
So, it’s best to harvest the okra from your garden when you’re ready to feed the chickens.
Health Benefits of Okra for Chickens
Okra is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins C and K. This fruit stands out from the rest because it has protein, which many other fruits and veggies lack.
One cup (100 grams) of raw okra contains :
- Carbs:7 grams
- Protein:2 grams
- Fat:0 grams
- Fiber:3 grams
- Magnesium:14% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Folate:15% of the DV
- Vitamin A:14% of the DV
- Vitamin C:26% of the DV
- Vitamin K:26% of the DV
- Vitamin B6:14% of the DV
The data above is according to the USDA .
- Vitamin A – Is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction.
- Vitamin B6 – Aids hemoglobin production and helps turn food into energy.
- Vitamin C – Promotes growth, development, and repair of all body tissues.
- Vitamin K – Is important for blood clotting and healthy bones.
- Protein – This is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
- Fiber – Helps maintain bowel health.
The buck doesn’t stop here (I can assure you), not least until you haven’t watched this splendid video on the health benefits of okra:
Can Chickens Eat Okra Pods?
Yes, chickens can eat okra pods. This is the part you should feed the chickens with; it is usually part of the okra plant with the most nutrients.
The smaller okra pods are best for feeding chickens and are tender, making it easier for the chickens to eat and digest them.
The larger okra pods are not recommended for feeding chickens, and they tend to be tough and fibrous, which can be a choking hazard for the chickens.
When feeding the chickens, always choose the freshest ones. If you grow them yourself, harvest them when ready to provide them with okra. Fresh okra will contain the most nutrition.
Can Chickens Eat Cooked Okra?
Chickens can eat cooked okra, but it’s not recommended. Cooked okra will have fewer nutrients than raw ones due to the fruit being cooked.
Okra also has this gooey, slimy substance called mucilaginous.
This substance will start to excrete from the okra pods when cooked. Mixing it with the chicken feeds will cause the okra and feeds to become sticky.
This is something that could cause an issue for the chickens.
Also, cooked okra is high in water content. Too much water can cause your chicken digestive issues, such as diarrhea and an upset stomach.
How To Feed Okra To Chickens?
Chickens are not picky eaters and consume just about anything given to them. As for okra, it’s doubtful that they will eat whole okra.
You’ll need to cut or dice them into smaller pieces and feed them to them that way.
The whole okra should be diced into smaller pieces before feeding the chickens, and you can provide all of the okra to your chickens.
After the okra is diced, you have two options to feed them to the chickens. You can either premix them with the chicken feeds or sprinkle them over them on the ground.
Both ways are great ways to get the chickens to eat okra.
However, premixing them first is better as the nutrients from the okra will get absorbed by the chicken pellets.
How Much And How Often To Feed Okra To Chickens
Though excellent treats for chickens include okra, be careful! You know what your uncle Bob said about too much of a good thing…
That’s right ― as with anything ― don’t feed too much!
You can feed your chickens in moderation, as they can eat okra a couple of times each week. You should rotate okra with other healthy fruits and vegetables that are healthy and good for chickens.
If the chickens overeat okra, it could cause gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Okra contains fructans, which is a type of carbohydrate.
Too much of it will cause the chickens to have diarrhea and upset stomachs.
When feeding okra to chickens, you can feed them a couple of pieces of okra at a time.
First, make sure to cut off the stems and dice the rest of the okra. The smaller the okra pieces, the easier your chickens will eat and digest them.
1. Can Chickens Eat Okra Skin?
You can feed okra skin to the chickens. Like other parts of the okra, the skin contains many nutrients too.
When feeding the okra skin, dice it into smaller pieces so it’ll be easier to eat.
2. Can Chicken Eat Okra Seeds?
You can feed your chickens the seeds of the okra plant.
You can mix the seeds with the chicken feeds, feeding the result to your chickens. Better yet, you can sprinkle the seeds over the chicken feeds.
So, can chickens eat okra? You bet! But before I leave you, let me wrap it all up:
Okra is that kid in town who can ride a skateboard, wheelie on the back wheels, and make you believe he can levitate ― and feed an entire chicken coop.
Okra is a superfood to many, one healthy treat, and a great source of vitamins, and you know what else?
As a chicken owner, you can feed this great veggie to your chickens, either as an occasional treat or in unison with their meals.
Be sure to focus on commercial chicken feeds, for these feeds are engineered to provide your backyard chickens with complete and wholesome meal options.
More so, whatever you do, don’t replace their chicken feeds. Instead, add to it by making it fun!
Ok, with all the talk about okra, please don’t forget to comment and tell me about your take on gastronomy for your chickens.
Until next time…
1. Alexis AC. Okra Chips: Nutrients, Benefits, and Recipe [Internet]. Healthline. 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 21]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/okra-chips-benefits-downsides-and-recipe#nutrition
2. FoodData Central [Internet]. fdc.nal.usda.gov. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169260/nutrients
Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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