Can Chickens Eat Cabbage? Everything you need to know

There are many things that chickens can eat. These feathered friends are omnivores when ranging on their own. So, can chickens eat cabbage?

Yes! Chickens can eat cabbage if they get it. This moisture rich vegetable contains a host of vitamins and minerals that are important for the healthy growth and development of robust chickens.

Apart from cabbage, they will require the main diet of crumbles as well as plenty of clean drinking water.

So, is cabbage the right type to give to chickens? How much of it do they need? In this article we are going to talk about cabbage and chickens.

Let’s roll!

Do chickens eat cabbage?

Chickens do eat cabbage. However, they should be fed in moderation as a treat and not as the main diet.

You should not do away with the main course of crumbles and pellets simply because chickens are eating cabbage.

Although it has essential Vitamins like A, C and K, it lacks other valuable nutrients in the right proportion.

Hens can eat both raw and cooked cabbage. They can eat cabbage worms too if they find them. Remember worms are tasty to chickens.

Cabbage leaves are good for your rooster too. Although they are too big for them to swallow, these chooks can tear them into small pieces.

How much cabbage do chickens need?

Cabbage is a treat and should be fed sparingly and in moderation. Any treats like rice and cherries that chickens eat should not account for more than 10% of their diet.

Treats are meant to make the chickens diet all-rounded by supplementing with extra nutrients and minerals they do not get in the right amount.

With this in mind, you can automatically tell that chickens do not need much cabbage. This does not mean that eating much of it can lead to any health problems.

Too much cabbage will only add too much water in their bodies. Perhaps what this can do is make their poop watery.

A cabbage head is too big for chickens to swallow. The best way is to chop it into small pieces so that it will be easy for them to swallow.

You can also hang it in the chicken coop using a CooShou Chicken Vegetable String Bag Chicken Feeder. This way the birds will peck at it as a boredom buster.

What is the nutritional value of cabbage?

Cabbage is a nutritious vegetable to toss to chickens. Although not all chicken will like it, those who do are likely to benefit from vitamins minerals as well as plenty of water.

In order to get a better understanding, study the table below.

Nutrient                                                         Value

Energy                                                             25Kcal

Water                                                              92.2

Protein                                                            1.28g

Fat                                                                    0.1g

Carbohydrate                                                 5.8g

Fiber                                                                 2.5g

Sugars                                                              3.2g

Vitamin C                                                        36.6mg

Vitamin K                                                        76ug

Manganese                                                     0.16mg

Iron                                                                   0.47mg

Potassium                                                        170mg

Magnesium                                                      12mg

Phosphorus                                                      26mg

Sodium                                                              18mg

Zinc                                                                    0.18mg

Folate                                                                 43mcg


As you can see above, cabbage contains too much water meaning it is a good treat to keep chickens hydrated.

This is a good treat to give to your chickens either cooked as leftover table scraps or raw. A refrigerated cabbage is a good option to keep chickens bodies cool during summer.

How to serve cabbage to chickens

Cabbage can be served directly to chickens when raw. You can also choose to cook it to in order to make is soft and easier to swallow.

Although cooked cabbage is good, do not put any salt, butter or seasonings. The digestive systems of your chooks were not designed to handle them.

If the cabbage you intend to feed your birds is among the leftovers that remained after you had enough, chances are they contain salt and other spices.

Such leftovers are not good for your chickens.

Chop the cabbage head into small pieces. This way, your chooks will utilize each and every part because it is easier for them to swallow.

Can chicks eat cabbage?

Chicks do not require treats but rather a well-balanced diet of chick starter feed that is rich in protein. Remember that they are developing and need healthy food.

However, they can eat it if they get it. Although they can eat cabbage, they risk choking to death because it is too large for them to swallow.

Let your juvenile chickens develop into pullets or cockerels and start tossing treats. They are ready to eat cabbage when chopped after they reach 4 months old.

When they are big, they can eat cabbage and carrots or the entire cabbage plant with the exemption of roots. At this time, chickens can eat red cabbage and green cabbage.

What vegetables can chickens eat?

Apart from cabbage, chickens can eat and enjoy other types of vegetables. Unlike fruits like grapes that are sugar rich, vegetables are very nutritious to feed to chickens.

Instead of throwing away those tops and peels of some of your vegetables, share them with your pet chicken.

Feeding some of our veggies to chickens when the harvest is bumper will help prevent loss by converting them to chicken feed instead of compost.

So, which vegetables are good for chickens to eat?

These vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals that will boost the health of your flock. However, feed vegetables to chickens in moderation as a treat.

What do free range chickens eat?

When roaming in the backyard, chickens are omnivores. They will eat almost anything that they collect making their diet different from those raised on a diet of crumbles.

Free range chickens eat grass, weeds, seeds, bugs, insects, snails and some edible flowers. These chickens will also collect sand and grit which helps digest food in the gizzard.

Some people have argued that free range chickens lay good and tasty eggs than those raised in confinement.

I agree with them because my yellow chickens have good eggs than those laid by my sister’s golden comet chickens that are raised in cages.

However, free ranging chickens are faced by several threats like predation by possums and hawks. They are also prone to diseases that are easily spread by some wild birds.

Some notorious chicken breeds like Hamburg’s may choose to roost on trees, bushes and fences at night risking their lives.


It is true chickens can eat cabbage. These chooks can even sneak inside your vegetable garden and eat the cabbage plants especially when young.

Chop that huge cabbage head into small pieces to make it easier for them to swallow. You can choose to hang a whole head for them to peck and keep them busy.

Store cabbage might not be the best to feed to your birds because it may contain some farm chemicals sprayed during the growing period.

Do your chickens eat cabbage? Share your views.

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