Feeding chicken is good because it keeps them healthy and they are able to give meat and eggs. These birds will eat a variety of foods like celery, cabbage, mango, grains and tasty grubs. But the question is, can chickens eat cheese?
Not everything you toss to chickens is food. You look surprised, are you? Even though they will peck and nibble at some foods, their nutritional requirements are very important. Some foods are very unhealthy and they can kill your birds.
Do you know members of the night shade family? I hope you do. They are examples of plants that are very toxic to chickens.
So, what about cheese?
Is cheese safe for chickens?
Cheese can be fed to chickens in moderation as a treat. This means that it should be fed once or twice a week only in small amounts to supplement with extra vitamins and minerals.
This treat is loaded with vitamins and minerals that are very important to the health of your birds. More so, cheese contains high amounts of fats that can easily make your chickens obese and overweight.
When chickens get overweight, they are prone to respiratory and liver problems. They are also easily affected by back and joint problems.
Cheese is made from milk. As we know, dairy products like milk, butter, ghee and yoghurt are not good for chickens because they cause diarrhea.
What kind of cheese can chickens eat?
There are several types of cheese including cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, goat cheese to mention but a few.
The above named cheeses are good and can be fed to your chooks. The best way is to dice the cheese into smaller pieces that are easier for chickens to swallow.
When feeding this treat to you birds, always look at the expiry date. Some cheese may have stayed on the supermarket shelf for too long and turned bad. This kind of cheese is bad as it may have molds that may lead to health problems.
What is the nutritional value of cheese?
As I said earlier, cheese has a host of vitamins and minerals that are very important for the health of your flock. Below is a table that breaks them down.
Flouride 46.1 mcg
Sugars 0.7 grams
Iron 0.9 grams
Vitamin A 1323 IU
Vitamin D 15.8 IU
Omega 3 fatty acids 482mg
Omega 6 fatty acids 762 mcg
Vitamin K 3.2 mcg
Vitamin B12 1.1 mcg
Betaine 0.9 mg
Riboflavin 0.5 mg
Cholestral 139 mg
Choline 21.8 mg
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) 0.4 mg
Pantothenic Acid 0.5 mg
Cheese being a milk product, it is rich in calcium. This mineral is very vital in bone formation and egg shell formation. However, too much cheese will not add more nutrients to your flock of chickens but it will make them obese.
Obese chickens are not healthy and are prone to health problems. Feed cheese in moderation twice or once per week as a treat.
What other treats are good for chickens?
This nutritious fruit is good for chickens as a treat. Mangoes should be fed to chickens sparingly once or twice per week because they are very rich in sugars that can make your birds overweight.
Chop the mango fruit in small pieces that can be swallowed with ease. Do not scatter the chopped mango pieces on the ground but rather put them in large bowls or chicken feeders.
When mango chops are scattered, they get dirt and are contaminated with various germs. You can hang a whole mango fruit for your chickens to peck at in the chicken coop.
This vegetable is nutritious to your chooks just as it is to us. Celery stems and leaves are good for chickens. For the stems, chop them into small pieces because they are tough and large for chickens to swallow them whole.
This fruit is good for the health of your chooks. When feeding chickens with grapes, it is important if you chop them into halves because whole grapes can choke them.
Grapes contains high amount of sugars in them and should fed in moderation. Grape vines are also good for chickens and letting then peck and eat up the soft parts and leaves poses no health threat.
Asparagus is an old vegetable that is used to make several dishes. Wondering if asparagus is good food for chickens? Yes! This tasty treat is good for chickens and contains a host of various vitamins and minerals.
Chop this treat into small pieces and toss it to your birds. Am sure they will eat it all smiling. Do this once or twice a week to supplement their diet of crumbles and other commercial feeds with additional nutrients.
Peanuts are tasty treats to chickens. Even though oily treats like peanuts are not good for chickens, feeding them in small amounts causes no health threat.
The shells of peanuts can also be eaten by chickens when boiled. Boiling them makes them soft and chickens can swallow them with ease.
Peanut butter is also good for your chooks. But too much of it is poison as it will have health consequences. Do not feed it to baby chicks because it may block their nostrils which can amount to death.
Cheese is a good treat to toss to your flock of chickens. However, if anything fed to chickens leads to health problems, stop feeding it.
Some birds may diarrhea if they eat cheese especially for the first time. This case may be worse to those who may eat much that recommended.
Treats are meant to supplement on their diet and should account for about 10% of the chicken’s diet. Do not stop feeding them with commercial feeds and crumbles as their main diet.
So, can chickens eat cheese? Yes! they can.
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