Can chickens eat potatoes? Is it healthy? In this guide, we have told you all about potatoes as a treat for chickens.
Potatoes are tubers of the plant Solanum Tuberosum, which belongs to the family Solanaceae.
The potatoes were named after their underground stems, called stolons, and because they looked similar to truffles.
Also read: Complete list of chicken treats
Can Chickens Eat Potatoes?
Yes, chickens can eat potatoes. The chicken needs potatoes because they are an excellent source of carbohydrates and protein.
Without a certain number of carbohydrates in their diet, chickens will have difficulty gaining or maintaining weight.
Also read: Best vitamin and mineral suppliments for chickens
Can Chickens Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Yes, chickens can eat sweet potatoes. Chickens will eat anything, but they usually like seeds, grains, greens, fruits, and vegetables.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of protein and other nutrients for your chicken, so feel free to give them some.
Warning: It is important to ensure that any plant you give your chickens is pesticide-free, as ingesting pesticides can be poisonous for them.
The Health Benefits of Potatoes for Chicken
Potatoes are a staple part of many diets. They can be eaten as french fries or baked potatoes, but you can give fried potatoes to chickens.
Always provide boiled potatoes to chickens. They are healthy for them.
Potatoes helps in water retention. Fluid build-up can lead to high blood pressure or heart failure.
Too much water weight is unhealthy because it prevents a chicken from flying well. Potatoes have starchy carbohydrates that help to control this issue.
The low sodium and potassium in potatoes help flush out the water, which is why they’re great.
Potatoes are high in protein, low in fat, and contain very little cholesterol. When chickens are overweight, it’s important to feed them a healthy diet and keep their calories down.
A baked potato is an excellent addition to any meal because it contains only around 100–120 calories per medium-sized potato. It also contains approximately 5 grams of fiber per 4 ounces.
Fiber helps control blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate at which food enters the bloodstream. Potatoes are also high in vitamin B6, which helps lower homocysteine levels, which can reduce inflammation throughout the body.
This increase in vitamins is great for chickens with egg or meat-related dermatitis.
Potatoes are high in beta-carotene, which the body uses to make vitamin A. The vitamin A helps keep mucous membranes healthy and creates an essential layer of protection that prevents infection.
It also maintains healthy chicken eyes, ensuring that chickens can see properly to navigate their surroundings, as well as helping support healthy beak growth.
Potatoes are rich in potassium, which is a natural diuretic. This means that they can help remove excess fluids from your chicken’s body and reduce the strain on their heart from trying to pump an overabundance of blood.
Potatoes also contain iron, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin B6, and folate. These nutrients all support your chicken’s ability to produce eggs, as well as fight off infection when they do fall ill.
Help them achieve this by using potatoes as an easy way to boost their health!
Also read: All about chicken scratch
Adverse Effects of Potatoes for Chickens
Chickens can eat baked potatoes and have access to freshwater in a waterer. Don’t add salt or anything else to a potato before you give it to them. Do not add salt in potatoes when giving to your chickens.
Also, don’t feed your chickens cooked or microwaved potatoes because they have been shown to cause digestive problems when eaten by other animals, like dogs.
Potatoes contain moderate levels of oxalic acid, a naturally occurring chemical that prevents absorption of calcium and reduces the availability of dietary iron.
Consuming excessive amounts can lead to gastrointestinal irritation, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and burning sensations around the mouth and throat.
However, proper usually destroys much if not all the oxalic acid.
Which Part and How to Give Potatoes to Chickens?
Whole unpeeled potatoes, cut into 1″ chunks or sliced lengthwise, can be fed daily. You can also feed potato skins to your chickens that have been cleaned.
Cooked potatoes are best mashed up in a bowl with some cooking oil, garlic salt, cooked egg yolk, crushed/dried liver pills, fish oil, or just about anything else your hens might like mixed in before serving it for breakfast.
This is an extremely nutritious treat they will go crazy over if you toss it on the floor of their run. They will be more happy if you add some greens as well.
Chickens have very limited eyesight and will not see well enough to discover it until they begin eating and pulling the mashed-up food onto their beak.
Put a couple of clean, unpeeled potatoes in the microwave for 5 minutes or so to soften them up. Allow them to cool before you remove their skins and feed them whole to your chickens.
Make sure there are no green spots on the potato showing signs of rot, this can cause problems for your chickens if they eat too much of it.
Once again, just mix some cooked mashed potatoes with other tasty treats before serving them to your chickens. They’ll love anything that tastes well mixed into their favorite treat.
If you want more nutritional value than just plain mashed potatoes, add some cooked egg yolk to the mix for a big protein boost that even picky hens will eat.
You can feed your chickens leftover baked potato, but it should not be given in large amounts, as this food item is rather high in phosphorus and low in calcium.
It’s sometimes a good idea to mash it up with some other ingredients before serving it to your hens.
How Many Potatoes Can You Give Your Chickens?
The recommended daily intake for chickens is between 500 and 1000 mg/kg, but the average whole potato contains around 742 mg/kg.
If you give your chickens an entire potato, they will be consuming more phosphorus than recommended. Please don’t let them gorge themselves on potatoes if they’re getting ready to produce eggs.
They also shouldn’t have too many of these treats throughout the week, as too much of anything isn’t a good thing for any living being. Per chicken, you can give it a couple of slices or chunks the size of a golf ball.
Also read: Best egg laying chickens
Chickens can eat potatoes, they’re especially good at giving them mashed with some other ingredients for added taste and nutrition.
Potatoes are high in carbohydrates and low in fat. Do not give to chickens as the only source of protein.
Keep portions small and limit their intake to once or twice-weekly, as this treat along with any others is high in phosphorus and contains no calcium.
If your hens become egg-bound by consuming too much phosphorus, you’ll probably find out about it, one painful way or another.
If you want more nutritional value than just plain mashed potatoes, add some cooked yolk to the mix for a big protein boost that even picky hens will eat.
I hope you liked this informative guide on can chickens eat potatoes?