Can Chickens Eat Kale? 5 Fantastic Benefits

Written By Jill Taylor

Can chickens eat kale? Yes, kale is a nutritious green vegetable that provides various essential vitamins and minerals for chickens. It also contains dietary fiber, which can help chickens maintain a healthy digestive system. Kale is also a good source of calcium, which helps chickens produce strong bones and eggshells.

Like most leafy greens, kale is a low-calorie treat that can be fed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. However, chickens should never eat more than a handful of kale at a time, as too much can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea. It’s also important to remember that chickens need protein to stay healthy, so you should feed kale with a complete feed.

When feeding kale to chickens, it’s crucial to ensure that the leaves are washed and free of any dirt or chemical residue. It’s also best to feed fresh and not wilted kale, as wilted leaves can be difficult for chickens to digest. This article will provide additional tips on safely feeding chickens kale.

can chickens eat kale

Can chickens eat kale?

Kale is an excellent addition to any chicken’s diet because it contains many essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C, iron, calcium, and fiber. These vitamins and minerals are important for keeping your chickens healthy and strong. Additionally, kale can help keep your chickens hydrated since it is made up of mostly water.

Although kale has many benefits for chickens, it should only be given to them as a treat. Too much kale can cause digestive issues in chickens as they have delicate digestive systems. Therefore, when feeding kale to your chickens, make sure not to overdo it; limit their intake to just a few leaves per day.

Keep an eye out for signs of distress, such as diarrhea or vomiting, which may indicate that they have eaten too much kale or that the food has gone bad.


The benefits of eating kale for chickens

Kale is a superfood for humans and chickens alike. It is packed with nutrients and provides numerous benefits for your flock. In this blog post, we will discuss five advantages that chicken owners can gain from adding kale to their chicken’s diet.

Kale is rich in vitamins and minerals

Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and other essential minerals. All of these nutrients help keep your chickens healthy and strong.

Kale helps boost the immune system

The antioxidants found in kale help strengthen your chicken’s immune system by fighting off disease-causing bacteria and viruses. This will help keep your flock happy and healthy for longer periods.

Kale aids in digestion

Kale contains high levels of dietary fiber, which can help aid in digestion and reduce digestive issues such as diarrhea or constipation in chickens. Dietary fiber also helps maintain normal intestinal transit time so that your chickens can get the most out of their food intake.

Eating kale reduces stress levels in chickens

Stress can be a significant problem for chickens if they are not eating enough healthy foods like kale or are not getting enough exercise, or interacting with other birds or humans. Eating kale helps reduce stress levels in chickens by providing them with essential vitamins and minerals that their bodies need to stay balanced and healthy.

Eating kale increases egg production in hens

Studies have shown that hens who eat kale produce more eggs than those who do not consume any form of leafy green vegetable at all. So feeding your flock some fresh kale now and then could result in higher egg production rates over time – giving you more delicious eggs to enjoy.

Things to watch out for when feeding kale to chickens

fresh curly kale

As with any food, there are things to watch out for when feeding kale to chickens. Here are three points that chicken owners should consider before giving their feathered friends this tasty green treat.

Feed in Moderation

Kale is high in fiber and low in fat, making it an excellent supplement for your chickens’ diet. However, too much kale can harm your chickens’ health due to its high calcium content.

Calcium is vital for bone development, but an excess of calcium can cause kidney damage or other health problems. So it’s best to feed kale sparingly and mix it with other healthy foods such as grains or vegetables.

Watch For Pesticides

Just like humans, chickens should avoid eating food with pesticides on them. Before feeding them kale, rinse the leaves thoroughly and remove any pests or insects on them.

You should also check the packaging of store-bought kale for any signs of pesticide use before feeding it to your chickens.

High Water Content

Kale has a high water content, so it’s important not to let your chickens eat too much at once. Too much water can lead to diarrhea or other digestive issues in chickens, so be sure they don’t overeat when given kale as a treat.

Also, keep an eye on how much water your chickens drink throughout the day; if they’re drinking more than usual after eating kale, it may indicate that they’ve had too much of this leafy green treat.

How often should chickens eat kale?

Kale can be an excellent treat for chickens if given in moderation and with consideration. It is not recommended that kale be included every day as part of their diet. However, occasionally feeding your chickens this vegetable is safe and beneficial.

If feeding kale to chickens, it should be at most 10% of their daily diet. By incorporating kale into the occasional treat, you can diversify their diets, introduce a new flavor, help them receive healthy substances such as calcium and Vitamin A, and keep them entertained.

How to prepare kale for feeding to chickens

flock of chickens

Kale is a nutritious vegetable that can provide your chickens with essential vitamins and minerals. It’s a great way to give them a healthy and balanced diet. But before you feed your chickens kale, there are some important steps you need to take. Let’s look at how to properly prepare kale for feeding to chickens.

Wash First

When preparing kale for your chickens, it is important to wash it thoroughly first. This will help remove any dirt or bacteria that may be present on the leaves. Cold water is fine; there is no need to use hot water or any cleaning agents. Just make sure that you rinse the leaves with clean water.

Leaves and Stems Are Fine

When feeding kale to your chickens, the leaves and stems are perfectly fine for them to eat. Kale has many health benefits, including being packed with vitamins A, C, and K and calcium and iron. So don’t worry about only giving them the leaves – they will benefit from eating all parts of the plant.

Fresh And Raw Is Best

Kale is best served fresh and raw rather than cooked or canned. Cooking it can reduce its nutritional value significantly, so it’s best avoided when feeding it to your chickens. However, if you have any leftover fresh kale from dinner, that would be perfect for giving to your chickens.

Remove Any Uneaten Pieces

Another important step in preparing kale for feeding to chickens is making sure there are no leftovers after they finish eating. Chickens love their food, but they won’t always eat everything in one sitting, so ensure all uneaten pieces of kale are removed from their enclosure once they’ve finished eating. Otherwise, mold or bacteria could grow on the leftovers and make them sick if eaten again later on.

Can baby chickens eat kale?

Baby chickens can eat kale, though they should only be given tiny portions because their digestive systems are not yet fully developed and can’t handle large amounts of food. Nevertheless, kale is an excellent source of vitamins A and C and can be a nutritious snack for baby chicks.

It’s essential to ensure the kale has been washed carefully to remove any potential contaminants or toxins before feeding it to baby chickens. Remember that baby chicks need a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs and encourages them to grow healthy, so it’s best not to feed them too much of one type of food, even if it is good for them.

What types of kale can you get?

red russian kale

Kale is one of the most versatile vegetables out there. It can be cooked, eaten raw, added to salads, and used as a garnish. But did you know that there are many different types of kale? Now we’ll take a look at some of the more popular varieties of kale and how you can feed them to your chickens.

Curly Kale

The most common type of kale is curly kale. Curly kale has dark green leaves with curly edges and a slightly bitter flavor. It is usually used in salads or stir-fries but can also be boiled or steamed for a few minutes to make it more tender. Curly kale is high in vitamins A and C and iron.

Baby Kale

Baby kale is a milder version of curly kale with smaller leaves and a milder taste. It can be used raw in salads or cooked like regular kale. Baby kale is high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.

Red Russian Kale

Red Russian kale has flat leaves with purple hues on the edges and a slightly sweet taste. It can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like regular kale. Red Russian kale is high in vitamins A, C, E, and B6, potassium, calcium, fiber, and protein.

Dinosaur Kale

Dinosaur (or Lacinato) kale has long dark green leaves with deep ridges, giving them their “dinosaur skin” appearance. Dinosaur kale has a slightly sweeter taste than regular curly or baby kale, making it ideal for adding to smoothies or salads for an extra boost of flavor and nutrition. Dinosaur Kale is high in vitamins A and C, fiber, and calcium.

Redbor Kale

Redbor kale has deep purple leaves with frilly edges similar to curly kale but with an even more intense flavor profile than other kale varieties. Redbor kale can be eaten raw in salads or cooked like regular kale. It is high in vitamins A, C, and K and calcium, iron, and magnesium.

What other leafy greens can chickens eat?

fresh mustard greens

Kale is a popular leafy green for chickens, but it’s not the only one. There are plenty of other nutritious greens you can feed your chickens to keep them happy and healthy! Let’s look at some of the most common leafy greens that are good for chickens.


Lettuce is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin A, two essential nutrients for chickens. It also contains ample amounts of dietary fiber, which helps keep their digestive systems running smoothly.

However, it’s important to note that iceberg lettuce doesn’t provide much nutritional value, so stick with darker-colored varieties such as romaine or butterhead lettuce instead.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Lettuce? 4 Surprising Benefits


Spinach is packed with vitamins and minerals like iron and magnesium, making it an excellent source of nutrition for chickens. It also has plenty of dietary fiber to help regulate its digestive system.

Just make sure you chop up the spinach into small pieces before giving it to them so they can eat it more easily.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Spinach? 6 Important Benefits


Arugula is another leafy green that’s great for chickens since it contains high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin C. Not only does this help support their immune system, but the peppery flavor is something they’re likely to enjoy too.

Again, chop up the arugula into smaller pieces before feeding it to them.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Arugula? 5 Amazing Benefits

Collard Greens

Collard greens are full of calcium and fiber – two essential elements for chicken diets – and they have a mild flavor that chickens tend to love. Plus, collard greens contain phytonutrients that can help protect against disease-causing microbes in the gut.

Ensure you cook these greens before serving them to your birds, as they can be difficult to digest if eaten raw.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Collard Greens? 5 Excellent Benefits

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is another excellent option because it contains vitamin A and iron, which helps keep your birds healthy and strong. Plus, its sweet taste means they’ll probably love it!

Again, chop up the swiss chard into small pieces before giving it to your birds, as this will make digestion easier.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Swiss Chard? 5 Awesome Benefits

Can chickens eat kale – final thoughts

Overall, kale can be great for chickens as long as it is given to them in moderation. It contains lots of essential vitamins and minerals that are important for your chicken’s health and wellbeing, plus it helps with hydration since it is made up mostly of water.

However, make sure not to give your chicken too much kale, or else they could suffer from digestive problems or other issues due to their delicate digestive systems. When feeding your chicken kale, make sure only to give them a few leaves at most per day, and always monitor them closely for signs of distress in case they have overeaten or the food has gone bad.

Following these guidelines ensures that your chicken enjoys its occasional treat without any negative consequences.

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