Grits can go a long way in a household. It’s no wonder we don’t run out of them, they are such a pantry staple. So, if you’re running a little low on your normal chicken feed you may be thinking, can I feed my chickens uncooked or cooked grits?
Well as a matter of fact, chickens can eat both raw and cooked grits, as in essence it’s simply cornmeal, which is made from various types of corn. So, it’s considered a safe table scrap for you chickens, and it’s packed full of antioxidants and minerals that will help your flock thrive!
Here’s everything you need to know when you’re feeding your chickens grits.
Can Chickens Eat Grits?
Grits are mainly made of less sweet types of corn, typically dent corn. Dent corn is crushed and goes through a processing method that removes the hard hull. Various types of corn and other grains are a staple in modern chicken feeds, contained both in layer pellets and in seed mixes.
So it’s no surprise that chickens can eat grits, and it’s completely safe for them to eat. If you’re simply left with too many grits and don’t want it going to waste it can be a perfect table scrap to feed your chickens, and they’ll love you for it!
Whether you’re thinking about adding new ingredients to your chickens’ feed mix or treats, grits can be an excellent addition. Both raw and cooked grits are rich in iron, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for promoting healthy growth and egg production.
Can Chickens Eat Uncooked Grits
Uncooked grits are simply the result of processing corn into cornmeal, or ‘hominy’. As it is, it’s completely healthy for your chickens to consume. This is because grains normally make up between 60-70% of your chicken’s normal intake!
Although you can simply feed your chickens uncooked grits by themselves they don’t contain a full well-balanced range of nutrients for your chickens. So, instead, you can simply add a cup of uncooked grits into your next food mix for your chickens as a perfect and nutritious buffer.
If you cut up some leftover fruits and vegetables and add some seeds and uncooked grits you’ll have a homemade healthy meal for your backyard chickens!
Chickens love foods like beetroot, persimmons, or mangos. Add seeds like flax seeds or poppy seeds. You can even add a bit of other animal feeds as a treat if you’ve got some, like all stock feed, or other bird feeds.
Can Chickens Eat Cooked Grits
Whether you’re cooking quick grits, hominy, stone-ground grits, or instant grits you usually add additional ingredients being a combination of some or all of milk, water, salt, butter, or heavy cream. In normal amounts, all these additional ingredients are completely safe for chickens to consume.
So chickens can eat cooked grits too! Just be conscious of how much butter, salt, and heavy cream was used to cook your grits as these ingredients aren’t considered healthy for your chickens to eat.
By cooking the grits it also helps chickens digest them more easily and extract the necessary nutrients from them!
What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Grits For Chickens?
There are different types of grits on the market, including stone-ground, instant, and fast-cooking varieties that you can include in your tasty recipes or use to prepare a homemade meal for your flock.
Grits are rich in iron, which plays an essential role in electron and oxygen transmission, which aids healthy growth. In winter, grits will be an excellent addition to your chickens’ regular meals because they provide your flock with extra calories to keep your chickens warm too.
Grits are also rich in other minerals like calcium, potassium, and phosphorus to support the chickens’ skeletal and cardiovascular systems. It can also promote egg production too!
Grits also have a host of antioxidants, which we know are linked to immunity, overall health, and wellbeing.
After all, a healthy chook is a happy chook.
How To Serve Grits To Your Chickens?
I’m a big fan of simply scattering food in my yard for my chickens to swarm and frenzy over or find in their foraging adventures. But, when it comes to feeding raw grits to your chickens, the grains can be too finely grained so your chickens can sometimes struggle to find them if you simply throw them into your yard.
So, if you’re serving uncooked grits to your chickens it’s best to put them into a small container, or add them in your chicken’s normal feed mix and put it in the feeder. You can feed uncooked grits to your chickens every day, as long as they’re part of a balanced diet.
Some chicken breeders don’t serve uncooked grits to protect their chickens from bloating. However, this is a myth and my chickens have never ‘bloated’ from eating uncooked grits.
If you’re serving cooked grits to your chickens, then it’s best to keep them in a separate container for your chickens to eat from. Also, be sure the cooked grits are free from any additional seasonings and additives as much as you can.
I often mix extra ingredients in cooked grits for my chickens, such as egg shells for an added calcium boost! They absolutely love it.
Can Baby Chicks Eat Grits?
Normally you need to be quite careful with what you feed your baby chicks. They need a high protein diet, and can’t consume too much acidic, sweet, or salty foods. But, if you have baby chickens you can feed them cooked grits mixed with a high-quality chick starter or starter feed for a tasty and well-balanced chick-safe meal!
Conclusion – Grits: Soul Food For Your Chickens
Grits, whether they are uncooked or cooked, are completely safe for your chickens to eat and are considered to be a healthy table scrap for your chooks.
Plus, chickens absolutely love them, so you can feel happy knowing your chickens are having a healthy and delicious meal.
Just like with any food, it’s important not to allow your chickens to overindulge in any one food group. A balanced diet is the highest priority for a healthy, happy, and regularly egg-producing chicken!