Because chickens will eat just about anything it makes it hard to know which foods are safe and healthy and which are toxic or unhealthy. Some types of pea plants including the stems and flowers are actually toxic to chickens, such as with sweet peas.
So it’s a fair question to ask: Can chickens eat snap peas?
Let’s take a look at whether chickens can eat snap peas, including their pods, what the health benefits are, and if there is anything to watch out for!
Can Chickens Eat Snap Peas?
Chickens can eat mostly anything around the yard. But, just because they can eat things doesn’t mean they should, and some they should actively avoid. For example, all parts of the sweet pea plant, including the flower, stems, leaves, and the peas are actually toxic to chickens.
Fortunately, chickens can eat snap peas. In fact, snap peas, or snow peas, are completely harmless to your chickens and are actually incredibly healthy and fibrous for your feathery friends. This means if you grow snap peas in your yard they are likely going to be eaten by your chickens from time to time!
Snap peas are rich in protein and beneficial nutrients that can improve the overall health of your chicken when fed in normal doses. This makes them a perfect option to add to the rotation of healthy table snacks for your chickens. Next time you are cooking with snap peas, save the offcuts or leftovers and scatter them in your backyard for a healthy boost to your chicken’s diet.
Can Chickens Eat Snap Pea Pods
A lot of fruits and vegetables can be safe to eat, but their stems, leaves, or flowers can contain toxins that can be harmful to your chooks in high doses. For example, you can feed your chickens eggplant, but you’ll want to avoid the eggplant leaves and stems.
However, when it comes to snap peas or snow peas, chickens can eat the entire vegetable from pea to pod. In fact, it’s a good idea to leave the pods on, just like when you are cooking them for yourself. The snap pea pods are full of nutrients and fiber that promote healthy digestion and general health for a happy backyard chicken.
What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Snap Peas for Chickens?
Some people give their chickens snap peas not only as a tasty treat but also as a part of their regular diet. Although there are numerous benefits from feeding your chickens snap peas, you should always be sure 90% of your chicken’s diet comes from their regular seed mix or layer pellets. This is because they are specially formulated to account for all the chickens’ needs.
However, snap peas are the perfect treat to help fill the remaining 10% of your chicken’s diet because they are high in protein, and contain countless benefits for a happy backyard chicken.
Let’s take a look at all the big things that these delicious peas can offer your little chickens.
They Include Plenty of Antioxidants
One thing that does stand out about snap peas and snap pea pods is that they’re rich in antioxidants. As you might be aware, antioxidants can boost the performance of the immune system, resulting in a strong and healthy chicken.
Plus, antioxidants help increase liver function as long as they’re consumed in moderation.
There are various antioxidants in normal chicken feed mixes, but it’s always good to provide your chickens with a varied input of other amazing antioxidant-rich foods to boost their overall immunity and wellbeing. Other nutrient-rich foods you can try are radishes, mango, or pickled beets for your chickens.
They’re Packed With Vitamins
Like most vegetables, snap peas have a bunch of vitamins including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
These vitamins are loaded with benefits, especially for your fluffy-butted friends. Take Vitamin C for instance. It works to enhance fertility, battles the effects of heat stress, and reduces unhealthy weight gain.
Choline is a good vitamin to have in a chicken’s diet as it improves egg production too. Really you can’t go wrong with snap peas if fed to your chickens in normal amounts.
Another superfood I’ve been feeding to my chickens is raw broccoli, which contains very similar nutrients for your chooks.
They Have So Much Protein
Because peas are legumes they tend to be higher in protein, which is great for chickens as they require a good amount of protein, encompassing around 15% of their normal dietary requirements.
The bright side here is that if you give your chickens some snap peas as a snack they’ll be more loaded with more protein than most veggies.
However, you still need to be conscious of how much protein your chickens are having, as you don’t want to leave them with an unbalanced diet which may impact the chicken’s weight or cause problems with egg production and growth.
They’re Rich in Minerals
Last but not least, snap peas include a large variety of minerals that your chickens will always appreciate having in their diets, even if they don’t really realize it!
For example, snap peas are filled with:
To Wrap It Up
Can chickens eat snap peas?
Absolutely, and they are one of the healthiest treats or table scraps you can add to your chicken’s rotation of nutrient-filled feeds.
Just like anything though it’s all about balance. If your chickens fill up too much on vegetables, fruits, and legumes like snap peas, they won’t be receiving their ideal dietary requirements. That’s why it’s important to only feed your chickens vegetables and other table scraps in small amounts once a day or a few times a week — just to boost their range of nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals they receive.
In the case of snap peas and their pods, they will be a perfect go-to for a happy and healthy chicken.