Cilantro isn’t for everyone. But, those that love it REALLY love it.
Not surprisingly, chickens are amongst those that really do love it.
So, If you’ve got some spare cilantro in your kitchen or it’s flourishing in your garden you may be wondering: is it actually safe for chickens to eat cilantro?
Wonder no further. Here we go through whether chickens can eat cilantro, what health benefits it actually has, and some of the best ways you can feed it to your flock!
Is It Safe For Chickens To Eat Cilantro?
To keep it simple, chickens can eat cilantro. As it turns out, it’s actually one of the safest herbs you can feed your chickens, with no worries of any potentially harmful side effects.
For those that grow cilantro in their garden and who have seen their chickens munching on it, this comes as a relief!
Moreover, you don’t have to worry about whether it’s coriander or cilantro. Both belong to the same genus (Coriandrum sativum), and chicken can eat both coriander and cilantro with no problems whatsoever.
Chickens can in fact eat the entire plant too, from the leaves to the stems too. But, as we all know, just because chickens can eat something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy for them.
But, there’s some icing on the cake when it comes to chickens eating cilantro. That is, cilantro actually offers a host of health benefits to your chickens.
So, not only will your chickens love eating cilantro, but it actually helps with their overall immunity, digestion, and overall well-being.
Let’s go further.
What Are the Nutritional Benefits of Cilantro for Chickens?
Cilantro isn’t only safe for your chickens to eat but it’s also good for their health. From the leaves to the stems, this plant is jam-packed with nutrients whether they’re micro or macro. Here are some of the main benefits to keep in mind when feeding cilantro to your chickens:
- Vitamin A: This is great for a chicken’s vision and helps in preventing tissue damage and blood spots found in eggs.
- Vitamin C: This one is an antioxidant that prevents cell damage, improves immunity, and helps in the metabolism of amino acids.
- Vitamin K: Similar to vitamin A, this one plays a huge role in regulating blood consistency and preventing poultry coccidiosis.
- Protein Content: Chickens need protein. For everyday activities and for regular egg-laying. Cilantro is roughly 3% protein, which is on the lower end of the scale, but still goes towards your chicken’s necessary daily intake.
- Antioxidants: Amongst the above-named vitamins, cilantro also contains several other antioxidants. These all work to improve immunity and the general health and wellbeing of your chooks.
How to Serve Cilantro to Your Chickens
Now, just because it’s safe for chickens to eat cilantro doesn’t mean you should go feeding it to your flock by the bucket load!
So, with all things considered, there are two main ways you can effectively feed cilantro to your chickens, allowing your chickens to reap the benefits without overdoing it:
- The easiest way to feed cilantro to your chickens is to simply deem it as a treat for them. Either chop up the cilantro into bite-sized pieces, stems and all, and offer it to your chickens as a small meal. You can also simply take a bunch out to them and allow them to pick it apart at their leisure too
- The second reliable way to add cilantro to your chicken’s diet is by chopping it up and adding it to a fruit and vegetable mixed meal. If you add cilantro to a mix of non-sugary fruits, root vegetables, and a handful of seeds, you can really bolster their nutrition and health.
It’s important to note, however, that chickens should always be fed their normal formulated seed mix or layer pellets for no less than 90% of their overall diet. This is to ensure they are always receiving optimum nutrition.
However, the remaining 10% is up to you and can be used to strengthen your chicken’s health, immunity, and wellbeing.
Also, it’s best to avoid adding cilantro to your bird’s normal seed mix, as it quickly shrivels up and becomes rather unappealing for your flock after about a day.
Other Safe Herbs For Chickens
So, since cilantro is safe for chickens, surely there are other safe herbs you can add to the mix too, right?
Absolutely. Plus, every herb has its own unique benefits. Here are the best, safe herbs you can offer to your flock as a treat or supplement.
- Mint: Mint helps chickens regulate their temperature, which makes it perfect for those summer days when chickens get too hot! It’s got a host of other health benefits too!
- Oregano: Oregano has antibacterial, anti-parasitical, and anti-fungal properties, and is an excellent source of minerals that chickens need for a healthy diet, including calcium, iron, and magnesium.
- Thyme: Although thyme isn’t a chicken’s favorite herb to eat, it has amazing benefits when used as a fragrant herb in the chicken coop. Both for discouraging unpleasant odors, but also great for keeping insects at bay, like termites, spiders, or mosquitoes.
- Parsley: Vitamin and minerals galore. Vitamins A, B, C, E, and K plus the normal beneficial minerals for overall health.
The Bottom Line
So, whether you like cilantro or not — your chickens sure do love it!
Not only do your chickens love eating cilantro, but it’s actually incredibly healthy for them too. Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and benefits them from dozens of different health perspectives.
Still, don’t overdo it. Even though cilantro isn’t harmful to your chickens, you still want your flock to eat enough of their normal formulated feed to ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need for their busy schedules.
Serving cilantro as a treat, or in your next table scrap meal can really bolster your chicken’s nutrition. Try it out!