Onions are low in calories and contain various vitamins and minerals. It is known that eating onions may help reduce some disease risk factors. However, have you ever wondered the answer to the question ‘can chickens eat onions?‘.
Well, we are going to give you all of the information you need to know on this page!
Can Chickens Eat Onions?
Yes, chickens can eat onions, and any plant in the onion family (e.g. garlic and chives).
Chickens can eat green onion as well but in general it is not something that we are going to recommend.
This is because if a chicken eats too many onions, it can cause a condition known as ‘hemolytic anemia’.
Hemolytic anemia can cause your chickens to become weak. They will look weak too. This can be a ridiculously difficult condition to deal with and, while it is treatable, it is likely not going to be worth the time and effort.
This means that you will probably need to cull your chicken.
Granted, it is is probably going to take a lot of eating onions to get your chickens to this point, but do you really want to take a risk with it? After all, there are plenty of other items of food that your chickens can chow down on.
How to Feed Chickens Onions
As we said; we generally wouldn’t feed chickens onions at all. At least, you shouldn’t be going out of your way to do it.
If you are going to feed your chickens onions, then you will want to keep what you give them to the absolute minimum. Only a small amount of onion. Just a handful between a few chickens should be more than enough.
This is not something that we would even consider giving the chickens multiple times per week.
Obviously, the risk factor of hemolytic anemia is going to be rather small in chickens, but as we said before; it is probably something that you do not want to be risking unless you absolutely must (and you probably don’t)
Chickens can have onions, but if you do give your chickens any form of onion, then be prepared for the fact that they are probably not going to eat it. A lot of chickens don’t like an onion.
They may peck away at it for a bit, but the strong taste and smell is probably going to be putting them off. This means that you will want to keep an eye on the coop and the run.
If there is any onion left behind, then make sure that you clear it up quickly. This will help to reduce the risk of your chickens getting sick, or pests being attracted.
Things To Watch Out For
You should be looking out for hemolytic anemia in your chickens. This is often easy to spot.
The chickens will start to become weaker, and the color in their extremities (particularly the legs and their comb) will start to fade.
You can get your chickens vaccinated against it (they may have done so before you purchased them), but it can be quite tough to treat once the virus has taken hold.
As we said; don’t give your chickens onions, even if they are normally fine eating the onion in small quantities.
See also: Can Chickens Eat Oats?