There is a myth going around that chickens can’t eat rice (raw or cooked). Many people seem to claim that it will expand in the stomach of the bird, which can cause death. This isn’t the case. But, of course, the myth must have come from somewhere, right? So, can chickens eat rice?
That is what we want to look at on this page!
Can Chickens Eat Rice?
Absolutely yes, chickens can eat rice. We have no idea about the origins of the myth that chickens can’t eat rice. It certainly doesn’t seem to be rooted in fact.
There is no way that rice could expand in the stomach of any bird. If that happened, then the same would happen to every other dry food, and it doesn’t happen.
Chickens do love their rice. They are probably not going to chow it down like other foods, but you can easily add a little bit to their diet every now and then, although we do have a few suggestions on the best way you can do this.
Can Chickens Eat Cooked Rice?
Yes, chickens can eat cooked rice. However, every chicken is different, but we have found that the vast majority of chickens absolutely love their rice when it has been cooked. They tend not to touch raw rice.
This is probably because the raw rice isn’t that appealing. It can be a rather bland tasting food until the full flavors have been unlocked through cooking. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to be whipping up a batch of rice especially for your chickens.
If you want to give your chickens some rice, then just give them the leftovers of a meal that you create. You could even add a couple of vegetables into the mix if you want.
You can give your chickens any type of rice. Both will have a little bit of protein and carbohydrates in it, which is great for the bird. However, if you want your bird to get the maximum number of nutrients from the rice that you give them, then we suggest that you give them brown rice.
It is a bit healthier than white rice, and this will result in more nutrients for your bird.
Are there any limits on how much rice you can give your chicken?
Honestly, we probably wouldn’t give our chickens rice more than a couple of times per week.
As healthy as rice is, it is a pretty ‘heavy’ food. It is more carbohydrates than any other nutrient. This means that your chicken is going be filled up with the rice, but it isn’t going to be getting many nutrients from it. They may struggle to eat their other food as a result.
If you are going to be giving your chickens rice, then we really do suggest that you keep it to the minimum. A small portion per chicken, at the most.
Remember; if you are going to feed your chickens cooked rice, then do not leave it kicking around in their food bowl for too long. A day at the most.
Cooked rice is notorious for being a breeding ground for bacteria, and if you leave it hanging around for too long, then there is a chance that your chickens will end up getting sick.
This is the reason why we suggest you keep it in a separate bowl in your chicken coop as opposed to mixing it up with their standard food.
See also: Is chocolate toxic to chickens?