Oatmeal for chickens is a great choice since it provides tons of nutrients like protein, vitamins, etc. It’s a great food that many people, as well as chickens, enjoy.
But, is there any difference between cooked and uncooked oatmeal? Can chickens eat uncooked oatmeals?
The short answer is yes, they can. But, it would be nice if it is cooked. So, How does oatmeal benefit chickens? And how to prepare the oatmeal for your flock? Let’s find out.
What is oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a type of coarse flour that is mainly made out of milled (ground) or steel-cut oat groats. Steel-cut oats can also be called “coarse oat” and ground oats are usually referred to as “white oats”.
Both types of oatmeal can be eaten uncooked or cooked with milk, sugars, or water to make a bowl of oatmeal – porridge. That porridge is also sometimes referred to as “oatmeal” by the U.S and parts of Canada.
Oatmeal is often used as the main ingredient in granola breakfast cereal, or one ingredient in oatcakes, oatmeal cookies, and more. Savory meat-and-vegetable soup in Arab or Egypt uses oatmeal as a thickening agent.
To the human body, Oatmeal is a healthy food that can lower the risk of heart disease. Oat beta-glucans found in oatmeal can reduce the amount of cholesterol in human blood.
Can chickens eat uncooked oatmeal?
Oatmeal and food with oatmeal as an ingredient have many amazing health benefits for human beings. So can chickens also benefit from oatmeal?
The answer is an absolute yes. Oatmeal is one of the chickens’ favorite treats, whether uncooked or cooked. They love it. Oatmeal for chickens contains many good nutrients. It also doesn’t cost much money.
To chickens, oatmeal is a nutritious treat for winter times. You can also add some cayenne peppers or cinnamons to further increase the benefits of this healthy treat.
You may also like: Can baby chickens eat oatmeal?
How healthy is oatmeal for chickens?
Source of nutrition
Warm oatmeal is an excellent source of vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, more vitamins like C, E, K, choline, minerals, antioxidants. It is also a source of protein for chickens.
Oatmeal also contains minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. Calcium and phosphorus are good for bone health, magnesium is good for blood pressure regulation.
However, oat beta-glucans may cause health issues if the amounts are too much. So for oatmeal, only feed in moderation to get enough oat beta-glucans.
Clearing up pasty butts
Pasty butt, or pasting, is a common condition on baby chickens. This is when there are amounts of blockages in the form of droppings in a baby chicken’s vent area, resulting in waste that can’t escape.
This condition is potentially life-threatening if not treated properly. The most common cause of pasty butt is stress from changes in environment or having new diets. Poorly digested food can also cause pasty butt.
With raw oats in chicken feeds, you can both treat and prevent pasty butt together. Some sprinkles of oatmeal during feeding time should be enough.
How to prepare oatmeal for chickens?
Oatmeal is a great source of energy
Now that you fully know the benefits of this healthy treat to your baby chickens’ complete diets, how can you make oatmeal for your baby chicken feeds?
Cook oats or add warm water to them
First of all, you don’t need to feed them too much. Just about 1 tablespoon per chicken should be enough.
Even though uncooked oats are great for chickens, you should cook those oats to make digestion in the intestine and the absorption of nutrients easier.
If you don’t like cooking oatmeal, you can add some warm and clean drinking water to them. Don’t use hot water.
Note that you should only use enough clean water to moisten the feeds so that they don’t feel too soapy or watery. Then let them cool down and serve the meal to your coop.
Don’t stop at just oats
Additional mixtures of ingredients to the already healthy treat provide additional nutrients that improve the health of chickens and favorites for a complete feed. You can add things like fruits, veggies, herbs, etc.
- Seeds and nuts: Flax seeds, rice, pumpkin seeds, raisins, wheat, grains, not too sugary cereals,… for vitamins
- Fruits: your healthy treat can have fruits like peaches, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, apples,…
- Veggies: you can add to your healthy treat plants like carrots, sweet potatoes, corn, beets, green beans, quinoa,…
- Fresh or dried herbs: basils, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, some pepper plants, thymes,…
- Animal feed: try dried insects like worms, mealworms (high in protein), crickets, or river shrimp
Let’s discuss 2 important herbs in the above list that can have huge benefits to your timid flock:
Cayenne peppers help increase blood circulation to many parts of the baby chicken’s body, such as skin, legs, feet, comb, and more.
This helps the flock resist frostbite during winter months since more blood flows in more places means better circulatory system health.
Cinnamon plants help aid the respiratory health issue in chickens and keep the chickens’ mucus membranes in good shape. So just some sprinkles of cinnamon plants added to chicken winter treats should be enough.
What you shouldn’t feed the chickens.
Moldy foods, chocolate, avocados pits and skins, alcohol,…
So, can chickens eat uncooked oatmeal? Yes, they can. And you should feed them oatmeal if you want your flock to be in good shape.
In summary, oatmeal provides oat beta-glucans, protein contents, and numerous vitamins and minerals. It also helps clear up and prevent pasty butt found in chickens.
While uncooked oatmeal is fine, try to cook or add enough warm water to the oats. Add some other ingredients for more nutritional benefits, like cayenne and cinnamon. Don’t feed them food like chocolate, avocados skins/pits, etc.