Jicama is a vegetable that’s not popular as other root vegetables. But I still wondered if this tasty, nutritious could be the ideal way to improve my chickens’ diet.
So can chickens eat jicama? According to experts, chickens can eat jicama, but only the flesh part. The rest of the vegetables contain rotenone, which is very poisonous to the chickens (1).
But there’s much more to discuss regarding this root vegetable.
If you’re even considering using it, read on to see whether its an ideal for your chickens.
- Jicama isn’t the safest root vegetable for chicken consumption, as every part besides its flesh is poisonous. But the flesh does offer some value as an acceptable treat every once in a while.
- A few health benefits come from feeding jicama to chickens. These benefits include being high in antioxidants, helping digestion, and offering a secondary hydration source.
- Jicama consumption needs to be limited for chickens. It should only be a treat rather than a constant dietary staple.
Is It Safe To Feed Jicama To Chickens?
It’s safe to feed your chickens jicama, but there are some caveats. After all, the only safe part of this root vegetable is its flesh parts.
The flesh is safe because it doesn’t contain toxins. But you should carefully peel all the outer skins off.
It’s essential because the leaves, stems, skin, and seeds contain a toxin called rotenone (2). It can make your chickens sick and even kill them.
The poisonous toxin is so dangerous that it’s used in insecticides and pesticides. In other words, it’s not something a chicken should ever ingest on purpose.
Moreover, it’s not only poisonous to mammals and humans, but also “insects and fish” (2). It’s clearly not something that should be overlooked.
Some people may read this and think putting it around the chicken coop is a good idea, but it’s not. Your chickens may eat it as it seems edible to them.
Overall, it’s vital to remember the only safe part of the jicama is the flesh parts. But you should only feed even those parts to chickens in moderation.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Jicama?
Jicama has a solid reputation among humans for its contains many essential vitamins and minerals. Some of them include folate, potassium, and magnesium.
You can also expect it to offer high amounts of fiber and antioxidants. It’s why many humans swear by raw jicama in their healthier diets (3).
But do these attributes add up to providing health benefits for chickens? Well, here’s a quick overview of a few that do come from jicama:
#1 High in Antioxidants
Experts often point to the various antioxidants as massive benefits of jicama. So it’s easy to see why considering their inclusions can prevent cell damage from free radicals.
These free radicals can come from many sources. Therefore, it’s crucial to decrease their potential damage in any way possible. Jicama gets you an easy way to do it.
In simpler terms, jicama and other antioxidant foods make your chickens’ bodies function much more effectively. It’ll help them stay in good shape and prevent certain conditions.
#2 Promotes Better Digestion
Dietary fiber content is another area where jicama excels. But, more importantly, it’s a key benefit for chickens because it can help improve their digestion.
I’ve even used it several times for chickens experiencing vomiting or diarrhea. I gave them jicama, and these issues were solved quickly.
I also must point out that it contains a unique food source of fiber called inulin. It’s beneficial because it’ll increase the frequency of bowel movements to stop constipation.
#3 Quality Source of Hydration
Jicama can act as a secondary hydration source with its high water content. So I often use its flesh parts to give my backyard chickens some more pep on those summer days.
It’s just another way to keep them comfortable during the summer months. Plus, chickens will need extra hydration due to their foraging for food all day long.
If you want to spice up your chickens’ diet and add some new treats to the menu, then you’ve got to check out our articles on “can chickens have edamame“, “can chickens eat parsley“, and “do chickens eat turnips“!
Can Chickens Eat Jicama Leaves, Stems, and Seeds?
Jicama seeds, leaves, and stems are on the no-list. Each of these parts contains toxins and is harmful to the chickens.
Of course, it’s worth noting that a small amount won’t hurt them. But it would be best if you still prevent your chickens from ingesting this toxin as much as possible.
If your chicken does ingest a significant amount, death is a possibility. This outcome alone should express how dangerous these parts can be to chickens.
Furthermore, make sure to peel the jicama skin completely off its flesh parts. A small amount of skin left on the flesh won’t hurt them, but it could cause digestive problems.
How To Feed Jicama To Chickens
Feeding jicama to chickens isn’t too complicated, considering you can only give them the flesh part.
So all you need to do is follow these steps. If you do, preparing the jicama will be easy:
- Give the jicama plant a good wash to remove dirt and debris.
- With a sharp knife, cut the jicama in half.
- Then using a peeling knife, remove the skin off the flesh of the jicama. Make sure every part of the skin is removed. Otherwise, you can hurt the chickens.
- Slice the flesh into small pieces. You can give them the entire root vegetable, but it will be hard for them to eat it.
- Place the flesh into a bowl and feed them to the chickens.
How Many Jicama To Feed Chickens
Moderation is a crucial principle to follow when feeding chickens jicama flesh. In fact, vegetables like jicama should make up 10% of their main diet (4).
Jicama also doesn’t have the proper amount of nutrition that the chickens require daily. Therefore, feeding them too much jicama can cause health issues like obesity.
Instead, jicama should be fed to them as a treat for chickens to supplement their feeds. Feeds are formulated with the proper nutrition to meet the chicken’s diet requirement.
Other Vegetables That Chickens Can Eat
Jicama is among several healthy foods chickens can have to supplement their daily feed. Here’s a quick list of some common vegetable options that I love to give my chickens:
#1 Spaghetti Squash
I’ve found spaghetti squash to be a great vegetable to feed chickens. It has earned this rep by being a reliable source of beneficial vitamins and minerals that chickens need.
Additionally, it’s pretty versatile in its preparation stage. You can serve it to chickens raw or cooked.
Zucchini is another excellent vegetable for chickens to eat; it is a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Furthermore, the seeds of the zucchini help worm chickens. It’s just another benefit that many other vegetables can’t provide.
Kale is a leafy green that’s packed with nutrition. Most humans consider this leafy green a superfood due to its outrageous nutritional content.
As for preparation, you can give these vegetables to chickens cooked or raw. But if you’re planning to use raw kale, cut or dice it up first so it’ll be easier for them to eat.
Your chickens eating kale will then look a lot like this video.
#1 What vegetables are toxic to chickens?
Any vegetable considered a part of the nightshade family is toxic to chickens. Some examples include potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant.
#2 What fruits are toxic to chickens?
Several fruits are considered toxic to chickens, but the main ones include grapes, raisins, and citrus fruits.
Can chickens eat jicama? If prepared correctly to only feature the flesh parts, chickens can enjoy this vegetable in moderation.
It’ll then be a solid occasional treat that your chickens will love. Let me know if you’ve tried these healthy treats in our comment section!
1. SelfDecode | Genome Analysis [Internet]. SelfDecode.com. [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://selfdecode.com/chemical/rotenone/
2. Rotenone – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics [Internet]. www.sciencedirect.com. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/rotenone
3. Bonvissuto D. Health Benefits of Jicama [Internet]. WebMD. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/jicama-health-benefits
4. Nutrition for the Backyard Flock [Internet]. extension.uga.edu. [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=C954&title=nutrition-for-the-backyard-flock#title7
Grigorina grew up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped her into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). She has two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but she also feeds her neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them. Follow her on FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM
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