Can Chickens Eat Spinach?

Diet plays an important role in an organism’s life. Be it humans or chickens, all need a nutritious and balanced diet to stay healthy. People raising chickens are always very concerned about feeding their chickens right. Amongst all the options available they prefer the best to ensure that the chicken maintains good health and required body weight. Chickens being omnivores, eat a wide variety of food and sometimes anything they feel like eating. So, the question arises, what healthy do we need to feed the chickens? Anything green? Maybe some spinach. But, can chickens eat spinach?

Well, the simplest answer to this question is “Yes”. Why not? Chickens do eat spinach and a lot of other raw vegetables

Spinach is a nutrient-packed vegetable that could help chickens get enough fiber and nutrients to stay healthy. Spinach is considered a ‘superfood‘ for humans. Therefore, it definitely will benefit chickens till you feed them in moderation. 

Is Spinach safe for chickens?

Spinach is safe for both human and animal consumption. According to a study, the use of 1% dry spinach leaves helped in enhancing egg yolk color when added to the laying hen diets without any negative impact on the performance and egg quality. However, it is to be kept in mind that too much of this superfood can cause various health issues in chickens as spinach contains higher quantities of oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is an organic compound that can interfere with minerals inside our bodies. It could prevent the absorption of calcium in the body and lead to the formation of soft shield eggs in layer chickens. And as a result, egg production is negatively affected. Therefore, keep in mind that although chickens prefer spinach as a snack they want to enjoy it often but still you have to feed them in moderation. 


Nutritional content in Spinach

Spinach is the most nutrient-rich vegetable. It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals along with antioxidants, flavonoids, phytonutrients, and lutein.  Lutein is a carotenoid that helps increase egg yolk pigmentation when added to chicken’s diet at 1% and 2% doses.

  1. Fiber– Green leafy vegetables are all rich in fiber. Spinach is high in insoluble fiber and prevents constipation along with promoting digestion. 
  2. Vitamin A– Vitamins are known to fight diseases. It helps in the preservation of epithelial cells and maintains good reproductive, digestive, and respiratory health. 
  3. Vitamin B1– It is essential for carbohydrate metabolism in the body. A deficiency of Vitamin B1 leads to dull feathers, dropping of wings, and decreased body weight in chickens. 
  4. Vitamin B2– This vitamin helps in the proper functioning of metabolism. It causes diarrhea, low egg production, and embryonic mortality, and in severe cases, it may lead to deaths in chickens.
  5. Vitamin B6– These vitamins are required for the correct metabolism of amino acids in the body. Its deficiency causes jerky movements and convulsions in chickens.
  6. Vitamin B9– It is also known as ‘ Folic acid ‘. It promotes cell functions and tissue development. It is also helpful in maintaining healthy feathers in chickens.
  7. Vitamin E– It is required for the normal neurological functioning of the brain. It also helps in enhancing the ability to fight diseases and faster recovery in chickens. A deficiency of Vitamin E can cause muscular dystrophy and diseases due to E Coli. This vitamin is essential for healthy feathers and boosting the body’s immunity. Proper cell growth and reproduction is also a reason to intake this vitamin in good amount.
  8. Vitamin K– It aids in the synthesis of Prothrombin and clotting. Prothrombin helps in preventing coccidiosis. The deficiency of Vitamin K can cause hemorrhages in breasts and legs, and increased blood spots in eggs.
  9. Iron– Spinach also contains iron. Iron helps maintain oxygen levels and blood in animals. The deficiency of iron leads to chicken becoming anemic.
  10. Manganese– It supports faster healing of wounds, absorption of nutrients, reproduction, and development of healthy bones. Therefore, it is necessary for chickens.
  11. Zinc– Zinc plays an important role in the production of eggs in hens. The egg-shell quality improves when chickens are provided with zinc-rich foods.
  12. Choline– It helps in synthesizing DNA along with maintaining a healthy nervous system. And its deficiency may lead to perosis.

How to feed Spinach to Chicken?

As discussed above, feeding spinach to chickens will help them stay healthy and disease-free. But only when you feed them in a limited amount. Spinach can boost the metabolism in chickens, increases healthy egg production, and along with fighting diseases efficiently. Therefore, including spinach in your chicken’s diet will benefit your chickens. Let’s read about the proper way to feed spinach to your chicken. 

  1. Green leafy vegetables make a good treat for the chickens, be it in any form. Once a week you could serve spinach along with other herbs and vegetables as a salad to your chickens. 
  2. Even chopping spinach finely and adding it to their commercial feed would be a simple and easy way to provide them with this nutritious yet tasty vegetable. But make sure that the spinach is fresh and not rotten. 
  3. You can add Apple cider vinegar to the water to chicken’s drinking water to counteract the negative impacts of eating too much spinach. Apple cider vinegar helps in boosting the immune system along with promoting the absorption of calcium.

Do chickens eat spinach stalks?

Yes. Spinach stalks can be eaten by chickens. The stalk is easily digestible. But in case of gizzard problems amongst your chickens, you should avoid feeding them stalks.

Does Chicken prefer raw or cooked spinach?

Vegetables in raw form as salads are far more healthy and nutritious than cooked. And animals or birds do not prefer cooked vegetables like humans. Chickens would eat it in any form unless it’s neither extremely hot nor cold. And it is generally advised to eat green leafy vegetable half cooked as cooking them reduces the number of nutrients it has.

What happens when you feed too much Spinach to your Chicken?

As stated above, spinach contains high quantities of oxalic acid. And when chickens intake it in higher quantities, then oxalic acid starts disrupting the balance of minerals inside the body. It interferes with calcium absorption in chickens which could lead to several problems causing calcium deficiency in chickens. And this leads to the production of unhealthy eggs. Calcium is required for producing the contractions required to thrust the eggs down the oviduct along with the creation of eggshells resulting in the production of healthy, and quality eggs. And this is why many poultry owners add Oyster shell calcium to the bird’s feed. Therefore, too much spinach is definitely not a good for chicken’s health. Hence, don’t feed spinach solely as a feed to your chickens, and make sure to feed in small amounts.

Signs of Calcium deficiency due to too much spinach

Too much spinach in a chicken’s diet leads to calcium deficiency resulting in various health issues in chickens along with low egg production. The following symptoms could be seen-

  1. Thin and weak eggshells
  2. Reduced shell quality
  3. Weakness and lameness
  4. Swollen joints of hens and rigid legs
  5. Broken bones
  6. Paralysis and death in severe cases.


Spinach is a great way to provide your chickens with lots of vitamins and minerals along with fiber. It is completely safe for chicken consumption as it is for humans till you feed them in limited amounts. Make sure the basic commercial feed makes up 90% of your chicken’s diet in order to meet all their nutrition demand.

To counteract the negative impact of spinach, add apple cider vinegar to their water supply. And don’t mind exploring vegetables and fruits to add to your chicken’s diet, as they too need a treat sometimes. 


For a better understanding of the above concept let’s discuss some FAQs.

Can chickens eat uncooked spinach?

Yes, chicken can eat raw spinach. Chickens eat a wide range of vegetables and fruits in their diet. Uncooked vegetables are more often served to chickens as they are more nutritious and healthy than cooked ones. And unlike humans, animals or birds do not prefer cooked vegetables. So, once a week you should feed your chickens spinach along with other herbs and vegetables.

Do chickens like spinach leaves?

Yes. Spinach can be a treat to your chickens. Chickens like feeding on green vegetables so you can add them to their commercial diet and provide them with loads of nutrition that spinach contains.

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