So, you’ve got some rice, and you’re wondering if you can safely feed it to your chickens. There is a lot of debate about whether uncooked rice is safe for chickens, and in this article, we’re covering all of that.
Chickens can eat uncooked rice, but only as small snacks. Uncooked rice can expand, which may pose some harm to your chickens if consumed in a large amount. You should know how much rice to feed your chickens and more.
Let’s dive into some more detail.
So, first off, your chicken’s stomach will not explode if they eat uncooked rice – that is a complete myth with no science to back it up.
The mass amount is still the same, and the expansion of the rice is not massive. Its expansion is not that much larger than other foods because all foods absorb water.
In fact, I put rice in a zip lock bag with water, sealed it, and the rice expanded around 1.3x as a general estimate. Chicken stomachs, like any stomach, can grow a little to fit any extra food.
So, it’s safe to feed chickens uncooked rice as long as it isn’t in any large amount of rice. A chicken eats around 1/2 cup of feed per day, so it’s generally safe to give about 10% of that amount in snacks – which means about 450 grains of rice per day for adult chickens.
For baby chickens, this amount is obviously less. In fact, I would recommend not giving your baby chicks rice. But, if you do, you should give them a tiny handful.
You can feed your chicken daily, weekly, or something in between – the frequency doesn’t matter too much.
I have occasionally fed my chickens a little over this amount, and they’re doing fine.
Note: Feeding your chicken a high amount of rice may lead to lighter yolk in your eggs.
Should You Cook Rice Before Feeding Your Chicken?
You can cook your rice before feeding for chicken. Cooked rice is pretty much just softer, wetter uncooked rice, nothing toxic has been added.
Some warm cooked rice can also help them heat up in cold weather.
But do not put sodium contents into your rice – this includes most spices. Just a little sodium can be poisonous for your chickens.
What Type of Rice Should I Feed My Chicken?
I feed brown rice to my chickens because they provide the most “bang for my buck.”
Although it is a bit more expensive in monetary value, it has a lot more nutritional value than white rice. There is a similar case for Basmati rice. But, it’s said that the Basmati taste may seep through into the eggs – so if you don’t like it yourself, don’t give them Basmati rice.
This is because brown rice has little processing – and as a result, contains far more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
I would highly recommend giving chickens brown rice, especially baby chicks, because they need a good amount of nutrition to grow up nice and strong.
However, you can still feed your chickens white rice safely. But, it’s in your best interest to provide them with white rice as snacks only because of its little nutritional value.
Finally, you should not feed your chickens flavored rice because it often has a high amount of sodium for chickens and has very little nutritional value.
Is Rice Healthy for Chickens?
Chickens need a lot of carbs to survive, so rice is a great option. Rice is almost entirely carbs.
It’s said that chickens can digest rice more quickly than we can digest it.
But, it’s important not to feed them too much rice, as this may cause your chicken to become obese and die earlier.
Additionally, rice is lacking in many areas of nutrition. So, it’s best to give chickens a varied diet that has all spectrums of nutrition.
You should always ensure your rice is not spoiled. I typically follow the best-by date for my chickens, although the expiration date is often a little higher than what it is because the company doesn’t want people to sue them.
So, you can just do a quick smell and look test. If that rice is something you would eat, it’s probably okay for the chicken.
Next, you want to feed them a limited amount of rice – too much rice can lead to health problems such as messed up feathers and diarreah for your chicken – not fun to clean up.
Overall, rice is safe for chickens to eat – but too much of anything is not good, feeding an excessive amount to baby chicks is not good, and seasoning the rice to feed your chickens is not good.
Giving your chickens some plain brown or Basmati rice – uncooked or cooked is healthy for them. The less process that goes into the rice, the better.
Feeding rice as a snack to your chickens is perfectly fine, but in large amounts, rice can expand, and rice does have some sugar, which is unhealthy for chickens.
We hope you found this article useful and if you did, be sure to check out some of our other articles on this subject: