Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms

Can chickens eat mushrooms? This is just one of the numerous questions many farmers and chicken growers ask. It’s normal to know what’s beneficial for chickens and which ones can harm them. After all, they like to eat just about anything. 🙂

Mushrooms are domed-cap shaped fungi on a stalk that have gills on the underside cap. They may all of a sudden spring up in the yard without a warning. The sudden presence of mushrooms in the yard heightens the curiosity of most people. Some people feel anxious about it. They even think that they are poisonous and inedible. But for those who are familiar with them, mushrooms are their favorite meals because they are organic and have delicious and unique taste. But as much as some people want to eat mushrooms, can chickens eat them too? There is a possibility that chickens could pick them up in the yard. If this happens, what would be the outcome?

Chickens are great farm animals. They’re very low maintenance. Not only that but they can be a great source of food for their eggs and meat. They are also good entertainers. Moreover, chickens are good scavengers. They can roam around and eat whatever food they find appealing and can fit in their beaks. They are also easy to feed since they can eat whatever food you give them. If you feed them mushrooms, they will probably devour them without hesitation. 

However, one should be extra careful in feeding chickens mushrooms because too much of something is always bad even for chickens.

What are the best types of mushroom?

Mushrooms come in different types.  They could be edible or poisonous. Determining what mushrooms are edible and not is very essential.

Check out this image that shows what to look for in poisonous mushrooms:

avoid these mushrooms with chickens
Avoid mushrooms with gills

Some mushrooms could be easily recognized as edible. Some of these include morel mushrooms, button mushrooms, hen of the woods, chicken of the woods, and oyster mushrooms. These mushrooms contain nutrients that would be beneficial to your flock and make them healthier.

As mentioned earlier, chickens will most likely eat anything that you feed them. However, they are not smart enough to identify which are edible or not. Chickens usually peck at anything they find. The good thing is, chickens don’t usually search for mushrooms and just a little peck shouldn’t harm them. Moreover, some of the mushrooms can’t be easily eaten because of their rubbery texture. Chickens would normally spit them out and ignore them after a quick peck.

So how would you know if the mushrooms are inedible? To start, white mushrooms and slightly brown mushrooms are considered by some as poisonous. Conducting your own little research about them can help a lot. Furthermore, as the image shows above, if you see gills on the underside of mushrooms, stay away.

How to recognize the best mushrooms?

So… can chickens eat mushrooms? Definitely! Edible mushrooms can make tasty treats for your chickens. They can be harvested and fed to them every now and then. However, it is not advisable to feed them raw since they are hard to digest.  Mushrooms that have been cooked and diced could entice the chickens to eat them all up when mixed with artificial feeds. 

Mushrooms help your chicken grows healthier. However, if you intend on making them a part of your chickens’ diet, it’s best to grow them yourself than buying in the market. Growing mushrooms could be fun and exciting. At the same time you and your chickens could enjoy the luxury of eating those organic and delicious fungi.

One popular type of mushroom that grows in logs is shiitake mushroom. However, mushroom logs foster slugs, mites and flies. These pests divert the attention of the chickens when they run to eat the stacked treat.

How to make mushroom logs?

Making mushroom logs is one of the most popular ways to grow mushrooms.  It would be easy for mushrooms to grow and flock in the wood since it is their natural habitat. To grow mushroom logs, all you need is mushroom spawn and few hardwood logs probably 36” in length. You can easily find instructions online on how to make them too.

Logs full of mushrooms aren’t only beneficial for your chickens but also to you. Some chickens are pickier as compared to others. For instance, some standard red egg layers or Cornish crosses prefer the regular bagged feed.  Most heritage poultry chicken breeds are mushroom eaters. On the other hand, standard industry breeds would prefer the commercialized feeds over the latter.

It’s only natural for farmers and chicken growers to ask questions such as can chicken eat mushrooms or not.  Always put in mind to contemplate first the pros and cons of feeding your chickens with mushrooms. Growing them yourself makes them great cheap treats for your chickens and you.