If you have chickens, you already know that they are adventurous and sometimes troublesome eaters.
There are just as likely to eat a few grass clippings and bugs as they are your prized ornamental flowers. But how about other flowers, like daisies? Can chickens eat daisies?
Yes, chickens may eat all parts of a daisy, and will derive good nutrition from them. Daisies have a well-rounded profile of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, several B vitamins, vitamin K, iron, calcium, and copper.
Considering that many daisies are perennials that grow well in the wild when left unattended, you can admire them in your yard if you let your chickens free range and rest content knowing that they will nibble away at the given a chance.
We will tell you everything you need to know about feeding daisies to your chickens in the rest of this article.
Nutritional Profile of Daisies
Daisies are not often thought of in terms of food for people, but many animals, including chickens, do eat them.
Daisies contain a massive amount of vitamin K, a good amount of folate and a respectable amount of vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin B2.
Minerals are also well represented, with a good shot of manganese and iron rounded out by a fair amount of copper, potassium and calcium, all of which chickens need to thrive and prosper.
Health Benefits of Daisies for Chickens
Chickens will drive many health benefits from eating daisies. Vitamin K is critical for heart health and proper blood clotting, while folate is necessary for the production of DNA and RNA.
Vitamin A is vital for the upkeep of nervous system tissues and particularly those of the eyes. B vitamins are used in all sorts of cellular processes and essential for health and metabolism overall.
Chickens always need iron and calcium both for the production of new red blood cells and healthy bones but also for the laying of healthy, well formed and strong eggs.
Potassium plays an important role in maintaining a proper balance of electrolytes for energy and hydration.
Not bad for such a little, pretty flower!
Can Chickens Eat Daisies Raw?
Yes, chickens may eat raw daisies with absolutely no problems. In fact, this is the most likely way that they will be served to them, with your chickens munching on them wherever they are found growing wild.
Can Chickens Eat Daisy Stems?
Yes, chickens can and should eat daisy stems, and the stem has lots of vitamins and minerals.
Can Chickens Eat Daisy Roots?
Yes, they can. All parts of the daisy, from the pedals to the stem and even the roots, are nutritious and safe for chickens to eat.
Can Chickens Eat Daisies Cooked?
Yes, chickens may eat cooked daisies, although why you would want to cook them if not for yourself is a good question.
Daisies are easy enough for pretty much any chicken to eat raw, and cooking them will degrade their nutritional profile which, while well-rounded, is not particularly stellar.
Still, if you plan on cooking daisies you could steam or blanch them as you would with other greens before serving them to your birds in a bowl or on a tray, or else you might mix it in with their feed to give them a little bit of their feed to provide an interesting meal.
Never Feed Daisies to Chickens that Has Been Prepared with Harmful Ingredients
This might sound a bit extreme, but it is worth mentioning that you should never, ever serve daisies to your chickens if they have been cooked or prepared with other harmful ingredients.
Again, this sounds a tad strange but consider that some people do gather and prepare wild plans including flowers as healthy and all natural salads, complete with dressings and the like.
If you do this sort of thing, make it a point to never give leftover daisies or other greens to your chickens that have been prepared with oils, salts, sugars and things of that nature.
At best, they will cause your birds to gain weight but at work they could lead to serious intestinal distress complete with diarrhea and other unpleasantness.
Don’t give your birds anything, including wild daisies, that have been doctored with toppings and other ingredients!
Beware of Pesticides or Other Chemicals on Wild Daisies
It should also be pointed out that you must take care if you’re going to let your chickens graze on wild daisies.
If they aren’t growing on your property and under your direct control, you cannot know if those flowers have been treated with pesticides, herbicides or contaminated with any other chemicals. Chemicals which might be harmful to your flock.
This is of particular concern for any daisies growing along roadsides or in areas where runoff from farms or industrial areas might head. If in doubt, don’t take the chance.
How Often Can Chickens Have Daisies?
Daisies are certainly an all natural supplement to your flock’s diet, but that doesn’t mean they should have them all the time or as the primary source of nutrition.
Chickens that should be subsisting primarily on a nutritionally complete chicken feed, with 90% of their calories coming from it.
However, the remaining 10% of their calories can be made up of treats or nutritious, supplemental foods, and that includes daisies and other wild greens.
Preparing Daisies for Your Flock
Probably the best way to prepare daisies for your flock is to just let them graze on them when they are free ranging.
Alternately, you can pick fresh daisies yourself, taking care of to ensure they are not contaminated as mentioned above, and then serve them to your birds by scattering them in their enclosure or placing them in their usual food bowls or trays.
Cooking daisies is simply not necessary, as it does not benefit the birds any when it comes to consumption and it will reduce the nutritional profile of the daisies somewhat.
Can Baby Chicks Have Daisies, Too?
Yes, baby chicks may have daisies, but you’ll want to wait until they get a little bit older before you serve them to them or allow them to graze on them for the first time.
Once your check reaches about 6 weeks of age, you can start introducing new, green foods to them.
As always, start slowly and give them only a tiny portion and small bites to make sure that they can both handle it and that it won’t upset their digestive system.
Chicks are particularly vulnerable to gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea in particular hits them very hard, to say nothing of how vulnerable they are to crop impaction.
Keep an eye on them, and if your chicks don’t seem too keen on eating daisies, don’t worry about them; let them stick to their starter feed as usual.
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.