Can chickens eat carrots?

Three of my hens eating grated carrot

Chickens can eat the whole of the carrot, including the green leaves or tops. Feed carrots to chickens raw or cooked, whole, cut into chunks or grated. Carrots are a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant which the body converts into vitamin A.

Below: My chickens tucking into grated carrot.

My chickens love carrots and I buy a 12.5kg sack from my animal feeds merchant every week during the winter after my home grown ones have run out.

Are carrots good for chickens?

Carrots are good for chickens in small amounts and they are an excellent source of fibre, vitamin C, A and K1, antioxidants, potassium and beta-carotene. Carotenoids are the colour compounds in carrots and it will make the yolks of the egg a nice orange colour.

Carrots are an odd vegetable, they are more nutritious when cooked but your chickens will eat cooked carrot much more quickly.

Carrots come in a wide variety of colours from almost white through yellow, while others are orange, red and purple. The orange carrots are the most common ones you will find in the store. Chickens can eat any colour of carrot.

How many carrots do you feed to chickens?

You can feed up to half an average sized carrot a day to a chicken which is 30 grams or just over an ounce per chicken. Carrots are high in fibre and too much fibre is not good for chickens.

Carrots are low in protein so if you over feed you may end up affecting egg laying.

How do you feed chickens carrots?

Feed carrots to chickens any way you like. I grow quite a few carrots in my garden and they make good Fall time treats when fresh greens and veg are a little short.

Below: There are many ways to feed carrots to chickens.

Whole, cooked or uncooked, grated or sliced or shredded using a peeler or cheese/vegetable grater. Mix with other chicken-safe veggies as a treat medley.

Can chickens eat carrot tops and peelings?

Both my chickens and ducks love the carrot tops and will also eat carrot peelings.

You can play a great game with carrot peel, throw one at a time to one of your hens and it will pick it up and run off with it while the rest follow along behind behind trying to steal the big orange worm. Repeat until everyone loses interest.

How to feed carrots to chickens:

Hang them up whole for chickens to peck at for amusement or grate them up for a quick snack.

From what age can you feed chickens carrots?

Baby chicks can have soft cooked carrot from as early as day three if they will eat it. With young chickens, giving them foods they are not used to often results in chaos as one picks up a piece and runs around with while the rest chase.

I would not give very young chicks raw carrots to start with but they can have a piece or two of grated carrot from 2 weeks of age or they can have a whole one to peck at for a short time every few days.

Click here for a ultimate list of what chickens can and can't eat.