Omnivorous animals vs vegetarian diet: Can chickens eat mushrooms regularly?

Whether you have a garden, farm, or chicken coop that you look after, it can be confusing what exactly makes part of their diet. On one hand, it seems like they peck at the ground constantly. On the other hand, they mostly eat the grains you bring them. So how much exactly are they open to and how much is safe for them to eat regularly without messing up their internal organs. The question of ‘can chickens eat mushrooms?’ is in this same lane. And you are about to find out some interesting things. For those who aren’t here on purpose, stick around, you’ll find it enlightening to learn.

What is a chicken feed?

Many people don’t know what chickens feed on. And it’s fair because their preference pallet is quite diverse. They are scavengers of small animals such as mice, worms, and other such things. This is why they’re continuously on the hunt to find whatever small being they can find. They are very flexible with what they eat, mostly unaware of what they are consuming if they hunt on their own.

Chickens can have problems with digesting food that they are not used to. Some of them are picky, knowing what their stomach prefers, and others not so much. Foraging helps them find those new things they are always hunting for. But they might not always be good, especially if the chickens are a little domesticated, not used to roaming around in farms or such places that have all kinds of poisonous plants and whatnot. Their feed in those back gardens includes mostly grit, and grains, not very exciting, so to speak on behalf of chickens. This is why when left to their own devices, they tend to wander in search of worms, fruits, and seeds of all kinds.

Mushrooms – Wild or Cultivated

If you are formerly unknown regarding the mushroom family, it belongs to the fungi family. This is a shock to many people who have spent a good chunk of their lives believing mushrooms are vegetables. They are fleshy, soft, umbrella-like small things that grow in many places, in the wild especially. This is connected to the question of ‘can chickens eat mushrooms?’. All kinds of mushrooms grow out there, and many of them are poisonous. They can kill you in a few hours, as capable human beings. You can see how it would be even worse for small chickens.

There is a wide variety of naturally grown mushrooms, 12 of which are commonly known as well. These are just the edible types that are known and used in many of our recipes. The actual number of wild mushrooms might be double or higher. They are all different shapes and sizes, containing different nutrients to give them different abilities as food components. Generally speaking, they pack a punch in protein and vitamin D, as well as vitamin B12. Some mushrooms are cultivated by human intervention.

These commercially grown mushrooms are what we generally consume in our salads, roasts, and soups.  They are commonly available in our markets and shops. As opposed to the ones that grow in the wild, they are not that easy to procure in bulk to sell and trade-in. The dangers of eating a poisonous or wrong kind of mushroom are varied, from digestive issues to outright failure of kidneys or other organs.

It is risky for animals because the wild ones can have other organisms such as parasites within their skin that can cause issues in the digestive system. So to conclude this by directly addressing our question, ‘can chickens eat mushrooms?’ Yes, they can, if the right mushrooms are handpicked and fed to them. Not the same could be said about their finds through foraging. So you can feed your chickens mushrooms if you are using the store-bought ones, regularly. They are perfectly okay for them to consume.

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