Yes, chickens can eat yogurt, but it should be given in moderation. Unlike other regular solid foods that they eat, chickens eat yogurt too, in spite of its not-so-solid state.
Yogurt is power-packed with nutrition. It contains proteins, healthy good bacteria, probiotics, calcium, and lots more. Humans are recommended to eat yogurt daily. But, when it comes to poultry, you need to exercise some moderation.
Scroll down below to know more about feeding yogurt to chickens. Find out whether you should feed chickens flavored yogurt or plain yogurt.
Is Yogurt Good For Chickens?
Eating yogurt can lead to various health benefits in chickens. While it is not a complete meal for your flock, plain yogurt offers a multitude of nutrients that can complete their nutritional requirements. Here are some nutritional benefits of yogurt in a chickens diet:
Fresh yogurt is loaded with healthy fats. A cup of yogurt provides 4 to 5% of RDA of fats (source). Greek yogurt also provides carbohydrates and calories. Good fats help in the absorption of vitamins E, A, D, and K. Plain Greek Yogurt can make any food delicious and palatable.
Dairy products are loaded with calcium. Calcium helps in the strengthening of bones. Regular amounts of calcium can aid in the healthy growth and development of your flock. Calcium is an important part of eggshells. Regular offering of yogurt for chickens can lead to better eggs.
Of all the nutrients present in plain Greek yogurt, protein is the most crucial. Protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids make the basic cell structure in any living being.
They also help in the development of nerves, cartilages, muscles, beaks, and skin. While protein should also be given in a chicken feed through other food sources, homemade yogurt is an easy way to balance their diet. Furthermore, it is easy for them to digest dairy products.
Good Bacteria and probiotics
Feeding yogurt to flocks restores the required amount of good gut bacteria in their system.
Apart from these mentioned-above, plain Greek yogurt also contains potassium, zinc, magnesium, vitamins, phosphorus, and many other nutrients that are essential for overall health.
Can Chickens Eat Expired Yogurt?
Feeding expired yogurt to chickens is actually good for them and it can boost their egg production. But, you must be careful about not feeding them too much yogurt as it may lead to diarrhea and an upset stomach.
While some think this is a myth, this is actually a debatable concept. Some poultry owners feel that chickens are lactose intolerant and that they do not have the right kind of enzymes to digest dairy products. They feel that chickens should not be given homemade yogurt.
On the other hand, some feel that they can feed chickens yogurt as they will benefit with a better egg yield.
When it comes to expired yogurt, it is not exactly bad. It is perhaps sour. It will definitely not harm your flock.
So, the bottom line to this debate can be to feed Greek yogurt once or twice a week to your chickens, but not more. You can give them other fermented whole grains to give them their dose of probiotics.
Can Chickens Have Flavored Yogurt?
Flavored yogurt is nothing but Greek yogurt with added sugars and flavorings. Both the sugar and flavorings are bad for chickens and they cannot digest too much sugar. You should avoid feeding flavored yogurt to your flock.
Do Chickens Actually Like Eating Yogurt?
Most chickens will love eating yogurt, but you must ensure that you are not feeding them too much yogurt. If you want to feed chickens spoiled yogurt thinking that it will lead to better eggs, then you are quite mistaken here.
They may or may not gobble up the expired yogurt. But, there is no evidence that it will lead to a better produce.
Conclusion: Can Chickens Eat Yogurt?
The simple answer to this is yes, you can feed yogurt to your chickens. They can digest yogurt in small quantities and gain nutritional benefits from it. Flavored yogurts have artificial sweeteners, so you should not feed your chickens flavored ones. Remember to feed them yogurt in moderation.
Yogurt for chickens, along with the whey, ensures a balanced diet for your flocks. You can feed your chickens regular yogurt as an occasional treat. It will benefit their gut health, digestive system, and overall health.