I have a quantity of flour that I was storing not long ago to be used for baking purposes. but I do not intend to do that now due to some business, so can I feed the chicken with this flour? This is the topic of our article today, we will address the answer to your question in the coming lines.
Chickens are good foraging creatures, and they can rely on themselves to get enough food if they are left in an open place with table scraps, some weeds, and earthworms. But a strict diet is usually set for chickens especially in farms to get quick production results in fattening and laying eggs.
Can Chicken Eat Flour?
Yes, chickens can eat flour, but it is not the best option for feeding chickens. Although flour is ground grain, presenting it in this way leads to great chaos and waste as a result of it flying everywhere while the chickens scratch. And chicken can not eat it smoothly as they are unable to catch the fine particles of flour.
Also, the inclusion of a high percentage of flour in the feed leads to the accumulation of nutrients in the flour and its exposure to moisture, which leads to the formation of mold.
Chickens can eat anything, but it is better to feed them with appropriate feeds for their age and the purpose of raising them, whether fattening or laying. If you want to complete the feeding system for them, it would be better to feed them whole grains instead of flour as it will be more beneficial to them.
The digestive system of chickens deals with whole grains better than flour. Rather, with time, the digestive system muscles developed and strengthened as a result of digesting grains.
There has been an interest in feeding poultry with whole grains, especially recently. Some nutrition experts believe that feeding chicken with entire wheat enhances the health of the digestive system and increases the ability of birds to resist coccidia.
Can Chickens Digest Flour?
Yes, it can digest flour, even if it can digest foods stronger than that. These small creatures have a very strong digestive system, contrary to what it seems to some. So these chickens can eat whole grains of wheat and digest them well.
But this does not mean that the flour being finely ground will be digested smoothly. Since the matter has other aspects, to understand more, let’s take a quick overview of how the digestive system of chickens works.
The digestive system of chickens
The chicken’s digestive system begins with its beak, with which it eats food. Chickens peck the available feed, whether crumbs, granules, grass, tiny granules, or insects. Some may be surprised when they know that chicken is a carnivores, but this is true. Chicken eats meat, whether it is larvae, worms, or occasional mice, or food scraps from fish or meat, whether raw or cooked.
While the food is in the mouth, saliva and little digestive enzymes are added until its transmission from the mouth to the esophagus.
The food is then moved to the crop, which is an initial digestion and food storage chamber. The crop is located at the base of the chicken’s neck. The food can remain in it for up to 12 hours!
Food particles start to drip from the crop into the stomach of the bird (gizzard) and the actual digestion begins. Which is occurred through the addition of digestive enzymes, muscle movement, and physical grinding of the food.
The gizzard is the main tool for digesting food in chickens. They are the reason chickens do not need teeth. It is a muscular part of the stomach that uses pellets, i.e. small, hard particles of gravel or sand, and grinds grains and food fibers into small, digestible particles.
After that, the food passes from the chicken giblets into the small intestine, where the nutrients begin to be absorbed.
Undigested food passes through the ceca which is a blind sac that runs along the lower intestinal tract. The bacteria in it break down undigested food. It then travels from the cecum to the large intestine to exit from the excretory opening.
How Flour Affects The Digestive System Of Chickens?
It is not recommended to feed chickens on flour in large quantities and in its finely grounded form. Since, as we mentioned, the food remains for a long time in the chicken crop, up to 12 hours.
If the flour remains in the crop for such a long time, it may lead to mold and fermentation due to its presence in a warm, moist environment, which causes bloating and may lead to difficulty in digestion.
In addition, frequent flour intake, especially wheat flour, may be harmful because it increases cholesterol levels and It may also lead to some severe heart diseases.
But, does it have any nutritional value?
The nutritional value of flour is represented in the type of grain that was milled to obtain flour, for example, Wheat flour is high in protein and the amino acids lysine and tryptophan.
How To Feed Flour To Chickens?
The best way to mix flour with whole grains and regular food, but remember that putting whole grains without grinding them is the ideal option for chicken. Grinding grains into small parts, not flour will be a very good option, as it will help improve the efficiency of grain digestion, especially corn grains and dry wheat.