There are a lot of foods that chickens can eat, and indeed it is good to provide a variety of foods for chickens. This provides them with many nutrients that increase the quality of their meat and eggs.
However, there are some foods that are harmful and possibly fatal to chickens! As a chicken breeder, you have to be aware and familiar with what is suitable to be offered to chickens in order to avoid losses in your flock.
Therefore, we will help you and discuss one different type of food, which is yogurt and specifically vanilla yogurt. You may be surprised when you see some chicken breeders feeding chickens with different types of yogurt and you wonder can chickens eat vanilla yogurt? Is it beneficial for them or not? Let us explain to you the different aspects of this topic in the coming lines.
Can Chickens Eat Vanilla Yogurt?
To be fair, the answer should be No. Chicken should not eat vanilla yogurt. Chickens can be allowed to eat some yogurt occasionally. But plain yogurt that is not flavored with flavors such as vanilla, strawberry, or others.
Generally, It is not preferable for the chicken to eat milk products as chicken is lactose intolerant, and their digestive system is not prepared to handle dairy products. The chicken digestive enzymes cannot digest the milk lactose sugar. But there is an important difference, which is that yogurt differs in its composition from milk, which makes it possible to serve it as chicken food.
The Difference Between Milk And Yogurt
Plain milk and most dairy products contain lactose sugar in a large proportion that chickens cannot digest. This causes digestive disorders, so it should be avoided for chickens in general. But yogurt is a dairy product that results from bacterial fermentation.
Thus, these bacteria break down some of the lactose present in milk during production. Therefore, fermented dairy products such as yogurt contain less lactose than raw milk, so chickens can tolerate and digest it better than regular milk.
Yogurt contains many nutrients that benefit chickens, however, it should not be fed to chickens continuously, because in any case, it cannot serve as a portion of basic food for chickens. As it differs from the nature of their food and the nature of their digestive system.
So in order to be fully aware, we will explain the positive aspects of feeding chickens with yogurt, the appropriate rate for feeding chickens with yogurt, as well as the health risks of feeding chickens with yogurt in the coming lines.
Nutritional Benefits Of Yogurt For Chicken
Though you shouldn’t feed your chicken vanilla yogurt, there are some benefits of feeding yogurt to them that you need to keep in mind. Here is some of them:
Of course, yogurt contains a large percentage of calcium, like other dairy products. Calcium is a very necessary element for chickens where they need it to nourish and strengthen the bones.
It is also an element of utmost importance for the layers of eggs because it is an essential element in the formation of eggshells. But it certainly cannot be relied upon mainly for calcium, as chickens need a permanent source of calcium, so fresh grass and oyster shell granules can be more beneficial.
Chickens need 16% more protein in their diet. Proteins are very important in the growth of chickens, as they are the main factor in building muscles, nerves, cartilage, skin, beaks, and feathers.
A cup of yogurt contains about 8.5 grams of protein, which equates to about 3.5% protein per serving. Despite the low percentage of protein found in yogurt compared to feed specially formulated for fattening chickens, it is still a lean protein supplement for chickens.
Whole, not skim, yogurt contains 8 grams of fat and more. Fat is also an important nutrient for chickens. As fats play an important role in production functions, hormone formation, and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, K, and, E. So yogurt is a delicious and interesting source of fat for chicken.
Yogurt is a great source of good bacteria and probiotics that help improve digestive health and fight harmful bacteria in the body. So, offering yogurt at intervals to the chicken can boost the chicken’s gut bacteria and support stronger immunity.
Yogurt is a good source full of minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc. These minerals improve the overall health of the chicken.
Health Risks Of Feeding Yogurt To Chickens
Here some risks to think about before feeding your chicken some yogurt in your next meal:
Diarrhea And Bowel Problems
As we mentioned Chicken does not contain the required amount of the enzyme for lactose digestion. So excessive feeding of yogurt to chickens causes diarrhea and poor gut health for chickens. it may cause serious complications for chickens such as irregular heartbeat and failure of many internal organs.
In the event that flavored yogurt is served to chickens, there will be a potential risk of obesity, as flavored yogurt contains a large amount of sugar that stimulates obesity when consumed continuously and also leads to the development of other pathological conditions such as heart disease and breathing problems.
Flavored yogurt also causes severe digestive disorders such as severe diarrhea that leads to excessive water loss and dehydration, which leads to death.
Chaos In Place
The composition of yogurt differs from chicken feed, as it is not a solid substance like corn, wheat, and other grains and other foods that you feed to your chickens. Therefore, placing it may cause some chaos, especially since the chickens cannot lick it, but rather scratch it like the rest of their feed, which leads to its scattering everywhere around them, which makes the place damp and unclean. To overcome it you must
Place the yogurt blocks in a shallow dish to reduce cluttering the space. It can also be mixed with some chicken feed to make it thicker, making it easier for chickens to pick it up.
Precautions To Be Taken When Feeding Chickens With Yogurt
Including yogurt in chicken food as a kind of snack from time to time is a good thing, but there are some restrictions so that yogurt is beneficial and not harmful to them.
Rate Of Serving Yogurt To Chickens
Yogurt is considered a reward for chickens in the sense that it serves as a leisure meal and not a daily routine because it is time-consuming compared to chicken feed and it also carries some negative aspects for chickens.
Yogurt will be healthy and beneficial, but when it is given to the chickens in moderation, giving more yogurt harms the chickens and does not benefit them. So introducing it to chicken at a rate of once to twice a week would be a good rate. It should also not be served in large quantities, half a cup per meal will be quite enough.
There are many types of yogurt, but not all of them are suitable for chicken. The only suitable type for chicken is regular yogurt because it is considered the safe option that chicken can digest and absorb. Flavored yogurt undergoes different procedures than regular yogurt.
Numerous additional ingredients are added at the expense of the original beneficial ingredients such as flavors, artificial sugars, and synthetic materials. These substances reduce the nutritional value of the chicken, and the chicken will not be able to handle these additives in the first place. Many flavored yogurt ingredients such as
huge amounts of sugar, vegetable oil, preservatives, food colorings, and milk powder are very harmful to chickens and cause diarrhea and other severe digestive issues.
Avoid Spoiled Yogurt
It is always recommended to provide fresh yogurt to the chickens. you should not feed your chicken spoiled yogurt because it contains harmful elements that harm the chickens and may become fatal to them! Remember that it is generally not recommended to give spoiled food not only yogurt to chickens.