Kale, cabbage and other brassicas

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Ron, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. Ron

    Ron Songster

    Feb 22, 2008
    Southeast Texas
    Why do some sites list these as bad for poultty? Your experiences with these?
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    There are quite a few disputed foods in whither or not they are good/bad/poisonous and so on. I haven't had a problem with cabbage, but they just plain outright don't eat it unless it is cooked. I know some hang cabbages from the sky for their birds entertainment but not sure how much was eaten from them.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I plant and buy kale for my birds. Dark green leafy veggies are great for them. Cabbage might give the eggs a funny taste if they ate alot, but mine adore kale.
  4. priszilla

    priszilla Songster

    Jan 12, 2008
    easley sc
    OOPS-I fed mine a half a bag of broccolli slaw m=ix yesterday-it was all gone this morning-they really went for the purple bits:rolleyes:
  5. Ron

    Ron Songster

    Feb 22, 2008
    Southeast Texas
    Anybody have an update for this?
  6. Yogiman

    Yogiman Songster

    Feb 2, 2008
    South Louisiana
    I have 11 buff orps that are free pasture. For the past month they have had access to my winter garden. They have devoured the remaining cabbage, collards, and rape greens. You would not believe what they have done to the turnip roots and rutabagas. There is nothing left of them. My feed bill has dropped like a rock and they are laying better than ever now.
  7. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    ...specific problem with brassicas is the prescence of GOITROGENIC compounds as well as some SAPONINs andThiaminase (which destroys thiamin) dependent upon which specific vegetable (and part of the vegetable being eaten ) and the quantity... sometimes cooking may help, sometimes it is best just to avoid
    Info below is from www.finchinfo.com but is applicable to all birds incl poultry :

    "....Protease inhibitors inhibit digestive enzymes and, when present in high levels in the diet, may decrease the avian body's ability to digest proteins and lead to pancreatic hypertrophy. Although these enzyme inhibitors are present to a degree in all plants, significant levels are found in all legumes, corn, lettuce, oats, peas, peanuts, barley, beets, buckwheat, wheat, rice, rye, turnips, sweet potatoes and potatoes (in VERY high amounts).5 Luckily protease inhibitors are readily inactivated by cooking,5 so if any of the above-listed food sources are going to constitute a major part of your birds' diet, you should cook them first.

    Acorns, lettuce, carrots, rape seed, grape seeds, bananas, spinach, onions, milo, grapes, and raisins have high levels of tannins. (Rhubarb, tea, coffee, and chocolate also contain high levels of tannins but these foods should never be fed to birds anyway as they may be harmful or toxic). Tannins can inhibit digestive enzymes, bind protein, and reduce the bioavailability of vitamin B12 and iron.5 Additionally, at high levels, tannins can cause epithelium and liver damage.5 Tannins (tannic acids) are the chemicals that are responsible for the normal browning of fruits and vegetables that have been bruised or cut. If feeding any of the above-listed "safe" foods that contain tannic acid, only feed them in moderation.

    Oxalate (oxalic acid) is an organic acid makes calcium and other trace minerals unavailable to birds because it binds them.5 Lower levels of oxalate can cause reduced growth, kidney stones, and poor bone mineralization.5 Peas, beets, beet greens, lettuce, turnips, carrots, and berries have lower levels of oxalates; high levels of oxalates can cause diarrhea, poor blood clotting, vomiting and convulsions.5 Very high levels are found in spinach (tea also contains very high levels of oxalate, but it should not be fed to birds due to its caffeine content).

    The complex of phosphoric acid and sugar is called phytate or phytic acid. This complex effectively forms a heterocyclic ring with metal atoms (minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium), making the minerals unavailable.5 Phytates are found in nuts, cereal grains (germ and bran), and legumes. Phytic acid is also present in green beans, berries, carrots, broccoli, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, but at lower levels.

    .When Safe Foods May Become Unsafe
    Any of the foods listed in this section that are normally considered safe may cause problems for a bird if fed in high quantities. Therefore, keep in mind that moderation is key. "
  8. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    My waterfowl seem to ignore it, which is interesting since thiamin/niacin shortages is a common health issue with waterfowl on commercial feed.

    I honestly give my kale and cabage to the goats and pigs. They seem to get more enjoyment out of it.
  9. ella

    ella Songster

    Moderation always!

    I throw an occational head of cabbage from the garden into their run after scoring it with a knife so they can get a hold on it. They'll roll it around for hours till it's gone.

    Word of warning though, the red cabbage turns their poo BRIGHT blue green! Very festive. [​IMG]
  10. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Songster

    Jan 1, 2008
    I spoke to an expert that sells beans and there is no harm to chickens (raw Lentils) mine have been eating large amounts of lentil sprouts for many months and I am getting more eggs at a more consistent rate than before

    I eat them and and have been for years, so do my girls and we are still here, they cannot wait for me to give them more. It is a very inexpensive way to get them to eat protein.

    Just think about the mung BEANS that they sell at the store and they are not cooked either. Duh, health food.

    Remember when they told us eggs are bad for our health, some still say that. Just feed them good food and don't worry about the poisonous garbage. I have not read one article that actually reported any deaths, I want proof. [​IMG]

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