Will Chickens Eat Grass Seed?

Chickens can eat a variety of seeds, including grass seeds. Like every curious chicken owner, you could be wondering whether these seeds are safe for your chickens.  Chicken owners also wonder whether chickens can only eat grass seeds and which grass seeds to give to their chickens.

Are Grass Seeds Safe for Chickens

Safety comes first when it comes to dietary choices in animals, including chickens. Most chicken owners develop concern over the safety of grass seeds before feeding their chickens with these seeds. Grass seeds are overly safe for chickens. The main diet of free-range chickens primarily consists of grass seeds, although the diet for such chickens can also include insects.

Your chicken will pick up on the grass seeds on your lawn while roaming outdoors. However, not all grass seeds are safe for chickens. Treated grass seeds can be especially harmful to your chickens.

Such grasses contain a high level of chemicals that can ruin your chicken’s health over time. The safest grass seeds for your chicken are natural grass seeds since these grass seeds are all-natural and they have no harmful chemicals.

Can Chickens Only Eat Grass Seeds?

No, chickens don’t necessarily have to eat grass seeds to survive. Organic grass seeds are nutritious for chickens, although they aren’t their staple diet. Your chickens will feed on grass seeds when they are roaming outdoors.

Chickens are overly omnivorous birds. These birds will feed on a wide array of vegetables and fruits. Your chicken can also thrive well on a diet comprising cereals and table scraps. You can also purchase chicken feed from the stores if your chickens can’t get enough grass seeds on your lawn.

Apart from grass seeds that are pretty nutritional for chickens, you can also consider getting a protein-rich diet for your egg-laying hens. A protein-rich diet is suitable for increasing egg production in your hens.

Can Grass Seed be Spread in Chicken Yard?

Yes, you can spread grass seeds in your chicken yard to complement your bird’s diet. Your chicken will pick them up as they go around their yard. Strictly spread organic grass seeds in your chicken yard if you want your chickens to have a healthy diet.

Which Grass Seed is Best for Chickens?

Allowing your chickens to wander on your grass lawn allows your chickens to pick up the grass seeds on your lawn. Not all grass seeds are safe for your chickens, though. Below are some of the best grass seeds for your chicken.

– Alfalfa

Alfalfa is among the best seeds for chickens. These seeds are available in hay grass. They are nutritious for chickens of all sizes and ages. Alfalfa can provide your chickens with protein, essential minerals such as phosphorus, and potassium. Alfalfa also provides chickens with omega 3, which is vital for egg production.

– Oat

Oat grass seeds are suitable for chicken owners, especially those who have little yards. These grass seeds grow best in yards with a partial shade. The essential advantage of these seeds is that they reproduce pretty quickly.

Furthermore, they’re a great source of protein, antioxidants, and vitamins, all of which are beneficial for your chickens. Oat seeds make a wonderful treat for chickens of all breeds, ages, and sizes.

Other essential nutrients in these seeds include choline, iron, copper riboflavin, and magnesium. All these minerals are crucial for supporting your chickens’ growth and development.

– Ryegrass seeds

Ryegrass seeds are particularly beneficial for egg-laying hens. These grass seeds can also make a significant portion of your chickens’ diet. You can plant these seeds in your yard in the spring. Rye seeds can also thrive in both warm and cold weather.

However, Ryegrass seeds are not the most suitable for poultry chickens for meat, since it slows down the growth process of such hens. Ryegrass seeds can provide your chickens with a high amount of protein. Your chicken will gobble up these seeds eagerly since they will love them as they love corn.

– Bird’s-foot trefoil

These are some of the best grass seeds for chicken keepers seeking grass seeds that germinate quickly in poor soil conditions. These seeds thrive well, especially in summer. Nonetheless, please don’t feed your chickens with too many seeds lest they become overweight.

The significant nutritional benefit of these seeds for chickens is that they have a high content of protein. They can also increase protein intake in your chickens.

How to Protect Grass Seeds from Chickens?

Chickens will forage for grass seeds in your lawn. That means your yard will have no grass seeds if you are keeping free-range chickens. You can protect the grass seeds for your chickens and give the seeds a chance to sprout. Check these tips on how you can protect grass seeds from your free-range chickens.

– Create a barrier

Creating a barrier between your chickens and grass seeds is ultimately the best method of protecting grass seeds from your chicken. Consider installing a chicken wire around the area in your lawn where there are grass seeds.

– Spray mulch over seeds

Spreading straw over the grass seeds is an excellent way of protecting the seeds from your chickens. Your chickens won’t access the grass seeds if there is a layer of straw over the seeds. This method, however, doesn’t work effectively in areas that are vulnerable to high winds.

– Keep your chickens indoors

Chickens will always forage for seeds if they remain outdoors for the better part of the day. The ultimate way to give the grass seeds in your lawn a chance of surviving is by keeping your chickens indoors.

You, however, need to supply your chickens with foods that can meet their nutritional needs. Consider purchasing chicken feed if you want to keep chicken indoors to protect your grass seeds.


Chickens are seed lovers by nature. They will pick up on any seeds they come across, including grass seeds. Grass seeds are overly safe for chickens, especially if they are organic.

The nutritional elements in grass seeds will supplement your chickens’ dietary needs. Purchase organic grass seeds from the stores to provide your chickens with a wealth of nutritional components.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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