Can Chickens Eat Turnips?

Turnips are some of the best and most nutritious root vegetables for chickens. They make lovely treats for chickens, whether cooked or raw. Turnips are rich in minerals and vitamins that your chickens require for proper growth and development.

However, chickens enjoy turnips most when cooked because raw turnips can be pretty hard for chickens, especially for younger chickens. Consider grating and cooking turnips for your chickens before introducing the root vegetables to your birds.

Are Turnips Safe for Chickens?

Yes, turnips are pretty safe for chickens. Whether you give the birds raw or cooked turnips, your chickens won’t develop any complications after eating these root vegetables. Besides being safe for chickens, these root vegetables are a great source of iron, calcium, vitamins, and fiber, which will help give your chickens a nutritional boost.

Benefits of Chickens Eating Turnips

Your chickens will get loads of health benefits after consuming turnip. Below are the top benefits of chickens eating turnips.

Turnips Help Boost Chickens’ Immune System

Turnips are rich in vitamin C, a crucial vitamin that protects a chicken’s body from chronic free damage. Chickens that frequently consume vitamin C-rich foods rarely get sick. Even when they get sick, such chickens tend to recover quickly from illnesses.

Turnips Help Promote Bone Health

Turnips are a rich source of calcium and vitamin K. Vitamin K plays a vital role in enhancing bone metabolism in animals, including chickens and other birds. Combining calcium with vitamin K in turnips will help promote your chickens’ bone health.

Turnips Help Protect Chickens’ Liver

Turnips have a high content of sulfur compounds and anthocyanins. Scientific research shows that these compounds positively affect chicken livers. For instance, these compounds can protect your birds’ livers against inflammation.

They are also crucial for protecting chickens against liver disease, a leading killer of chickens. Therefore, giving your chickens some turnips occasionally will help protect their liver.

Turnips Promote Eye Health

Turnips are a rich source of a beneficial antioxidant known as Lutein. This antioxidant can keep your chickens’ eyes healthy. Chickens usually experience eye-related problems as they age. Therefore, providing your chickens with some turnips can help keep their eyes healthy and eye-related issues at bay.

Turnips Improve Digestion

Turnips have plenty of fiber, which can help improve your chickens’ digestive system. Furthermore, the fiber in these root vegetables will keep your birds full throughout, and they won’t consume plenty of feed.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Chickens Eating Turnips?

Yes, there are minimal risks associated with chickens eating turnips. First off, these root vegetables are pretty tough, and chickens can develop digestive issues if you provide them with too many turnips.

Baby chicks tend to experience digestive problems upon consuming turnips, since their stomachs are too weak to handle turnips. Like other root vegetables such as onions, turnips contain toxins that ruin red blood cells. Feeding your chickens with excessive amounts of turnips will expose them to the risk of getting anemia in the long run.

The other risk factor with feeding your chickens with excessive turnips is that these root vegetables have plenty of sugars. Chickens will therefore have problems breaking down the sugars in these root vegetables.

The high vitamin C content in turnips can hinder calcium absorption in chickens. Overall, there are minimal risks associated with chicken eating turnips, although you need to provide your chickens with these root vegetables in moderation.

How Much Turnip Can a Chicken Eat?

Although turnips are toxins-free and pretty healthy for chickens, you should feed these root vegetables to your chickens in moderation. After all, turnips don’t have adequate nutrition, so they can’t meet your birds’ dietary needs.

Therefore, you can’t make these root vegetables the primary food source for your chickens. Ideally, turnips should make around 10% of your chickens’ diet. Feed turnips to your chickens once or twice a week. Furthermore, substitute turnips with other healthy vegetables to give your chickens additional nutrition they can get from turnips.

How Often Can Chickens Eat Turnips?

Giving your chickens turnips each day isn’t the best idea. Although these root vegetables are pretty healthy and nutritious, they shouldn’t be the usual everyday food for your chickens. Your chickens should eat these root vegetables once a week. At most, your chickens shouldn’t consume turnips more than twice a week.

How Should Turnips Be Prepared Before Feeding Them to Chickens?

Because of their toughness, turnips can be difficult for chickens to eat. Baby chicks and younger chickens tend to have a difficult time eating turnips. There are three ways you can prepare these root vegetables to make it easy for your birds to consume them. Here is how you can prepare turnips before introducing these root vegetables to your birds.

  • Cook the turnips– The best way to make it easy for your chickens to eat turnips is by first cooking these root vegetables. You can cook turnips either by steaming or boiling. Cook the turnips for between 10 and 20 minutes. You can cook whole turnips or slice these root vegetables into smaller pieces before cooking. Allow the turnips to cool down after cooking. Put the cooked turnips into your chickens’ feeding bowls, and the birds will scramble to taste these delicious root vegetables.
  • Grate the turnips- This is another method to prepare turnips for your chickens. Grating these root vegetables will help reduce their size, making it easier for your chickens to feed on these healthy root vegetables. Grating turnips into small pieces will also make it easier for your birds to digest the turnips without experiencing digestive complications.
  • Mash the turnips-Mashing turnips is another excellent way of preparing turnips for your chickens. Baby chicks will enjoy eating mashed turnips because they won’t struggle to eat or digest these root vegetables.


Chickens can eat turnips and other root vegetables. After all, turnips are pretty safe for chickens, and they rarely contain toxins that adversely affect chickens. These root vegetables have loads of nutrients and minerals that are all beneficial for chickens.

However, introduce turnips to your chickens in moderation since excessive amounts of these root vegetables can harm your birds’ health.

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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