Can Chickens Eat Grits? Grits Goodness, a Safe Snack

Raw Grits in a Wooden Bowl

Article Summary

  • Chickens can safely eat plain grits in moderation as they provide an energy boost from carbohydrates and contain niacin beneficial for neurological health.
  • It is important to avoid grits with seasonings harmful to chickens, such as onions, garlic, jalapenos, cheese, or other additives.
  • It’s best to cook plain grits thoroughly, allow them to cool, and then introduce them to the chickens in small amounts.

Grits are a popular breakfast food, especially in the Southern United States. But can our feathered friends enjoy this cornmeal porridge too? Let’s take a closer look at whether chickens can eat grits.

Is it Safe for Chickens to Eat Grits?

In moderation, plain grits make a safe treat for chickens. The corn used to make grits gives chickens an energy boost from carbohydrates. The niacin in corn is also beneficial for neurological health in poultry. As long as the grits don’t contain any seasonings harmful to chickens, small amounts of cooked grits are fine for chickens to eat.

What Type of Grits Can Chickens Eat?

Plain grits or those flavored with chicken-safe ingredients are the best options. Stay away from grits with onions, garlic, jalapenos, cheese, or other add-ins that could cause digestive upset.


Your safest bets are instant grits or quick grits without any added salt or spices. Opt for a brand made from just cornmeal or corn grits and water.

Can Chickens Eat Cooked Grits?

Yes, chickens can eat cooked grits safely. In fact, raw or uncooked grits may be more difficult for chickens to digest properly. Make sure grits are fully cooked before feeding them to chickens. Undercooked grits contain compounds that can inhibit nutrient absorption. Well-cooked grits are easier to break down in a chicken’s digestive system.

Can Chickens Eat Instant Grits?

Most instant grits are fine for chickens as long as they don’t contain anything potentially toxic. Quick-cooking grits just have finer cornmeal so they can soften up faster. Look for a brand with minimal ingredients – ideally just ground cornmeal.

Plain instant grits make a handy treat you can easily mix up…

Avoid “buttered” or flavored instant grits, which likely contain chicken-unsafe additions. Plain instant grits make a handy treat you can easily mix up for your flock.

Can Chickens Eat Uncooked Grits?

It’s best not to feed chickens completely raw, dried grits. The uncooked corn could be challenging for chickens to digest, especially in larger amounts. At most, sprinkle a small handful of uncooked grits as a supplement if chickens need more carbohydrates. Cooked grits are safer and provide better nutritional value for chickens.

How to Serve Grits to Your Chickens

A Kid Feeding The Chickens

First, cook plain grits according to package directions until thickened. Allow them to cool to a warm, crumbly texture. Then, stir in any approved mix-ins like chopped greens, vegetable scraps, or chicken-safe seasonings. Scatter the grits in the chickens’ feed dish or an empty space of the coop or run. Start with just a few spoonfuls per chicken and monitor to ensure this table meal doesn’t cause any digestive issues.

Can Baby Chicks Eat Grits?

Grits are not recommended for baby chicks under 4 weeks old. Chicks eat a specially formulated starter feed to provide complete nutrition for growth. Around 4 weeks old, chicks can start to eat treats like cooked grits along with their regular feed. Introduce new foods slowly and watch for any signs of diarrhea or abnormal droppings. For younger chicks, stick to chick starter feed.

In moderation, grits can offer chickens a nutritious corn-based snack. Cook plain grits thoroughly and avoid added seasonings to keep this Southern favorite safe for your flock to enjoy. Gradually introduce small amounts of grits and watch your chickens savor a new treat!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are corn grits good for chickens?

Corn grits are a beneficial addition to a chicken’s diet due to their high nutritional value. Rich in carbohydrates, corn grits provide a readily available energy source, supporting the daily activities and metabolic functions of chickens. Additionally, they contain essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to overall health and well-being.

Will chickens eat corn grits?

Yes, chickens generally enjoy eating corn grits. Chickens are omnivores with a diverse palate, and corn grits are a tasty and appealing option for them. The texture and flavor of corn grits make them a favorite among chickens, and incorporating them into the diet can encourage healthy eating habits in poultry.

Can chickens eat corn grits every day?

While chickens can eat corn grits regularly, it’s essential to provide a balanced and varied diet. Corn grits should be part of a diverse feed that includes grains, vegetables, and protein sources. Offering a well-rounded diet ensures that chickens receive all the necessary nutrients for optimal health. Overreliance on any single food item, including corn grits, may lead to nutritional imbalances, so moderation and variety are key in maintaining a healthy chicken diet.