Rice for chickens???

lindakimyAugust 5, 2007

Dh and I were annoyed (but not too surprised) to find that our supply of uncooked rice had been invaded by bugs. Well, it's been in the cupboard for quite a while now. There were tiny, tiny bugs crawling around - not the usual moths. Anyhow...

Dh got the idea that he would feed the rice to our chickens. Is that o.k.? He said, "Well, it's grain. They eat grain." Is there any reason not to feed the rice to the chickens?

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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

I Googled "rice chickens" and got only recipes! LOL. So then I tried Googling "hens feeding rice" and did a little better. Rice is fed to hens in many third world countries, so I can't think that it would hurt yours. They'd probably like it better cooked, but you could try them on the whole grain and see.

You might want to wait for a couple more replies before doing anything... or try some searches yourself to turn up information. I had one of those little doubts at the back of my mind... but it may have been simply that rice is not as nutritious as other grains.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 8:25AM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

I do remember that it was strongly recommended to stop throwing rice at weddings, so now birdseed is thrown - something about rice expanding when wet and bursting crops or choking them? I don't know if this is true or an urban legend. If in doubt, either soaking the rice overnight, or cooking it - bugs and all - would remove the problem - it would then be expanded.

To protect future rice supplies - and if you have the room - storing it in the freezer in a reclosable plastic bag virtually eliminates bugs.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 9:25AM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

The thing about uncooked rice thrown at weddings making birds explode is a myth. :) I'm sure it came about because the event site finds that the rice is messy, hard to clean up and a slipping hazzard. And wild birds don't eat uncooked rice, they prefer softer, easier to eat food. So the rice just sits there.

While chickens have tougher innards and can eat just about anything, I think they'd peck at uncooked rice a bit and wander away, disappointed. They'd prefer something tastier. Lordy, so would I.

My chickens DO love COOKED rice, though! Boil it up and add a bollion cube or a bit of chicken stock and it'll make a great meal, boiled bugs and all. :)

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 12:01PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

That was the doubt at the back of my mind... the urban myth thing about it swelling up. All the same, cooking it would likely make it more popular with the birds.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 5:11PM
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My chickens LOVE rice, provided it's cooked. Maybe the shape, color and texture reminds them of the tasty maggots. I use it as a snack, feeding it modestly, whenever I have leftovers I would not eat myself. OK you got me - I never have leftovers - I cook more so I can give some to my chickens :)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2007 at 9:44PM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

Our chickens love cooked rice as well - some leftover brown basmati at the moment. Their beaks covered with it makes an amusing sight. I had my doubts too though so I'm glad you started this thread.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 10:10AM
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Thanks for the input, everybody. I bet you are right about cooking it. Our girls are not at all picky, though. They are growing so fast right now that they jump on anything they find to eat.

Now that I think about it...I bet my dogs would go for a side of rice with their suppers! We seldom feed scraps - begging is NEVER tolerated around our table. Since we got the chickens, I'm having to train myself to share bits I would normally take to the compost pile.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 1:58PM
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I live in China presently and visted a farm here and the farmer only fed her chickens uncooked rice. ke1397

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 2:05AM
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zootjs(zone 5 MA)

I once went to a restaurant in the Caribbean where there was a wild flock of chickens living in the woods nearby. For years, the staff has been providing bored children (waiting for their food to arrive) with little cups of uncooked rice to throw off the porch. The chickens all scrambled for it. They looked perfectly healthy, and none seem to have exploded.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 12:45PM
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Having worked at a church years ago...the thing with rice was having to clean it up! It's just that the wild birds wouldn't eat it so it had to swept up while throwing bird seed gets taken care of without the sweeping!
Just a safety, labor issue NOTHING about birds swelling up! ((eye roll))

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 4:44PM
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Been giving my little flock uncooked Basmati rice and they gobble it up rather quickly. They also love sunflower seeds and they absolutely FIGHT over tomatoes!

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 8:13AM
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