Being a pet parent of birdies, especially chickens, has become quite popular.
But, chickens are flightless birds that spend most of their day free-ranging (kept in a natural environment and allowed freedom of movement to forage for their food).
But, unlike other domestic pets, chickens don’t necessarily follow a reserved diet as these birds love to have pretty much everything and anything they can eat.
So, when chicken owners have a vast backyard and permit your chickens to go free-ranging, you will often find them trying to find out if it is safe for their fowls to eat moss.
After all, it’s rare to find huge outdoor spaces with no moss around.
And, seeing as how chickens love grass and moss resembles grass, chickens always attempt to eat moss at every opportunity.
So the question is – Can chickens eat moss?
Yes, chickens do eat moss and yes, it is safe for your feathered friends to eat moss. But, it is a good idea to keep control of how much moss your chicken eats. Nope, not because moss can be toxic for your fowl, but because you want your chicken to have a healthy diet that will keep its taste buds happy and keep your birds healthy.
Is Moss Bad For Chickens?
Moss is a plant.
In its original state, moss is 100% chemical and toxin-free for all domestic pets, even chickens.
If you can’t stop your chickens from eating grass, especially if you know that the grass is chemical-free and grown organically, you would be wasting your time trying to get your fowl to stop eating moss.
There are times when chickens are encouraged to free-range in areas with moss around.
You see, just like farmers use coffee grounds to repel insect life, Moss is the most natural and safe breeding ground for creepy crawlies such as springtails, spider mites, aphids, fungus gnats, and mealybugs.
And, you must surely know how much chickens love to snack on a juicy worm or a crunchy critter.
As moss does not contain any element of toxin or poison, it makes perfect sense for chicken owners to encourage their fowls to munch on a bit of moss and dine at the delightful variety of insects that moss attracts much like a salad before the main course.
Can Chickens Survive On Moss Alone?
No, your chickens cannot survive on moss alone.
Moss does not contain much nutritional value, but it does act like fiber in your fowl’s tummy.
So, moss is excellent for digestion.
It is the perfect ground for some insect munching time.
And that will give your chickens a boost of proteins.
Yes, it does help to let your chicken be free-range.
Yet, the feed that you provide your chicken should contain all of the nutrition that your birds need daily.
But, if you want your chickens to grow healthy bones, live a longer life, and have no issues laying eggs, then you must keep your chicken’s diet in check.
Poultry’s six essential components for proper growth are water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins.
Moss cannot provide most of these required nutritional necessities for chickens.
Can Chicks Eat Moss?
No, you should not consider letting your chicks hog on the moss when and if you let your chicks out for free-ranging.
Protein is an essential nutrient for the proper growth of chicks in terms of skeletal development, breathing, digestion, growth, or reproduction.
Chicks need more protein in their growth stage, and a lack of protein can mean serious health concerns as well as reproduction issues later on as your chicks mature.
You must also know that chicks don’t have huge appetites.
So, if you allow your chicks to guzzle down as much moss as it wants, there will be little room in your fowl’s tummy for anything else.
How Much Moss Should You Allow Your Chickens To Have?
There’s no denying that moss is pretty epic when it comes to making amazing discoveries.
Moss isn’t toxic for humans and moss isn’t dangerous for chickens either.
But, you need to keep in mind that just because you can let your chickens have a tiny bit of moss now and then.
It’s ridiculous to think that moss should now be a part of your chicken’s daily diet.
Moss can be good for digestion and serve as a good chance for your chicken when it is particularly bored of eating the same stuff over and over.
But, it would be best if you did not think that keeping your chicken would serve your chickens well. An everyday diet of moss will lead to making your chickens lose weight.
Letting your fowls free into the backyard and allowing your chickens to free-range can be highly amusing and entertaining for your chickens.
It can be oodles of fun to watch chickens mull around and have a good time.
But, if you have tons of moss in your garden or backyard and think that your chicken will do just fine free-ranging around the moss and have a full belly before bed every night, you are mistaken.
There’s only so much moss chickens can eat.
As marvelous as moss is for the environment, moss doesn’t do much for the nutrient content your chicken needs.
What Is Moss?
From rooftops to garden walls and cracked pavements, you will find moss everywhere.
And, though moss looks oddly familiar to grass, moss has somewhat developed a bad rep for itself.
Most people believe that because you can’t mow moss and can’t contain it no matter how hard you try, moss is harmful to the environment, humans, and animals, particularly chickens.
But moss is your garden’s friend, and moss is your chicken’s friend.
You see, moss is a non-flowering plant that doesn’t have deep roots.
There are anywhere from 1500 – 2500 different species of moss.
And moss functions like a sponge. It soaks up all the rainfall and provides a mixture to the soil.
These non-flowering plants can keep conditions humid around them, providing other plants a safe space to thrive.
And, moss is known by many botanists as the miracle worker as moss can stabilize the soil surface, retain water, and encourage plant life in areas ravaged by deforestation of first fires.
Oh, and another cool trick that moss can do for the environment is that it can function to make the soil cool when the weather’s hot, and in the Arctic, moss prevents that heat of the sun from melting the glaciers.