Giving our chickens a healthy diet is critical in raising good layers or productive meat birds. 

But there are some options out there that many folks have questions on. 

One of the questions I get a lot is: Can chickens eat steel-cut oats?

Chickens can eat steel-cut oats, and this grain provides a safe and nutritious food for your budding fowl. They provide a great source of nutritious elements, including Vitamin B, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, and much more. Oats are a common part of many chicken diets. 

Let’s look at more details and other info around chickens and grains. 

Can Chickens Eat Steel-Cut Oats

Can Chickens Eat Steel-Cut Oats Safely?

Steel-cut oats, also known as Irish or Scottish oats, are a class of oats that have been chopped into small pieces and then cooked for a long time. 

Like other grains, steel-cut oats are a great source of proteins, vitamins, and antioxidants, which improve chicken’s overall health. 

Compared to other forms of oats rolled and instant oats, Scottish oats have a higher fiber level, making them a powerful ingredient in chicken nutrition.

Since too much of something is poisonous, feeding chicken with oats should be done in moderation to avoid overfeeding oats, and a chicken requires a balanced diet. 

Chickens can be fed oats in conjunction with peas, fruits, nuts, or sweet potatoes. 

Most breeders recommend adding oats gradually over several months, starting with 5 to 10 grams each day and increasing to 20 to 30 grams daily once your birds begin laying regularly.

Benefits And Drawback Of Steel Cut Oats For Chickens


Oatmeal is a highly nutritious food and provides great energy, and it’s also very easy to digest and absorb nutrients in oat products. 

Oats can replace other grain products in the diets of most birds and should be included in their diet when possible.

In addition, oats contain high levels of beta-glucan fiber, which helps to reduce intestinal gas and diarrhea. 

They are an excellent source of:

  • B Vitamins (B6, Folate, Biotin)
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron 
  • Zinc
  • Protein
  • Manganese
  • Copper

Most importantly, they provide high-quality fat with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

Oatmeal contains all three phases of nutrients. 

The first phase includes starch from the endosperm tissue digested during cooking. 

This is followed by carbohydrate digestion that takes place after eating. 

Finally, nutrient absorption occurs through the small intestine and into the bloodstream. 

During this last phase, both soluble and insoluble dietary fibers can help to improve.


It causes gastrointestinal problems, especially among heavy breeds like Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth, and Rocks. 

These birds tend to put on weight faster because their metabolism works harder. 

However, if their weight is kept under control, they might tolerate the oats just fine.

Chicks fed on excess oat will produce fewer eggs until they reach maturity. 

This means it takes longer to get your chicks going. 

Some breeders think this is a benefit; others don’t mind waiting for a few extra weeks before getting new chicks from eggs laid by mature females.

When chickens consume too many oats, they won’t lay eggs well unless you supplement their diets. 

Their bodies aren’t prepared for this large intake of carbohydrates without adequate protein or fat. 

You’ll need to compensate by providing higher-protein diets during the laying period.

Can Chickens Eat Uncooked Oatmeal?

Chickens can eat raw oatmeal. 

However, it is recommended that chickens should feed on a well-balanced diet. 

Raw oatmeal preserves more proteins and fibers than cooked oatmeal. 

There are some health benefits to eating raw oats, but too much consumption can lead to diarrhea.

While feeding cooked foods to chicks will provide them with certain nutrients, these foods cannot meet all the nutritional requirements they need. 

When you feed them raw oats, you get an opportunity to provide them with various vitamins as compared to other processed forms of food. 

Besides, raw oats contain high levels of magnesium which helps in chicken bone formation. 

You will also notice that chicks look healthier when you start providing them with raw oats instead of pre-cooked ones.

The best time to introduce raw oats is at 1 month since, at this period, they need sufficient amounts of calcium and vitamin D. 

In addition, they should get ample amounts of protein and fiber.

Related Reading: Learn more about the difference between hens and roosters.

What Kind Of Oats Are Good For Chickens?

When looking for wholesome chicken feed, it is important to know what kind of oatmeal your chickens will enjoy the most. 

There are many different types of oat grains on the market today. 

Oats come in three different forms:

  1. Instant Oats
  2. Rolled Or Processed
  3. Steel-Cut Oats

Instant oats consist of the entire kernel. 

Rolled oats are steamed and dried from larger oats, then passing steam through the oats until the desired size is achieved. 

These small grain particles are usually ground using a stone mill and then packaged for use.

Most whole-grain oatmeal has more nutrients than processed varieties. 

It takes longer for the body to break down these whole oats because they contain much bran. 

This makes them a better choice if you want the chickens to eat healthier.

Fun fact: Did you know it’s illegal to feed chickens mealworms in some countries?

How To Make Oatmeal For Chickens

Preparing oatmeal for chickens is a very simple task, and one can do it in a very short time. 

The best ingredients to make chicken feed out of oats are rolled oats or steel-cut oats, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, and black pepper. 

Add water to the rolled or steel-cut oats until it has the correct consistency for feeding and is maintained at cool room temperature. 

After that, add the mixture of the spices and serve.

In general, though, unprocessed grains are much better for chickens. 

Can Baby Chickens Eat Rolled Oats?

Baby chicks undergo a series of growth and development stages during their first two months. 

During this period, baby chicks require a diet rich in proteins and nutrients. 

Even though the chick starter feed has every ingredient that a baby chicken needs to grow, at around one month, a chick can be gradually introduced to rolled oats as a treat to them. 

Rolled oats contain proteins and fatty acids, providing chicken with a big energy boost. 

This simple change can help chickens grow more quickly and feel better than they would on a portion of typical chicken food.