You Won’t Believe If Chickens Can Really Chomp Down on Gizzards!



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Last weekend I was out in the coop like any other Saturday, tossin’ out scratch and grain for the hens. But this time my friend Bucky the rooster was feelin’ a might feisty.

As I’m shakin’ out Nutri-Scratch PlusTM into the trough, that darn rooster starts peckin’ at my boots like they’s the last worms in the valley!

Well I give him a little boot right back to shoo him off, only problem was I musta kicked a tad too hard.

Next thing I know, a whole gizzard goes sailin’ cross the yard like a feathered football!

You shoulda seen them chickens – they was squabblin’ and squawkin’ faster than a kid on a pogo stick.

Had me wonderin’ – do these here birds really chow down on their own guts? Is that even safe or just pure crazy?

Turns out them chickens’ll gobble up gizzards quicker’n I eat pancakes! Chickens are opportunistic critters and ain’t too proud to peck at another’s insides if it means a tasty snack.

Their own gizzards contain protein and nutrients crucial to their well-bein’, so they see it as fair game. Had me stumped at first too, but I’ll be – those chickens were scarfin’ down gizzard just as fast as grain!

Did ya also know a chicken’s gizzard carries its own set of stones and grit for breakin’ down their vittles?

I always thought they just ate and errything dissolved, but no sirree – they’ve got a full on portable feed mill right in their belly pouches. Pretty ingenious if ya ask me!

So Can Chickens Eat Chicken Gizzards?


Turns out chickens will gladly gobble up their own gizzards as a hearty protein-packed meal.

So don’t you fret none about tossin’ those extras to the flock – seems Mother Nature designed them chickens to reuse just about every part.

Just watch yer toes around pesky roosters with an appetite! Those buggers’ll snatch the seeds right outta your overalls if ya ain’t careful.

Exactly What’s In a Chicken Gizzard Anyway?

Alright, since we know them chickens don’t mind munchin’ on their own innards, let’s take a closer look at what makes a gizzard tick.

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First off, it’s located right after the crop in a chicken’s digestive system. Its main job is to further break down the mush from the stomach using strong muscles and a secret weapon – small rocks called “grit” that act like a portabello feed mill.

The grit and muscles grind that mush finer’n flour so the chicken can squeeze out every last nutrient.

Nutritionally speakin’, gizzards are a true protein powerhouse. On average, one gizzard packs around 12 grams of high-quality protein to fuel a chicken through the day.

They’re also loaded with important vitamins and minerals like niacin, riboflavin, phosphorus, and zinc – all essential for strong bones, bright eyes, and healthy feathers. No wonder them chickens find gizzards so darn delicious!

Could Too Many Gizzards Ever Be Too Much?


Now you might be thinkin’ – if gizzards are so chock full of nutrients, could a chicken ever eat too many and upset its tiny belly?

Well the only potential issue I could see is if gizzards made up the majority of their daily diet. Like folks, chickens need variety in their vitamins and minerals to stay fit as a fiddle. If all they was eatin’ was gizzards day in and day out, they could miss out on other key ingredients in a balanced meal.

But like I said before, chickens will eat just about anything – especially if it’s packed with protein. So tossin’ a few extra gizzards their way every so often as a tangy treat atop their normal feed ain’t gonna cause no harm.

Wouldn’t you like a special snack with your dinner every once in a blue moon? I know I would! As long as it’s just an occasional something extra and not replacing their regular chow, them chickens will be fightin’ fit as ever.

The Anatomy of a Chicken’s Digestive System

A chicken’s digestive tract is quite the intricate system designed for the maximum absorption of nutrients.

It starts with the mouth where food is torn into smaller pieces before heading down the esophagus into the crop.

The crop acts as a pouch to temporarily store food before moving it into the proventriculus, or true stomach.

This is where digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid begin breaking down food into a semi-liquid state.

Next the food moves into the gizzard where muscular contractions churn it together with grit to further grind and mash the contents.

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The small intestines are where the majority of nutrients are absorbed through the walls and into the bloodstream.

Any remaining waste then passes through the long cecum for additional water absorption before entering the large intestines.

The cloaca is the final stopping point where dried waste is formed into droppings to be expelled from the vent.

Understanding each segment gives insights into the full digestive capabilities of these efficient birds.

Selecting the Right Size Grit for Gizzards

The type and size of grit ingested is crucial for optimal gizzard functioning.

Chickens naturally seek out small stones, gravel, or manufactured grit to aid in their grinding process.

Grit that is too fine like sand passes through too quickly without breaking down feed sufficiently.

Grit larger than a chickpea risks damaging the gizzard lining or blocking the intestines further down.

The best grit measures around 1/8th inch or smaller in diameter for efficient grinding motions.

Crushed oyster shell is a suitable calcium supplement but too soft to perform the needed abrasion.

Providing the right sized inert grit leads to properly macerated food and maximum absorption of nutrients.

Chickens will self-regulate intake as needed so keep a constant grit supply available at all times.

Signs a Gizzard May Need Extra Support

While most chickens have healthy digestive functions, some signs warrant closer examination.

Soft or runny droppings could mean the gizzard is inefficiently breaking down feed.

Weight loss despite a good appetite often stems from nutritional deficiencies.

Feathery looking droppings with undigested food may point to reduced stomach acid levels.

Weakened birds that seem tired could have internal parasites like worms sapping their strength.

Droppings stuck to vent feathers is a clear symptom things are not moving smoothly inside.

Off feed birds with ruffled feathers may have a bacterial or viral gut infection.

Providing bone meal or calcium supplements could aid a gizzard working extra hard.

Worming medications or probiotics may help if specific issues are accurately diagnosed.

Addressing underlying challenges leads to healthier, happier, and more productive flocks.

Common Gizzard Ailments and Deficiencies

While chickens have robust digestive abilities, certain conditions can still arise.

Coccidiosis from a parasite causes damage and inflammation of the intestinal lining.

Gapeworm infections obstruct the windpipe leading to coughing and breathing problems.

Worm infestations tax the whole system as parasites feed off nutrients.

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Bacterial infections occur from pathogens like E. coli or Salmonella invading tissues.

Calcium or phosphorus deficiencies weaken bones and lead to soft shells or fractures.

Low levels of niacin result in pellagra seen through dermatitis and diarrhea.

Vitamin A inadequacies cause dry, scaly skin and increased disease susceptibility.

Stress like overcrowding weakens immunity leaving chickens more vulnerable.

Recognizing warning signs and addressing nutritional shortfalls helps preventable illnesses.

With diligent care and a balanced diet, most natural ailments can be managed or avoided.

Gizzards in Traditional Chicken Prep

From the coop straight to the kitchen, gizzards serve up savory goodness.

A popular dish in Southern cooking fries gizzards up crispy on the outside, tender within.

Coated in buttermilk and flour then pan-fried in lard or oil releases their robust flavor.

Seasoning with black pepper, hot sauce or creole spice brings lively zing to each bite.

Braising gizzards slowly lets them absorb surrounding flavors in stew, soup or jambalaya.

The Japanese also enjoy gizzards prepared simply boiled or grilled with soy sauce.

They enrich homemade chicken stocks, stews or casseroles with intense poultry savor.

Thrifty home cooks waste no part, gaining nourishment from crops to coop to table.

As chickens freely consume them, gizzards prove a tasty treat for humans too when prepared creatively.

Selling Extra Gizzards as a Small Farm Side Hustle

Depending on scale of operation, selling value-added byproducts brings extra income.

Local butchers or restaurants may purchase gizzards in bulk at a fair wholesale price.

Creating a signature prepared gizzard dish to sell at farmers markets takes them to new customers.

Vacuum sealing and freezing individual or family packages ensures freshness until reheating.

Listing excess gizzards for sale online through websites or on Facebook marketplace expands the reach.

Offering reasonably priced variety packs introduces broader audiences to underused parts.

With some marketing savvy, creatively packaged gizzards gain popularity as a niche delicacy product.

Not only does this minimize waste but also puts premiums on components chickens readily consume.

With surging interest in locally-sourced foods, ingenious farmers find value everywhere on their farms.

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Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

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Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

Dream of a waddling flock of feathered friends in your own backyard?

Then stop dreaming and start hatching a plan, people!

This ain’t no chicken game. After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

I’m talking building a palace of a coop guaranteed to impress the neighbors, concocting feed for peak egg production, collecting eggs so perfect you’ll weep tears of joy – plus hilarious stories and accidental mishaps along the way.

So get cluckin’ and grab the key to creating your own morning egg paradise before I sell out!