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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chia Chicken

I doubt I will be able to find one person who hasn't heard, let alone owned, a Chia Pet.

We are all familiar with the unique sprouting greens coming from the bulbous, cheesy piece of terracotta pottery shaped into the head of your favorite dog, pig, ex or current president, cartoon character, tree, etc.

In the past two years, studies have gone back and forth over the benefits of Chia seeds.

The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry released their study on Chia seeds earlier this year. Chia seeds were studied for their benefits, high in Omega-3 and have been known to protect the heart and liver from disease and other vulnerabilities. (In obese rats, anyway!)

Here's another interesting article:

 After doing some research, here is my take on it.

Chia seeds have been in use since the days of the Aztec and Maya in Mexico and South America. Both civilizations used chia seeds as a supplement for their chicken flocks.
I'm gonna say that anything that has been around that long is safe. Not only safe, but I believe beneficial.

I'm a curious student of the anthropology of homesteading in different cultures. Especially when the homes were kept in Urban areas, such as my home sweet home. The Aztec seems to have felt it was important enough to make chia seeds a vital crop. I think they were onto something...

artwork by matthew meyer

Chia seeds are relatively cheap and easy to procure at around $3.75/lb and now they've hit the mainstream and are popping up in everything from chips for drinks.

 Next time you are out and about at your local grocery store-- ask them if they carry chia seeds and grab a pound... your chickens will thank you.

Will you be using chia seeds in your flock supplement? If so let me know!

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