So, what are the fruits that chickens can eat? I always enjoy feeding my backyard chickens on a variety of foods. The sight of these birds scrambling for different treats is amazing and fascinating at the same time.
That’s how I realize that chickens feed on almost anything coming their way including different types of fruits. Let’s go on a fact-finding mission to discover the types of fruit chickens like.
So, what are the fruits that chickens can eat? Chickens can eat oranges, berries, watermelon, apples, grapes, pumpkins, mangoes, tomatoes, pineapples, plums, and avocados. All these fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients for the growth and development of your birds.
Chickens are naturally omnivorous animals, meaning they can enjoy different a variety of foods. However, you need to be careful when feeding your birds on various types of fruits. This is due to the fact that some of these fruits contain toxic substances that can harm them. Below is a list of our top fruits that chickens can eat.
The Best Fruits that Chickens Can Eat
Chickens love apples just in the same way as we do. The flesh and skin of this fruit are nutritious treats for your flock. Apples are rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and pectin acids. These elements are essential for the wellbeing of your chickens.
When it comes to serving your flock with apples, you need to know how to go about it. For instance, you may serve these fruits in the form of apple garlands, stuffed apples, hanging apples or apples with seed garland.
At least your chickens will have their field day enjoying this delicious treat. However, make sure that you get rid of apple seeds before feeding the fruit to your flock. Apple seeds have traces of cyanide which is highly poisonous and dangerous to your birds.
Forget about the information you might have come across on the internet about avocados and chickens. You can feed your chickens on avocado but in small quantities. Apart from that, you may also give them the flesh but not the pit and skin.
These two byproducts of avocados contain traces of persin, a highly toxic substance that can harm your birds. If you’re planning to treat your flock with avocados, ensure that the skin and pits are not included.
Chickens can feed on different types of berries, except for a few. Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, mulberries, and red currants are a great source of essential nutrients for your birds. But you can avoid feeding your birds on berries such as the black currants, gooseberries, mountain-ash berries, and elderberries. These fruits contain poisonous substances that are harmful to chickens.
When feeding berries to your chickens, you must scale down the portions in relation to the size of your flock. Too much of these fruits have adverse effects on the well-being of your birds.
Additionally, you should not feed your chickens with berries every day because these fruits contain a lot of sugar. A few berries given to the birds in moderation are beneficial to their overall health.
Grapes are another special treat for your chickens. But you should give them in moderation because they contain large amounts of sugar. Too much of these fruits can cause serious health problems for your birds.
Another issue with feeding chickens on grapes is the size of these fruits. Chickens don’t chew their food, instead, they tear and swallow them. Since grapes are smaller, it is more likely that they will choke your birds, leading to death. So, you should consider cutting these fruits into smaller pieces before feeding to your flock.
Mangoes are among the fruits that chickens can eat. In this case, you may include them in their usual diet but in small amounts. Chickens enjoy tearing these fruits from the seeds, especially when they are on free-range. This fruit is nutritious and delicious with high polyphenols, vitamin A and Vitamin C that promotes chickens’ overall health.
Unlike other fruits, mangoes don’t contain any poisonous substance that can harm your birds. As such, you can feed them to your chickens as a supplement or treat. These fruits have a high content of sugar which is a great source of energy for your chickens.
Oranges belong to citrus fruits which comprise of lemons, grapefruit, tangerines, limes, and pomelo. These fruits are rich in vitamin C, minerals, sugars, and dietary fiber. All these nutrients are suitable for your birds except sugars.
Back to the oranges, do you think they are safe for your chickens? The astounding answer is yes. Therefore, you may give them frozen oranges during summertime as part of hot weather treats. Cut the fruit in half and freeze it before passing to your chickens when it’s too hot. But don’t let them feed on the orange peel as it may contain toxic substances like waxes, citrus oils, and pesticides.
In addition to that, pineapples do not contain cholesterol or saturated fats. Instead, they are a good source of bromelain, an enzyme that aids in food digestion. This chicken treat is also rich in vitamin C. This nutrient plays a significant role in strengthening your chickens’ immune system.
Chickens are just like us when it comes to what we eat. This means they can feed on plums when you give them. Plums, just like other fruits, have higher contents of sugar besides other nutrients. This should tell you that when feeding your flock on these little fruits, you must do it in moderation.
Another important point to note is that plum seeds have small quantities of cyanide which is detrimental to your chickens. Before feeding your birds on these fruits, make sure that the seeds are removed first.
Do you think pumpkin should be included among the fruits that chickens eat? The answer is yes. Pumpkins are delicious and are fully loaded with great nutrients for your birds.
These fruits are a perfect seasonal treat for your backyard chickens. This is because their flesh contains zinc and vitamins A, B and C.
The seeds are rich in vitamin E which is also important for your chickens’ health. Unlike other popular fruits, every part of the pumpkin is a delicacy for your chickens.
Tomatoes are part of the fruits that chickens eat. You must be surprised to realize that your birds love tomatoes so much. Unfortunately, some skeptics believe that tomatoes, which belong to the ‘nightshade family,’ are not fit for chickens. The reason for this allegation is that this plant family contains ‘Solanine’, a toxic substance that can harm chickens.
While this is true, you can rest assured that your birds will stay safe if you give them ripe tomatoes. This is attributed to the fact that ripe tomatoes do not have toxic substances. So, try to avoid green tomatoes if you want to protect your birds against Solanine.
There is no better way of treating your birds on a hot day if not by feeding them on a cool watermelon. This fruit is both sweet and a healthy refreshment for your flock of birds. In fact, you can give them the fleshy part of the fruit and the rind as well.
Can I feed citrus peel to my chickens?
This is one part of any citrus food you should avoid by all means. Chickens don’t eat the peel because it is tough and hard to swallow. Besides, the peel might have harmful chemicals such as toxic pesticides.
How often should I feed my chickens fruit?
You may treat your flock of birds with different types of fruits sparingly or even daily. But the number of fruits that you treat your chickens with should be considered low to keep them healthy. If you give them too much, they will have numerous health problems that will affect their productivity.
- Given that chickens are omnivorous animals, they have a lot in common with us in terms of diet. This means that what we eat, they are more likely to eat as well. That is why we have compiled this list of fruits that chickens can eat for you. With this knowledge, you can treat your birds with a variety of fruits to promote their health and productivity.
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