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What Fruits Can Chickens Eat?

Updated: Apr 29



Chickens Eating Watermelon

Chickens are actually very smart! The whole idea of “bird brains” doesn’t really apply to these wonderful birds. Chickens can recognize up to 150 faces, can learn their name, and have better eyesight than humans during daylight hours!

 

So, when it comes to knowing what they can and cannot eat, chickens are actually very smart too! Because of their incredible eyesight, chickens are drawn to bright colors. This makes fruit tantalizing for them. As you may know, there are a few foods that chickens need to stay away from. Here’s a full list of foods your chickens should avoid.

 

Chickens love treats and offering them fruits can be a nutritious and enjoyable addition to their diet. However, not all fruits are safe for chickens to eat. In this guide, we'll explore the fruits that chickens can safely consume and the ones to avoid.


Chickens Eating Strawberries

Safe Fruits for Chickens:

  1. Apples - Chickens can eat apples, but make sure to remove the seeds and core, as they contain small amounts of cyanide like other stone fruit pits such as peaches, plums and cherries.

  2. Tomatoes - Tomatoes are another flock favorite around here. My chickens go wild over the red flesh of the fruit. However, they cannot have the greens of the tomatoes or green unripe tomatoes! They contain solanine which can be harmful to your chickens.

  3. Berries - Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are safe and packed with antioxidants. My flock absolutely love to eat strawberries, and they can eat the tops of these.

  4. Bananas - Chickens can eat bananas in moderation, and they provide potassium and vitamins.

  5. Watermelon - A refreshing treat for chickens and this is my flock’s favorite! Watermelon seeds are also fine for chickens to eat.

  6. Peaches - Remove the pit and offer small amounts of peach flesh as a treat.

  7. Grapes – All colors of grapes red, green or black are safe for chickens and can be chopped or smashed for easy consumption.

Fruits Chickens Should Avoid:

  1. Avocado - The skin and pit of avocados contain a toxin called persin, which is harmful to chickens.

  2. Citrus - While chickens can eat citrus fruits in small amounts, it’s best to avoid them. Excessive consumption of citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits or any other citrus fruits may cause digestive issues. In fact, most of the time, chickens won’t even gravitate towards them.

  3. Rhubarb - The leaves of rhubarb contain oxalic acid, which is toxic to chickens. This is one of the most dangerous.

  4. Stone Fruit Pits - Avoid feeding chickens pits from stone fruits like peaches, plums and cherries due to a chemical called amygdalin which is converted to cyanide in the body.

Peaches in a sink being washed

Tips for Feeding Fruits to Chickens:

  1. Offer fruits in moderation as treats, not as a primary diet. Chickens should primarily be fed a balanced diet.

  2. Chop or mash fruits into small pieces to prevent choking hazards.

  3. Introduce new fruits gradually and observe any adverse reactions.

  4. Always wash fruits thoroughly to remove pesticides or contaminants.

  5. Avoid feeding spoiled or moldy fruits to chickens. 


Chickens Eating Watermelon

Best Frozen Fruit Treats for Chickens

One of my favorite things to do with fruit in the summer is to make Flock Fixer™ frozen treats. My chickens absolutely love to peck at the ice and get to the fruit. It’s like a frozen popsicle that keeps them busy.

 

Plus, Flock Fixer is one of my favorite products. It has literally saved a couple of my chickens’ lives. Flock Fixer contains prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, electrolytes, and organic oregano essential oil. One scoop of Flock Fixer to one gallon of water and you’re set!

 

I freeze my Flock Fixer frozen treats in plastic containers so that as they melt, they can drink the water and eat the fruit. This way they are getting a healthy treat that keeps them hydrated and supported in times of heat stress.

 

Chickens eating Flock Fixer frozen treats

As I said earlier, chickens are very smart! They will mostly know if they can or cannot eat something. However, be sure to double-check or look up different foods they can or cannot have before you just toss out scraps.

 

Fruit is a favorite and your chickens will definitely love it! Always keep in mind, fruit or scraps of any kind should be fed in moderation. In order for chickens to continue producing eggs and to stay healthy themselves, they need to have a well-balanced diet. Be sure to feed them high quality chicken food and then just treat them to fruit, scraps and scratch more sparingly.

 

Until next time,

 

–The Wing Lady


 

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