Chickens are like the natural little garbage disposals of the farm. Like pigs, they enjoy quite a wide variety of foods including fruits, vegetables and meat.
But what about citrus like lemons, limes and even oranges?
Chickens can eat oranges and may even enjoy them in small amounts included in their snacks and meals. Even though oranges are safe for chickens to eat, most chickens will avoid citrus-based fruits due to their high sugar content.
This sweetness may overwhelm a chicken’s taste buds and even their digestive systems which could cause an upset stomach and lead to health problems.
Generally, this is uncommon and only occurs if your chicken eats acidic fruits, such as oranges, in high amounts.
Can chickens eat orange peels?
Chickens are able to eat orange peels.
Although chickens have the ability to eat orange peels, they commonly do not like to.
They find the tough exterior hard to eat and even harder to enjoy. However, if your chicken wants a fun play toy and enjoys playing with harder textures, an orange peel could be perfect for them!
These are safe to play with and will not harm their environment, it will create a pleasant smell for their surroundings and create a fun toy that will keep their mind occupied.
Be careful at how many orange peels you leave around for your chicken. A large amount may make cause digestive issues if they do decide to eat them.
Benefits of oranges for chickens
There are many benefits to eating oranges, below are the most common for your chicken:
- Boosting your chicken’s immune system.
- Contains Vitamin C: Good for promoting growth, repairing body tissue, and aids in health for bones, teeth, and organ function.
- Potassium: May promote low blood pressure and protect against bone-related illnesses
- Thiamine: One of the Vitamin B’s which promotes cell growth, allows for high energy levels, aids in digestion, and promotes eyesight.
Fun facts about oranges
Oranges are an amazing fruit that is loved by many all over the world. They provide amazing health benefits and vibrant color.
Here are some interesting fun facts about oranges:
- Oranges are the largest citrus food in the world.
- There are over 600 different types of oranges around the world.
- Oranges are a very good and efficient source of vitamin C.
- The top supplier and grower of oranges in the U.S. is Florida.
- Orange juice is one of the most enjoyed and loved fruit juices in the U.S. today.
Fun orange-inspired treats for chickens
Chickens love treats and even more when they are homemade with love!
Below is a complete list of DIY treats that are made with fresh oranges to create a fun and healthy snack for your chicken.
Remember to feed in small amounts to avoid sickness and illness.
Sweet and simple
- ⅓ cup of honey
- 1-1 ½ slices of orange (cut into small squares)
- ½ cup chicken feed
- ½ apple (any kind is fine, chopped finely)
- ¼ cup coconut flakes
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Once combined let chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
Roll into balls (with hands or ice cream scooper) put in the fridge/freezer (based on preference) then serve to the chickens (in small amounts to discourage overeating ).
Fun and Festive
- Choice of grain (rice, oats, etc. make sure it is cooked thoroughly)
- ¾ cup honey
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- ¼ cup pureed pumpkin
- ¾ cup chicken feed
- ½ slice of orange (cut into small pieces)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed. Once combined, let chill in the fridge for 15-30 minutes, once chilled roll into balls, or layout onto a sheet pan.
Put in the freezer until stiff. Once laid out onto a sheet pan, cut into squares of the desired size and feed to chickens in small amounts.
Warm and cozy
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- ¼ cup chicken feed
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup apples (thinly sliced)
- ½ orange slice (cut into small pieces)
In a medium-sized bowl, combine all wet ingredients, in another medium bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Mix both bowls into a larger bowl and preheat the oven to 345F degrees. Pour all ingredients onto a baking sheet thinly layered. Put in the oven for 5-10 minutes and let cool.
When completely cool, cut into squares or desired size and feed to chicken in small amounts. Remember to let cool completely and enjoy!
Things to remember
Although oranges are a fun and healthy treat for your chickens there are always things to remember to keep them healthy and not to overfeed them:
- You may combine orange pieces with your chicken’s regular meals to include an extra boost of vitamin C and provide a fun and healthy mix into their daily diet.
- Feed oranges to your chickens in moderation, in small amounts this is healthy. A small amount may include 1 to 1 ½ orange slices.
This can ensure they enjoy the benefits without overdoing it and causing potential health and digestive issues.
- The high citrus concentrate in oranges may cause a drop in egg production.
- If your chicken doesn’t seem to enjoy the oranges combined with their regular food, stop giving it to them immediately.
If overdone, this can cause them to be turned off to their feed and make it hard for them to eat regularly.
- Above all, have fun and enjoy!
This information provided is not a suitable replacement for medical advice, if you believe your chicken is displaying abnormal behavior, it is important to take them to a vet right away to prevent and/or treat any illness, health condition, or potential death.