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What Fruits Can Chickens Eat?

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People who raise chickens sometimes feed chickens with different kinds of food to save the cost of feed.

One great way to feed your chickens is to give them fruits.

What kinds of fruits can chickens eat?

We have put together a comprehensive list of fruits that you can feed your chickens along with their benefits and tips for keeping happy, healthy animals.

1. Apples

Autumn apples scattered from a basket on a wooden bench

Apples are not just delicious, they make great treats for chickens. Apples contain a lot of energy, carbohydrate, fibers, minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

You can prepare apple treats for your chickens by slicing the apples into smaller bits. You can also make apple sauce, mix it with other feed, and give it to your chickens.

2. Berries

Closeup of a bowl of fresh berries, summer food on white background

Chickens love strawberries, blueberries, and other berries. Strawberries and blueberries are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin B9, A, and C.

One downside of blueberries is that it can affect the color of your chicken’s poop. The color might change to blue though it is completely harmless.

You can give berries to your chickens whole or sliced.

3. Melons

whole and slices of melon on dark background

These watery delicacies are a favorite with chickens. Chickens do not just love melons, they love melon seeds as well. Examples of melons that chickens love are:

  • Pumpkins
  • Cantaloupes
  • Watermelons

Melons are rich in vitamins and minerals. Melons are great summer treats for chickens because chickens need more water in their diet in the summer, and melons are rich with water.

4. Cherries

fresh cherries on wooden table

Cherries make awesome treats for your chickens. You can give both cooked and uncooked cherries to your chickens.

Cherries are filled with vitamins such as Vitamin K, C, E, and A. Cherries also have lots of minerals for your chickens.

5. Grapes

man's hand holding fresh green grapes

These small sugar-filled fruits are among the favorite of chickens. With the help of their mechanical stomach (gizzard) and grit, chickens can digest grapes and grape seeds.

However, you should not give with grapes with seeds to young chicks.

Also, do not give too many grapes to chickens because of their high amount of sugar. Grapes should be an occasional treat and not a regular food.

6. Tomatoes

three pieces of fresh tomatoes on white background

Tomatoes are not just great treats for your chickens, they are healthy and completely safe for them.

Just do not let your chickens eat the leaves and branches of tomato plants because they contain harmful toxins that can hurt your chicken.

7. Pineapples

Fresh pineapples in wooden box

Chickens love pineapple flesh. Even though some chickens may not be enthusiastic to eat the peel of pineapples, other chickens will definitely love pineapple peel.

Chickens can eat any form of pineapples, but it is safe to slice it for them. Note that chickens hate the taste of overly ripe or unripe pineapples.

8. Oranges

fresh orange with leaves on orange background

Chickens can eat oranges, but they will eat other fruits before oranges. To get your chickens to eat oranges, you should make a fruit salad and include oranges. Don’t worry, in time your chickens will learn to love oranges.

9. Pears

Pears on the tree close-up. Juicy pears hang on a branch

Pears are very rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Pears are definitely a great fruit for your chickens.

You should, however, not give pear seeds to your chickens to avoid choking and suffocation. You can give pears raw or prepared (as you like, with safe ingredients) to your chickens.

10. Mangoes

fresh yellow mango

Of course, chickens can eat mangoes. They also enjoy the smell and taste of mangoes.

Mangoes make great treats for chickens and you can use mangoes to train chickens by rewarding them for returning to their coop on time. Mangoes should be occasional treats and not part of their regular diet.

11. Cucumbers

fresh whole and sliced cucumbers on glass bowl

You can always give cucumbers to your chickens. The great thing is that you do not have to prepare the cucumbers for your chickens to peck on it. You can give them raw unsliced, pickled, sliced or diced cucumbers.

More About Feeding Chickens Fruits

Do you have questions related to chickens eating fruits?

Here are answers to common questions when it comes to feeding your chickens beyond standard feed.

1. Can Chickens Rely Solely on Fruits?

Chickens cannot rely solely on fruits (and vegetables) because fruits do not have enough protein.

Even though fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, energy, carbohydrates, and fiber, growing chickens need more protein.

Chickens use protein for meat and egg production. Protein is also responsible for successful reproduction. This means that chickens need more of a diet rich in protein.

Free range chickens feeding

2. What Is a Great Source of Protein for Chickens?

There are so many sources of protein for chickens.

Popular examples of foods rich in protein for your chickens include:

  • Insects
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians
  • Processed chicken feed
  • Cereals, grains, and legumes
  • Maggots (such as mealworms, grub worms, black soldier flies, and houseflies)

Your chickens will have a balanced diet when you mix foods rich in protein with foods rich in other nutrients.

An example of chicken feed that contains every nutrient chickens need to grow and reproduce is processed chicken feed.

3. Can Chickens Eat Fruit Peels and Rinds?

Of course. Why throw your fruit peels and rinds when your chickens will gladly eat them?

Fruit peels and rinds are great sources of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and fiber for your chickens.

Examples of fruits with edible peels or rinds are:

  • Melons
  • Banana
  • Oranges
  • Mangoes

Your chickens may not accept the peel or rind at first but will learn to accept it when you give them more of it consistently.

Beautiful moments in farm life woman is hand feeding free range chickens in a shade of a tree

4. Can Chickens Eat Nuts and Fruit Seeds?

Most kinds of fruit seeds are safe to give your chickens. Examples of fruits with edible seeds for chickens are:

  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries

Do not feed apple and plum seeds to chickens because apple, plum, and some other fruit seeds have traces of cyanide. Always get rid of apple seeds.

Chickens love eating nuts. Nuts are not just a great source of food for chickens; nuts are rich in protein. Examples of nuts for your chickens are:

  • Walnuts
  • Cashew nuts
  • Peanuts and other legumes

Make sure that the fruit seeds and nuts are clean before giving them to your chickens.

5. Can Chickens Eat Fruits From the Wild?

Chickens allowed to search for their food eat all sorts of items. Their instincts help them to select good food and leave items that are not so great for them. Sometimes, they (especially chicks) can accidentally eat something that they should not.

As a general rule, you should not feed your chickens any fruits that you do not know. Do not feed them directly or mix them with their daily meal.

Close-up of a a child's arm and hand feeding a white and black chicken in a cage

6. Other Than Fruits, What Is a Great Source of Vitamins and Minerals for Chickens?

Other great sources of vitamins and minerals for chickens include:

  • Live feed
  • Vegetables
  • Processed chicken feed
  • Premixes (you can get them at feed mills)

Remember that processed chicken feed contains every nutrient needed by your chickens, so if you ever run out of options, give your chickens processed feed.

Final Thoughts

Chickens can eat different kinds of fruits. Examples of fruits that chickens can eat are apples, bananas, tomatoes, and peaches.

Remember that fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals but are not so rich in protein, so you should give your chickens an extra protein source.