Can Chickens Eat Almonds? Can Be Toxic

Yes, chickens can eat almonds. There are two types of almonds that you have to be aware of. Sweet almonds are safe for chickens to eat. Bitter almonds are not safe since it’s toxic and can harm the chickens. 

Is Almonds Safe For Your Chickens?

When it comes to almonds, you’ll need to be aware of the types of almonds you’re feeding your chickens. There are two different types and one is safe while the other is not.

Sweet Almonds – These almonds are what you will find in grocery stores. They are safe for chickens to eat since they don’t contain any toxins.

Bitter Almonds – These types of almonds should be off-limit for your chickens. They contain traces of hydrogen cyanide, which is a toxin that is harmful to chickens.

When some people say that almonds are toxic to chickens and other pets, the bitter variety is the one that they are talking about.

Why Is Bitter Almond Toxic?

Chicken Eating Food

Bitter almonds are those that contain a compound called amygdalin. When it’s ingested, the compound is broken down into several chemicals. This includes benzaldehyde, which makes the almond taste bitter, and cyanide, which is toxic.

These almonds that are toxic are usually found in the wild. If you have any wild almonds growing around your yard or in places that the chicken forage often, it’s a good idea to keep them away from it.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Almonds?

Almonds are packed with nutrition. They are a good source of fiber, proteins, and antioxidants. This makes almond a healthy treat for chickens to eat.

Nutrition Facts

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds contains:

  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated)

Source: NutritionData

Below are some of the health benefits of feeding almonds to your chickens:

Loaded With Antioxidants

Almonds are an excellent source of antioxidants. This is a compound that helps prevent free radicals from causing damage to the cells in the body.

When there are too many free radicals in the body, it could lead to illnesses and diseases.

High In Fats

Almonds are a good source of fat. In small amounts, it can be beneficial for chickens, especially during the winter. This is the time of the year when they need a lot of fats to keep them warm. By giving them almonds and other food rich in fats, it will help prevent your chickens from freezing.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Almonds?

Yes, baby chickens can eat almonds. However, it’s a good idea to wait until they are about 3 weeks old before you give them any.

When the chicks are under 3 weeks old, their digestive system has not developed enough to properly digest the almonds. If the chicks eat them, it could cause them to choke on them. If they are able to swallow it, the almonds could cause crop impaction.

Instead, baby chickens should be on a diet of starter feed. The feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the dietary needs of the chicks. Starter feed should be fed to them the day they hatch and up until they are 8 weeks old.

Once the chicks are 3 weeks old, you can start to introduce almonds to them. Crush the almonds into really tiny pieces. Then you can place some next to the chicks for them to eat.

Also, be sure to leave some grits for the chicks to eat. They need grits in order for them to break down the almonds in their crop.

How Do You Feed Almonds To Your Chickens

Almonds are tough and should never be given to them. They may choke on it and if the almonds reach their crop, it could cause crop impaction.

To make almonds safe for chickens to eat, crush the almonds into small pieces. It should be the size of chicken pellets or smaller. This will reduce the chance of the chickens choking on them.

Once it’s crushed into small pieces, toss them to the chickens or mix them with other food.

How Many Almonds Should You Feed Your Chickens?

Almonds contain a good amount of nutrition, but it’s best to feed them in small amounts. The nuts don’t have all the nutrition that the chicken requires each day. Feeding them just almonds could cause them to have health issues due to not getting the proper nutrition in their bodies.

Almonds should be given to them along with the main diet of chicken feeds. The feeds are formulated with the right amount of nutrition to keep your chicken healthy.

Therefore, for an adult chicken, about 3-4 almonds at each feeding are plenty for them. For baby chickens, one almond is enough for them to enjoy.

Other Vegetables That Chickens Can Eat

Acorns

Chickens can eat acorns, but not when it’s raw. Raw acorns contain tannins, which are toxic to the chickens. To make it safe for them, you will need to soak them in water to leech the toxin out.

Cashews

Chickens can eat cashews, and it’s nutritious for them to eat. Make sure to remove the shells and only feed them the nut inside. The cashew apple can be fed to them as well.

Peanuts

Chickens can eat peanuts, but only when they are cooked or roasted. Raw peanuts aren’t recommended to feed chickens because of the existence of an enzyme called trypsin, which is harmful to them.

Conclusion

Almonds are safe for chickens to eat, but make sure to only feed them sweet almonds. It contains a lot of vitamins and minerals that are healthy for your chickens to eat.