During the summer, blueberries are plentiful everywhere. They can be found in grocery stores, in the backyard if you’re growing them, and some will even grow in the wild. Blueberries are a tasty and nutritious fruit that’s safe for humans to eat. As for chickens, can they eat blueberries as well?
Can chickens eat blueberries? Yes, chickens can eat blueberries. This fruit is tasty, nutritious, and makes a good treat for them. Blueberries are packed with nutrition that the chickens will benefit from. Since this fruit isn’t one of their staple food, you should feed blueberries to the chickens in moderation. This means small quantities of the fruit, once or twice per week.
Are Blueberry Plants Poisonous to Your Chickens?
Blueberries belong to the rose family. Other fruits that are part of this group of plants include almonds, apricots, plums, apples, cherries, raspberries, and roses.
All the plant belonging to this family produces hydrogen cyanide in its leaves and seeds. Cyanide is toxic to the chickens.
However, the amount of toxin in blueberries is too small to create any impact on your chickens.
What you should be worried about instead is the amount of pesticide used to grow blueberries. Commercially grown blueberries will have a good amount of this chemical in them. This means that you should be very cautious about it and will need to wash these fruit thoroughly before feeding them to the chickens.
If you’re growing them in your own garden, you should not worry about pesticides.
Another thing you’ll probably notice is the color of their poop. While it’s not harmful, it will make the color of their poop turn blue or purple.
Why Should You Feed Your Chickens Blueberries?
Blueberries have a lot of nutrition that the chickens can benefit from. It’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
This fruit when fed to them in small quantities and occasionally, will keep them healthy and happy.
On the other hand, blueberries feed at an excess amount to the chickens can result in health issues.
Below are some reasons why you should feed your chickens blueberries:
1. Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants
Blueberries contain a good amount of antioxidants. The most common antioxidants in blueberries include ellagic acid, anthocyanins, and resveratrol.
An antioxidant is a compound that plays a critical role in keeping free radicals in check. If there are too many free radicals in the body, it will destroy the cells. This could lead to the chickens becoming weak and have diseases.
2. Blueberry is rich in fiber
All berries are high in fiber, but blueberries have the highest content of them. Most of the fiber in this fruit is soluble. Soluble fiber slows down the movement of food in the digestive tract.
As a result, the chicken will feel less hungry while having feelings of fullness. This will prevent them from eating too much food high in fiber, which could cause them to become overweight.
Furthermore, fiber helps prevent constipation. This means the food will move through the digestive tract more easily.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Blueberries?
Yes, you can feed blueberries to baby chickens. The fruit is soft enough where it will not be a choking hazard for them. The chicks will peck at the blueberry and eat a small piece of it each time.
Before feeding blueberries to the chicks, make sure to clean them with water first. This will help remove any dirt, debris, and bugs from the fruit. If you’ve bought them from the grocery stores, it’s very important to clean them. Most of the time, chemicals such as pesticides will be on the fruit.
How Do You Prepare Blueberries For Your Chickens
Since blueberries are soft in texture, there’s no need to do anything to them. They won’t cause any harm to the chickens. Just make sure to wash the fruit first to remove any contaminants that may be on there.
If you have grown your own blueberries, you can let them eat the fruit right off the plant. Just make sure you don’t use any pesticides or other chemicals to treat the fruit.
How Many Blueberries Should You Feed Your Chickens?
Blueberries are nutritious and have many health benefits, but it doesn’t have enough nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary needs. Therefore, you should consider using blueberries as a treat for them.
For an adult chicken, 2 or 3 blueberries will be enough for them to enjoy.
For baby chickens, 1 piece of blueberry and make sure to mash it a bit. This will make it easier for them to eat and avoid getting lodged in their throat.
How Often Should You Feed Your Chickens Blueberries?
It’s recommended to feed blueberries to your chickens in moderation. This means a few days per week is enough to keep your flock healthy.
Avoid feeding them blueberries every day as it could cause them health problems.
Also, blueberries should only make up 10% of their entire diet. Blueberries don’t have all the nutrition that the chickens require each day to remain healthy.
The rest of their diet should come in the form of commercial feeds. These feeds have been formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary requirements.
Other Fruits That Chickens Can Eat
Apple is a popular fruit for many due to its nutrition. You can feed apples to your chickens, and they can benefit a lot from it. Most varieties of apples are safe for chickens to eat, but make sure to remove the seeds. The seeds contain a toxin called cyanide, which is harmful to the chickens. While a small amount won’t kill them, but it could cause them to have digestive issues.
Banana makes a great treat to feed the chickens. It’s high in nutrition which the chickens can benefit from. However, due to their sugary content, you should feed bananas to them in moderation. This means a small piece of banana for each chicken, once or twice per week.
Watermelon is a great treat to feed the chickens during the summer months. It’s high in water content which will help keep the chickens hydrated. Make sure to remove the seeds from the watermelon first before feeding them to the chickens.
Blueberries are safe to feed your chickens, but only in moderation. Too much of it can cause health problems for them. Feeding them once or twice per week, the chickens will gain some health benefits from the fruit. Also, they will be happy and healthy.