If you enjoy eating cranberries, you may wonder if you can feed some to your chickens. After all, cranberries are fruits and most fruits are safe for chickens.
So, can chickens eat cranberries? Yes, chickens can eat cranberries, including fresh, dried, and cooked. Cranberries are packed with nutrition that is healthy for the chickens.
Is Cranberries Safe For Chickens?
Cranberries don’t contain any toxins, so it’s safe for the chickens to eat.
However, cranberries that are bought from grocery stores are usually sprayed with pesticides to prevent pests from eating them. The chemical is toxic to the chickens, which can harm their health.
If you’ve purchased cranberries from the grocery stores, it’s best to wash the fruit thoroughly first before serving them to your chickens.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Cranberries?
Cranberries are loaded with nutrition, especially vitamin C and antioxidants. Since it’s a fruit high in nutrition, cranberries are healthy for chickens to eat.
The main nutrients in 1 cup (100 grams) of raw, unsweetened cranberries are:
- Calories: 46
- Water: 87%
- Protein: 0.4 grams
- Carbs: 12.2 grams
- Sugar: 4 grams
- Fiber: 4.6 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
The above data is sourced from the USDA
Below are some of the health benefits of feeding cranberries to your chickens:
High In Antioxidants
Cranberries are a good source of antioxidants. This compound helps prevent too many free radicals from forming in the body.
If there are too many free radicals in the body, the cells will be damaged. This will lead to illness and diseases.
Cranberries have a high amount of vitamin C. This vitamin is essential to the health of the chickens. Vitamin C helps prevent the chickens from becoming ill. If the chickens do become ill, plenty of vitamin C will help them recover quickly.
Cranberries have a good amount of fiber. Fiber is carbohydrates that can’t be absorbed by the body.
Instead, it helps bulk up the stool and soften them, which will make the food pass through the digestive tract smoothly.
Also, fiber helps prevent constipation.
Good For Hydration
Cranberries have a high amount of water in them. This makes them an excellent food for keeping the chickens hydrated. During the summer months, give them some cranberries to help prevent dehydration.
You can also feed your chickens some frozen cranberries. Not only will it help keep them hydrated, but also help cool them down in the hot weather.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Cranberries?
Baby chickens can eat cranberries, but it’s best to wait until they are around 3 weeks of age first.
Under 3 weeks old, their digestive system has not developed to properly digest the cranberries. Feeding them the fruit could cause them to have impaction and digestive problems.
Instead, baby chickens should be fed quality starter feed. The feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chick’s dietary needs. This will help them grow up strong and healthy.
Once the baby chickens are about 3 weeks old, you can start to give them some cranberries. Cut the cranberries into small pieces, so it will be easier for them to eat and digest.
Also, be sure to provide them plenty of grits. Chicks need grits to help them break down the cranberries.
Can Chickens Eat Dried Cranberries?
Chickens can safely eat dried cranberries. However, make sure the ones that you feed them don’t have any sugar or other preservatives added to them.
If it’s store-bought, most manufacturers will use sugar and other preservatives to keep them fresh longer. The sugar is harmful to the chickens in large amounts.
Therefore, if you’re planning to feed dried cranberries to your chickens, make sure it’s plain.
Can Chickens Eat Cranberry Jam?
Chickens can eat cranberry jam, but it’s not recommended to feed them. The reason for that is that jams will have sugar added to them. Sugar is harmful to the health of the chickens. In large amounts, it can lead to obesity and high blood pressure.
If you have a small amount of leftover cranberry jam, it’s fine to feed them. Any more than that should be not be given to them.
How Do You Feed Cranberries To Chickens
When it comes to cranberries, you can either feed them raw, cooked, or frozen. Just make sure the fruit is fresh, and it’s washed thoroughly.
For raw and frozen cranberries, crush or cut them into small pieces. This will make it easier for the chickens to eat and digest.
For cooked cranberries, make sure no sugar or other seasonings are added.
Another way to feed cranberries to your chickens is to mix them with other fruits. This is a great way to give your chickens a boost in nutrition, especially antioxidants.
How Many Cranberries Should You Feed Your Chickens?
While cranberries are nutritious for the chickens, the fruits are not a complete food for them. It lacks nutrition such as protein and healthy fats that chickens need to remain strong.
Also, giving them too many cranberries will lead to digestive problems for the chickens. It will give them an upset stomach and could have diarrhea.
Therefore, cranberries should be offered to them in small amounts. An adult chicken should get a couple of cranberries at each feeding. For baby chickens, each should be given one cranberry that is cut into tiny pieces.
If you have a large flock, be sure that each chicken gets their fair share amount of cranberries.
How Often Should You Feed Cranberries To Chickens?
Cranberries should be served to your chickens in moderation. The fruit doesn’t have enough nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary needs.
Cranberries are food that should not be given to them daily, whether it’s fresh or dried. The fruit should be given to them as a treat, which means it should make up only 10% of their entire diet. The rest should be quality commercial chicken feed. The feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s daily dietary needs.
Therefore, cranberries should be served to your chickens, once a week.
Other Berries That Chickens Can Eat
Blueberries are packed with nutrition, especially antioxidants. The fruit is soft, and you can feed them as a whole. If you’ve bought them from the store, make sure to wash the blueberries thoroughly to remove pesticides.
Raspberries make a tasty and nutritious treat for your chickens. They can eat fresh or frozen raspberries. The fruit is soft, and you can give them the whole fruit. The only thing you need to ensure is that no pesticides are used on the fruit. If so, you’ll need to give the fruit a good wash to remove the pesticides off.
Strawberries are rich in vitamins and minerals, which makes them a nutritious treat for chickens. You can give them the whole fruit, as the chickens will peck and eat pieces of the fruit.
Cranberries are nutritious and healthy for chickens to eat. You can serve them cranberries that are fresh, cooked, or dried. For cooked and dried cranberries, make sure they are plain and no sugar or other seasonings are added.