Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit that’s gaining popularity due to its nutrition. This fruit has a soft texture with a distinctive flavor to it. When dragon fruit becomes available, which is during the summer months, most will buy a couple of dragon fruit to eat at home. If you have backyard chickens, you may be wondering if you can feed them dragon fruit as well.
So, can chickens eat dragon fruit? Yes, chickens can eat dragon fruit, including peels and seeds. This tropical fruit offers a lot of nutrition that the chickens can benefit from. Dragon fruit can either be fed to the chickens raw or cooked. With the high amount of sugar content, only feed the dragon fruit to the chickens in moderation to avoid health issues.
Is It Healthy To Feed Dragon Fruit To Chickens?
Dragon fruit contains many nutrients. It’s a good source of fiber, magnesium, and iron. Also, it has a small trace of vitamin C, protein, and carbs.
Since dragon fruit is a highly nutrient-dense fruit, yet low in calories, it makes them a healthy snack for chickens.
Some health benefits chickens can gain from eating dragon fruit are:
By giving the chickens food high in antioxidants like dragon fruit, the free radicals will be kept to a minimum.
Promote a healthy digestive system. Dragon fruit is a good source of fiber. Fiber is a carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Instead, it helps keep the digestive system functioning properly. Fiber help promotes regular bowel movement. This will help move food through the digestive tract smoothly.
Great for hydration. Dragon fruit has a lot of water. This makes them a great fruit for the chickens during the summer. It will keep them hydrated during the day when it’s hot.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Dragon Fruit?
Yes, baby chickens can eat dragon fruit, but only when they are at least 3 weeks. Under 3 weeks old, their digestive system has not developed enough to digest the fruit.
Instead, they should be fed starter feeds. These feeds are formulated with the correct amount of nutrition to help keep the chicks strong and healthy.
Can Chickens Eat Dragon Fruit Peels?
Yes, chickens can eat dragon fruit peels. It’s edible, but a bit tough for the chickens to eat it. You will have to cut them into smaller pieces before you can feed them the peels.
Some people will cut the dragon fruit in halves and give them to the chickens. The chickens will peck at the flesh and also the peels.
Some chickens will eat the peels, while others won’t touch them. For those chickens that do eat the peels, they will gain some nutrition from it. The skin of the dragon fruit is high in antioxidants, iron, and vitamin C.
Can Chickens Eat Dragon Fruit Seeds?
The seeds of the dragon fruit are small and edible for the chicken to eat safely. You don’t need to remove the seeds from the fruit. Simply cut the fruit in halves and give them to the chickens.
They will eat the flesh along with the seeds.
How Do You Prepare Dragon Fruit For Your Chickens
When it comes to dragon fruit, you don’t need a lot of time preparing it. All you need to do is give the fruit a good wash, especially if you’re going to give them the skin as well.
Then cut the dragon fruit in halves or cut them into small pieces. Place the fruit into their feeder or toss them to the chickens for them to eat.
This fruit tends to cause staining which will be hard to remove. It’s best to place them in a bowl, or somewhere you don’t mind getting stained.
How Much Dragon Fruit Should You Feed Your Chickens?
Chickens will enjoy eating as much dragon fruit as you can give them. However, for this particular fruit, it’s best to feed them in small quantities.
For baby chickens, avoid giving them any dragon fruit. Once they are at least 3 weeks old, you can give them a tiny piece of it though, but nothing more.
For adult chickens, a slice of dragon fruit will be enough for them to benefit from the nutrition from it.
How Often Should You Feed Your Chickens Dragon Fruit?
Chickens should be fed dragon fruit in moderation. This means once or twice per week.
Like other fruits, dragon fruit should only make up 10% of their entire diet. This fruit doesn’t have enough nutrition in it to keep the chicken healthy.
The rest of it should come in the form of quality commercial feeds. These feeds are formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary requirements. Depending on the age of the chicken, there are many feeds available.
Other Fruits That Chickens Can Eat
During the fall, it’s time to start harvesting apples. Chickens will eat apples and apple peels. Apples are packed with nutrition that’s healthy for them. Just be sure to remove the seeds first since it’s toxic to the chickens.
Oranges are a citrus fruit that has some amazing health benefits. Unfortunately, chickens tend to stay clear of oranges. However, if you can get them to eat it by adding it to a fruit salad. If chickens eat oranges, they will gain plenty of nutrition from them.
The chickens enjoy eating strawberries due to their soft texture. This fruit is packed with nutrition which includes vitamins A, C, and B9. Also, it is rich in antioxidants, which will help keep them healthy. Due to the high amount of water and sugar content, it’s best to feed strawberries to the chickens in moderation.
Dragon fruit can be fed to the chickens, but only in moderation. This fruit has too much sugar and water content which can cause the chicken to have diarrhea and become obese. As long as you feed dragon fruit to them in moderation, you shouldn’t worry about them having any issues.