Figs is a fruit that’s small and sweet in taste. This fruit is versatile and can be used as jam, sauces, and used as salad toppings. If you enjoy eating figs and own backyard chickens, you may wonder if you can give them too.
So, can chickens eat figs? Yes, chickens can eat figs, including the seeds. This fruit is a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals. Chickens that eat figs will benefit a lot from eating it. However, figs are high in sugar content, which can be harmful to the chickens. Feed them in moderation to avoid any digestive issues such as diarrhea, bloating, and an upset stomach.
Are Figs Healthy For Chickens?
Figs are healthy for chickens if it’s given to them in appropriate amounts. When fed to them correctly, the chickens can gain many health benefits from it.
Figs are rich in nutrition, especially calcium. The fruit is also a good source of choline, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K. All of these nutrients are what the chickens require to stay healthy.
One small (40-gram) fresh fig contains:
- Calories: 30
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 8 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Copper: 3% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Magnesium: 2% of the DV
- Potassium: 2% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 2% of the DV
- Thiamine: 2% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 3% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 2% of the DV
The above data is according to the USDA.
Below are some of the health benefits of feeding figs to your chickens:
Figs is a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber is important for the digestive system. It helps promote regular bowel movement and prevent constipation. This means that the food the chicken eats will move through the digestive tract smoothly.
Also, fiber will ensure they will remain regular and prevent impaction.
Furthermore, figs contain prebiotics, which help support the growth of healthy bacteria in the stomach. This will help improve the digestive process overall.
Improve Eggs Quality
Figs have a good amount of calcium in it. This mineral is very important to the quality of the eggs.
Not enough calcium in the hen’s diet will result in eggs that don’t taste good and not very nutritious.
Also, the eggshells will be soft when there’s not enough calcium in the hen’s diet. This will cause the eggs to crack easily, which could injure the hen if cracked inside the vent (birth canal).
Laying hens require 3 times more calcium content than non-laying hens. This means you should provide them with adequate calcium when they are laying eggs.
Therefore, additional sources of calcium like those from figs will help them.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Figs?
Baby chickens should not be fed any figs until they are at least 3 weeks. Under the age of 3 weeks, their digestive system is still developing, and they will be unable to digest figs properly.
Instead, chicks should be on a strict diet of starter feed. This feed has been formulated with the right amount of nutrition for the chicks to grow strong and healthy. Also, the feed is made in the correct texture for the chicks to consume safely.
Once they are about 3 weeks old, you can feed them figs. When starting out, give them a tiny piece of fig. Leave it close to them and let them eat the fig on their own.
Can Chickens Eat Fig Tree Leaves?
You should avoid feeding them any leaves of the fig tree. The leaves contain a substance called ficain which is toxic to the chickens.
How To Feed Figs To Your Chickens
Figs are soft and easy for the chickens to digest. The entire fruit can be fed to the chickens without any issues. Below are some of the ways to feed figs to your chickens:
Feeding Fresh Figs
Fresh figs are plentiful during the summer and autumn seasons. Once these fruits are harvested, they tend to spoil quickly.
For best results, once it’s harvested or bought from the store, they should be fed to the chickens within a couple of days.
Fresh figs are at their best quality when it’s dark in color and free of any bruising. The fruit will also be juicy and soft for them.
Fresh figs can either be fed to them whole or cut into halves or quarters. The chickens will have not problems eating whichever way you give them.
Feeding Dried Figs
Dried figs make a good treat for the chickens in the winter. You can either buy them from the grocery stores or make them yourselves at home.
If you bought dried figs from the grocery store, make sure that it hasn’t been treated with chemicals and preservatives. These chemicals are harmful to the chickens in large amounts.
When feeding dried figs to your chickens, only give them a very tiny amount of the fruit. Dried figs are high in sugar content due to the dehydration process.
Feeding Figs From The Tree Itself
When it comes to foraging for food, chickens are great at it. Not only will it help them gain nutrition, but foraging will also help keep them healthy by being active.
If you have a fig tree in your yard, you can let them near the fig tree. They will forage for the fruit once it’s ripe and drop to the floor.
How Many Figs Should You Feed Your Chickens?
For the most part, you should feed a small number of figs to your chickens. This means a fig per chicken. This is enough for them to enjoy it without having any health issues.
Figs have a high amount of sugar, which is harmful to the chickens in large amounts.
By feeding figs to your chicken in small amounts, you won’t have to worry about them having any health issues.
How Often Should You Feed Your Chickens Figs?
It’s recommended to feed figs to the chickens in moderation. This fruit contains a high amount of sugar which in large amounts is harmful to them.
Like most other fruits, figs should only make up 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come from quality commercial feeds. These feeds have been formulated with the proper amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary needs.
To prevent the chickens from having any health issues, only feed figs to them once or twice per week.
Other Fruits That Chickens Can Eat
Blueberries are low in calories, but high in nutrients. This makes them an excellent treat for the chickens. While it’s highly nutritious, it also contains a lot of water, which is about 84%. Too much water in their diet will cause them to have digestive issues such as diarrhea and an upset stomach. Therefore, feed blueberries to your chickens in moderation.
Dragon fruit has many essential vitamins and minerals that the chickens need to stay healthy. All parts of the fruit can be fed to the chickens. The skin is a bit tough, but if you want to feed them to your flocks, cut them into tiny pieces. Feed dragon fruit to the chickens in moderation to avoid any health issues.
Mango is nutritious and tasty fruit to eat. For chickens, they will enjoy eating mangoes. This fruit is nutritious and safe for them to eat, but it’s best to only give mangoes to them in moderation. Mangoes have a high content of sugar and water. Both of these are harmful to the chickens in large amounts.
Chickens enjoy eating figs and will do so with every chance they get. There are multiple vitamins and minerals that this fruit offers, which the chickens can benefit from. However, figs are also high in sugar content. Too much sugar in their diet can lead to obesity, heart issues, and other health-related problems. To avoid any health issues, the key is to feed figs to the chickens in moderation.