There are a host of treats that are good for chickens to eat. They include many types of fruits, vegetables, cereals and some of the food we eat. So, can chickens eat blueberries?
Chickens are not choosy when it comes to food. They will peck at anything new and if it is appetizing it will end in their stomachs.
Treats are sweet and tasty to chickens. They help supplement their diets with extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are good for their well-being.
However, moderation is key when it comes to feeding our feathered friends treats. Remember that too much of something is poison.
Let’s talk chickens and blueberries. This will help you find out whether these tasty fruits are some of the treats to include on your chickens menu.
Can chickens eat blueberries?
The answer here is yes! I know you are skeptical and torn in between feeding or not feeding. Blueberries are packed with a host of nutrients which are good for your chicken’s health.
If it is a peak season for these tasty little berries, do not let those extra ones go into waste. Instead, hurl them to your chickens and this will help prevent any food loss.
Your friendliest chickens will go nuts if you toss these fruits for them. Reason being they are sweet, tasty and appetizing.
Are they good whole?
Oh yes! Blueberries are small and can be easily swallowed by your chickens. However, if you consider them to be a choking hazard you can chop them for your small chickens like the Pekin bantam chicken.
As for my Columbian Wyandotte hens, these fruits are too small to pose any health hazard. I just clean them up and go ahead to feed.
Can chickens eat frozen blueberries?
Frozen blueberries will be one of the most nourishing treats chickens can eat on a hot summer day. The cold fruit will help cool their hot bodies and bring a cool refreshing feeling.
Wash and clean a handful of blueberries. Put them in a clean bowl and add some water then place them in a freezer.
When the sun is hot, toss this tasty treat to your birds. Perhaps you are wondering how to keep chickens cold on a hot summer day? You already have the remedy!
Are dried blueberries good for chickens?
Sure they are good. Drying fruits is one way of preserving them so that they can last longer for another day.
The only unique thing with dried blueberries is their moisture content. These types of fruits are low in moisture and high in fiber which is very vital in the health of chickens.
Go ahead and toss those dried blueberries to your rooster breeds. However, not all chickens may like them so, do not be surprised.
Chickens have their own tastes and preferences just like we do. Therefore, some may find them good while others may not. This is very common especially if you are introducing a new treat to your flock for the first time.
How many blueberries should chickens eat?
Treats are meant to supplement your chickens with extra nutrients. Do not do away with their main course of commercial feeds just because these fruits are in abundance.
The general rule of thumb states that chicken treats should not exceed 10% of the total chickens’ diet while the remaining 90% should comprise of their commercial feeds.
Blueberries do not have all the nutrients your birds need in their bodies. Feeding too many blueberries to chickens can lead to malnutrition.
Additionally, blueberries are sweet because they are sugar laden. If chickens develop a habit of eating sweet foods they may develop a taste for sugar.
On top of that, too much sugar can make chickens obese and overweight. This is because it will be converted into fat and stored in the body tissues.
When chickens become obese, they are prone to joint and back problems. They are also at a risk of heart attack or liver issues.
Can baby chicks eat blueberries?
Baby chicks can eat blueberries out of curiosity. This will mostly happen to free range chicks that will eat what their mother does.
However, blueberries are not the right food for baby chicks. These chicken treats do not have all the nutrients chicks require for healthy growth and development.
Feeding blueberries to chicks can lead to malnutrition. Additionally, because of their sweet taste, chicks may develop a taste for sugary foods and turn away their diet of starter feeds.
Baby chicks require a diet with a high amount of calcium. This is why they are fed on chick starter feeds because they have protein at the rate of 22-24%.
Their feeds are also rich in calcium to help develop strong and healthy bones. In addition to that, chick starter feeds contain other minerals and vitamins making them well balanced.
What are the health benefits of feeding blueberries to chickens?
Blueberries contain a host of nutrients in them which are very beneficial for the health of your brown chickens.
Tossing a handful of these treats for chickens will do well to them. However, only do it in moderation once in a while.
Study the table below and see what nutrients these fruits have.
Vitamin C 24% of the RDI
Vitamin K 36% of the RDI
Manganese 25% of the RDI
Protein is very vital in the health of any living organism. It is responsible in the formation of healthy body organs, tissues and cells in your chickens.
Additionally, protein is a major component in the formation of egg yolks. Giving chickens enough protein will make them lay those tasty eggs for your breakfast.
Fiber helps in the digestion of food where it prevents constipation. This essential mineral will ensure that food runs smoothly down the alimentary canal.
Soluble fiber will help food run down slowly. This will help keep your chickens full for long and therefore they will not eat up much feeds.
What is the best food for chickens?
Chicken feeds are made depending on the age and size or growth stage of your birds. Baby chicks have different dietary needs from laying hens.
The best food for baby chicks is starter feeds. These feeds are high in protein because the little birds have more muscles, tissues and feathers to put up that require protein.
Chick starter feeds also have small amounts of calcium for strong bone and joint formation. They also have other vitamins and minerals in a balanced ration.
Baby chicks should stick on their feeds until they are 6-8 weeks old and fully feathered. Things should change when they move from the brooder where they will start to take growers mash.
Pullets and cockerels
Pullets and cockerels will normally eat grower’s feeds. These are relatively low in protein but contain other minerals and vitamins.
However, those raised as broilers like the Cornish cross chicken will be fed on a high protein feed. This is to make them grow fast and reach the desired market weight within a short period of time.
Pullets raised as layers will be fed on a layers mash the moment they start to lay.
Laying hens will be fed on a layer feed for the rest of their lifetime. This type of feed is high in calcium to help them develop strong egg shells.
The protein content in the layers feeds is relatively low and stands at 16-17%. This is enough to help them lay healthy eggs that will fetch good prices or hatch into baby chicks.
Avoid feeding those store bought blueberries to your chickens. These fruits may be laden with pesticides and other chemicals which can be very toxic when ingested.
Additionally, moldy and rotten fruits can be a recipe for ill health and even death. What you cannot eat, do not feed to your chickens.
Your chicken breeds will also need clean drinking water. It will keep their bodies cool and well hydrated on a hot summer day.
Remember that chickens do not have teeth. They will need grit to help grin food in the gizzard into tiny digestible pieces.