There is nothing wrong with feeding chickens leftover fruit and table scraps. As long as you do it in moderation, it is fine. So, can chickens eat oranges?
Chickens are not picky eaters and will not mind trying something new. Whatever does not taste good for them will be left and what is good, it is worth fighting for.
Treats are good and tasty for chickens. They help supplement their diet with some extra nutrients. Perhaps, oranges are tasty too.
In this article, I am going to take you through everything you need to know about chicken and oranges. This will help you know whether they are good for your Blue chickens or not.
Do chickens like oranges?
Yes! Chickens can eat oranges just like they eat other fruits. However orange and other citrus are not the best for them and you will find some not interested at all.
There is nothing wrong with feeding some leftover oranges to chickens. They are rich in Vitamin C which is very good for chicken’s immune systems.
For those who try, they will do it like it is something awful for them. Do not be surprised when you find out that your hens are not interested in oranges.
Can chickens eat orange peels?
Chickens can eat orange peels but unless they are very hungry. Orange peels contain a very strong flavor which many chickens may find it not very good.
In addition to the flavor, the peels are also acid laden which can cause digestive problems when ingested.
Let chickens eat what they find good for them. If they don’t like orange peels, then switch to other tasty treats like cilantro or lavender.
If your hens don’t like oranges, there is a probability they will not eat lemons and mandarins. This is especially because lemon is sour while mandarins have a strong citrus flavor just like oranges.
These birds have tastes and preferences just like we do. One chicken might find orange peels good to eat while another may not like them at all.
If your birds like oranges and peels, let them eat. But always remember that they should be fed in moderation.
Chicken treats should only account for 10% of the bird’s diet. They are only meant to supplement their diets with some extra vitamins and minerals.
You should never do away with their main course just because you found out they eat orange peels pretty well.
How should oranges be fed to chickens?
As I said earlier, oranges are treats and need to be fed once in a while. You should not make them the main chickens’ diet.
If your hens are the type that will eat oranges device a mechanism to feed them in the right way. Chop the fruit into small pieces and mix them with their feeds.
You can also toss a whole fruit or hang it in the chicken coop. This will keep them busy by acting as a bore dome buster instead of feather picking.
Check and remove any fruit if the chickens don’t eat it. If left inside the chicken coop, it might go bad and attract harmful bacteria.
What do chickens eat when free ranging
Chickens are omnivores and will eat plants, insects and small reptiles. When free ranging, chickens will spend most of their time foraging.
They munch on weeds, edible flowers and other small plants. Chickens will eat grass especially the soft shoots of it.
These critters will collect seeds and other grains leftover after harvesting. They will not spare small frogs, rats and rodents either.
Free ranging chickens will spend most of their time scratching the ground looking for tasty worms, termites and grubs.
They will also collect grit and other similar stuff like sand, tiny egg shells, small stones and pebbles to help digest food in the chicken gizzard.
After a tedious task of looking for food, they will rush to their water troughs for a drink to keep their bodies hydrated and cool.
What fruits can chickens eat?
There are a host of fruits that are good for chickens to eat. However, almost all fruits are sweet and sugar laden.
They should be fed in small amounts and in moderation. Too much sugar will make chickens huge, heavy and obese thus exposing them to diseases.
Some good fruits for chickens include:
- Ripe avocado
- Black berries
- Straw berries
Can chickens have kale?
Chickens can eat kale and they love it. They will not spare the leafy part and will eat the stalks too if they are chopped into bite-size pieces.
However, avoid grocery bought kale because it may contain pesticides and other chemicals. If you have excess kale from your vegetable garden, don’t mind sharing some with your hens.
Kales are very low in calories and sugars. This makes it healthy to eat just like pumpkins and tasty herbs like dill and mint.
How much kale can chickens eat?
Since kale is very healthy and low in calories, chickens can eat as much as they can. Although it is a treat, chickens especially those raised on deep litter method will enjoy foraging on it.
But as you feed kale, it is good not to do away with their staple diet of pellets and crumbles. Kales does not have all the nutrients chickens require for growth.
Avoid spoiled and rotten kales because they may cause health issues. Kale is also good for other poultry like geese, Barnevelder ducks and swans.
Chickens can eat oranges in moderation as a treat. However, not every hen will love the strong orange flavor while others will.
Do not exclude the chickens main diet just because you found out that your California white chickens can eat oranges or other fruit treats.