Chickens love treats just like you love snacks. These feathered friends will try anything new as long as it is edible just to make their stomachs full. So can chickens eat pineapple?
Pineapples are very sweet and laden with a lot of moisture. These fruits can be fed to chickens but only in moderation due to the high sugar content in them.
However there are a few things you need to know before feeding pineapple to chickens. In this article, I am going to take you through everything you need to know about chickens and pineapple.
Do chickens like pineapple?
Yes! Pineapples are safe for chickens to eat. These sweet fruits contain a lot of water, minerals, vitamins and some powerful antioxidants that are good for the health of your flock.
Feeding a frozen piece of pineapple will help your chickens cool their bodies on a hot summer day. This fruit will also help keep them well hydrated because it is moisture rich.
Chickens like pineapple because it is sugary and tastes sweet to them. However, not all hen breeds will like pineapple; chickens have different tastes and preferences just like we do.
How much pineapple do chickens need?
Chickens do not need too much pineapple. This fruit is sugary and should be fed in moderation. Too much sugar in the chicken body is converted into fat.
Once these excess fats are stored in the body tissues, they make the chickens too heavy and obese. Fat hens cannot free from predators like hawks and chicken eating possums.
Besides being unable to flee, heavy chickens are prone to respiratory, liver, joint and back problems. Just like other treats pineapples should not exceed 10% of the chicken’s diet.
Do not do away with the main course just because you found out that your birds are enjoying pineapple. This tasty fruit is only meant to supplement their diet with extra nutrients.
Feeding too much pineapple can easily make your hens or roosters develop a taste for sweet foods. They may then refuse to eat foods that have no sugar.
What parts of the pineapple are good for chickens?
The only edible part of the pineapple for your pullets is the fleshy part. This white part is soft, sweet and full of water.
Chickens cannot eat pineapple peels. This skin is very tough and contains small spikes that can cause injury to the chicken’s mouth.
The top part of the plant also called crown is very tough and thorny. Furthermore, the crown can cause serious health issues when swallowed.
Another pineapple part is the core. This is tough, hard and only hens with very strong beaks can manage to tear it in pieces. Pineapple core can lead to crop impaction when ingested.
How to feed pineapple to chickens
Simply because chickens will eat pineapple, you just don’t pick any pineapple fruit and toss to your feathered friends.
First and foremost, choose only the ripe pineapple fruit and not the over ripe ones. Unripe and over ripe pineapples are acid laden and can cause serious digestive issues when swallowed.
Always be sure where the fruit was grown. Some are grown in areas where pesticides are heavily used to control notorious insect pests.
Peel the ripe fruit because your hens will not eat the fruit peels. They are hard tough and can cause crop impaction when swallowed.
What are the health benefits of feeding pineapple to chickens?
As I earlier said, pineapple fruit is laden with a host of vitamins and minerals. This makes it a good treat for chickens and other poultry like ducks.
So, to make you understand this better study the table below to know what nutrients is in a pineapple fruit.
Vitamin C 47.8g
Vitamin K 0.7ug
Can baby chicks eat pineapple?
Chicks do not need any treats. These little critters require a well-rounded course of chick starter feed to get all the nutrients they need.
In addition to this, their digestive systems are very fragile and undeveloped. Pineapple may be tough and hard for them to digest.
Let’s not also forget that this fruit is very acidic. This may raise the ph levels in their stomachs leading to serious health complications.
Pineapples do not have all the nutrients chicks require. Therefore, this is not the best type of food for these little critters.
Chicks require a well-balanced diet that is rich in protein at the rate of 22%. These little fluffy baby chickens have more muscles, tissues and feathers to develop that call for more protein.
What not to feed chickens
Although chickens aren’t picky and will eat almost anything, some foods, plants and treats can be very dangerous.
Feeding your flock harmful food can lead to sickness, decrease in egg production and even death. So, do you know what not to feed chickens?
Alcohol- Chickens don’t need to get drunk. Alcohol is not good at all for your birds and it can lead to ill health.
Amaranth raw- Raw amaranth is the last thing you should let your feathered friends dare. It causes retarded growth because it has growth anti depressing nutrients.
Avocado seed- The seeds of avocado contain a toxic chemical substance called cyanide.
Chocolate- Chocolate contains caffeine just like tea and coffee. Furthermore, this is junk and can make your black hens obese and overweight.
Raw beans- They contain a toxic chemical substance called hemagglutinin. It causes blood clots inside the veins leading to death.
Maggots- When chickens eat maggots, they face the risk of botulism.
Raw meat- Uncooked meat exposes chickens to the risk of salmonella poisoning. Whoever, cooked meat that is not oily can be fed when chopped in small pieces and in moderation.
Rhubarb-It contains oxalic acid which can cause liver damage when swallowed.
Raw potato-Uncooked potatoes contain solanine which will kill red blood cells if ingested.
Wild mushrooms-Wild mushrooms are very dangerous because some are highly poisonous. However, store bought edible mushrooms can be fed in moderation.
Xylitol-Xylitol is bad for all pets and should be avoided by all means.
Can chickens eat pineapple sage?
Yes! Chickens can eat pineapple sage with no doubt. It smells very nice and helps improve their nervous system.
Pineapple sage blooms late in the season and makes a good treat for your chickens. Both the leaves, flowers and the soft parts of the herb are very edible to chickens.
Chickens can and will eat pineapple whenever they get it. This fruit is sweet and healthy for chickens but should be fed in moderation as a treat.
Avoid store bought pineapples and those from unfamiliar sources. These types may contain toxic farm chemical which may cause lead poisoning when ingested.