Chickens love treats just like you love snacks. Treats are a good way to help supplement their diets with extra vitamins and also give them something new apart from their staple diet. So, can chickens eat strawberries?
It has become a common habit for us to share some of the food we eat with our feathered friends. One of these foods are fruits either whole or some of their parts that we cannot eat.
However, is feeding chicken fruits good? Strawberries to be more precise? Let’s get deeper into this issue and tackle chickens and strawberries.
Are strawberries good for chickens to eat?
Can chickens eat strawberries? Yes! These tasty fruits are not only good for us but for chickens too. They are loaded with a host of vitamins and minerals which play a key role in the health of your flock.
Feeding some of your leftover strawberries to your girls is an act of kindness and frugality. Instead of some excess fruits going into waste after a bumper harvest, they will feed your chickens.
Your girls will benefit from the many nutrients these fruits contain and fill their bellies too. This will help you save some extra cash that could have been wired to feed stores for chicken feeds.
Can chickens eat strawberry plants?
Chickens are not picky when it comes to food. They will not hesitate to indulge on anything new to them as it is edible.
However, being skeptical about what your chickens eat is very important. These birds are not wise enough to know what might cause harm or not.
Strawberries are members of the rose family which are believed to contain cyanide just like pitted cherries.
Those leaves and stems may be laden with harmful chemicals which can be very toxic when ingested. Bearing in mind the nature of strawberry leaves, they can retain some substantive amounts of pesticides enough to kill your hens.
But there is no cause of alarm if the plants are from your garden. I am very sure you know very well what you used as either fertilizer or pesticides.
If the crops are chemical free, then your chickens can enjoy them. Nevertheless, this does not mean that they should eat them to their fill.
Strawberry leaves, and the soft steams should be fed in moderation. Feeding too much of them can lead to watery poop or other serious health issues.
Can chickens eat strawberry tops?
Yes! In most cases, the fruits are harvested together with the tops to make them stay longer while still fresh.
Strawberry tops are a common leftover after we have enjoyed the juicy fruit. Do not throw them to the compost if your chickens can eat them.
However, don’t be surprised if not all the chickens will eat them up. Just like us, these birds have individual tastes and preferences.
How to feed strawberries to chickens
There are several ways in which you can feed this tasty treat to your chicken breeds. Since they do not require a lot of preparation like cooking, it can be easily done in various ways.
Frozen strawberries will be a good way to keep your chickens cool on a hot summer day. Chop them and put them in your refrigerator to cool.
When the sun is hot, surprise your Blue chickens with a bowl of frozen berries. Chickens will happily enjoy it and it will do a great job to battle the hot day.
This way, my chickens are able to eat several treats together and benefit from a variety of nutrients they contain.
Feeding strawberries whole to chickens is the easiest way of them all. Just wash them with plenty of clean water to remove any dirt or chemicals present.
Hurl the fruit directly to your boys and enjoy watching them pick every piece of it from the ground. This way calm chickens like Serama hens can get a chance to eat.
Hanging chicken treats is a good way to keep chickens busy inside their coops. Put several fruits in a treat bag and suspend them from the ceiling using a string.
This way, you will help break the boredom with your birds and keep them occupied while pecking. If the hens are idle, they will result in bullying, feather picking and unnecessary wars.
Just simply cut the strawberries into half using a sharp knife. This way, they are easy to swallow even for your small chickens like Australorp bantams.
However, this method will require you to use a chicken feeder because chopped fruits will collect dirt once hurled on the ground.
This is simply crushing the strawberries into syrup using a mortar and a pestle. Serving this way makes it easier for chickens to eat but they can mess the coop with the mash spreading it on pine shavings.
Avoid feeding your chickens store bought strawberry jams. They contain too much sugar which is not good for chickens.
In addition to sugars, they have preservatives added in them to give them a longer shelf life.
Can baby chicks eat strawberries?
Before I answer this question, remember that chicks should stick to starter feeds until they are over six weeks old.
However chicks can eat these treats. Although it is not good for these little critters to indulge in treats, they are curious too and will try it.
Strawberries do not have the all the nutrients in the right amounts for chicks. These baby chickens require a well-balanced diet that is rich in protein for healthy growth and development.
Let’s not forget that chicks can develop a taste for sugary foods like fruits. This can pose a serious challenge trying to switch them back to their main diet.
Do chickens like straw berries?
I would say a big yes because my chickens have proved how they love these fruits. However, it is common to see one or two hens that will not like them at all.
Although these fruits are good for chickens, they should be fed in moderation. Do not replace their main diet just because you found out they can eat treats.
The general rule of thumb states that chicken treats should not exceed 10% of their total diet. This tells you that moderation is key when feeding.
Treats are meant to supplement chicken diets with some extra vitamins and minerals hence; they are not a must as long as chickens get a well-rounded course.
What health benefits do strawberries contain?
As I earlier said, strawberries are packed with some vitamins and minerals which are beneficial to the health of your chickens.
Study the table below to know what nutrients these tasty fruits will add to your hens.
Vitamin C 136mg
Vitamin K 5.1ug
Can chickens have strawberries?
Treats do not have all the nutrients that these birds require for healthy growth. Therefore, it will be unwise to do away with their crumbles and pellets just because strawberries are in abundance
Not all strawberries are good for chickens. Those store bought fruits may contain residues of pesticides and other farm chemicals which can be toxic when swallowed.
Strawberries and other chicken treats should not exceed 10% of the chicken’s diet. The other 90% should consist of their main course of commercial feeds.
What fruits can chickens eat?
Apples– Apples are good fruits and do not mind sharing some with your chickens. However those seeds are not good for your black and white chicks.
Seeds of apples contain cyanide a toxic chemical which can lead to death when ingested.
Mango– Mangoes are sweet and tasty to chickens. These fruits are laden with a host of nutrients which are beneficial to your flock.
However, they contain too many sugars which are not good for chickens. Just like with other chicken treats, feed mangoes in moderation.
Cherries– Cherries are good and will make your hens go nuts. They are mineral laden and make good treats to feed to your flock.
But just like apple seeds, cherry pits have cyanide which can kill your roosters.
Peaches– Peaches are good and can be fed to chickens. They are healthy and nutritious but they are good when fed in moderation.
The seeds are poisonous and deadly when swallowed by chickens. Take your time and remove these seeds first before feeding.
Plum– Plums are good and can be fed to chickens. However, when feeding these tasty fruits to your girls, remember that moderation is key.
Although plums are good for chickens to eat, the seeds are not. They are cyanide laden and when ingested can lead to ill health and even death.
Can chickens eat strawberries final thoughts
Strawberries are good fruits for chickens to eat. They are healthy and nutritious making them one of the best chicken treats.
However, do not do away with the main course just because you found out that your chickens can eat strawberries pretty well.