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Can Chickens Eat Blueberries? What You Need to Know!
If you have a couple of extra blueberries in the fridge, you may have wondered whether or not you can feed them to your chickens. Luckily, blueberries are high in a lot of nutrients chickens need to survive, making them a great occasional treat.
With that being said, you shouldn’t feed your chicken blueberries all the time. To find out exactly why blueberries make a great treat but not a great food staple, read on. In this article, we tell you everything you need to know about feeding blueberries to your chickens.
Can Chickens Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are a great treat for your chicken. They are high in some key nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. At the same time, they are also low in calories, and chickens absolutely adore their sweet flavor. This makes blueberries a great treat for chickens.
It’s important not to feed chickens blueberries often, though. Even though they do come with a lot of healthy nutrients, they are also high in sugar. Just as we can get addicted to sugar, so too can chickens. Blueberries are also low in protein, which is a key nutrient for chickens. Keep blueberries to a minimum. Only about 10% of your chickens’ diet should come from fruits.
Because you shouldn’t feed your chickens blueberries too often, definitely think of them as treats, not as a staple in their diet.
Feeding Your Chicken Blueberries
Whenever it’s time to feed your chicken blueberries, we recommend mixing them up with other fruits. This will make the experience more exciting for the chickens, and it will provide a greater range of vitamins. Apples, bananas, blackberries, grapes, and strawberries are great fruit options to mix with the blueberries.
Additionally, you should put the blueberries and other fruit in a bowl separate from the rest of their food. Fruit and blueberries in particular can be really messy. Putting them in a separate bowl makes it much easier to clean up afterwards.
For multiple chickens, have multiple bowls spread out. This will ensure that every chicken has their fair share of these sweet delicacies.
Signs You Are Feeding Your Chickens Too Many Blueberries
Because of the high sugar content, you need to be careful with how many blueberries you are feeding your chickens. If you notice that their poop is a lot more liquid than normal, it’s a sign that you are likely feeding them too many fruits and blueberries. Additionally, cut back if they have become more lethargic or their egg production has changed.
In addition to monitoring how much you feed your chickens blueberries, make sure to always clean out your coop more regularly if you incorporate fruit into your chickens’ diets. Little pieces of fruit can get lost, causing them to rot without your knowledge.
Whenever fruit rots, it will either attract pests to the coop or your chickens could get sick after eating it. Clean the coop often to prevent either of these scenarios from happening, especially after you feed your chickens fruit.
What to Feed Chickens
In addition to little blueberries, it’s important to feed your chickens a healthy and nutritious diet. One good thing about chickens is that they can eat much more food varieties than other animals without harm or risk.
The number one thing you should feed your chickens is layer feed. Available in either crumble or pellet form, it means all nutritional requirements so that your chickens can produce delicious eggs. Protein and calcium are the stars of this feed, but it also includes additional nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
You should also supplement other foods into your chicken’s diet, especially in the winter. Vegetables, fruits, and grains will ensure a healthy diet when foraging is not a choice for your coop. Select items like leafy greens, berries, beans, and non-sugary cereals for maximum health benefits.
If you have some leftover table scraps, you can often feed those to your chickens as well. Just make sure that they don’t contain animal products or nightshades.
Foods to Avoid
Blueberries are a great treat to feed your chickens. They are tasty and come with necessary vitamins your chickens will love. Make sure to feed your chickens staple feed and other nutrients alongside the blueberries for an optimal diet.
Find out if other foods are safe to feed to animals:
- Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms? What You Need to Know!
- Can Horses Eat Carrots? What You Need to Know!
- Can Ducks Eat Bird Seed? A Complete Guide
Featured image credit: elizadean, Pixabay
Oliver (Ollie) Jones – A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master’s degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.