Can chickens eat strawberries? Yes, they can, and they love the sweet fruit. Chickens are some of the luckiest animals on the planet because they can eat a variety of foods. From meats and vegetables to grains and fruits, life is a never-ending buffet for the humble chicken.
Chickens love strawberries, so adding a few leftover strawberries to their diet will help your chickens thrive and make for a happy yard full of chickens at the same time. Strawberries are perfectly safe for your chickens—in moderation. In this article, we’re going to go into great detail on how strawberries can benefit your chickens, how much you can feed them, how much is too much, and more.
Why Feed Your Chickens Strawberries?
Besides being one of their favorite treats, strawberries are easy to access, tasty, and nutritious. Strawberries are labeled as a superfood for a good reason. They contain vitamins, nutrients, and minerals your chickens need to develop physically and stay healthy. Strawberries are also chockful of Vitamin C, B9, and antioxidants.
Health Benefits of Feeding Strawberries to Chickens
Just as there are health benefits for humans, there are also health benefits to feeding strawberries to your flock of chickens. Chickens are prone to heart issues, and strawberries have been proven to help reduce the risk of heart-related problems.
Strawberries are also said to improve blood pressure, good cholesterol, and platelet functions. Below are a few other health benefits of feeding strawberries to your flock.
For most chicken owners, these health benefits are enough to convince them that feeding strawberries to the chickens is a good idea. However, you don’t want to feed them too many. Everything in moderation is key with chickens, just as it is with humans.
Can Chickens Eat Strawberry Stems and Leaves?
It’s essential to feed your chickens the actual strawberries only. The leaves and stems of the strawberries could make them sick. They aren’t poisonous enough to kill your chicken, but they can make them extremely ill. Fruits such as strawberries should only make up 10% of your chickens’ diet, and the rest should be made up with chicken feed.
How to Feed Your Chickens Strawberries
Now that we’ve gone over the health benefits and the fact that strawberries can be fed to your flock of chickens, read on below for a few tips on feeding them.
You want to go easy on the strawberries, even though they’re good for your chickens. Strawberries contain sugar, and though they’re fine for a treat, you don’t want to give them to your chickens daily.
The sugar concentration in the berries can cause a metabolic issue, even though strawberries have much less sugar than other berries. Save the strawberries for an occasional treat, to be on the safe side.
Check for Moldy Strawberries
Just as with humans, you don’t want to feed your chickens moldy strawberries. Not only could the mold on the strawberries cause them to get sick, . Even just coming in contact with the moldy surface of a strawberry can be deadly can be dangerous to these barnyard creatures.
Whenever you give your chickens fruits or vegetables, always give the food the once over to ensure they aren’t rotting or covered in mold.
Chill the Strawberries First
Chickens get hot on a steaming summer day just like you do. Try chilling the strawberries first and giving them to your chickens as a cold treat. Take the strawberries that you don’t plan to eat from your strawberry patch, freeze them, then use them to cool down your chicks when it’s hot outside.
Are There Dangers to Feeding Your Chickens Strawberries?
If you keep the stems, leaves, and any insecticides used to grow the strawberries away from your chickens, then there’s very little danger from strawberries. Some insecticides cling to strawberries that you’ll need to wash carefully, as they can cause death.
If your strawberries were grown organically, then you have nothing to worry about, though you should still wash them carefully before giving them to your chickens. As previously stated, you want to feed strawberries to your chickens in moderation due to the high sugar concentration. Other than that, you’re free to feed your pet chickens this juicy treat occasionally.
When Should You Feed Your Chickens Strawberries?
There’s no specific time of day that you can or can’t feed strawberries to the chickens in your yard. It is, however, recommended that you feed them the cold strawberries on hot days because it helps to lower their body temperature. Remember, strawberries are full of water, which is good for everyone who eats them, chickens included.
So, there’s your answer to whether chickens can eat strawberries. The answer is yes, but only in moderation as with any fruit. Strawberries have health benefits for your chickens, taste great, and will keep them cool on a steaming summer day to boot.
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