Living with chickens is never the same for everyone, and while we may try and stick to what guidebooks tell us, it is often the case that we end up improvising and coming up with our own rules.
This is never truer than in the case of feeding chickens. A strict diet can be beneficial for a chicken but it is also important to keep your chickens happy, and the occasional fruity treat can be just the thing to do this. However, feeding your chickens fruit can be problematic.
While it may seem like a fun treat there are a number of reasons that fruit can end up having adverse effects on your flock. However, there is some fruit that can reduce or altogether get rid of some of the more problematic aspects of feeding your chickens fruit. In this article, I will be looking in particular at raisins and showing why this may be the ideal fruit to give to your chickens as a treat.
Overfeeding what it is and how to avoid it?
One of the main problems with giving your chickens extra treats is knowing when too much of a good thing can be bad for your chickens. The problem with spoiling your chickens with fruit is not just a simple issue of overeating.
While feeding your chickens too much is certainly not a good thing, the main problem with overfeeding fruit is that they do not contain the kinds of nutrients that chickens need to live happy, healthy lives.
Meaning that your chickens may overeat their treats and not get the balanced diet that they need. And while no fruit completely protects you from the possibility of overfeeding your chickens, raisins come as close as you can get to doing this
The easiest way to make sure you are feeding your chickens the correct amount is by being strict with your portion measurement and making sure each chicken is fed the same amount, some chickens can be greedier than others! Due to their small nature raisins are very easy to make sure you get the right portion compared to other fruits.
On average you should be feeding your chickens about 10 grams of raisins per chicken, this should be enough to give your chicken a treat without overfeeding them.
Dried fruits and why they are better for your chickens.
Another problem with feeding your chicken fruit is that chickens do not digest wet foods as well as the dry grain that they are used to. If you feed a chicken too much wet food, it can cause a number of digestive issues and may even result in death if you keep feeding your chickens fruit that is too wet for your chickens to digest properly.
For the most part, most fruits, unless especially prepared, do not come pre-dried meaning that if you want your chickens to get the most out of their treat, you will have to end up spending a lot of time, and potentially money, finding dried alternatives to fruits.
This is where raisins really show their value. For most of us finding raisins is as easy as going to your local supermarket. Moreover, compared to other dried fruit alternatives raisins are much cheaper.
Offering a balanced and healthy option for your chickens to eat that they also enjoy eating can be hard to find, so it is important so looking around for the best options is understandable. However, you will be hard pressed to find a fruit option for your chickens that offer both benefits for both your chickens’ health and the health of your wallet than raisins.
Of Course, most chickens will be ok if they are fed small amounts of fruit. However, if you want to make sure that your chickens are going to be as healthy as they possibly can be (and why wouldn’t you?) then you should try to find options that are not just ok for your chickens but great.
For my money raisins may be the best choice in terms of fruit for your chickens.
See full list of foods that you should and shouldn't feed you chickens: What can chicken eat? What can’t chicken eat?
If you want to feed your chickens graphen read this article first: https://kitchenhow.com/can-chickens-eat-grapes/