That is the question we will tackle today. Carefully watching your chickens’ diet is an essential part of keeping your little critters fit and healthy. However, this is not always an easy task as it is not always clear what chickens can and cannot eat.
Some would think all organic food can be consumed by chickens, but that is not always the case. Does this mean you should stick to chicken feed and refuse them treats? Of course not! You only need to do a little research before offering them any new food.
So, without further ado, let us see if you can share your bowl of grapes with the critters.
Can Chickens Eat Grapes?
It is a mystery, but dogs and cats cannot eat grapes. So, it would be normal to worry about feeding your chickens the fruit. If they are bad for other animals, there is also the possibility that it is bad for chickens.
However, unlike cats and dogs, your chickens can eat grapes. This fruit does not have any harmful or toxic components for them and is, therefore, safe for your little critters’ consumption.
Ideally, little chicks should stay on the starter feed for at least six weeks. However, you can also let your baby chicks have a taste of the fruit, but do not let them get used to it!
There are different opinions on whether you should restrict your chickens from eating avocados or just parts of the fruit. Some say you should completely steer clear of the fruit, while others say that only parts of the fruit are toxic. So, is it the same with grapes? Let us see.
Can Chickens Eat the Peel of Grapes?
Yes, your chickens can also eat the peel, and you will not have to peel it for them. If you are feeding them your homegrown grapes and you happen to use chemicals, then wash your grapes thoroughly.
The peel of the fruit is not harmful, but the chemicals you used might be. On the other hand, if you are feeding them store-bought grapes, then all the more you should wash the fruit meticulously. Most of the time, fresh produce bought from the store has coats of chemicals.
Can Chickens Eat Grape Seeds?
Technically, there is nothing harmful contained in grape seeds. However, some have suggested that you stay away from it as it could be a choking hazard. To be on the safe side, try to remove them if you could.
Can Chickens Eat Grape Stems?
Yes, like all the other parts of the grape we have discussed, there is nothing toxic in grape stems. Since you do not have to worry about the stalk, you can try out this fun way to give grapes to your chickens. They would most probably enjoy it, as chickens seem to love pecking at dangling food.
Can Chickens Eat Grape Leaves?
You do not need to worry if there are grape leaves where your chickens can reach. They can also eat the leaves. However, we are not sure if they will like it.
In summary, yes, chickens can eat every part of the grape.
Can Chickens Eat Raisins?
Again, this is another yes, but we do not support giving your chickens store-bought raisins. Chances are, they have more sugar and other added preservatives that are not good for your chickens. However, it would not hurt to give them a few raisins here and there.
Can Chickens Eat Grape Jam?
Technically they could eat it, but it is not healthy for them. The suggestion is that most fruits are to be given in moderation because they still contain sugar. Chickens do not need much sugar, and jams or other forms of grape-flavored sweets are likely loaded with it. Try to avoid them.
Are Grapes Healthy for Chickens?
Yes, your chickens can eat grapes, but is the fruit good for them? Let us take a look at some of the components of this food.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100g of grapes contains 5% of carbohydrates, which is, mostly made up of sugar. As we already know, too much sugar is unhealthy, and that is not only for chickens! However, in moderation, it will not hurt.
Next, USDA also lists that it contains 6% of vitamin C, which is good for us. On the other hand, chickens often do not need the vitamin in their diet, as they can produce their own under normal conditions. However, it is good to provide them some extra vitamin C when they are stressed.
Furthermore, it also contains 5% of vitamin B6. This vitamin is vital for the optimal functioning of several systems, such as the immune system.
Lastly, 100g of grapes also offers 1% of calcium and magnesium. Both play a role in bone development.
1 Cup Grapes Nutration
This fruit still has some other components such as sodium, potassium, and iron. If you want to see the full nutrition facts of this fruit, then you can check it out at USDA’s official website here.
However, seeing the substances we have listed, and what they could offer, we could already say that chickens do not need grapes in their diet. It does have some components, which can be considered healthy for the little critters. However, it also has a high level of sugar, which is unhealthy for them.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that you should avoid grapes. You can still give them as a treat to your chickens, but make sure to give it to them in moderation. There is a big chance your chickens will love grapes, which means you need to be the one controlling how much they could consume.
If you want to know more about the different nutrients your little ones should consume, you can check out Dr. Jacquie Jacob’s article regarding basic poultry nutrition.
3 Cautions and Hazards of Feeding Grape to Chickens
Before you let your little critters indulge in the treat, there are some things you need to consider.
Chickens do not have teeth as we do. They only have their beaks. Your chickens might accidentally swallow a whole grape if you give it to them as it is. It would be a good idea to break your grapes into pieces to avoid having a choking chicken on your hands! This is especially true if you are feeding the grapes to your chicks.
As we have said earlier, chickens do not need a massive amount of sugar. Make sure to give them grapes in moderation. With that said, grapes are only treats and should never replace their diets. Do not forget the 90/10 rule where treats should only take up 10 percent of your chickens’ diet on a daily basis.
Chickens can eat grapes. However, if you are noticing your chickens are getting sick because of the fruit. It could be because of the chemicals coating it. Make sure you wash them thoroughly before feeding them to your little critters.
What Can Chickens Eat?
Here are some tips you can use next time you introduce a new food to your chickens.
Can you eat it?
Usually, if you can eat it, you can give it to your chickens too. However, that is not always the case, but it is a good starting point to eliminate those you are sure you cannot give to your chickens.
Do your chickens like it?
Chickens usually know what is good for them. Chickens, usually, like anything and everything you throw at them. If they do not like it, that would be a good sign that it is not good for them. Furthermore, it will not make for a good treat if they do not like it in the first place.
Can chickens naturally find it in nature?
The next thing you need to ask is if they could find it in nature. If it is not readily available in the wild, it is a good sign to go to the next point.
This last step is important! It is always good to make sure, after all. Furthermore, there are a lot of hearsays and myths about what chickens could and could not eat. Different people could say varying things. It would be a good idea to do your own research.
Can chickens eat grapes?
The answer to that question is yes! Unlike with other animals, grapes are safe for chickens. It does not have anything that you could consider toxic for them. Furthermore, handlers and keepers have been feeding their chickens the fruit for years, and we have not heard any chicken dying from grape consumption yet!
While your chickens can safely consume grapes, it is only healthy for them in moderation. It cannot be a replacement for their diets, but it will surely make for a mighty fine treat.
If you are growing the berry on your land or you simply have some leftover grapes, then you do not need to fret anymore. You can let the little critters have a few bites! They would most likely love it!
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken & Scratch.