Chickens love to eat pineapples because they are sweet. It is one of their favorites among treats. You can see this in the enjoyment and satisfaction they derive from it. However, pineapples are only treats for your chickens and shouldn’t be given to them in excess. Also, your chickens can’t eat all parts of the pineapples.
This article will cover
- Can Chickens Eat Pineapples?
- Are Pineapples Healthy For Chickens?
- 4 Tips For Picking Good Pineapples For Your Chickens
- 6 Other Fruits You Can Give Your Chicken
Can Chickens Eat Pineapples?
Even though pineapples are favorites of almost every chicken because of their sugar content, not every chicken breed loves pineapples, so you might want to first try giving your chickens pineapples to know if they love it or not. You can cook the pineapples or serve them raw. However, you should note some things when giving your chickens pineapples.
Edible parts of the pineapple
Your chickens will eat the flesh of the pineapples, just like humans do. The fleshy part of the pineapple is very juicy and appealing. Chickens can’t eat pineapples’ skin; they might peck at it but will stop once they see it isn’t tasty or as soft as they want.
Besides, eating pineapple skin can be harmful to your chickens as it can’t be easily digested. If the flesh is with the skin, they will eat the meat and leave the skin. The same goes for the pineapple top, which is also called the crown.
Pineapple crowns are thorny, and pecking at them will hurt your chickens. The core is tougher than the flesh too, but chickens with strong beaks can eat it. Even if your chickens eat the pineapple skin, don’t give them in large quantities to avoid messing with their digestive system.
Not all chicken breeds love pineapples. As such, you should test your chickens first to see if they love pineapples or not. If they do, you can include pineapples in the treats you’ll be giving them. If they don’t, don’t force them to eat pineapples.
Instead, give them other treats they like. In addition, look out for how your chickens fare after eating the pineapples. Did they have digestion problems just from eating the pineapples? Did they experience any health issues?
If they did, it shows that your chickens aren’t biologically predisposed to eating pineapples. Only go ahead with feeding your chickens pineapples if there are no health complications after the initial testing.
State of the pineapple
The state of the pineapple matters too. Naturally, pineapples are acidic, so you should ensure you get the best for your chickens. Under-ripe or overripe pineapples are likely to be more acidic and might hurt your chickens if they are consumed.
Are Pineapples Healthy For Chickens?
Giving your chickens pineapples to eat has a lot of benefits, according to research. Pineapples have more nutrients beyond their sweet taste. Below are why pineapples are healthy for chickens.
Pineapples are packed with vitamin C, which fights damage to the cells and joints. For instance, pineapples contain dietary bromelain, which aids digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body.
The anti-inflammatory properties of pineapples boost immunity while protecting your chickens from bacterial infections. Besides, pineapples neither have cholesterol nor saturated fat. Therefore, there is no risk of your chickens getting diseases such as obesity, etc.
100g Pineapple Nutrition
Improves bone health
Another reason why you should give your chickens pineapple is that it contains minerals that improve bone health. For example, pineapple contains a lot of manganese which improves bones’ health and reduces the risk of bone diseases. Healthy bones make healthy chickens. However, you should give your chickens pineapple in moderation because excessive manganese is dangerous.
Since chickens have susceptible respiratory systems, they are prone to getting cold. However, pineapples contain vitamins and minerals that help treat old, respiratory issues, and excess mucus. You can give your chickens pineapples during cold seasons to protect them.
Improves egg quality
Pineapples are enriched with vitamin C, which enhances healing and growth in your chickens. It also improves egg quality and regulates your chickens’ metabolic activities. Besides, it also helps treat heat stress which is often caused by high temperature.
Heat stress doesn’t augur well for your chickens because it wastes their weight, egg quality, mineral balance, etc. Chickens can synthesize vitamin C and are more accommodating to its effects.
Enhance skin health
Pineapples also have vitamins that help enhance your chickens’ skins. As such, chickens are a good source of collagen and are even used to treat diseases such as arthritis because of their collagen content when used as meat.
While your chickens will enjoy the pineapples as much as they can, you must keep it in moderation. With their amazing nutrients, pineapples still have some side effects. They may cause your chickens’ metabolic issues due to their acidic content or even bleeding.
4 Tips For Picking Good Pineapples For Your Chickens
It can be pretty confusing when choosing good pineapples for your chickens. This is because they have thick and spiky skins, which don’t indicate whether it’s good inside or not. However, you don’t have to cut the pineapple into two or eat a part before you can determine whether it’s good or not. Here is a guide to help you.
The color of the pineapple matters, but it isn’t the ultimate factor. First, the leaves should be vibrant green, not any other color. Also, green pineapples change to yellow as they ripen, but not all green pineapples aren’t ripe. Pineapple can be green and ripe. This is why you shouldn’t focus on color alone when choosing a good pineapple for your chickens.
Pineapples take about three years to mature. Once they do, they have a distinct, aromatic, sweet smell. If a pineapple has no such smell, that means it’s still unripe. Besides, the scent determines if the pineapple is safe to eat or not.
For instance, a sweet smell means the pineapple is ready for eating, while a bad smell means it’s overripe and probably spoilt. If you’re buying already diced pineapples from the store, ensure you take note of the scent before you buy it.
A good pineapple isn’t soft; the skin is firm and healthy. However, when you squeeze it, it should give. If a pineapple doesn’t give when you squeeze it, it means it isn’t ripe and not healthy for your chickens. Underripe or overripe pineapples have high acidic content, which might be dangerous to your chickens.
Naturally, a ripe pineapple should be heavy. Heaviness indicates that it’s very juicy, and therefore, will be sweet. If the pineapple weighs little, you should leave it to fully ripen before you harvest it.
Finally, you can cut up the pineapple to check if it’s ripe. If it’s not, refrigerate it for three days before you give your chickens. Refrigerating allows the juices to circulate. If you still find it difficult to choose good pineapples for your chickens, buy from a reliable, local farmer or store.
6 Other Fruits You Can Give Your Chicken
You shouldn’t allow your chickens to get food from foraging alone. In the process, they might consume things that are harmful to their health. As such, you should give your chickens different foods to make them healthy. One of such foods is fruits. Besides pineapples, below are other fruits you can give your chicken.
Chickens love berries because they are tasty. You can give them blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. Berries are enriched with different vitamins and antioxidants that help keep your chicken healthy. However, if you give your chickens blueberries, expect to see blue droppings.
Bananas are delicious and nutritious. However, ensure they are not underripe. Unripe bananas don’t have a good taste. But ripe and overripe bananas are suitable for your chickens. Ensure you cut the bananas into small sizes to make it easy for them to eat. Chickens can also eat ripe banana peels. Use a food processor to grind it into smaller pieces that your chickens can eat.
Grapes are enriched with various vitamins and minerals that help enhance egg production, fight heat stress and keep your chickens healthy. Grapes are tasty too, making them a favorite treat for chickens. However, grapes are high in sugar, so you shouldn’t give them to your chickens every time. Also, dice the grapes to make it easier for your chickens to eat.
Due to their high water content, watermelons are suitable during hot moments. Chickens find them refreshing during those periods. Also, watermelons are very nutritious. Just cut them into small sizes and ensure to remove the seeds before you give them to your chickens.
Another fruit you can give your chickens is apples. They love apples for their taste; however, you should only give them in moderation. Also, remove the seeds from the apple and dice it to aid digestion before you give your chickens. You can mix the diced apples with other foods too.
If you’re looking for nutrients to help your chickens stay active, peaches are the right fruits. However, the seed contains cyanide, which is dangerous to your chickens. As with every other fruit, remove the seed before you serve them to your chickens.
Pineapples are one of the chickens’ most loved treats because of their high sugar content. Aside from their taste, pineapples are nutritionally dense as well. They help enhance egg production, bone and skin health, and immunity. To get the best out of pineapples for your chickens, feed them with it in little quantities. Also, only feed your chickens with the edible parts of the pineapple.
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 The Foundry.