Let’s answer that question today!
I don’t know about you, but I sure do love strawberries, especially when covered with chocolate syrup. We know that chocolates are bad for chickens, so let’s skip that part when it comes to treats. However, what about strawberries?
If you also love strawberries, then you might be thinking of sharing the juicy treat with your chickens.
That’s where we come in! Today, we will be discussing strawberries. We will be putting it in the spotlight and inspecting it from all angles.
Don’t finish that bowl of strawberries just yet. Let us see if you can share it with the little critters.
This article will cover
- Can Chickens Eat Strawberries?
- Can Chickens Eat Strawberry Leaves?
- Can Chickens Eat Strawberry Stems?
- Can Chicks Eat Strawberries?
- Can Chickens Eat Strawberry Jams?
- Do Chickens Like Strawberries?
- Should You Give Chickens Strawberries?
- Frozen Strawberries
- Rose Family Treats for Your Chickens
- Tips on Giving Your Chickens Treats
Can Chickens Eat Strawberries?
Let’s answer this question before we get into any detail. Yes, chickens can eat strawberries.
However, if you’ve ever heard someone hesitate regarding this matter, it’s completely understandable. Strawberries are part of the rose family. Members of this group have been highly associated with harmful substances such as cyanide. Nevertheless, there’s nothing to worry about as most fruits of the rose family are safe and edible. It is more likely that your chickens would get sick of the fruit before it kills them.
Can Chickens Eat Strawberry Leaves?
The chicken community is not united in its opinion when it comes to strawberry leaves. Different handlers would say varying things. Some would say the leaves are nutritious, while some would tell you to stay away from them.
There seem to be different reasons people believe that the leaves are not safe for the little ones, but there’s not enough proof to validate some of them.
However, one good reason is pesticides. Like with other organic food, there is a possibility that there is a layer of harmful chemicals on the strawberries. Especially since these fruits seem to rank high when it comes to coatings of pesticides. Given the texture of strawberry leaves, it is difficult to be absolutely sure you’ve got all the chemicals out after a good wash. If you’re growing your own strawberries, then this should not be a problem.
When it comes to leaves, you shouldn’t worry about the harmful chemicals, if you’re growing them yourself. It is nothing to worry about if they eat a few leaves here and there. Some even believe that consumption of the leaves could help with strengthening the immune system.
However, you don’t have to go out of your way to find leaves for them. Given too much, it could cause them diarrhea, which sometimes is the beginning of the end for these little critters.
Can Chickens Eat Strawberry Stems?
The leaves and the stems are almost always together.
Like with the leaves, it is safe to consume the stems in small amounts. However, you don’t have to make any special efforts to find stalks for them. Most probably, what’s stuck to what you’ll give them is enough to get a dose of the good stuff.
Furthermore, they might even ignore the leaves and the stems, especially if the fruit is present. There is no doubt the critters prefer the fruit more than the leaves and stems.
Can Chicks Eat Strawberries?
Now that we know that strawberries are safe for your older chickens. Let’s see if it’s also safe for the young ones.
Before we answer that, it is always good to remember that chicks should be kept on the starter feed at least until the 6th week.
Strawberries are also safe for chicks. It would be a good idea to give them the overly ripe ones, as it is softer. On the other hand, you could also opt to chop and mash the fruit.
Can Chickens Eat Strawberry Jams?
Since we mentioned that the softer the food is, the better it is for the chicks, you might have thought of strawberry jams. However, it is not advisable to give your chickens and baby chicks strawberry jams, as it is most likely sugar-loaded. On that note, jams and any sugar-filled treats should be avoided as much as possible.
Do Chickens Like Strawberries?
We know that chickens can eat strawberries. However, do they like it? There won’t be much use introducing a treat they won’t like and would likely ignore, after all.
Like us, chickens are different. One chicken may like this treat, while another might not. Generally, chickens seem to love the fruit, but it’s better to make sure. Toss them a few strawberries and see how they react. If they demolish the strawberry as soon as you threw it, then you have your answer. Time to get a few more strawberries!
Should You Give Chickens Strawberries?
They could eat strawberries, and we also know that they would most probably like it. That leads us to the question of whether we should feed them the fruit.
Strawberries contain a lot of healthy components that would help in your chicken’s growth and development. If you have to pick a treat between a strawberry and any processed sweets, you should undoubtedly go for the strawberry. If you want an in-depth look at the nutrition you could get from the strawberry, then you can click here.
However, it is only good in moderation. It doesn’t have all the nutrition that your chickens need. It is a healthy treat, but it should only remain a treat. It should not replace any essentials in your chickens’ diet.
1 Cup Strawberries Nutrition
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C. Under normal circumstances, this won’t really do much for your chickens as they can produce this vitamin on their own. However, it would be a good idea to give them a few extra strawberries when they’re stressed.
Chickens can get heat-stressed, and during this time, they have a hard time producing the vitamin. Giving them frozen strawberries is like two treats in one. It will help lessen the heat, and it will also hopefully aid in vitamin C production.
Rose Family Treats for Your Chickens
If you’re looking for other treats for your chickens, then you might want to try these treats that also come from the rose family. Like the strawberries, they’re safe for consumption, and your chickens would most likely love them as well.
Apples: You can feed them apples as long as you remove the seeds as the harmful substance is in them.
Peaches: If you have some peaches, you can also try and see if they would like it. However, like with the apples, you might want to remove the pits!
Roses: Of course, we can’t talk about the rose family without including the rose! You might not believe it, but even flowers can be treats, and the rose is just one of the edible flowers you can let your chickens have.
Check out our chicken feeding tips to know more about what you could or could not give your chickens. If you want to focus on fruits, then you can check out this list.
Of course, like with any other treat, moderation is the key! You can give them a variety of treats from time to time but remember the 90/10 rule. Their diet should mostly be made up of the essentials, while the 10% can be reserved for the treats they can enjoy.
Tips on Giving Your Chickens Treats
It is not always easy to find new treats for your chickens as it’s not always clear what is or is not harmful to them. However, here are two ways to help you to determine if you should or should not throw that treat to your chickens.
Assessment: There are a couple of things you could consider when faced with a potential treat. First, if you can’t eat it, then it might not be edible for your chickens as well (e.g., moldy food). Second, you can present it to your chickens and let them have a peck or two. If they turn their beaks away from it, then it’s probably not good for them. Chickens have a way of knowing what would be good for them. However, it could be that they don’t like it. That leads us to the last part of your assessment. If they can’t find it in the wild, then you better hold on to that treat.
Research: Even after careful assessment, you might still find yourself lost. Sometimes, people say different things when it comes to matters such as this. In that case, you can look at their opinions along with your own research and decide which seems better for you and your chickens.
Introducing new food and enlarging the variety of your chickens’ treats is not always an easy task, but it is an important duty for chicken moms and dads. Do not worry, we’re pretty sure all the extra effort will pay off in the end!
Since strawberries are part of the rose family, it has been a mystery if it is safe for our chickens.
So, can chickens eat strawberries?
The answer is yes! Every part of the strawberry is safe for consumption in small amounts as long as it is homegrown. Store-bought strawberries are undoubtedly covered in layers of pesticides and harmful chemicals, we would suggest you avoid giving your chickens the leaves and the stems in this case.
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.