During the summer months, blueberries are abundant across the United States. They can be found in grocery stores, backyard gardens, and growing in the wild. These berries are low in sugar content and rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. They are great for humans to eat, but can chickens eat blueberries also?
Can chickens eat blueberries? Chickens can eat many different types of berries and blueberries is one of the best one for them. They are rich in antioxidants and packed with vitamins and minerals. Not only are blueberries healthy for them, but it’s also one of their favorites.
Health Benefits of Blueberries for Chickens
Blueberries are packed with nutritions that the chickens can benefit from. It’s available as fresh or frozen. Both types will yield about the same amount of nutrition.
Below are some of the benefits the blueberries have to offer:
Rich In Antioxidant. Blueberries are believed to have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any fruits and vegetables, according to the National Library of Medicine.
Antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals. These are unstable molecules that can damage cells in the chicken’s body.
Packed with Vitamin C. This vitamin helps strengthen the immune system, which prevents the chicken from becoming ill. During the rainy season when the temperature fluctuates often, chickens are easily prone to getting sick. Vitamin C can prevent that from happening.
Maintain Healthy Bones. Blueberries contain calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K. Each of these is a component of the bone. Getting an adequate amount of these vitamins and minerals will help keep the bone strong and healthy.
Healthy Digestion. Due to the fiber content, blueberries help to prevent constipation and maintain regular bowel movement.
Feeding blueberries to the chickens in moderation will help keep their digestive system in great shape.
Can Chickens Eat Blueberry Leaves?
The leaves of the blueberry plant are edible and rich in antioxidants. Also, since no toxin is present in the blueberry leaves, it’s safe for the chickens to eat.
When feeding the leaves to the chickens, you’ll need to cut them into small pieces first. Giving the chicken the entire leaves will be too hard for the chicken to eat it.
Another way to feed the blueberry leaves to the chicken is to dry the leaves first. Place it on a tray and leave them directly in the sun for a couple of days.
If you have a dehydrator, place the leaves in the machine and you’ll have dried blueberry leaves within a day.
After it’s dried, crush it into bits of pieces. They sprinkle them on their food to give them a boost in antioxidants and other nutrients.
How To Feed Blueberries To Chickens
When it comes to feeding blueberries to the chickens, it’s pretty much straightforward. Simply give them a good wash and place it in their bowl. Since blueberries are small enough, there’s no need to cut or slice them before giving it to the chickens.
You’ll want to use a separate bowl for the blueberries as they tend to stain and cause a mess.
Another method is to crush the blueberries and mix them with their feeds or with other fruits. Combining with other fruit and even vegetables will help them get other nutritions that blueberries don’t have. Chickens are not a picky eater so they will eat it all.
How Much And How Often To Feed Blueberries To Chickens
Blueberries don’t contain any toxin or any harmful substances so it’s safe to feed them as much as you want. However, only 10% of their diet should be made up of blueberries and other fruits. While blueberries are full of vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t have the proper nutrition to keep the chickens healthy.
Therefore, it’s best not to feed blueberries to the chicken in moderation. This means a couple of times a week is plenty for them. Also, you’ll want to add other fruits to their diet as well. This way they will get the nutrition that the blueberries don’t have to offer.
When feeding blueberries to the chickens for the first time, you should give them in a small amount first. You’ll want to look at whether the blueberries cause any digestive issues. If a certain food is causing them to have issues, then you know exactly the food that’s causing it.
Some food like blueberries can cause the chickens to change their bowel habits. If their poop seems more runny than normal, you should consider feeding them fewer blueberries.
If there seems to be no issue and the chickens love to eat them, then you can continue to feed them blueberries. Again, make sure to feed blueberries to them as a treat only. You don’t want to feed them too much or they will stop eating their staple food of commercial feeds.
Other Berries That Chickens Can Eat
Blackberries are packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants. Great for giving chickens as a treat. These fruits are native to Europe but are a popular fruit that’s grown year-round in the United States.
Strawberries are known for the bright red, juicy texture, and sweetness. These berries are available during the summer months as you can grow them in the garden, but can be found in grocery stores all year round. Due to their high antioxidant content plus other essential nutrition, strawberries make an excellent treat for chickens.
Raspberries are high in antioxidants and vitamin C. It also packed with other vitamins and minerals as well. Due to their high nutrition value, raspberries make a great fruit for giving chickens as treats.
Cranberries are known as a superfood due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content. These berries have a bitter sour taste to it, but chickens still love them. Feeding cranberries to the chickens will keep them healthy and happy.
Fresh cranberries can be found during the winter seasons, but frozen cranberries can be bought all year long.
Can chickens eat blueberry muffins?
If you have some blueberry muffins, you can feed them to the chickens. However, due to the high sugar content of the muffin, they should only be fed in moderation. Too much could cause the chickens to become overweight and lead to other health issues.
Can chickens eat blueberry pies?
Chickens can eat blueberry pies, but not too much of it. Pies are made using a lot of sugar and this could cause the chickens to have health issues. One of them being overweight from being fed too much sugary food. If you have a blueberry pie that’s from a leftover, break the pie into smaller pieces and feed them to the chickens.