Coconut oil is known as a superfood for many health benefits. This oil is very versatile and can be used internally and externally. While it’s known to be safe for humans to consume, can chickens eat coconut oil too?
Can chickens eat coconut oil? Yes, chickens can eat coconut oil. It’s full of nutrition and chickens can benefit a lot from it. Best of all, not only can coconut oil can be eaten, it can be used externally as well. This makes coconut oil very versatile for the chickens.
What Is Coconut Oil?
Before it is made in the final product, the coconut oil goes through many processes of refinement. This is one of the reasons why coconut oil is expensive.
Due to their high saturated fat content, coconut oil doesn’t oxidize quickly. This is great for storage and it will last for up to six months without spoiling.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for Chickens
Coconut oil is a superfood that’s not only benefits internally, but externally as well for the chickens. Below are some of the health benefits the chickens can get from coconut oil:
It kills bacteria. Around half of the fatty acids in coconut oil are lauric acid. This acid has antibacterial properties that can kill viruses and fungi. Therefore, it’s great for preventing and treating infections when used on the skin.
For chickens, applying coconut oil to a wound will help prevent further infection, while healing the wound quickly.
Great for the skin. Coconut oil can help hydrates the skin of chickens. This makes them great for using during the winter months when their skin will get dry from the cold weather.
Improve gut health. Coconut oil can help improves digestion, nutrient absorption, and reduce inflammation. Also, it will also prevent constipation which is common in chickens due to their diet and not drinking enough water.
Repel fleas and ticks. One little known use of coconut oil is to repel insects like fleas and ticks. Also, it smells pleasant is completely non-toxic which is great for using on the chickens.
Chickens are kept outdoors where they are exposed to these insects all the time. Fleas and ticks can cause the chickens to become ill if they carry a disease.
To keep the safe from ticks and fleas, rub some coconut oil on the skin that’s not covered by feathers.
Why Give Coconut Oil To Chickens?
When it comes to coconut oil, there are many reasons why you should give them to the chickens. Below are some of the benefits that chickens can get from coconut oils:
Moisturizer – During the winter months, chicken’s skin will start to get dry. Their feet are especially prone to dryness. Dryness can lead to blistering and cracking. By using coconut skin on their feet, it will help insulate them and keep that from happening.
Coconut oil also helps moisturize their feathers. By applying some to their feathers, it will keep their feathers smooth and bright. Also, coconut oil will help strengthen its features.
Stronger Eggs – If you have egg-laying chickens, they can benefit greatly from coconut oils. Sometimes, during laying, the shells will break due to weak shells. This could be from the chickens not getting the required nutrition or other issues.
By feeding them coconut oil, the chickens tend to lay eggs that have stronger and tougher shells. This will result in fewer eggs being thrown away due to breaking.
Treating Wounds – Chickens are outdoors all the time and sometimes they get injured by something they rubbed on. Fighting is another way chickens can get wounded.
Whether they got injured from fighting or an injury from an object outdoors, simply apply coconut oil to the wound. The coconut oil has antibacterial properties that help prevent bacteria growth and help heals the wound faster.
How To Feed Coconut Oil To Chickens
There are many different ways to feed coconut oil to the chickens. The method you choose will depend on which one is easiest for you.
Below are the methods you can try and see which work best for you:
- Simply scoop some out of the jar and add it to the feed. Coconut oil isn’t exactly an oil that has a runny texture. It actually has a wax-like texture.
- In a large bowl, premix the chicken feeds with the coconut oil first. This will help cover most of the feeds. It’s best to mix coconut oil with pellets.
- Coat their treats with some coconut oil. This will work with any fruit or vegetable. Once you’ve cut the fruit or veggies into smaller pieces, dip the pieces into the coconut oil.
How Much And How Often To Feed Coconut Oil To Chickens
Coconut oil when given in moderation to the chickens will not cause them any harm. However, in large amounts, coconut oil can cause diarrhea, cramps, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
For chickens, giving them coconut oil once or twice per week should be sufficient. Coconut oil shouldn’t only be given to them as treats.
At each feeding, you can cover all the feeds or treats with coconut oils. It’s unlikely that one chicken will consume a large amount of the oil at one feeding.