Cranberries are an excellent fruit to eat due to their taste and the nutrition that they have. Fresh cranberries are usually available during the fall season and dried cranberries are available year-round. You can buy them from the grocery stores or at the farmer’s market. Cranberries are great for using smoothies, baking goods, and desserts. If you enjoy cranberries, you’ll probably have cranberries at home, whether it’s dried or fresh. Therefore, you may be wondering if it’s safe to feed cranberries to the chickens. After all, it’s a fruit and most fruits are safe for chickens to eat.
Can chickens eat cranberries? Chickens can definitely eat cranberries. You can feed fresh, dried, and cooked cranberries to chickens. They are full of nutritions and the chickens can benefit a lot from it.
Health Benefits of Cranberries for Chickens
Cranberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and other nutritions. For such a small fruit, it’s packed with a lot of nutrients that can benefit the chickens.
Below are 3 reasons chickens can benefit from eating cranberries:
1. High Fiber Count
Cranberries are a fruit that’s high in fiber. Fiber is important to the health of the chickens, especially their digestive system. Cranberries will promote bowel movement and help prevent bloating and constipation.
2. Cranberries Boost Immune System
During the cold season, the temperature will drop to the point where it could cause the chickens to become ill. By giving them plenty of cranberries, it will help boost their immune system and help reduce them from getting sick.
3. Cranberries Are Rich In Antioxidants
Cranberries have the following antioxidants: anthocyanin (this is what gives them the robust red hue color), proanthocyanidins, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.
These antioxidants help slow down or prevent the damage that free radicals do to the cells.
Can Chickens Eat Dried Cranberries?
Chickens can eat dried cranberries and they will enjoy eating it too.
When feeding them dried cranberries, be careful from where you get them from. Most dried cranberries found at grocery stores will have added sugar and other preservatives.
This isn’t healthy for the chickens. Dried cranberries are processed to remove all the water content out from them. This will cause them to lose some of their nutrients as well. On top of that, sugar is added to make it sweeter and preservatives are added to keep them fresh longer.
Instead of buying dried cranberries from the grocery stores, you can buy fresh cranberries and dry them yourself. It’s will be healthier for the chickens since no sugar and preservatives are added.
Can Baby Chickens Eat Cranberries?
Baby chickens can eat cranberries, but make sure they are cut into small sizes before feeding them. Large pieces of cranberries could get lodged into their throat and cause them to choke on it.
Baby chickens can eat cranberries that are fresh, dried, or cooked. Again, make sure they are small pieces so it won’t be a choking hazard for them.
How To Feed Cranberries To Chickens
Chickens tend to eat anything and everything that you put in front of them. As for cranberries, they will eat it whether it’s dried, fresh, or cooked.
Depending on the kinds of cranberries, there are different methods of feeding them to the chickens.
Below is the method for each kind of cranberries:
Fresh Cranberries – Cut them into small pieces, about the size of their feeds or smaller. It’s best to cut each cranberry so the liquid won’t go to waste. The liquid contains a lot of nutrition.
Dried Cranberries – Dried cranberries are much tougher and chewier. You need to cut them into small pieces. Try to cut them to the size of chicken pellets or small than that. Giving them entire dried cranberry could cause a choking hazard for them.
Cooked Cranberries – Cooking will cause the cranberries to become soft. You’ll want to cut them as well to make it easier for the chickens to eat and digest them.
How Much And How Often To Feed Cranberries To Chickens
Just like any other fruits, cranberries should be fed to them as treats. Cranberries don’t have the proper nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary requirements. Feeding them too many cranberries can cause them to have digestive problems such as upset stomach and diarrhea.
The number of cranberries to feed them should be about 1-2 cranberries for every chicken. This is enough for them to eat to avoid them from having digestive problems. Also, you want the chickens to eat more of the chicken feeds than the cranberries.