Can Chickens Eat Cucumbers? Great For Hydration

Can Chickens Eat Cucumbers

Cucumber is a popular vegetable that’s sold in grocery stores all year round. Also, cucumbers can be grown in gardens during the warmer months. For those who enjoy cucumbers in their salads and other foods, will always have plenty of these vegetables at home. If you own chickens, you may wonder if chickens can eat cucumbers too.

Can chickens eat cucumbers? Yes, chickens can cucumbers, including the skin and seeds as well. Cucumber is full of nutrients that the chickens can benefit from. Due to their high content of water, feeding cucumbers to the chickens will help keep them hydrated, especially during the summer months.

Health Benefits of Cucumber for Chickens

Guinea Pig Eating

Cucumbers are not only healthy for humans, but it’s healthy for chickens too. By feeding chickens cucumbers, they gain many health benefits from it. Also, cucumbers don’t contain any toxins that could harm the chickens.

According to the USDA, one 142-g cup of unpared, raw, chopped cucumber contains the following nutrients:

  • Water: 137 g
  • Calories: 17
  • Protein: 0.8 g
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Fiber: 1.0 g
  • Calcium: 19.9 g
  • Iron: 0.3 mg
  • Magnesium: 17 mg
  • Phosphorus: 29.8 mg
  • Potassium: 193 mg
  • Sodium: 2.8 mg
  • Vitamin C: 4.5 mg
  • Folate: 19.9 mcg
  • Beta carotene: 44 mcg
  • Vitamin K: 10.2 mcg

 

Cucumber Contain Antioxidants. Cucumbers are rich in antioxidants. These are substances that protect the cells against free radicals in the body. Antioxidants will help prevent damage to major organs and systems of the chickens.

For egg layers, cucumbers will help with embryonic development. The antioxidants in the cucumbers help to increase the concentrations in the chicken and decrease its susceptibility to lipid peroxidation.

It Promotes Hydration. For a chicken, water is essential to keeping them healthy. Without water, chickens could die within 48 hrs. It could be even sooner if the temperature is extremely hot.

Cucumber is composed of about 96% water, according to the National Institutes of Health. By feeding cucumbers to the chicken, it will help promote hydration and keeps the chicken from becoming dehydrated.

Promotes Bowel Movement. Some of the food chickens eat, especially their main diet of chicken feeds could cause them to become constipation. Also, not drinking enough water is another risk for constipation, especially during the summer months.

Since cucumbers are high in water content, keeping the chickens hydrated can help improve stool consistency and prevent constipation.

Additionally, cucumbers contain fiber, which helps regulate bowel movements.

Can Chickens Eat Cucumber Leaves

Cucumber leaves have emetic properties, which induce vomiting. The chickens will need to ingest a large amount of the leaves in order for that to happen.

Therefore, chickens can eat cucumber leaves, but only in moderation.

When feeding the leaves, make sure to use only those from young plants. These are edible and easy for chickens to eat. Older cucumber plants will have leaves that are tougher and not easily digestible so you should not feed them.

To feed cucumber leaves to the chickens, you can either feed them fresh or cooked. Either way, make sure to cut the leaves into smaller pieces so the chickens can eat it. If you try to place the whole cucumber leaves on their feed, they may ignore it.

 

How To Feed Cucumber To Chickens

Can Chickens Eat Cucumber Peelings?

The peelings or skins are full of nutritions and contain no toxins so yes, chickens can eat it. However, due to the tough outer skin, it could be hard for the chickens to eat it.

To feed the cucumber peelings to the chickens, you’ll need to cut them into small size first. It should be the same size or smaller than their feeds. This will ensure they can eat and digest it without any issues.

Besides that, you can simply feed the peelings with the flesh. Cut the cucumbers into smaller pieces with the skin attached. Then place them in the feeder with their feeds and they’ll start eating it.

How To Feed Cucumber To Chickens

With chickens, you won’t have to worry about feeding them. Chickens will eat just about anything that’s given to them. As for cucumbers, they will eat whether it’s raw or cooked.

However, due to the tough skin of the cucumber, it can be difficult for the chickens to eat it.

Below are a couple of methods you can try to feed the chickens.

The first method is to cut the cucumber in half and place it on the feeder with the flesh facing upward. The chickens will peck at the flesh and seeds of the cucumber. This is the easiest and quickest method to feed them.

The second method will require you to cut them into small pieces. Place the vegetable on a cutting board and cut or dice them into bits of pieces. You can then mix it with their feeds or place them on to their feeder.

The third and last method is to cook the cucumber. By cooking them, it will make the cucumber soft and tender which will make it easier for the chicken to eat and digest them. Place the raw cucumber into boiling water for about 15-20 minutes. After it’s cooked, slice the cucumbers and place it on their feeder. Besides that, you can just give the entire cooked cucumbers to the chickens. They will start pecking at it and eat the entire vegetable.

How Much And How Often To Feed Cucumber To Chickens

Since cucumbers aren’t their main diet, you should feed them in moderation. Cucumbers and other vegetables should be fed no more than 10 percent of your chicken’s daily diet.

For cucumbers, feeding them the vegetable a couple of times per week should be enough for them. Cucumbers are safe to feed every day, but you’ll want to feed this vegetable to them as a treat. Cucumbers don’t have all the necessary nutrition that a chicken requires every day. Therefore, you want to make sure they eat more of their staple food than cucumbers.

Depending on how large your flocks are, one cucumber for every 5 chickens is enough. This is enough for each feeding so they will eat more of the chicken feeds.

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