Can Chickens Eat Figs? (Nutritional Facts & Feeding Guide)

As an ancient cultivated fruit, it’s likely the fig tree in your garden is there to provide delicious and sweet fruit or add beauty to your garden, so if you have a flock of chickens, you might be wondering; can chickens eat eggs?

As per the US Department of Health’s data, a 100g portion of figs contains only 3.3g of protein, as opposed to 47.9g of sugar within 63.9g of carbohydrates. (1) So while it’s okay for chickens to eat figs as an occasional treat, let’s see why this is so:

Key Takeaways

  • Figs are safe for chickens but only for occasional healthy treats. 
  • Figs are high in sugar content and not suitable as regular food. 
  • They provide supplemental nutrients like Vitamins B6 and K.
  • You can only feed figs to your chickens once or twice a week. 

In this article, I’ll take you through all the nutritional information on figs and their health benefits and of course, answer your main question in detail: can chickens eat figs?

3 Nutritional Facts About Figs

figs on a white background

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has enjoyed the sweet flavor of figs, dried and in the form of fresh fruit, the latter tasting unbearably delicious.

Personally, I find figs to be an excellent source of vitamins and a plethora of other nutrients. It also helps that figs contain zero fat whatsoever.

The downside is, it can contribute to raised blood sugar levels, especially when it’s dried because the sugar concentration increases.

Let’s take a look at some nutritional facts about figs and if it’s alright for you to incorporate this food for chickens as part of a well-rounded diet.

1- Figs Can Improve Digestive Health

Figs make an excellent source of fiber, which is elemental in the absorption of nutrients and maintaining gut health.

Daily diets need fiber content not just for excellent metabolism, but also to prevent constipation; figs can soften stool.

Moreover, this type of fruit contains microbes or probiotics that contribute to healthy bacteria within the gut. Probiotics are good bacteria or yeast in the gut, essential for the well-being of digestive systems. (2)

They’re especially good to consume after an illness wipes you out, in addition to antibiotics.

2- Figs Can Improve Hydration

Figs have incredibly high water content. They can contribute to water intake, especially on the hottest of summer days.

A fun way of feeding figs to chickens is to chill them before serving.

I prefer not to freeze the fruit because, in my experience, frozen food items can be hard for the chickens to eat, and they will sometimes avoid it.

3- Figs Are Packed With Nutrients

You would be surprised at how many nutrients figs contain. These include Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Iron, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium.

You can also take a look at this brief guide on what to feed chickens as you read ahead:

Let’s see how these can be good minerals for chickens.

Vitamin B6 is responsible for the growth and development of the central nervous system, the absence of which would contribute to reduced mobility and problematic metabolic processes.

Vitamin K is necessary for calcium absorption and regulation in the body, the formation of healthy bones, and blood clotting.

A lack of Vitamin K can lead to coccidiosis, an intestinal disease that can wipe out all your backyard chickens.

Iron strengthens the immune system, in addition to being responsible for the production of necessary proteins such as hemoglobin.

It will help your chicken’s blood vessels thrive in addition to a healthy immune system.

Potassium will help with the maintenance of fluid balance and contribute to a healthier nervous system.

A lack of potassium can lead to low egg weights and a decrease in egg production. (3) It can also cause weakness and trouble standing.

Calcium is the be-all, end-all of required nutrients, especially because it impacts almost all the systems, including but not limited to the cardiovascular, nervous, and digestive systems.

It helps hens through the egg-laying process, strengthens eggshells, and aids in bone development and growth. (4)

It is crucial to enzymatic processes in the digestive tract and aids in the assimilation of phosphorus. Moreover, it leads to a healthier reproductive system in your chickens.

All in all, a lack of calcium can prove to be fatal to your chickens.

Magnesium is elemental in the diets of newly born chicks, who cannot go without it in the first few stages of their life, which is why most feed contains magnesium.

It helps form eggshells and impacts the egg’s size, weight, and content. A deficiency in magnesium leads to hypomagnesia. (4)

How Much Is Too Much?

Can chickens eat figs? Yes, however, within limits. You can give figs to your chickens in moderation, and this is why:

As I’ve mentioned above, figs are high in sugar content and have negligible amounts of protein.

This means that while they can be the occasional tasty treat for chickens, they cannot replace or be used as a substitute for their regular feed.

They can be used as supplements for vitamins and other nutrients I’ve listed above, but cannot wholly sustain chickens on your own.

You can safely serve around 1-2 servings of figs each week to your poultry.

You can cut them up into little pieces for your birds to enjoy on their own or mix them in with the other feed.

Don’t be bummed; if you have a surplus of figs, there’s more for you to enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can chicken eat raw figs?

You can feed your chickens both raw and dried figs, although raw here refers to fresh.

Just make sure dried figs don’t include preservatives.

2. Can chickens eat fig tree leaves?

Fig tree leaves contain ficin, which makes the tree poisonous to chickens and a few other animals like cats and dogs.

So make sure your chickens don’t peck at fallen leaves.

Conclusion

I hope you now know the answer to your primary question, can chickens eat figs?

Yes, they can, but remember, always in moderation and never as a food substitute!

References

1. FoodData Central [Internet]. fdc.nal.usda.gov. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/746768/nutrients

2. Felson S. What Are Probiotics? [Internet]. WebMD. WebMD; 2017. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-are-probiotics

3. Leach RM. Studies on the Potassium Requirement of the Laying Hen. The Journal of Nutrition. 1974;104:684–6.

4. Hens Need Calcium – Here’s How to Make Sure They Get Enough | Grubbly [Internet]. grubblyfarms.com. [cited 2022 Dec 6]. Available from: https://grubblyfarms.com/blogs/the-flyer/calcium-needs-for-hens#:~:text=helps%20control%20muscle%20spasms%2C%20especially%20those%20used%20while%20laying%20an%20egg%C2%A0%C2%A0

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