Grapefruits have that sour and bitter taste that people either enjoy it or they don’t. This fruit is packed with nutrients that’s can help boost a person’s nutritional needs. While grapefruit is safe for humans to eat, can chickens eat grapefruit too? After all, it’s a fruit and most fruits is safe for chickens to eat.
Can chickens eat grapefruit? Yes, chickens can eat grapefruits and it’s peeling too. The citrus fruit contains vitamin C, minerals, dietary fiber, and sugar. All of which benefits the chicken’s health. Best of all, grapefruits contain a high amount of water which makes them an excellent source for hydration.
Health Benefits of Grapefruit for Chickens
Chickens that do eat grapefruit will benefit a lot of the nutrition that it has. Grapefruit is low in calories, yet high in nutrients. This fruit is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber.
Below are some of the benefits the chickens can get from eating grapefruits:
Improve Immune System
Grapefruit is high in vitamin C content, which has antioxidant properties that are known to protect the cells from harmful bacteria and viruses.
Additionally, vitamin C is known to prevent chickens from getting sick easily and recover from illness more quickly.
High in Power Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect the cell from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules.
Below is an overview of the most important antioxidants in grapefruit:
- Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that are present in high amounts in grapefruit. This vitamin helps prevent and protect the cells from damage.
- Beta-carotene: It’s converted into vitamin A and helps prevent or reduce heart disease and cancer.
- Flavanones: Due to their anti-inflammatory properties, it has been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol level. This helps the chicken reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Great For Hydration
Grapefruit contains a high amount of water, which is very hydrating for chickens. In fact, water makes up most of the fruit’s weight.
In the summer when it’s hot, feeding grapefruits to chickens will keep them hydrated. Besides being hydrated, they will also get a lot of nutrition from the fruit as well.
Is Grapefruit Bad For Chickens?
There are a lot of rumors going around stating grapefruit or any citrus fruit is bad for chickens. Naturally, chickens will avoid citrus fruit, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad for them. The important thing to remember is to feed them in moderation. Just like any other food, too much of it can be a bad thing.
Grapefruit has a lot of acidities and when chickens eat too much of it, they have digestive problems such as upset stomach and diarrhea. However, the chickens are fed grapefruit in moderation, it won’t affect them at all.
Can Chickens Eat Grapefruit Peels?
Chickens can eat the grapefruit peels. However, most chickens will avoid them due to their tough skin. It will be hard for them to peck at it.
The peels contain an abundance of nutrition like the flesh does. Grapefruit peels are used in some commercial feeds.
If you’re planning to feed the peels to the chicken, it’s best to avoid grapefruit that is bought at the grocery stores. Most have chemicals in them due to the use of pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals will usually be in the skin of the grapefruit. Feeding them to the chickens could harm them due to the chemicals.
How To Feed Grapefruit To Chickens
When it comes to feeding grapefruits to the chickens, there are a couple of methods you can try. Give it method a try and see what works best for you.
The first method involves cutting the grapefruit in halves. This is the easiest and fastest way. After it’s cut, place the halves onto their feeders or onto the ground. The chickens will peck at it and eat it. The peels, the chickens will probably not eat since it’s too tough for them to tear it.
The second method is scooping out the flesh of the grapefruit and place it in a bowl. If you have a flock of more than 10 chickens, place the flesh into a couple of bowls. This way, each chicken will get their share of the grapefruit.
The third and last method is to mix the grapefruit with other fruits or vegetables. This way, they’ll get a lot of nutrition from other produce as well. You can mix just the fruit and make a tasty and nutritious fruit salad for them or mix it with vegetables.
How Much And How Often To Feed Grapefruit To Chickens
Like other citrus fruits, grapefruit should be fed to the chickens in moderation. Too much could cause them to have digestive problems such as an upset stomach and diarrhea.
Therefore, feeding the chickens a couple of times per week is enough for them. Besides grapefruit, you should feed them other fruits as well. By giving them a variety of fruits, the chickens will get nutritions that the grapefruit doesn’t have.
At each feeding, you should feed the chickens based on the size of your flock. The larger the flock, the more grapefruits that you should put out. On average, one grapefruit for every 5 chickens is plenty. You don’t want to give them too much or it will cause them to stop eating their main food.
Grapefruit and other fruits should make up 10% of the chicken’s total diet. The rest will come from the commercial feeds.
Other Fruits That Chickens Can Eat
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. The blueberries can be fed to them as fresh berries or frozen. Both types will make an excellent treat for chickens.
This tropical fruit is an excellent source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and other nutrients. Chickens love to eat bananas due to their sweet taste. However, too many bananas, especially riped one can cause them to become overweight.
It’s known for the high content of fiber, protein, and vitamin C. All of these are what the chickens need to stay healthy. Raspberries can be fed to them as fresh berries or frozen berries. Both types make a great treat for chickens.
It’s nutritionally-superior to commonly-eaten fruits such as apples, oranges, and bananas. Therefore, kiwi is known as a superfood. When compared to an apple, a kiwi contains six times the nutrient density. As for oranges, kiwis contain two times more vitamin C.