Nectarines are a popular seasonal fruit that’s available only in the summer. These fruits have juicy flesh and full of nutrition. If you enjoy eating nectarines, you probably bought a lot of them to store at home. If you have backyard chickens, you may wonder if you can feed nectarines to them.
Can chickens eat nectarines? Yes, chickens can eat nectarines, except for the seed or pit. The seed contains toxins that could potentially harm the chickens. Other than that, nectarines are packed with good nutrition which the chickens can benefit a lot from.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Nectarines?
Nectarines are packed with vitamins and minerals and a good source of fibers, carbohydrates, and protein. Due to all of this nutrition, this fruit makes a healthy treat for chickens.
Below are some of the health benefits the chickens will get from eating nectarines:
Nectarines are High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important to the health of the chickens. Antioxidants are responsible for preventing free radicals from damaging the cells in the body.
Free radicals are molecules that can be from many things. This includes the food that chickens eat, normal metabolism, and even smoke from cigarettes.
Nectarines Are High Water Content
With about 88% of water content, nectarines are an excellent food for providing hydration.
During the summer months when it’s usually hot, chickens will often become dehydrated. These creatures are very active during the day by foraging for food. By offering them nectarines throughout the day, it will help prevent the chickens from becoming dehydrated.
Nectarines Are High In Fiber
Nectarines are a fruit that’s high in dietary fiber. Fiber is important to the health of the chickens, especially their digestive system.
A good amount of fiber daily is needed for a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps promote regular bowel movement. This will make food move easily and smoothly through the digestive system.
Is It Safe To Feed Nectarines To Chickens?
Only the flesh part of the nectarines is safe for chickens to eat. The leaves and seeds or pit, are potentially toxic.
This toxin is called amygdalin. This compound breaks down into hydrogen cyanide when it’s ingested by the chickens.
Luckily, only in large amount can harm the chickens. To be on the safe side of things, it’s best to not let them eat any part of the nectarines beside the flesh.
Anyways, the flesh is where all the nutrition is concentrated at. This is the part you want to feed the chickens with.
Can Chickens Eat Nectarine Skins?
Chickens can eat the nectarine skins. The skin is really thin and doesn’t contain any toxins so you can feed them the skin with the flesh.
Also, the skin contains some nutrients too so feeding them the skin will give them additional nutrition.
How To Feed Nectarines To Chickens
There is a couple of different option to feed nectarines to the chickens. You should choose which is best for you and your chickens.
Feeding Chickens Whole Nectarines
This is the simplest and easiest method to feed them. Simply toss the nectarines to the chickens and they’ll start to peck at and eat pieces of it.
However, to be on the safe side, make sure to remove the pit from the fruit first. Again, the pit contains toxins that could harm the chickens.
Mixing Nectarines With Chicken Feeds
This method is an excellent way to boost the nutrition of chicken feeds. Since they enjoy eating nectarines already, they won’t have a problem with it being mixed in with their feeds.
Before mixing the nectarines in with their feeds, cut the fruit into small pieces first. This will make it easier for them to eat it. Then place it into the feed and mix it thoroughly. Once mixed, simply place it into their feeding bowl and watch the chickens eat it.
How Many Nectarines To Feed Chickens
Despite the nectarines being healthy, it’s important to remember that these fruits should be fed to them as treats.
Nectarines don’t have the proper nutrition to meet their dietary needs. These fruits should be given to them as a supplement to their main diet.
Chickens should be fed 90% quality commercial feeds, while only 10% of nectarines and other fruits. Commercial feeds are formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chicken’s dietary requirements.
Therefore, feeding nectarines to them once or twice a week is sufficient.
Also, you want to rotate nectarines with other fruits throughout the week as well. This will give them the nutrition that nectarines don’t have.
Other Fruits That Chickens Can Eat
Grapes are great to give chickens as treat, but only in small quantities. This is due to their high content of sugar. Also, the skin of grapes contains a fungus that can cause them problems. Other than that, grapes are packed with vitamins and minerals that the chickens can benefit from.
Lemon is safe for chickens to eat and loaded with vitamin C. However, the problem with lemon is that it’s a citrus fruit and most chickens won’t eat it. If you can get them to eat lemon, they’ll benefit a lot of nutrition from it.
Pineapple is high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins. This makes this fruit an excellent treat for chickens. However, because pineapple is very high in sugar and certain enzymes, only feed it to them occasionally.
Peaches are similar to nectarines, except for the outside appearance. Peaches have furry skin, while nectarines have smooth skin.
This fruit is packed with antioxidants and makes a good treat to feed the chickens.