Olives are a fruit that’s popular with Italian dishes. These fruits are usually cured first to remove the bitter taste before it’s used. Olives, whether it’s ripe or not ripe, humans can eat perfectly fine. When it comes to chickens, can you feed them olives as well?
So, can chickens eat olives? Yes, chicken can eat olives, including the leaves too. Olive is packed with nutrition, which the chickens can benefit from. Make sure to feed them only uncured olives. These olives have not gone through the curing process yet, which will usually involve using water, salt, lye, or brine.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Olive?
Olive has a lot of nutritional content. They are rich in antioxidants, and a good source of vitamin E, copper, iron, and calcium. Chickens will benefit from all the nutrition olives have to offer.
For chicken growth and reproduction, vitamin E plays an important role. This vitamin helps support the nervous system, strengthening their disease resistance, and maintain healthy muscle tissue.
Commercial feeds will have plenty of vitamin E formulated in them, but for this vitamin, the more, the better it is for them.
When it comes to egg-laying chickens, they need plenty of calcium in their diet. This mineral is what makes the eggshell strong and healthy. So the calcium that’s in the olive will benefit the chicken and their eggs greatly.
Can Chickens Eat Olive Leaves?
The olive leaves are safe for chickens to eat. They do not contain any toxins that could harm the chickens.
However, if the olive tree has been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals, I would advise against letting the chicken eat it. These chemicals are dangerous and could cause health issues for them. Sometimes, if the chickens eat too much of it, it could be fatal for them.
Therefore, only let the chickens eat the olive leaves if it’s organically grown and free of any harmful chemicals.
Can Chickens Eat Olive Pits?
Since the olive pits don’t contain toxins of any type or any harmful substance, chickens can eat them. However, I would advise against feeding them the pits.
Olive pits come in different sizes, and some are small enough that the chickens can eat them. The pit isn’t edible and could cause a blockage in its digestive system. Sometimes, the pit could get stuck in their throat and cause them to choke on it.
Therefore, it’s better to leave the pits out and feed just the flesh of the olive.
Does the Color of the Olive Make a Difference?
The color of the olive will change its taste. For humans, we have different taste preferences and some prefer them more bitter than others.
For chickens, the color doesn’t matter to them, they will eat it all. The reason is that chickens do not have taste buds as humans do.
The nutritional content of the olive will not change, regardless of the color. Any color olive you give them, they will eat it.
However, you’ll want to feed them green olive, as they are not fully ripe yet. These are cheaper to buy because they have not gone through the curing process yet.
How To Feed Olive To Chickens
Chickens are quite smart creatures and know the difference between what they can and can’t eat. Therefore, you can give the whole olives to them. They will start to peck at it and eat. When they reached the pit, the chickens will just simply leave it alone.
However, there is a chance the olive pits may be small, and the chicken could mistakenly swallow it.
To reduce any risk of them choking on it or blocking their digestive system, it’s best to slice the olives into smaller pieces and remove the pits. Then toss the pieces to the chickens or place them into their feeder.
Another option would be to cut the olives into pieces and mix them with commercial feeds. This will help boost the nutrition content for the feeds.
How Much And How Often To Feed Olive To Chickens
Olive has a lot of nutrition and healthy for chickens to eat. However, olive should only be given to them as a treat. Olives and other fruits should make up only 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come from quality commercial feeds.
Also, olive doesn’t have all the nutrition that the chickens require. Therefore, you should feed olive to the chickens in moderation. This means that once or twice per week is enough for them.
Besides olive, you should rotate olive with other fruits as well. Chickens are not a picky eater and will eat just about any fruits you give them.
At each feeding, depending on how large your flocks are, you can give 1 olive for every 3 chickens. Do not give them anymore, as too much olive could make them full, which will stop them from eating their feeds.
Other Fruits That Chickens Can Eat
Cranberries are a fruit that’s rich in antioxidants and an excellent source of copper, and vitamins C, E, and K1. These berries are available fresh during fall, while frozen ones are available year long. Both types of cranberries offer the same nutritional value. Feed your chickens cranberries to give them a boost in nutrition.
Grapefruit is low in calories but high in nutrients. This citrus fruit is packed with vitamins and minerals. It also a good source of protein and fiber. Chickens can eat grapefruit, but in moderation. As long as they are not fed too much of the grapefruits, they won’t have any health issues.
The kiwi fruit is a superfood that is packed with a lot of nutrition for its small size. It’s a good source of calcium, dietary fiber, potassium, protein, and vitamin C. These are all nutrients that the chickens can benefit from.