Prunes are simply a plum that has been dried. These dried fruits can be eaten fresh or part of delicious desserts or salads. Prunes are safe for humans to eat, but what if you have chickens and want to feed them some prunes too?
Can chickens eat prunes? Yes, chickens can eat prunes. Prunes have a lot of nutrients, which the chickens can benefit from eating it. However, due to the toxin that the prunes have, it should be given to the chickens in moderation.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Prunes?
Prunes are loaded with vitamins and minerals. One of the minerals that prunes are known for is fiber. This mineral is abundant in prunes, along with other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron.
Below are some of the health benefits prunes have when it’s fed to the chickens:
Prunes are high in fiber, which will help promote a healthy digestive system. By feeding prunes to the chickens, it will help prevent constipation and help food move along the intestinal tract smoothly.
You can also give the chickens prune juice, but it doesn’t contain the same amount of beneficial fiber as the whole fruit. However, the juice will retain some fiber and other vitamins and minerals.
High in Potassium
Prunes are a good source of potassium. This is an electrolyte that helps with a variety of vital bodily functions. This mineral promotes healthy blood pressure, digestion, and heart health.
High in Vitamins
Prunes are packed with vitamins that are beneficial to the chickens. This includes vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin B-6, riboflavin, and niacin. All of these vitamins working together helps prevent the chickens from illness and promote healthy bodily functions.
Are Prunes Toxic to Chickens?
Prunes are not toxic to chickens, but you shouldn’t feed them too much of it.
Prunes have seeds (also called stones or pits) contain a compound called amygdalin. When ingested by the chicken, it will break down into hydrogen cyanide.
Other fruits that contain this toxin include apricots, cherries, and peaches.
If you fed your chickens some prunes already, there’s nothing to worry about. The toxins will affect the chickens only if the prunes are eaten in large quantities.
To be on the safe side, like any other fruits, prunes should be given to them as treats. This means a couple of times per week is enough for them.
How To Feed Prunes To Chickens
There are a couple of different methods to feed prunes to the chickens.
Mixing it with their feeds. This is a great method to use to add additional nutrition to their feed. Simply cut the prunes into small pieces and mix it into their feed.
Feeding them whole prunes. This is the easiest method to feed the chickens. Toss the prunes to the chickens and they will start pecking at it and eating it. Even though the chickens won’t eat the seed of the prunes, it’s a good idea just to remove it first. Sometimes, the seed might be broken apart and the chickens could mistakenly swallow some.
How Much And How Often To Feed Prunes To Chickens
When feeding them prunes, it’s recommended to feed them in moderation to the chickens. Too much of it can be fatal to them since the prunes contain toxins.
Also, prunes don’t have the necessary nutrition that the chicken requires each day. Prunes and other treats should be fed 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come from quality commercial feeds.
Therefore, it’s best to give the prunes to the chickens as treats. A couple of times per week is enough for them.
Instead of just feeding them prunes as treat, you should give them other fruits as well. That way, the chickens will get the nutrition that the prunes don’t have.
Other Fruits That Chickens Can Eat
Figs – This fruit is edible and packed with nutrition. It makes an excellent treat for the chickens.
Oranges – Orange is rich in vitamin C and other nutrition. The problem with oranges or any other citrus fruits, chickens prefers not to eat them. If they do eat oranges, they’ll get a lot of nutrition that the fruit has to offer.
Pumpkins – Pumpkin is a great treat to feed chickens. Also, you can feed pumpkin seeds to them. Since the entire pumpkin is safe for the chickens to eat, you can simply cut off the top of the pumpkin and place it next to them. The chickens will start to eat right inside the pumpkin.
Grapes – Grapes are high in vitamins and minerals. However, this fruit is a bit high in sugar content so it’s not healthy to give them too much of it. If given to the chickens in moderation, they make an excellent treat for them.
Can chickens drink prune juice?
Yes, chickens can drink prune juice. It’s healthy for them just like the whole fruit. However, like other fruits, prune juice should be given to them in moderation.