Walnuts are a popular fruit during the fall season when they are harvested. They can be eaten fresh or used to make pies and other delicious desserts. While they are great for humans to eat, would chickens be able to eat them too?
Can chickens eat walnuts? Yes, walnuts are safe to feed the chickens with. These nuts are rich in protein, fiber, and other nutritions. Due to their crunchy texture, they are a perfect treat for the chickens.
Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Walnuts?
Walnuts are a good source of healthful fats, protein, and fiber. With their high content of nutrition, it’s healthy for the chickens and walnuts can help boost their nutrition intake.
Walnuts contain a lot of vitamins that help the chicken body function properly. Some of the vitamins are A, B-complex, C, and K.
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining the overall health of the chickens. It also helps the egg laying chickens produce quality eggs.
Vitamin C helps support the immune system, maintain healthy bones, and keeps the skin and feathers healthy. These vitamins also help cuts and wounds heal quicker as well.
As for vitamin K, chickens don’t need them, but they are essential for healthy blood and bone.
Besides vitamins, chickens also need minerals for their body to function properly and stay healthy.
Walnuts are high in calcium content. This is important for strong bones and healthy eggs.
Other minerals in the walnuts such as copper and magnesium will keep the chicken’s digestive system healthy.
Walnuts are rich in fibers. It is important to the health of the chickens and should make up 10% of the chicken’s daily diet. Fiber boost healthy gut bacteria production, improve bowel movement and regulate blood sugar level.
Can Chickens Eat Walnut Leaves?
The walnut leaves don’t contain any toxic and therefore, it’s safe for the chickens to eat.
Most of the time, the chickens will not eat the leaves. Fresh leaves are too tough for the chickens to tear and eat. They will try to peck at it and then leave it alone.
The leaves of the walnut tree have some medicinal benefits for chickens. If the chickens are having digestive problems such as diarrhea or digestive tract inflammation, the leaf can be used to treat it.
Are Walnuts Toxic For Chickens?
There are a lot of rumors floating online claiming walnut is toxic for chickens and other pets you may have. The rumor is not true as walnut itself does not contain any toxin or any harmful substances.
When the walnut is ripe, it will fall down from the tree and left on the grounds. From there, they will ripen further and begin to split open.
As the flesh of the walnut is now exposed to the air, mold will begin to grow on them. The mold is what causes the walnut to become toxic and can harm the chickens.
Moldy walnuts can cause an upset stomach, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.
Therefore, only feed fresh walnuts to the chickens. This will prevent them from getting ill due to molds.
How To Feed Walnuts To Chickens
To feed walnuts to the chickens, there’s only one method of doing it. The only way is to crack the shell open and feed them the flesh inside. You can either give them the entire pieces or break them into smaller pieces.
Put the walnuts onto their feeder or mix it with their feeds. Adding walnut to their feeds will give them added nutrition in addition to their food.
The walnut shell should be disposed of after removing the flesh from the walnut. If the chickens eat it, it could pose a choking hazard for them.
How Much And How Often To Feed Walnuts To Chickens
Feeding walnut to the chickens should be in moderation. Walnut should be given to them as a treat. They don’t have the nutrition that the chickens require daily. Commerical feeds for chickens are formulated with the correct amount of nutrition to help keep them healthy and strong.
Therefore, a couple of times a week is plenty of walnuts for them. Also, you should give them other treats such as bananas, apples, and blueberries. These other food are high in nutrition and the chickens will benefit a lot from it.
At each feeding, there’s no limit to the amount of walnut you can feed them. However, you don’t want to feed them too much of it. If they are fed too much of the walnuts, they may not eat their staple food of commercial feeds.
Walnuts and other treats should make up only 10% of their diet. The rest should come from commercial feeds.
Can chickens eat black walnuts?
Black walnuts are native to North America. They are a species of deciduous trees that grow mostly in the upper part of the U.S.
The black walnut contains an organic compound called Juglone. These are known to be toxic and will kill other plants and trees and grow around them.
As for the chickens, black walnuts are safe for them to eat. However, just like regular walnuts, they too should be fed in moderation.
Can chickens eat walnut shells?
The walnut shells aren’t safe for feeding chickens due to their texture. The shell is too hard and can be a choking hazard for them.
If the shells are broken into smaller pieces, the chickens can eat them. However, it’s not safe as the sharp edges can cause internal cuts and bruises in chickens. Therefore, it’s best to not feed the walnut shell, whether whole or broken up in small pieces.