Green from outside and pink from within, guavas are exotic, tropical fruits with a unique, bittersweet taste. People of all ages devour these fruits, be it kids or the elderly. Some like them tight and unripe, while others are fond of the softer, sweeter ones. But are these fruits okay to feed your feathered pets?
Can chickens eat guavas? Yes, chickens can certainly eat guavas and are fond of their taste. Guavas are one of the healthy treats for these birds and can benefit them when fed moderately. Some chickens also prefer guavas with the rind peeled, which is completely fine. To feed them to your chickens, all you need to do is wash them thoroughly and cut them into small, bite-sized pieces.
Do you have baby chicks at home and are wondering if they can safely eat guavas? Or is it the leaves of the guava tree that your chickens seem to like? Whatever your doubts are, they will all be clarified in this article.
Do chickens like eating guava?
If you are worried about your little feathered pets not liking the taste of guavas, you can rest assured. The sweet-sour taste of ripe guavas appeal to the taste buds of chickens much, and, therefore, they often end up liking them.
Most of the chicken-owners have claimed that their chickens are crazy about guavas and never turn them down.
However, in the off chance that your chickens do not seem to like these fruits, you shouldn’t try to force-feed them these.
Guavas are, after all, to be used as a treat for them and not as a regular diet. And if your pets don’t like their treat, the whole thing becomes pointless.
Guavas for chickens: health benefits and risks
So far, we’ve learned that chickens are mostly fond of guavas and would never say “no” when offered these fruits as a treat. Another pressing concern for most chicken owners is whether or not guavas are healthy for them.
To provide a detailed answer to this question, we should first take a quick look at the nutritional chart of guavas:
|Vitamin A||623 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.066 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.041 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||1.083 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.452 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.111 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||49.1 mcg|
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)||227 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.74 mg|
|Vitamin K||2.65 mcg|
|Dietary fiber||5.4 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Now that we’re aware of the nutritional content of guavas, let’s find out which of these nutrients can benefit the health of your feathered pet and how:
Just as all the vitamins play a vital role in your health, they’re essential for your pet’s health as well. Vitamin A supports the growth, strength, and egg production in them; its deficiency could make them weak and drowsy, impact their growth negatively, and lead to reduced egg production.
Thiamin (Vitamin B1) promotes the appetite of your chickens. Without it, they might suffer from a chronic loss of appetite, which could even lead to death.
Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) is not only responsible for improving their egg quality but also builds their immunity against Curly-toe Paralysis. Niacin (Vitamin B3) has anti-inflammatory properties that protect them against the inflammatory diseases that are common in chickens, like Mouth Cavity Inflammation.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) maintains the health of their skin, preventing them from diseases like Dermatitis, Mouth, and Feet Lesions.
The lack of Vitamin E in your pet’s diet can make them vulnerable to the Crazy Chick Disease (Encephalomalacia) or lead to enlarged hocks.
Lastly, Vitamin K is essential among all the vitamins that chickens need; it maintains the blood clotting process in their body. The chickens that are Vitamin K-deficient can bleed to death even from a minor cut and are also prone to internal hemorrhaging.
Both Calcium and Phosphorous promote the quality of the eggshells and their hatchability; their deficiency can result in poor shell quality. Moreover, Calcium and Phosphorous-deficient chickens are more vulnerable to Rickets.
Although the function of Magnesium in the chicken’s body is still mysterious, the lack of it often leads to their sudden death.
Iron and Copper prevent them against Anaemia, while Manganese fights against Perosis. Zinc maintains their bone and feather health; if they’re running low on it, you can easily notice it from their poor feathering.
Protein is essential for the smooth running of a number of biological processes inside a chicken’s body. It supports their overall growth and maintains the quality of their egg production. During winters, chickens need an even larger amount of protein in order to molt and grow more feathers to stay warm.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the chickens. Therefore, they need this nutrient in abundance to stay active throughout the day. The lack of it in their diet can make them weak and dizzy, especially on hot, sunny days. If your chickens don’t seem active enough while playing in the yard, it is a sign that they need more carbohydrates in their diet.
The risk of sodium present in guava
While we’ve established that the nutrients present in guavas have several health benefits for chickens, we must also not forget that these nutrients are already included in their daily feed. However, there is one nutrient present in guava that can prove to be fatal if consumed too much by the chickens. Yes, we’re talking about sodium.
Chickens’ regular diet provides them with the amount of sodium they need to function (very little). If they intake more sodium than that, the balance in their body could be hampered, resulting in their reduced hunger and increased thirst.
In summers, it can also lead to dehydration. Therefore, feeding too many guavas to your chickens, or too often, is not a good idea.
Is it safe for baby chicks to eat guavas?
Although guava doesn’t pose direct harm to the baby chicks’ health, we would still recommend you not to feed them these. It is because the rind of guavas is at times quite tough, and the chicks can have trouble chewing on them. If an unchewed piece manages to get inside their mouth, they could also choke on it.
However, if you’re keen to give them a taste of these fruits when they’re younger, you can go for the overripe guavas that are softer, sweeter, and easier for them to eat.
Can guava seeds be problematic for chickens?
Many pet owners have expressed their concern about their chickens consuming guava along with its seeds. However, it is completely okay for their health. Unlike apple or avocado seeds, the guava seeds contain no toxins and are as safe for chickens as for humans.
They’re also far too small in size to pose a choking threat to them. Moreover, it is very difficult to get rid of all the guava seeds because there are too many of them inside a single fruit.
Is guava rind safe for the chickens?
Most of us eat guava along with its rind (outer skin) because it is both harmless and easy to digest. There is no reason for it to be unsafe for your pets either. However, it is possible that the chickens might not like the bitter rind and prefer to eat their fruit peeled. But it only happens on rare occasions.
If you feel like your feathered pets dig the insides better than the outer skin, you might as well peel it before serving them.
The main safety issue that the rind could pose is of the chemical fertilizers or pesticides that sometimes stay on the skin. These could be fatal for your chickens’ health. Therefore, you should be extra careful about washing the fruit properly before preparing them for your pets.
Can chickens eat the leaves of the guava tree?
Usually, chickens are not really interested in chewing on leaves. But if you notice them showing interest in the fallen guava leaves, you should make sure they’re not eating too many of them. This is not because these particular leaves are bad for their health, but because eating the leaves of any tree can sour the taste of the eggs they lay.
Frequently asked questions:
In which season should I feed guavas to my chickens? Guavas are not one of the seasonal fruits, which is why they can be fed to your pets at any given time of the year as long as they are ripe. You can check the color and smell of the fruit to know if it has ripened fully.
Is it okay if I feed my chicken cottage cheese? Of all the different kinds of cheese available, cottage cheese is the ideal choice for feeding chickens. However, you’d have to be careful about not feeding them too much of it, for it is purely made of fat and protein. As long as you’re giving them cottage cheese as an occasional treat, there’s nothing to be worried about.
Conclusion: Can chickens eat guava?
To summarize the article, we will revise what’ve learned: guavas make a healthy treat for chickens when fed occasionally. They’re rich in many vitamins and minerals and are also safe to consume along with the seeds and the rind. All you need to be cautious about is washing them in warm water to eliminate any pesticides that might be present on the skin.