Ever wondered if your chickens could eat kiwi fruit? You’re not the only one. There is no shortage of conflicting info out there. Our goal with this article is to make sure you get the answer you need, in a clear and concise way.
Chickens can eat kiwi. The flesh, seeds, and skin of this fruit are all healthy for your birds. The flesh contains plenty of vitamins and minerals, while the chicken-friendly seeds offer a good source of anti-aging antioxidants. Just feed your chickens with moderation, as everything in excess is not good for chickens.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about feeding kiwis to your feathered pets: their nutritional value, health benefits, risks involved, and more.
The nutritional value of kiwifruits
Did you know that kiwifruit is also called “Chinese Gooseberry”? This is because these fruits are endemic to the central and eastern parts of China. They have a hairy, dull brown outer skin with green, juicy flesh inside. If you’re curious about the nutritional value of kiwifruit, take a look at the table below:
|Vitamin A||87 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.027 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.025 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.341 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||7.8 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.183 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.063 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||25 mcg|
|Vitamin C||92.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.46 mg|
|Vitamin K||40.3 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||34 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.31 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||17 mg|
|Potassium, K||312 mg|
|Sodium, Na||3 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||34 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.14 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.098 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.13 mg|
|Selenium, Se||0.2 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||3 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Is kiwi healthy for chickens?
Now that we’re all caught up with kiwi’s nutritional richness let’s discuss how these fruits can benefit your feathered pets.
Kiwi is rich in Vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining the healthy eyesight of your chickens and enhancing their overall, particularly reproductive, performance.
Among the Vitamin B-series, Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) boosts your pet’s appetite, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is involved in improving the egg quality, and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) has anti-inflammatory properties.
The deficiency of Vitamin B-complex can lead to several diseases, such as:
- Mouth Cavity Inflammation
- Poor feathering
- Hatchability problems
- Fatty Liver and Kidney Syndrome
Of all the vitamins present in kiwi, Vitamin C is the most abundant. This vitamin provides antioxidants to your chickens that can fight against the free radicals in their body and prevent their cells from oxidative damage. Moreover, it is also essential for developing their blood vessels, connective tissues, feathers, and bones.
Kiwi also contains a moderate amount of Vitamin K, which plays a key role in the blood coagulation processes in their body. Additionally, this vitamin also supports bone metabolism. If your chickens do not consume enough of this vitamin, you can notice blood spots in their eggs.
Following are the minerals found in kiwi fruits that can benefit your feathered pets:
- Calcium and Phosphorus are responsible for the quality of chickens’ eggs and their hatchability. The lack of these minerals can cause Rickets in them.
- Manganese plays a key role in the formation of their cartilage.
- Copper can cure them of all kinds of digestive issues.
- Iron is useful in the transportation of oxygen in their blood and prevents them from Anemia.
- Zinc keeps their bones and feathers healthy.
In addition to the vitamins and minerals, kiwi is also rich in fibers, which regulate their bowel movements and keeps their digestive tracts smooth functioning. It has a low-fat content, which ensures that your chickens won’t grow overweight by eating it, and contains plenty of water to keep them hydrated.
Risks involved with overfeeding kiwi to chickens
We’ve already established that kiwi is a nutrient-dense fruit that can offer many health benefits to us. But does that mean we can start eating kiwis as our breakfast, lunch, and dinner? No. The same is true for your feathered pets.
Fruits like kiwi should ideally consist of roughly 5-10% of chicken’s daily diet. If you overfeed kiwi to your chickens, the high sugar content of these fruits will get deposited in their body and convert to fat over time, making them gain excess weight. Too much sugar can also interrupt the blood sugar levels of the chickens and can lead to Diabetes eventually.
Is the skin of kiwi edible to chickens?
Most of us discard the outer skin of kiwis while eating them due to their unpalatable taste. However, most of us don’t know that it is rich in Vitamins C and E and can add healthy antioxidants to our bodies.
Chickens that do not share our reservations about the taste of most food items can easily eat kiwi along with its outer skin. However, before you feed unpeeled kiwi to your pets, make sure that you buy organic kiwis for them.
This is because organic kiwis are grown in a safe environment and don’t have pesticides sprayed on them, unlike commercially grown kiwis. And if your chickens ingest these pesticides, even by mistake, it could have a disastrous effect on their health.
What about kiwi seeds? Are they safe for chickens?
Whenever you feed fruit to your pet, removing the seeds is often the biggest conflict you face. So, are the seeds of kiwifruit something you need to worry about for your feathered pets? Fortunately, not. The small, black seeds are harmless to your chicken and can be fed to them safely.
Can chickens eat golden kiwifruit?
How many of you have heard of “golden kiwis” before? These kiwis are closely related to the Fuzzy Kiwifruits (Actinidia deliciosa) but have a more oblong shape.
The inner flesh of these fruits ranges from lime green to bright gold in color, depending upon their breeding. The flesh of these fruits is smoother, with a richer and sweeter taste.
If you want to learn more about the nutritional value of golden kiwifruit, take a look at the table below:
|Vitamin A||23 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.01 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.074 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.231 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||1.9 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.12 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.079 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||31 mcg|
|Vitamin C||161.3 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.51 mg|
|Vitamin K||6.1 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||17 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.21 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||12 mg|
|Potassium, K||315 mg|
|Sodium, Na||3 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||25 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.08 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.05 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.103 mg|
|Selenium, Se||0.44 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||1.4 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
If you compare this table to that of green kiwifruit, you will notice that the two have more or less the same nutritional value, except their Vitamin C content. Golden kiwifruit has a significantly higher amount of this vitamin than regular kiwifruit.
This makes the golden kiwifruit healthier than regular kiwifruit for your chickens.
Preparing kiwi for chickens: things to remember.
Kiwis are small and versatile fruits that need little preparation for your chickens. Here are a few things you might want to keep in mind while feeding kiwifruits to your feathered pets:
- Before you offer kiwis to your pets, wash it thoroughly with cold water, scrubbing it lightly to get rid of any dirt on the surface. If the kiwis are overripe, be extra careful not to smush them.
- The easiest of feeding kiwis to chickens is to cut them into two halves and let them peck on the flesh.
- You can also serve your pets slices of kiwis, but make sure to slice them lengthways.
- Not all chickens might want to eat the outer skin of kiwifruit. If that’s the case with your pets, don’t force-feed it to them.
- If you want to feed your chickens refrigerated kiwis, make sure to leave them at room temperature for a couple of hours beforehand.
Frequently asked questions
Is it okay for chickens to eat pepper? Yes, peppers are healthy for your chickens since they contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Both the flesh and seeds of pepper are safe for chickens to eat as long as they’re fully ripened. However, avoid feeding them underripe pepper, as these contain solanine, a glycoalkaloid poison that is lethal to your pets.
Can I feed mushrooms to my chickens? Yes, you can. Chickens can safely consume mushrooms as an occasional treat. However, make sure you feed your feathered pets mushrooms that are safe for you and not the ones that grow in the wild. Because 20% of all the mushrooms that grow in the wild are poisonous, and these can cause some health issues in your chickens.
Is it okay to feed eggshells to chickens? Yes, eggshells can be fed to the chickens. These shells have a high Calcium content which can aid the egg-laying chickens in improving the quality of their eggs. If you want to feed your chickens eggshells, crush them finely and add them to their daily feed.
Can I feed watermelons to my chickens? Yes, you can. With their rich water content, watermelons are a perfect summer treat for your pets—all you need to be careful about removing their seeds before feeding it to them.
Conclusion: Can Chickens Eat Kiwi?
Kiwifruit is generally safe for chickens to consume, though you need to be careful about giving them too many of these at a time. Kiwis contain many essential nutrients that will keep your chickens healthy and strong. Not only do these birds eat the fruit whole but they also love gnawing on the seeds and even peeling and eating the skin.
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