Can chickens eat peanuts? That’s a question we hear often. Do chickens eat peanuts and what are the benefits of feeding them peanuts? We’ll cover this and more in today’s post.
If you have devoted your backyard to chicken-keeping, you must have realized by now that chickens are basically munching machines. These little birds might seem average-sized, but once they start eating, you’d be surprised to see how much food they can shove down their throats. They have a flexible diet and don’t mind over-eating at all, which is why you must be careful about their diet. Are you fond of nuts and wonder if you can share them with your backyard friends? What about peanuts?
Can chickens eat peanuts? Peanuts are perfectly safe for chickens to eat. In many ways, peanuts are a very healthy treat for chickens. They’re full of protein and essential amino acids, which your chickens need to remain strong and active. However, it would help if you never fed your pets raw peanuts, which can be harmful to their health. Also, you would have to be careful not to overfeed your chicken peanuts, for it can make them obese.
It’s true that chickens love to consume peanuts, which are a tasty roasted snack for them. However, make sure to avoid giving them raw peanuts since they contain an enzyme (peanut lectin) that can potentially harm the health of your chicken. So as to avoid overfeeding your feathered pets with peanuts, it would be advisable if you offered them just a quarter cup of these peanuts every week.
Are you curious about the nutritional value of peanuts and how they can benefit your pets? Or is your concern about the ill-effects of over-feeding peanuts to them? Whatever is troubling your mind, we will clarify it in this article.
Will chickens eat peanuts?
If this question is bothering you, there’s one thing you must know about chickens: they will eat anything and everything edible that they can find, regardless of whether or not it is safe or healthy for them.
As far as nuts are concerned, many chicken owners have claimed that their pets are crazy about all kinds of nuts, including peanuts.
Therefore, if you serve your feathered pets peanuts, they will certainly love them. They might even seem to be asking for more, but you must not forget that peanuts are fed to these birds only as a snack.
Can peanuts be healthy for chickens?
Chickens are gullible creatures that have no idea of what’s healthy or harmful to them. Therefore, as their pet parent, it falls upon you to be attentive to their nutritional needs and feed them things that can positively contribute to their health.
Can peanuts be added to the list of healthy foods for chickens? Well, not so much healthy food as a healthy snack. If you want to learn more about how peanuts affect your pet’s health, you must first understand the nutritional contents of peanuts.
Take a look at the table given below:
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
|Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)
Serving size: 1 ounce (28.35 grams)
While peanuts don’t contain Vitamins A, C, or E, they contain Vitamin B-complex series, and you cannot undermine the importance of these vitamins in your chicken’s body. Moreover, what peanuts lack in vitamins, they compensate for with minerals. Let’s discuss the health benefits of peanuts for chickens more elaborately.
Since Thiamin is responsible for promoting the appetite of your chickens, its deficiency in their diet can result in their loss of appetite, which can ultimately make them malnourished, and might even kill them.
Riboflavin, which makes them immune against Curly-toe Paralysis, is also essential for their healthy eggs.
Niacin has anti-inflammatory properties and can protect from all kinds of inflammatory diseases, such as Mouth Cavity Inflammation.
Pantothenic acid takes care of their skin health; if your chickens consume enough of this vitamin, they would never suffer from diseases like Lesions or Dermatitis.
Although chickens need all minerals in their diet, Calcium and Phosphorus are of utmost importance to them. Not only do these minerals strengthen their bones, but they also boost their eggshell quality and hatchability. Many of you might not know this, but these minerals’ deficiency can make your chickens vulnerable to Rickets.
Zinc plays a key role in maintaining bone and feather health, while Manganese can protect them from Perosis. While Magnesium’s exact role in their diet is uncertain, it has often been seen that chickens can die from its deficiency.
If you want the digestive, respiratory, and immune systems of your chickens to keep running smoothly, you must feed them protein-rich foods like peanuts, particularly in winters, when they molt. Carbs are just as essential in their diet since they serve as the primary energy source for your pets.
In addition to being rich in all the aforementioned nutrients, peanuts also contain many antioxidants (Phytic acid, Resveratrol, P Coumaric acid, Phytosterols, etc.). These antioxidants not only maintain your chicken’s overall health but can also enhance their reproductive abilities.
Risks involved with feeding peanuts to chickens
You might be wondering how feeding something as nutritious as peanuts can involve any risks for your pets? Well, peanuts are quite safe for your little friends when they consume them in moderation. However, the problem arises when they are overeating their snacks.
Apart from all the nutrients we talked about in the previous section, peanuts also contain fats in abundance, and that is a nutrient you have to be careful about.
Remember, chickens get all the fat they need from their poultry feed; so, if they’re consuming a lot of fatty food like peanuts on top of that, it can be a disaster.
Obesity is one of the most common problems the chickens are facing today. Another disease that can occur in them due to overconsumption of fatty foods is the Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome. In this syndrome, fat builds up around their liver, making it soft and vulnerable to bleeding. Many chickens have lost their lives to this syndrome.
Therefore, if you want your chickens to lead a long, healthy life, feed them peanuts (and any other fatty food) in moderation.
Can you feed raw peanuts to chickens?
No, feeding raw peanuts to chickens would be a bad idea. This is because of trypsin in them, an enzyme that is said to be lethal to smaller animals and birds.
Another probable issue with raw peanuts is that many people claim that their green skin contains solanine, a toxic glycoalkaloid that can be dangerous for their health. While there is little data to back the claim up, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your pet’s health.
What about roasted peanuts? Are they safe for chickens?
While raw peanuts can be a threat to your feathered pets, roasting them can make them safe for these little guys. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind while roasting peanuts for your pets:
- Try to avoid roasting peanuts in any oil or butter.
- Once the peanuts are roasted, let them cool down properly before your chickens eat them; you don’t want them burning their mouth.
- Always serve unsalted peanuts to your pets, since too much salt can be detrimental to their health.
Can the peanut shells also be fed to chickens?
When we eat peanuts, we always discard their shells. But what about our chickens? Can they eat these shells as well? Yes, peanut shells are completely safe for your chickens to eat. And because these shells are rich in fibers, protein, and cellulose, they can end up being quite nutritious for them as well.
There are two ways you can feed the peanut shells to your chickens. First, you can roast shelled peanuts and feed them to your chickens directly. Moreover, you can also feed these shells separately; all you need to do is crush the shells and mix them into their poultry feed.
Conclusion: Can chickens eat peanuts?
To wrap it up, let’s do a quick recapitulation of everything we have learned so far: can chickens eat peanuts? Yes, they definitely can. In fact, peanuts are one of the snacks that they really enjoy munching on.
However, while peanuts are good for them as a snack, feeding them these nuts too frequently can be detrimental to their health because of their high-fat content.
It would be best if you never fed raw peanuts to chickens since they contain trypsin and solanine. Therefore, whenever you want to feed peanuts to your pets, roast them a little first.