Serving the chickens with pineapples will certainly incite a change in their standard dietary routine. Having said that, will this change in their diet turn out to be good, bad, or make no difference? Let’s get to know the answer while getting some in-depth insights into this aspect. But first, can chickens eat pineapple, and is it safe for them?
So, can chickens eat pineapple? Yes, chickens love eating pineapple. Chickens prefer to eat the pulpy part of the pineapple and not the rough yet fibrous outer cover. A good practice is to feed them pineapple moderately and mix it up with other fruits.
Until now, you have fed the chicken grain, bugs, vegetables, and dry fruits. But pineapples are not mainstream, and anyone would be confused about the ultimate results of feeding the chickens with pineapples. Some questions will crawl in your mind and get you searching for answers. Well, you will get all the answers below, read on.
Is it safe for chickens to eat pineapple?
Being a tropical fruit, pineapple has some unique attributes in terms of appearance, taste or flavor, and even growth. Furthermore, tropical fruits are also known to possess some nutraceutical benefits for humans and animals.
Pineapple is rich in vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. Plus, its antioxidants properties are further helpful for the chickens.
Oxidation in the animals not only affects the psychological and nutritional aspects of the health, but they contribute towards the gradual deterioration of many other functions. This includes reproduction, metabolism, lactation, physiology, and respiratory diseases.
Therefore, when we say that pineapple has a string of benefits, it stems from the fact that pineapple carries natural antioxidants.
A pineapple facilitates the cleaning of the kidneys and keeps in check the volume of worms in the intestines. Plus, it plays a vital role in removing toxins and improve metabolism.
Hence, eating pineapples is completely safe for the chickens, as long as they are given it with moderation.
What nutritional value does pineapple provide to chickens?
Ok, let’s see. Pineapples are rich in nutrients; we have already established. But, what kind of nutrients do they provide, and are they conducive to the chicken’s health? Let’s discuss that.
The best part is that pineapples have lower calories. Chickens indeed need around 300 calories per day, but the chicken pellets will cover the calorie count. For other nutrients like fats, proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, Vitamin C, Thiamin, Copper, and Niacin, pineapple can be added to their diet.
They contain antioxidants that help fight diseases and attenuate the conditional effects of oxidation.
Pineapple has Bromelain, and it is present in higher amounts. This is one of the main reasons why pineapple’s quantity and frequency in chicken’s diet must be kept in check.
Bromelain aids in breaking down the proteins into amino acids and other sorts of building blocks for the body. Pineapple is suggested in the case of cancer, and it also has anti-clotting properties, further widening the sphere of its benefits and advantages.
Besides its benefits, Bromelain can also upset the stomach and cause rashes plus other allergic reactions. So, the moderation of this compound is vital for the good health of the chicken.
Pineapple is a rich and credible source of Vitamin C, which is imperative for almost every living being, let alone chickens. Apart from bolstering their health, Vitamin C helps with bone development and strengthening the egg’s shell quality.
Further, Vitamin C is particularly important for the chickens during heat stress. Even though they synthesize Vitamin C, the amount produced is not adequate to combat the problems induced due to heat stress. That is why it is essential to supply enough Vitamin C to chickens, and pineapple can take care of that.
Added to Vitamin C, pineapple is rich in manganese, which also aids in building a stronger bone structure.
Lastly, for centuries now, pineapples have been used as a natural immunity booster. Added to this, pineapple is famous for its ability to help with inflammation. This again is due to the presence of Bromelain in the pineapple.
Procedure and guidelines for feeding pineapple to chickens
From the start, we have maintained a stance that pineapples are great for a chicken’s health, but with a caveat, they are given moderate amounts. Now let’s expand over this term ‘moderate’ and understand the difference between enough and more than enough.
First of all, always tear off the pineapple rind before giving it to the chickens. The reason being that it is too hard for the chicken to eat and digest. However, there is no need to bring out the inner Gordon Ramsay in you and cut the pineapple like you are serving it to the president; just make sure there is more soft stuff than the hard one.
Secondly, slice cut one section of the fruit and put it out in the open or inside the coop, or even in your backyard. Chickens will slowly peck off the slice one by one. They might reject it because the pineapple won’t taste good. Most of the time, they won’t like it because either it is over-ripe or under-ripe.
Start small, and when they have built a taste for the fruit, you can increase the amount. For better and clean feeding, buy a couple of fruit veggies hanging feeders. They will help keep the backyard or the coop clean and free from the leftovers.
How to know whether the pineapple is perfectly ripe?
A frequent visitor to the local farmer’s market will know the signs of perfectly ripe pineapple. But if you don’t know, a simple test will tell you the pineapple’s health.
- Take the pineapple in your hand and hold it tight. Do not rip off the crown or peel of the rind, hold it full.
- Try pulling out one of the leaves from the pineapple.
- In case the leaf comes out without any friction indicates that the pineapple is fully ripe.
- Another way to tell the state of the pineapple is to squeeze it with your hand once. If it feels mushy or too soft, you are holding an overly ripe fruit, and the chances are that the chicken won’t eat it.
Never give an unripe pineapple to the chicken, not only is it harder to eat, but it will also cause irritation. The higher acidic content in an unripe fruit can further damage the chicken’s health.
Moving on, if you are looking for an answer to how much pineapple is enough for a chicken in a week, here too, the answer is highly subjective. Bantams can do with a lot less as compared to the adult chickens, but that is self-evident.
So, depending upon the size, you can decide the feed of the chicken. But when it comes to pineapple, it is strongly advised to feed it sparingly. Even though the quantity of fats and cholesterol is negligible, the pineapple’s sugar content is off the charts.
As per the USDA nutritional chart, every 100 grams of pineapple has 10 grams of sugar (10%).
Despite everything, if you are still unsure about the fruit’s ripeness and don’t want to risk your chicken permanently signing off from pineapple, go for the dried pineapples. The dried pineapple has more than 45% of sugar content, as stated by the USDA. Hence, the quantity of dried fruits will increase manifold as compared to real fruits.
Different recipes and forms of pineapple for your chickens
Well, serving food on a platter adorned with luscious food and tempting sizzlers is an art, no doubt in that. But when it comes to feeding the chickens, who said we could not give them a lux experience. So, here are a few innovative ideas to provide pineapple to your chicken.
Pineapple Trimming – Grate the pineapple, put the trimmings in a bowl, and add some berries to it. Pineapple has high amounts of sugar, so make sure to keep the trimmings to a bare minimum.
Pineapple Salad – You can also cut the pineapple into small pieces and put them around in the chickens’ yard. Cutting the pineapple into small portions will help the chickens peck effortlessly.
In this category, you can try out some of your recipes too. How about making a pineapple and cucumber salad with lime. Chickens can eat cucumbers and pineapples easily. Plus, contrary to the popular opinion that chickens should not be given oranges and lemons, these citrus fruits help improve the egg’s quality.
Taking care of chicken’s health
Farmers and cattle rearers keep chickens for various purposes. Some are in the egg trade while others rear them for commercial purposes and sell them for consumption.
A chicken is susceptible to contracting several diseases, and worms carry the majority of them. Salmonella infection in the chicken is one of the most dangerous diseases because it won’t show the visible signs of an infection.
So, even if the chicken is infected, you won’t know, which can pose a risk to the consumers and other chickens. Further, diseases like Bird flu are also commonly found in the chicken, and one of the signs of its infestation is less egg production. Where these conditions deteriorate the chicken’s health, they also impair egg production.
In any case, maintaining a chicken’s health is of paramount importance. An unhealthy chicken won’t give good quality eggs. The USDA grades an egg’s quality, and this grading system contemplates both the interior and exterior health of the egg.
So, an unhealthy chicken will not produce healthy eggs, which might lead to failing the grading system, and the eggs will be rendered unfit for human consumption. On the other hand, a disease-ridden chicken also won’t be considered fit for consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions
What other fruits can the chicken eat? You can also give them apples, bananas, grapes, mangoes, strawberry, orange, peach, watermelon, blueberries, and cherries apart from pineapple.
Is there anything that is forbidden? Yes, avocados are like a toxin to the chickens. Plus, white potatoes, apple seeds, eggplant leaves, tea bags, chocolate, and raw dried beans are not suitable for their health.
Can Chicken eat pineapple tops? No, the top part of the chicken includes the leaves and shoot apex. Together they are called the crown of the fruit. These parts are not edible and must not be given to the chicken.
Can the chicken eat pineapple skin or rind? Even though the pineapple rind or skin is non-toxic, the chickens cannot eat it due to bad taste and itchy sensation. However, if you give them the skin part to eat, they will start pecking and then reject the fruit for bad taste.
Can chickens eat pineapple leaves? The pineapple leaves have toxic properties that are not conducive to a chicken’s health. This is because the leaves do not have bromelain, which helps in lowering the toxicity of the fruit.
Can chickens eat pineapple core? The pineapple core is the center part of the fruit that extends from the butt and connects with the crown on the top. Whereas the out mushy and soft part of the pineapple is flavorsome and sweet, the core is not so much. So, it must be avoided.