To someone who doesn’t own a chicken, chickens might look like pets who are bought just for their eggs. However, only a chicken-owner can tell you that chickens make interesting pets and are as fun to be around as any other pet, if not more. As you start living with them, their eggs become an almost negligible perk of having them as pets. These feathered pets are great entertainers, need very little grooming, and have the most flexible diet among all pets. You can feed them with many things from your kitchen. But what about raspberries?
Can chickens eat raspberries? Yes, chickens can eat raspberries in moderation. Raspberries are nutritionally rich and make a tasty and healthy snack for your feathered pets. These sweet treats are safe even for baby chicks when fed carefully. Raspberries come in a wide variety, and all of them are perfectly okay to feed your chickens.
Are you wondering about whether black raspberries are safe for your pet or not? Or have you planted raspberries in your backyard and are wondering if their leaves are safe for them to peck on? Whatever your questions are, if they are related to feeding chickens raspberries, you will find their answers in this article.
Do chickens like eating raspberries?
Before moving ahead to talk about whether or not, can chickens eat raspberries, let’s first try to find out if they will eat these fruits. Do chickens like eating raspberries?
They most probably do. Like dogs, chickens also love all things sweet, especially berries. While blueberries are a favorite of most chickens, they find the other berries appealing as well.
Are you wondering why we’ve used “most probably” instead of “certainly”? It is because, in the case of chickens, we can never be too certain. Chickens are known for being selective about their diet.
While the chicken of your neighbor is a sucker for raspberries, your chicken might not even touch them. The best way to find out whether your chicken likes eating raspberries or not is to serve these berries in their dish a couple of times. If they remain untouched, take the hint and try your luck a different kind of berry.
Are raspberries healthy for chickens?
Once you’ve determined that your chicken likes to eat raspberries, you can find out whether these are healthy for your pet or not.
While poultry feed should contribute to 90% of your chicken’s diet, you can feed them healthy fruits and vegetables for the remaining portion. But are raspberries healthy for your chickens? Take a look at the chart given below to ascertain the nutritional value of raspberries.
|Vitamin A||40.6 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.033 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.039 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.597 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||12.3 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.328 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.056 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)||21 mcg|
|Vitamin C||26.2 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.86 mg|
|Vitamin K||7.7 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||6.5 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Now, let us discuss which of these nutrients add to your pet’s health and how.
Dietary fibers are an essential part of your pet’s diet because they enhance their bowel movements, keep their blood sugar levels regulated, and encourage the formation of healthy gut bacteria in them.
Chickens are feisty pets who cannot stay still. It is in their nature to keep running around throughout the day. Isn’t it easy for them to get dehydrated? Particularly during summers, when the sun is brutally hot. In such circumstances, water provides them with all the hydration they need.
Vitamin A – In chickens, vitamin A is responsible for maintaining their overall health, with special attention to their eyesight. It also enhances their egg-producing capabilities. A lack of vitamin A can make your pet vulnerable to diseases like night blindness.
Vitamin B-complex – The B-series vitamins have a number of benefits for your pet’s health. If there is a deficiency of these vitamins in chickens, they can suffer from diseases like.
- Fatty liver and kidney syndrome
- Mouth cavity inflammation
- Hatchability problems
- Bowed-legs syndrome
- Poor feathering
Vitamin C – Vitamin C has more or less the same function in chickens as it does in humans: improvement and maintenance of the immune system. It plays a key role in the formation of tissues, blood vessels, bones, and feathers, and acts as a stress reliever for them. Chickens who have a deficiency of vitamin C are weaker and more prone to diseases.
Vitamin E – Vitamin E provides chickens with the much-needed antioxidants, a lack of which often leads to Encephalomalacia.
Vitamin K – Vitamin K is most important for maintaining the bone health of your chicken. If they don’t consume enough of this vitamin, their bones weaken over time, often leading to bone deformities.
While calcium and phosphorus play a major role in the bone development of chickens as well as their egg health, copper maintains their digestive health.
Zinc improves its feather formation, and manganese is responsible for its cartilage formation. Together, all these minerals contribute towards keeping your pet healthy.
Therefore, it would only be fair to say that the nutrients present inside raspberries benefit your chicken’s health a great deal.
What happens if chickens eat too many raspberries? ( Health risks)
Whenever you pick a fruit or a vegetable to use as a treat for your pet, you need to balance its pros and cons carefully.
We mentioned earlier that raspberries are great treats for chickens when fed in moderation. Have you ever wondered why moderation is necessary while feeding them raspberries? What will happen if they eat too many raspberries accidentally?
Let’s find out.
Too much sugar
If too much sugar is not good for your blood sugar levels, imagine what can it do to your little pet’s blood sugar level: the picture doesn’t look too great.
Too much sugar can also make your chicken overweight. Overweight chickens tend to become lazy in the long run and carry the potential risk of suffering from cardiac diseases. Sugar is also believed to have an adverse effect on their egg production capabilities.
Beware of calyx
Do you know how pesticides and insecticides tend to make your chickens sick? This is precisely why the calyx of raspberries poses a threat to chickens.
The calyx of these berries, along with the others, are often sprinkled with pesticides and insecticides to prevent pests and insects from devouring the fruits. This is why it is best to separate the calyx carefully from the berries before feeding them to chickens.
Are raspberry seeds safe for chickens to eat?
Did you know that 100 grams of raspberries contain about 4,000 seeds? Their seeds are extremely small in size. Even the thought of removing them for chickens sounds tiresome, doesn’t it?
Don’t worry; we have good news for you. Raspberry seeds pose no threat to your chickens. They can safely eat and throw it out of their systems without any trouble.
What about the leaves of raspberry plants?
Chickens are not known to eat the leaves of raspberry plants. But in case you find your chicken eating these leaves, you should limit it. This is because raspberries leaves can taint the taste of their eggs.
Can chickens eat black raspberries?
Black raspberries are also referred to as “blackcaps”, and have a unique taste that is the mixture of red raspberries and blackberries. Black raspberries are safe for chickens to eat. In fact, if you serve your chicken, both raspberries and black raspberries, the chances are that they will like the taste of the black raspberries more.
Can baby chicks eat raspberries?
Baby chicks can eat raspberries just as their parents can. However, for feeding your chicks, you will have to be extra cautious about the amount you are feeding them because their fragile digestive systems can handle an even smaller amount of sugar.
To sum it up, chickens can eat raspberries safely. Raspberries are healthy and nutritious treats for chickens and can be fed to them 2-3 times a week. Chickens can eat all kinds of raspberries: red, purple, black, golden, and wild. However, feeding them too many raspberries can add an unnecessarily high amount of sugar in their diet, which is unhealthy for them.