Winner winner chicken dinner! We have forayed so much into the chicken business, as it is one of the most consumed white meat in the world. But what’s on the menu for these chickens? Cucumbers. Let’s check out whether or nor chickens can eat cucumbers.
Can chickens eat cucumbers? Yes, chickens love eating cucumbers. Cucumbers are a favorite treat of chickens, and every part of the cucumber is edible to the chicken. Cucumber scraps like peels and pith can be fed to chickens. It is healthy and also cost-effective, plus it reduces waste.
More often than not, chickens can be fed anything. Cucumbers are an excellent choice for feeding your chicken. Natural and healthy treats are the best bet to keep your poultry healthy. Rearing chicken, be it for meat or eggs, is a definitive task, especially maintaining the hygiene factor.
Cucumbers are an ideal treat for poultry birds
Veggies and green foods come up to the forefront when the matter is about treats. Special foods under certain circumstances are called treats. It is the human equivalent of cheat meals.
As we know, cucumbers are resplendent with water content and help in regulating body temperature. These are readily available in the market. Cucumbers are also known to aid the metabolism process.
Various methods and processes must be followed before feeding your chickens cucumbers. Chicken eat by pecking at their food. Therefore, it is advised that the food is chopped into minuscule pieces.
You can slice your cucumbers lengthwise into one-fourth part and serve them peeled. Or you can cut them into 2 inches cubes without taking off the skin. This will enable a more natural intake of the foods, and the flock will readily eat them.
Chickens prefer fresh food as much as we humans do. Most of the beginners make a mistake of feeding them dry foods only such as grains, millets, and seeds, which we see, often remain unprocessed and untouched. The soft flesh of the cucumber fastens the process of digestion, and the enzymes also aid in breaking down other food particles.
Why not cucumber?
Some people feel that the cucumber peel might be too difficult for the chicken to swallow. However, that is far from reality. Chickens are known to eat even the skins of the green vegetable with ease.
Skins are also known to carry toxins of the pesticides and chemical fertilizers that the farmers spray for better yield. Safety measures can include washing the veggies thoroughly, under running water, or peeling it off completely.
There is no imminent danger from consuming cucumbers to the chickens, as we can infer from the data gathered, and anyhow, the benefits overrule the disadvantages if there are any.
The correct quantity of cucumber to feed the chickens
No matter what you decide to give your birds, it is always a safe bet to feed it in a restricted quantity. Cucumber treats should compensate for 10% of the diet and that, too, not daily. Too much of a singular food may have an upsetting reaction.
It is pertinent to keep in mind that the primary source of nutrition is the daily diet and NOT the treat. A well-maintained diet is the only thing that can fulfill the daily nutrition requirement of the birds. Therefore, that should be emphasized when dealing with the treats, no matter how well behaved they were on that day!
Free Range Chickens are more prone to graze all the bad stuff over the confined ones. Thus, the diets should be customized, looking at the needs. In a commercial setting, there are trained professionals to look after the chicken’s food habits.
Only a fraction of the daily diet can be substituted by ‘Treats.’ Mandatory dietary elements should not be replaced by the treats. Cucumber treats won’t make up for the lack of nutrients and, in turn, will make your poultry sick.
Excessive treats can give rise to obesity and, thus, fatty and fibrous meat, lower egg production, and also multiple-yolked eggs. Other problems like fatty liver, feather picking, protein deficiency, vent prolapse, and heart problems are recurrent in the generation of poultry stock.
How to feed your chickens cucumber
Like every other pet, throwing a whole cucumber would do no good as most of it would remain uneaten. Chickens lose interest in the entire vegetable after a while, as it would get tiresome after a moment.
The best way to feed it would be to mash the cucumber pieces. Mashing the flesh along with the seeds and placing them in a bowl, keeps the chicken satisfied throughout the whole day.
Another way to feed them is to make Cucumber Tetherballs. The veggie is sliced and hung by strings from a suspension so that chickens can come at peck at it at regular intervals. This also saves the hassle of the owners from cleaning the mess. It also keeps the chicken active and adds to their daily workout!
Health benefits of feeding cucumbers to chickens
Besides changing the palate of the chickens and making for a hassle-free treat, cucumbers are also a powerhouse of nutrition.
Let’s take a look at all the possible advantages of cucumber treats.
1. Cucumbers are enriched in Vitamin B and antioxidants. They help in better egg production and also protects your birds from Bird flu and ticks. The fleshy part of the cucumber is the center of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Folic Acid. The fleshy part of the cucumber is the center of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Folic Acid.
2. Chickens often suffer from skin-related diseases, which results in mass death. Cucumbers reduce the chances of skin infection as it contains antioxidants. Vitamin A helps in strengthening the eyesight of the bird and also the overall immunity.
3. Vitamin K adds strength to the bones and promotes blood flow. As cucumbers are made up of 95% of water, all constipation related issues are resolved in the flock. Furthermore, it keeps the bird hydrated throughout the day. It washes out all toxins from the body and helps in keeping the flocks plump and active.
4. Seeds of the cucumber can also be fed as they have amino acid cucurbitacin. This enzyme is useful in removing the worms from the body.
Safe Foods For Chicken Other than Cucumber
Various other foods must be included in the diet, such as apples, pumpkins, bananas, tomatoes, etc. Bananas are high in potassium so they can be fed after peeling the skin. Grapes, as they are seedless and small, must be a part of their dietary intake.
Cooked beans are also a good option along with peas. Lettuce leafs torn in pieces can also be added to the treat list. Strawberry and pineapples can be given but in small amounts. Bread and cauliflowers are often thrown at chicken pens. You can also give them scraps of cabbage, broccoli, and carrots.
To give them the right amount of protein, boiled eggs should be included in the daily diet. Some owners feed marigold flowers to the birds to reduce the release of bilirubin. Cherries and peaches are often given whole as hens peck at them without any difficulty.
Among the grains, which are more often than not, the go-to food choice for owners offers a large variety of options. Bulgar, flax, niger, sunflower, wheat berries, millet, etc. must be given to the poultry daily.
Water can be substituted for milk. Chickens enjoy milk in any form available. Seedy fruits such as Pomegranates and watermelons can be a part of their diets as they are very nutritious and without any side effects.
In winter, sprouts, cooked oatmeals, lentils, etc. are good alternatives for other grains to keep the stock warm and healthy.
Rhubarb leaves, citrus peels, raw beans, fish, avocado skin, etc. should be strictly avoided as they turn poisonous for the poultry. No matter how much you love the chicken, do not give them chocolates, candies, or coffee beans as they have no nutrients to add to the birds’ health. Such other toxins also include Tobacco leaves and green potatoes.
Conclusion: Can Chickens Eat Cucumbers?
Initially, it might look like that raising chickens are easy, but once you get into the task, you realize that it is not child’s play. We know by now that these birds are fussless eaters, but as their owner, our job is to make sure that the right dosage of nutrients reaches them through the food.