One good and no-fail snack we usually enjoy is bananas, but have you stopped and wondered if chickens eat bananas, too?
If you’re looking for an additional go-to treat for your flock, let me answer you fair and straight: YES, chickens can eat bananas!
But, as usual, there are a lot of important factors you should know about this.
This article will cover the nutritional profile of bananas vis-a-vis the nutritional needs of a chicken, so read on.
Will Chickens Want To Eat Bananas?
Yes, bananas have an appealing color, are easily palatable (especially if you peel them for the chickens first), and have a great flavor that chickens seem to enjoy.
My hens usually choose a banana over corn if I set both out simultaneously.
However, preferences can vary significantly from flock to flock.
The Banana Nutrition Profile
One medium-sized, ripe banana (roughly one hundred grams) is:
- 75% or 75 grams of water
- 1.1 grams of protein
- 22.8 grams of carbohydrates (the riper the banana, the less starch/carbohydrates it will have; instead, it will be denser with sugar)
- 12.2 grams of sugar
- 2.6 grams of fiber
- 0.3 grams of fat
The Specific Nutrition Needs of a Chicken
Chickens need to eat about 120 grams of food per day.
But what does that look like when broken down into specific nutrients?
And how does that compare to a medium-sized banana?
Amount Present in a Medium-sized Banana
How Much a Chicken Needs per Day
500 grams (half a liter or 1 pint)
Bananas also provide a significant source of vitamins A, C, B6, magnesium, iron, and niacin.
Banana Cost Efficiency
As of 2021, one pound of bananas costs approximately 62 cents.
It takes about four and a half medium-sized bananas to make a pound.
Hypothetically, you could buy 3.7 pounds of bananas (about 17 bananas) to give to your chicken.
These 3.7 pounds would cost $2.34 and would provide the chicken with the following:
- 18.7 grams of protein (a little more than needed for the average laying hen)
- 5.1 grams of fat (just barely under her daily needs)
- 44.2 grams of fiber (approximately two weeks’ worth)
- 1,275 grams of water (two and half days’ worth of water, but regardless your chickens should ALWAYS have unlimited free access to fresh, clean water)
But because the nutritional values and quantities are all over the place, it would be very unwise to provide a strict banana-only diet to your chickens.
They would end up with far too much fiber and insufficient protein.
Plus, bananas are low in calories, making them a low-density food.
Chickens just couldn’t eat enough to fulfill their everyday dietary needs.
Still, bananas make excellent treats that are low in cost and high in several beneficial nutrients.
FAQs about Chickens and Bananas
How should bananas be prepared for chickens?
Bananas can be fed to chickens, either fresh or frozen.
It’s best to cut the banana into small pieces to make it easier for the chickens to eat.
You can also mash the banana and mix it with other foods, such as grains or vegetables, to create a balanced meal for your chickens.
Can chickens eat banana peels?
Yes, chickens can eat banana peels, but it’s important to make sure that the peels are thoroughly washed to remove any pesticides or other contaminants.
Banana peels are a good source of fiber, but they should be fed in moderation to avoid digestive upset.
How many bananas should you feed to your chickens?
Bananas should be fed to chickens in moderation, as they are high in sugar, especially the ripe ones.
A small amount of banana, such as a few small pieces per bird, can be fed as a treat or supplement to their regular diet.
It’s important to make sure that the majority of their diet consists of balanced chicken feed.
Can feeding chickens bananas be part of a balanced diet?
Feeding chickens bananas can be part of a balanced diet, as long as it is done in moderation and as a supplement to their regular feed.
Bananas are high in potassium and other nutrients that can be beneficial for chickens, but they should not be the sole source of nutrition for your birds.
Are there any other fruits that are safe for chickens to eat?
Yes, there are many other fruits that are safe for chickens to eat, including apples, pears, berries, and melons.
It’s important to avoid feeding chickens fruits that are toxic to birds, such as avocado or citrus fruits.
As with bananas, fruits should be fed in moderation to supplement their regular diet.
Yes, Chickens Can Eat Bananas!
Yes, it is safe for chickens to consume bananas.
They cannot harm themselves by overeating bananas simply because they are such a low-density food mostly comprised of water.
It is perfectly safe to feed bananas as treats to your flock.
This, of course, should be in addition to a well-balanced chicken feed plus unlimited amounts of fresh and clean water.
Want to learn about other foods that you can give to chickens?
Or wanna learn how to make your own chicken feed?
We have those covered. Check out our recommended articles below!