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 seventy-five grams of water
- 1.1 grams of protein
- 22.8 grams of carbohydrates (the riper the banana, the less starch/carbohydrates it will have, and 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 Banana
How Much a Chicken Needs Per Day
17 grams for a light breed hen or 23 grams for growing broilers
500 grams (a half liter or one pint)
Bananas also provide a significant source of vitamins A, C, B6, magnesium, iron, and niacin.
Banana Cost Efficiency
One pound of bananas costs approximately sixty-two cents as of 2021.
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)
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.
Is It Safe For Chickens to 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 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? Check out this article. Or wanna learn how to make your own chicken feed? We have that covered too!