Chickens can safely eat butternut squash as part of a nutritionally balanced diet.
And as a matter of fact, it has several medicinal properties that will likely help your chickens look and feel better.
We cover all of that and more below.
Will Chickens Eat Butternut Squash?
Chickens love butternut squash, but they may need your help opening it up for them.
If the skin of the squash is too thick, they may not be able to get into the soft and fleshy interior.
And, of course, if your chickens have never tried butternut squash before, they will not have any motivation or reason to try to get to the center of the squash.
Either cut it in half or dice it up into small pieces for your chickens.
Don’t worry about the seeds; your chickens should be able to eat those.
They may even have some deworming properties to help your flock’s overall health.
The Butternut Squash Nutrition Profile
100 grams of butternut squash is:
- 45 calories
- 1 gram of protein
- 2 grams of fiber
- 0.1 grams of fat
- 4 milligrams of sodium
- 352 milligrams of potassium
- 40 milligrams of Calcium
- 31.5 milligrams of Vitamin C 35
- 0.45 milligrams of Iron
- 0.12 milligrams of Vitamin B6
- 24.8 milligrams of Magnesium
The Specific Nutrition Needs of a Chicken
|Nutrition Item||Amount Present in 100 grams of Butternut Squash||How Much a Chicken Needs Per Day|
|Protein||1 gram||17 grams for a light breed hen or 23 grams for growing broilers|
|Fat||0.1 gram||6 grams|
|Fiber||2 grams||3 grams|
While butternut squash makes for a delicious and healthy treat, it is not a nutritionally complete food item for chickens.
Feeding an exclusive diet of butternut squash would likely leave your chickens with far too much fiber and a severe deficiency in protein and fats.
Is It Safe for Chickens to Eat Butternut Squash?
Butternut squash is safe for chickens to eat and could benefit them in many ways.
Butternut squash is part of the cucurbitaeae plant family (the gourd family).
Farmers have used these plants as natural dewormers for hundreds of years for themselves and their livestock – and that includes chickens.
Feeding these plants in the fall and spring is often recommended to reduce parasitic worms in the animals and your soils.
Most evidence suggests that the seeds act as natural dewormers rather than the entire plant itself.
This study from Veterinary Parasitology in ScienceDirect revealed that the seeds did reduce parasitic worm loads in goats.
And this study from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences showed reduced worm loads in the tested mice.
If you’re interested in learning more about parasites in chickens, be sure to read Chicken Wormers: All You Need To Know.
FAQs about Chickens and Butternut Squash
How should butternut squash be prepared for chickens to eat?
Butternut squash should be cooked and diced or mashed before feeding it to chickens.
This will make it easier for them to digest and prevent any choking hazards.
How much butternut squash should be fed to chickens?
Butternut squash should be fed to chickens in moderation as a treat or supplement to their regular diet.
A few small pieces per chicken per day is usually sufficient.
Are there any risks associated with feeding butternut squash to chickens?
Feeding butternut squash to chickens is generally safe, but there is a risk of overfeeding or feeding it improperly prepared.
Overfeeding can lead to digestive issues, while improperly prepared squash can cause choking hazards.
Can feeding butternut squash to chickens change the color of their egg yolks?
Feeding butternut squash to chickens is not likely to change the color of their egg yolks.
The chicken’s diet determines the color of egg yolks, but butternut squash is not known to affect the color.
What other types of squash can chickens eat?
Chickens can also eat other types of squash, such as acorn squash, spaghetti squash, and pumpkin.
These should also be cooked and prepared before feeding to chickens.
Can Chickens Eat Butternut Squash? Yes, But…
Your flock shouldn’t exclusively eat butternut squash.
Why? Because it’s not nutritionally complete for chickens.
It has too much fiber-to-protein-and-fats ratio.
While it’s perfectly healthy in a balanced diet, it should not be your chicken’s only food source.
Interested in learning more about proper nutrition and chicken diets?
Check out our other articles about chicken feeds and chicken feeding below!