Offering a variety of fruits to our backyard flock is fun and rewarding because of their nutritional value, but what about kiwis? Can chickens eat kiwi?
This emerald-green goodness wrapped in fuzzy brown skin may not be the most mouth-watering treat for birds, but they have a lot to offer.
So, in this article, we’ll discuss the answer to the most frequently asked questions about kiwis and chickens, such as:
- Can chickens eat kiwi fruit skins, flesh, and seeds?
- How can chicken benefit from eating kiwi fruit?
- And how should you feed it to your birds, and what is the maximum amount you should offer?
We’ll also share with you other fruits your chicken will love and fruits you should avoid at all costs.
So, if you want to know if kiwis are good for chickens and what are the pros and cons of feeding this fruit to your flock, let’s dig in!
Can Chickens Eat Kiwi?
Yes, chickens can eat kiwi if it’s ripe and your bird is not allergic to it. Unripe kiwis are sour, and their acidic content can cause gastric problems because of the high amounts of papain.
There are several types of kiwi; others have bright green flesh, while others are deep yellow, which is juicier.
So, when buying kiwis for your chicken, buy the tastier and juicier variety because chickens tend to like sweets.
Is Kiwi Safe for Birds?
Yes, you can offer kiwi to your birds. Just make sure to clean it thoroughly and peel the kiwis for chickens to get rid of the fuzzy feel.
Can Chickens Eat Kiwi Seeds?
Kiwi seeds are tiny, so they don’t pose any risk to your chicken if swallowed.
In fact, the seeds help the chicken to facilitate the passage of food since they go to the digestive tract unbroken.
Kiwi seeds are packed with fiber, protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, which benefit your bird.
Can Chickens Eat Kiwi Skin?
If they can eat the flesh, can chickens eat kiwi fruit skins? Chickens can eat all parts of the kiwi, including the skin.
It has a tough and strange texture and taste due to the high concentration of microscopic elements called raphides and their acidic content. But kiwi’s skin is edible and nutritious.
In fact, it’s where most of the nutrients are concentrated.
For example, the skin contains vitamins E and C, fiber, and folate.
But do chickens eat kiwi skin?
Well, not all chickens are keen on eating kiwi skin. And it’s not easy to digest because it’s tough, especially the part near the top and bottom of the core.
So, it’s no surprise if your chickens leave most of the skin.
If you think your chicken is allergic to the skin, peel it off and offer the tasty flesh.
Are Kiwis Good for Chicken?
Kiwi contains lots of nutrients, so it’s a good treat for chickens. It’s a one-of-a-kind fruit because all its parts are edible—from its skin to its flesh and even the seeds.
You’ll never go wrong with kiwis because it is one of the most nutritious fruits in the world, and they can bring a lot of goodness to your chickens.
Nutritional Benefits of Kiwi to Chicken
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, kiwis contain:
- 42 Calories
- 57 g of water
- 10.1 g of Carbohydrates
- 6.2 g of Sugar
- 1.07 g of Fiber
- 0.35 g Fat
- 0.78 g of Protein
- 215 mg of Potassium
- 64 mg of Vitamin C
- 23.5 mg of Calcium
- 23.5 mg of Phosphorus
- 11.7 mg of Magnesium
- 27.8 µg of Vitamin K
- 17.2 µg of Folate
But how can these nutrients help boost your chicken’s immunity and growth? Let’s dive deep into how your birds can benefit from them.
80% of kiwi is water, and it aids in digestion, nutrient transportation, and keeping the birds cool.
It’s often an overlooked part, but water is essential for egg production and bodily processes in birds, just as in humans.
Carbs provide energy for the birds, and the good news is kiwi is high in carbs. However, since it contains lots of sugar, you need to be careful not to overfeed them.
Chickens need around 500 to 600 ppm of magnesium to have balanced nutrition.
Although they can get the most of it from feed, kiwis are a good source and option if your current feed lacks this nutrient.
This mineral is crucial for chickens because it helps develop healthy bones and harder eggshells.
If you’re feeding your birds with commercial feed that’s sufficient with calcium, kiwis may be unnecessary. But it can help supplement birds who were raised on natural grains.
Aside from calcium, chickens also need Phosphorus for bone development and other metabolic processes.
It’s another essential mineral that helps improve muscle and nerve function and metabolic health.
Laying hens require at least 150 mg of potassium per day to lay eggs regularly, so a kiwi can help fulfill their needs.
Vitamin C and K
Kiwis contain antioxidants and vitamins C that fights oxidative stress and boosts the immune system.
It also carries Vitamin K, which plays a huge role in blood clotting and the building of bones.
Chickens also need proteins to build their bodies and have strong and healthy muscles and bones.
Kiwis can supplement this need and help you obtain beautiful carcasses that are meaty enough.
Kiwi skin and seeds are good sources of fiber which aids in dealing with constipation and gastric problems in chickens.
It helps maintain the bowel system and good digestion.
How to Feed Kiwis to Chickens
Kiwis are good treats for birds, but they should be fed in moderation and the right way.
Here are some serving tips to ensure your bird can get the most out of this fruit and not waste it:
1. Wash the kiwi
Wash the kiwi first with water to get rid of dirt. Chickens have sensitive internal organs, so it’s best to keep them away from eating dirt.
2. Slice it
Don’t throw the whole kiwi to your chickens because it will be wasted if it fails to pass on your chicken’s taste test.
Cut it into half and then start to slice it into small pieces so they can peck at it. If your birds don’t seem to like the skin, it’s best to remove it and offer the flesh.
3. Serve the kiwi
You have two options when serving kiwis to chickens; you can either give it to them directly or mix it with regular chicken feed or other fruit slices such as apples, pineapples, and berries.
4. Remove the uneaten kiwis
If your chickens don’t like kiwis or leave some excess, you need to dispose of it properly because it can attract rats and rodents into your backyard.
Rotten kiwis are also good breeding grounds for parasites. So, you need to clean the coop and remove the excess.
Is Kiwi a Treat or a Feed?
Even if kiwis are nutritious, that doesn’t mean they should replace your chicken’s main diet.
Treats like kiwi must only account for 10% of your bird’s main diet because they don’t have all the nutrients needed for growth and development.
You should feed your chickens kiwi in moderation because it’s high in sugar. And too much intake of it can cause obesity, high blood pressure, and other health problems for your birds.
So, don’t overfeed your chickens with kiwi!
But how much is enough? The recommended ratio is one kiwi fruit to 6 to 7 chickens, but it should only be fed a week or less thrice.
Other Treats Your Chicken Will Love
If kiwis are not available in your kitchen, here are other great treat ideas your chicken may love:
Lettuce aids in digestion and helps maintain the intestinal tract in chickens. However, eating too much can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea because it contains lots of water.
Kale is also beneficial for chickens because it contains antioxidants like beta-carotene, flavonoids, and polyphenols.
These antioxidants help reduce inflammation, support the growth of tissues like skin and feathers, and protect the heart.
This part of the turnip provides calcium, potassium, folate, magnesium, folate, vitamins A and K, and zinc, which can boost chicken immunity.
Chickens love watermelon, and they’d surely feast on it. It offers antioxidants, lycopene, vitamin C, and electrolytes which keep the birds healthy and hydrated, but as with all treats, it should be fed in moderation.
If you’re into strawberries and you want to share some of them with your chickens, you don’t have anything to worry about!
These tasty fruits are high in vitamin C, B9, and antioxidants which are beneficial for chickens.
Just look out for the amount and molds because molds and too many strawberries can harm their health.
Just like strawberries, blueberries make a great treat for chickens because they’re sweet, flavorful, and rich in fiber, vitamin C and K.
You’ll never go wrong with cucumbers too, because they can provide high amounts of potassium, vitamins C, K, and A, fiber, manganese, and magnesium.
Similar to watermelon, cucumbers contain lots of water and can provide hydration.
This nutrient-rich food is a holy grail essential for beautiful feathering and faster plumage development, and it provides antioxidants, potassium, and carotenoids.
It can be served raw or cooked, but don’t overfeed your chickens with carrots.
With its high vitamin E, thiamine, niacin, iron, and vitamin B6 content, it’s no wonder why pumpkin is considered one of the most nutritious treats for chicken.
Not only that, but their seeds are also rich in fiber, zinc, protein, and healthy fats.
Chickens can also benefit from yogurt’s probiotics, just like us humans.
A small amount of yogurt can boost the chicken’s gut bacteria, and immune system make sure to avoid flavored ones and feed it in moderation.
As you probably notice, it’s the only dairy product on this list. But it’s worth mentioning because cottage cheese contains protein that improves bone health and egg-binding properties.
It’s beneficial for egg-laying hens and tasty, so there’s a high chance your chicken may love it too!
Fruits That Aren’t Good for Chickens
While fruits are healthy and nutritious for chickens, you must avoid feeding your birds with the following to avoid poisoning your flock:
Even though some people feed their chickens with avocado, most experts don’t advise it since avocado, and its pit and peel contain persin.
It’s a compound that is toxic to pet birds and chickens.
2. White Potato and Green Potato Skins
You should not feed your birds white potatoes, either cooked or raw, because they contain solanine that destroys red blood cells and causes diarrhea and heart problems.
Boiling won’t reduce the solanine, so it’s best to stay away from these nightshade plants.
3. Eggplant and Tomato
Eggplants and tomatoes, including peppers, are also part of the nightshade family, which contain a toxic solanine compound.
It’s best to avoid green tomatoes and immature eggplant flesh until they’re ripe and the solanine’s presence is no longer much of a concern.
Apple may seem tempting for chickens, but its pit or seeds contain a cyanide toxin.
Even apricots, cherries, pears, peaches, and plums contain trace amounts of cyanide. So, it’s best to avoid these stone fruits.
Citrus is believed to disrupt calcium absorption and leach the calcium out of the bones, which results in thin-shelled and fewer eggs.
Some chickens naturally avoid citrus, but it’s best not to throw these toxic fruits so they won’t be tempted to try them.
Aside from citrus, chickens should not eat chocolate or candies because they contain theobromine.
Dry beans, onions, rhubarb, mushrooms, moldy or rotten food, or salty foods should also not be fed to chickens.
Can Chickens Eat Kiwi: A Quick Recap
The direct answer to the commonly asked question, “can chickens eat kiwi” is yes! Chickens can eat any part of kiwi.
Their juicy and flavorful flesh is the most loved part of kiwis, but the skin is also highly nutritious.
It’s where the nutrients are concentrated, so if your birds approve of the taste and texture of the skin, they’ll benefit more.
So, before you peel the skin, try offering it to your birds first.
Some parts of this exotic fruit are quite tough, but if you’d slice it up and offer the soft flesh, your birds will surely love to feast on it.