Chickens can eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables but what about citrus fruits like limes? Can chickens eat limes?
This may be a little surprising, but the answer is YES!
In fact, it’s one of the healthiest treats you can serve to your flocks. However, which part is safe for your chooks?
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- If chickens can eat lime seeds, peels, and leaves
- How much and often to feed them to your flock
- And how to prepare this citrus fruit to ensure your bird’s safety.
You’ll also discover the health benefits of feeding on limes and what you must look out for.
So without further ado, let’s get right into it!
Can Chickens Eat Lime?
As mentioned earlier, chickens can have limes in their diet. Its citric acid content help chickens have proper digestion.
It also improves your bird’s immunity and reduces pathogens.
Chickens need them to maintain a healthy body and fight free radicals.
But is lime safe for chickens? Definitely, YES. However, there are things you need to consider when feeding them.
Limes belong to the citrus fruit family. Like other citrus fruits, it has a round shape with a sour but juicy taste.
When raw, its peel is green, but when it’s ripe, it turns yellow or orange.
Since it’s sour, you might think it gives off vitamin C. But the deeper we learn, the more nutrients we’ll discover.
Can Baby Chicks Eat Limes?
If chickens can eat limes, would it be safe for the chicks? Absolutely, yes. It is very healthy for them.
However, because they are little ones, they should have only sparingly. Because limes are acidic, too much consumption will cause digestive problems.
Another thing you should remember is their age. Chicks below six weeks old are not allowed to try limes.
Can Chickens Eat Raw Lime?
Feeding raw limes to chickens is safe. Besides, it is the best way to get the nutrients that your flocks need.
But not all chickens are fond of the sour taste.
However, it would be better if the raw limes were ripe. Why?
Because when it ripens, the acidity level will decrease because it will develop natural sugar.
If you have a lime plant in your backyard, harvest them while green or unripe so they won’t be overripe.
Otherwise, they will turn bitter, and the juice will lessen.
Can Chickens Eat Lime Seeds?
Chickens can’t have all kinds of seeds.
However, unlike apples, avocados, and other fruit seeds, lime seeds don’t have a toxic compound like cyanide.
It means that it’s completely safe for your chickens. You don’t need to worry if they pick up the lime seeds.
But, you still need to control their consumption.
Can Chickens Eat Lime Peels?
If lime seeds are safe, how about the peels?
Well, for those who don’t know, all the peels of citrus fruits like limes, oranges, and lemons are edible.
So, they’re nutritional and safe for your flocks. It contains vitamin C and fiber that are good for your chickens.
You can even make candies out of it. However, candies are not recommended for chickens.
If you want to feed them lime peels, give them directly or cook them without any seasonings and serve them in moderation.
But chickens might love the flesh of lime more than its peels.
So if chicks will pick them, make sure to remove the peels because they can’t peel the fruit by themselves.
Benefits of Feeding Limes to Chickens
Lime was known as a good disinfectant for many decades because of its high alkalinity level.
Alkalinity refers to the capacity of water to withstand acidification. Because of the acid, bacteria, viruses, and fungi will be eliminated.
However, limes can do more than that, even for your chickens.
So, now let’s discuss the benefits limes can give your flock.
Rich in Vitamin C
Limes are known for their vitamin C content. It helps chickens maintain a healthy and strong body to heal illnesses.
So, adding limes that are full of vitamins will be a great help for them and prevent health problems.
Furthermore, vitamin C helps fight heat stress-induced problems in poultry, like poor immunity and feed intake.
Limes are a great source of citric acid. How does it help your chickens?
This citric acid mainly helps flocks to promote their growth.
It improves digestion, reduces pathogens, and acidifies gastrointestinal contents.
So generally, adding limes to their diet will improve nutrient absorption from the food they eat.
Good Parasite Repellant
Aside from being disinfectant, limes do well in repelling pests like ticks, mites, lice, small hive beetles, aphids, and fleas.
How does it work? Unlike chickens and animals, pests don’t like the smell of limes.
It can suffocate them, so it will force them to leave the place where they’re staying.
To effectively use limes as repellant, mix it with water in a spray bottle and apply it to the area where the pests are.
Feeding limes can be a natural way of calming anxious chickens. Why? Because it contains natural compounds that reduce stress.
So, if you notice that your flocks are experiencing stress after moving, try adding limes to their diet because it might help.
In what way does feeding limes to chickens add their variety? It refers to the food that chickens will eat.
If flocks are not familiar with the taste of the food, like the sour flavor of limes, they might disregard it.
But if you mix it with their food and moderately give it to them, they will eventually like it.
If the hens start to love having limes in their diet, it will be inherited by the next generation.
They may enjoy the taste of limes and other citrus fruits.
How Often Should You Feed Limes to Chickens?
A nutritionally adequate chicken feed should make up 80% to 90% of chickens’ calories. That simply so happens that way.
Limes and other goodies, such as fruit or other foods, can make up 20% to 10% of the diet.
Giving your chickens limes a few times each week won’t harm them as long as it’s in moderation.
While their livers can only metabolize about 30 grams of calcium daily, there is no upper limit on how much lime you should feed your hens.
Effects of Too Much Lime Consumption on Chickens
Is lime harmful to chickens? Not really, but overconsumption of this citrus can have adverse health effects.
Although limes or their seeds don’t immediately injure your chickens, consuming too many can certainly lead to digestive issues.
Ingesting too much vitamin C may affect your bird’s calcium intake and the usage of calcium in the chicken’s body, especially when it comes to egg laying.
The main worry with excessive lime consumption is it may cause eggs to hatch with deformed shells or lead to very fragile eggs.
The flavor of eggs can also be greatly altered by it.
Consuming excessive limes will eventually lead to nutritional imbalances, which can result in various health issues in your birds.
Make sure you follow the above-described supplementation schedule for your chicken’s diet.
How to Prepare Lime For Your Chickens
Feeding limes to your flocks is pretty simple.
First, cut them into half, quarters, or smaller and directly put them in their chicken feeders.
Offer it in small amounts at first but test if their taste buds approve of the taste.
If you want it to be more watery, blend the limes and add a small amount of water until it becomes a paste.
And the last thing is to mix it with their food. Chickens will surely highly benefit from it.
Other Fruits Chickens Can Eat
Aside from limes, chickens can enjoy other delicious fruits as treats. So, here are some of the popular fruits they can eat.
Since oranges belong to the citrus family, they are also packed with many nutrients beneficial to your flocks.
It includes vitamins A and B6, fiber, calcium, folate, magnesium, and potassium. It will help with their overall growth and boost their health.
Because of watermelon’s high potassium, magnesium, and water content, it is one of the best treats for chickens, especially in the hot season.
It will help your flocks keep hydrated and be a good booster for their heart health.
However, just cut it open, and your chickens will, in no time, feast on it.
But keep their consumption in moderation to avoid bloating or any digestive problems.
Cantaloupes or sweet melons also give nutritional benefits.
It has vitamins C and A that helps your flocks reduce stress, improve their growth, and boost their immune system, but it should be fed in moderation.
Lemon fruit also belongs to the citrus family.
Like other citrus fruits, lemons are rich in vitamin C, which is essential in boosting your flock’s immune system.
Chickens can eat lemons the way they can feed on limes. The preparation is similar to lime, so it’s a no-brainer.
Grapefruit is the largest fruit among all citrus families.
It contains more water and vitamin C that helps hydrate your flocks in hot weather and boost their immune system.
But too much consumption can lead to stomach upsets and diarrhea.
Frequently Asked Questions About Limes for Chickens
Are limes good for chickens?
Definitely, yes. Limes are a great addition to your flock’s diet.
Based on our discussion, limes are a good vitamin C source and help improve digestion.
They’re also good pest repellants and stress reducers.
Can chickens drink lime water?
Definitely, yes. Since limes have a watery texture, they are liquid in form.
However, chickens might not like the very sour taste of pure limes, so you can add water to it and use it as an alternative to drinking water.
What type of lime is used for chicken feed?
There are a lot of varieties of lime in different places around the world.
There are Key limes, Bearss limes, finger limes, kaffir limes with bumpy skin, Mexican limes, Tahiti limes, and Philippine limes.
They all have the same nutrients and benefits. You can use any of the varieties available in your country.
Will lime hurt chickens?
Although limes are healthy for chickens, they should be given in moderation. Why? Because too much is harmful.
They shouldn’t go beyond the exact nutrition they need. This reminder applies to all foods, so it must be followed for your flock’s sake.
Is garden lime safe for chickens?
Planting limes in your backyards is safe for chickens.
But if you’re planting for agricultural purposes and using soil additives, keep it away from your flocks to avoid poisoning your chickens with chemicals and additives.
Do chickens like limes?
Some chickens like the sour taste of lemons, but many of them prefer sweeter treats such as melon and grapes over sour fruits.
So before throwing your extra limes to your flocks, you must have a taste check to know if they like the taste.
Final Recap: Can Chickens Eat Limes?
To sum it up, chickens can eat limes, and their seeds and peels are safe for your flocks.
However, many chickens don’t like the sour taste of limes.
But it’s rich in vitamin C and a good pest repellant. It also aids your chicken’s digestion.
Will lime hurt chickens if they eat it? Well, overconsumption can cause adverse effects, so feed moderately.
They can also eat other citrus fruits like apples, lemons, and grapefruits.
But how about pears? Is it also safe for your chickens? Check out the article below to uncover the answer.