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Can Chickens Eat Plums? — The Benefits and Risks

Can chickens eat plums

Tasty treats like fruits which should be 10 to 30% of your feathery pet’s diet, can help meet their nutritional needs and kickstart their growth, but can chickens eat plums and other juicy fruits?

Chickens are omnivores who love to feast on insects and forage. But if you want to give them plums or scraps, there are things you need to know.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

  • If it’s safe to feed plums to chickens
  • The benefits and risks of feeding plums to your chooks
  • Things you need to avoid to ensure your birds’ safety

If you’re in a dilemma of whether to give your extra plums to your chickens or not, join us as we uncover the good and the ugly behind plums.

So, Can Chickens Eat Plums?

The short answer is yes; chickens can eat plums. Plums are members of the same fruit group as peaches, apricots, and nectarines. But plums are significantly more diversified than their stone-fruit cousins.

They can be huge or little, with red, green, purple, yellow, or orange in their skin, and the flesh can be either yellow, pink, or orange.

They first appeared in China a long time ago. Plums were then introduced to Japan, America, and parts of Europe. Today, over 2,000 varieties grow across the world.

Plums add a subtle sweet taste to salads and desserts, but their medical benefits for you and your flocks are the best part of the deal.

They can also be fed to your chickens as a healthier alternative. Why? Because they’re renowned for their nutritional value and juicy flesh, which your pets will love.

What to Avoid When Feeding Plums to Chickens

The plum, like the mango, is a drupe fruit with just a single seed enclosed by a rock pit that can be removed from the fleshly wrap. This is why this fruit is often known as stone fruit.

However, this fruit’s seed or stone pit is not edible for your chickens. Though most of the plum is safe for the chickens, only the pit must be removed. 

can chickens eat plum pits

Can Chickens Eat Plum Pits/Seeds?

You shouldn’t feed the pits to chickens because it contains amygdalin. When the seed is consumed, it converts into hydrogen cyanide.

Cyanide is a poisonous substance that is dangerous to animals and humans. Small amounts may cause gastrointestinal issues in your chickens.

But large amounts can lead to cyanide poisoning, serious health issues, or even death.

Now that you’re aware of this, remove the seed or pit from the fruit and properly dispose of them before giving the plum to your flocks. 

And because these backyard pets enjoy foraging, they may attempt to peck at the plum pit or seeds, which won’t decompose easily. So, make sure to throw them in your compost bin.

can chickens eat plum leaves

Can Chickens Eat Plum Leaves?

When chickens are foraging, they only scratch on many things like fall leaves or any garbages to find some bugs or worms. So, they might not recognize or pay attention to plum leaves.

A plum plant and its leaves in your backyard are safe as long as the birds won’t eat the seed or pit of the fruit itself.

Can Chickens Eat Cooked Plums?

If you have a lot of plums in your house, you might get bored eating them fresh. So, you might try to cook it to make it unique and share it with your little feathery friends.

Chickens would surely love it even if it’s cooked. It is safe for them as long as you do not include the seeds or the pit of the plum.

plums for chickens

Can Chickens Eat Raw Plums?

Consuming raw plums is safe for your flocks. Your chickens will surely enjoy the sweet, juicy taste of ripe plums’ flesh.

Even the plum skin can do no harm. So you can freely give it to your flock as a treat or snack any time of the day.

Can Chickens Eat Red Plums?

Because plums come in different colors, you might think that not all of them are edible. But the truth is, any varieties of plums are edible and safe for chickens, except their pits.

Red plums look similar to red apples and are on par with apples’ nutrition. 

Can Chickens Eat Wild Plums?

Wild plums are safe but may taste a little bitter compared to grafted or commercial ones. However, it also has many nutrients that your chickens can benefit from.

But for you to determine a wild plum, look out for the following characteristics:

  • It has oval-shaped leaves with a serrated edge and, on rare occasions, a somewhat downy underside. Although decorative trees can have leaves that are red or even purple, the leaves are typically green.
  • You must determine if the object is a tree, not a bush.
  • It has dark, smooth bark with horizontal lenticels and a purple tint in the new growth.

Can Chickens Eat Frozen Plums

Can Chickens Eat Frozen Plums?

Yes, frozen plums are safe for your chickens. In fact, it’s a perfect treat to beat the heat during the summer season!

You can offer your birds a sliced frozen plum with no pits to your flock while you enjoy your ice cream.

Are Dried Plums Poisonous to Chickens?

Dried and seasoned plums, a.k.a prunes, are nutrient-dense and have a higher sugar content than fresh plum fruit. 

A freshly picked plum only contains 16 grams of sugar, compared to 66 grams in a cup of dried plums. As you’ll see, there is a big difference between dried and fresh plums.

Most dried plums still have their pits. So, you must remove the seeds first and limit their prune consumption even if they’re safe for birds.

Health Benefits Of Plums For Chickens

Here are the health benefits of plums for your little critters:

Good Antioxidants

Plums contain the essential element to boost your chicken’s body health, antioxidants. This compound helps your flocks to prevent various diseases by fighting free radicals.

Good Fruit in Boosting Immune System

Feeding them fruits like plums rich in vitamin C will help them boost their immune system. 

A healthy and strong immune system equals a healthy heart which prevents sickness. And if they become ill, giving them plums will help lessen inflammations and faster recovery.

According to the National Library of Medicine, plums could help fight a parasitic condition called coccidiosis. This condition targets the tract of the chicken’s intestine. 

Resolves Indigestion

Aside from vitamin C, plums also contain fiber, which helps digest foods. It prevents constipation and improves your chickens’ bowel movement.

Promotes the Overall Health of Your Chickens

In addition to the health benefits of plums to your chickens, listed below are the other healthy nutrients that chickens can get from plums:

  • Vitamin A is one of the essential compounds in your chicken’s health. It helps the nose, inner eyelid, and esophagus to function properly by producing mucous.

Having a deficiency in this vitamin can lead to nutritional roup. And if not prevented, it could lead to more serious conditions.

  • Vitamin K – Aside from vitamin C, vitamin K also helps prevent coccidiosis. This vitamin helps synthesize prothrombin, which is essential in the clotting mechanism.

And preventing blood clots on your chicken’s injured body part helps fight infectious parasites.

  • Sorbitol – Sorbitol was found in studies to lower cholesterol in chickens. It also can potentially assist broiler hens being produced for meat in gaining weight.
  • Potassium – Potassium promotes egg production and reduces heat frustration in hot weather.
  • Calcium – Pregnant hens require calcium to lay eggs. If your hens do not get enough calcium, they will probably stop laying eggs or have thin eggshells.
  • Folate – This mineral is essential for appropriate feather and bone growth in hens and the prevention of anemia.

How Should You Feed Plums to Chickens?

Plums can be an easy and tasty treat or snack for your chickens. It’s simple to prepare by cutting it into pieces for them to digest easily.

Using their feeder or a tray, you can put them on and let them enjoy your treat.

If you have plum plants in your backyard, then it will not be hard to find them. But if you do not have any, you can easily purchase them in the market, and it will be great if you choose the ripe one.

In preparing this flavorful treat for your flock, you should:

  • Wash it carefully to remove dirt and other pollutants, especially when you purchase it from the market.
  • Get rid of the pit by cutting it in half.
  • Cut it into pieces to prevent choking hazards.
  • Put the plum in their feeder and let them eat it moderately.

Another simple method for feeding your chickens is combining plums with other fruits. For example, you can mix plums with strawberries and apples.

The fruits should be combined into small bits and in a sizable mixing dish. Place it in a bowl after that and feed this to your chickens.

On other days, you might as well mix plums into their commercial food. This way, your chickens will be able to enjoy a variety of flavors while having a balanced diet.

How Much and How Often Can Chickens Eat Plums?

You can give a small piece of plum to baby chicks but slice it into tiny pieces so the birds won’t choke. As for the adult chickens, half a plum for each is enough for them to gorge on. 

Even if plums are healthy, they’re high in fructose, sucrose, and glucose—all sugars that aren’t safe for chickens. And too much consumption can lead to indigestion. 

So, limit their consumption to once or twice a week at most.

Fruits Chickens Can Eat

Other Fruits Chickens Can Eat

Berries

All members of berries are among the favorite fruits of chickens, including blueberries, strawberries, mulberries, and others.

These fruits also contain many vitamins and minerals, and blueberries, particularly, are very good antioxidants.

Grapes

The same with plums; grapes are very nutritious for your chickens. They can enjoy the whole part of the grapes, even their vine. 

The only unsafe for them is the chemical from the harvest. So, wash it properly before feeding. And if it does have seeds, it would be better to remove them for more safety eating.

Apples

Apples are fresh and juicy, contain many vitamins, and are a good choice for your chicken’s diet.

However, its seed or the pit also contains cyanide. So, make sure to remove it before feeding.

Bananas

Bananas are soft fruit that chickens will also enjoy. In some instances, if you place bananas anywhere your flocks can reach, don’t expect they won’t peck on it. 

Melons

Chickens love to feast on melons, especially watermelons, but you can also give them Cantaloupe & Honeydew melons.

They can freely eat the flesh and seeds but feed them in moderation because overconsumption can lead to diarrhea.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chickens and Plums

Can chickens eat fresh plums?

Chickens will love to eat juicy fruits like plums and enjoy pecking at them any time of the day.

But since they’re high in sugar, you should limit your birds’ plum intake and feed them as special treats once in a while.

Can chickens eat plums and pears?

Chickens can eat plums and pears, although some birds aren’t fond of the taste of pears.

They contain vitamins and minerals and help your chicken in the egg production department when fed in moderation.

Can chickens eat plums and apricots?

Your poultry birds can eat plums and apricots but always remove the pits or seeds before feeding because apricots’ seeds contain traces of amygdalin.

This toxin converts to cyanide after digestion and is also present in the leaves and stems of apricots. It causes breathing, dilated pupils, panting, and shock.

Can Chickens Eat Plums: The Final Recap

To sum it up, chickens can eat plums, but you must eliminate the pits to ensure your bird’s safety.

The skin and flesh are safe for chicken consumption and free from toxins. You can also serve either raw, cooked, or frozen as long as they’re pit-free.

Plums are healthy for your birds, but they contain lots of sugar that can cause adverse effects on your chickens. So we recommend limiting your chickens’ plum intake.

If your chickens can eat plums, how about kiwis? Is it safe for birds? Learn about it in the article below.

READ NEXT: Can Chickens Eat Kiwi?—Everything You Need to Know

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