Chickens love a little variety in their diets and adding some leftover strawberries to their meal will make them a happy flock of chickens.
Strawberries are perfectly safe for your chickens, in moderation, of course.
Why Feed Your Chickens Strawberries
Aside from the fact that it’s fun to feed your chickens treats from time to time, there’s also a slew of other benefits of feeding your chickens strawberries.
Strawberries are Nutrient Rich
Strawberries are packed full of vitamin C and B9 as well as antioxidants that can benefit not only your family but your flock of chickens as well.
Strawberries Cure the Blues (kind of)
Chickens are natural foragers. They love to find new tasty treats to snack on. If you have free-range chickens, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Chickens will hunt and peck busily for the entire day, foraging for different kinds of food. But can you imagine eating the same thing every single day? If your chickens can’t free-range, they are probably pretty bored with the same old same old.
Tossing a few bits of variety, including a healthy dose of fresh strawberries, may bring energy back to the coop that’s been missing.
Bored chickens have a tendency to pick on each other, cause fights, develop bad habits, and be quite noisy. A variety in their diet is interesting for them, and in a way, keeps them busy.
How to Feed Your Chickens Strawberries
If you’re in need of a few quick tips about the best ways to feed your chickens this sweet treat, read on!
Go Easy on the Strawberries
While a few strawberries here and there won’t harm your chickens, it can cause metabolic issues due to the sugar concentration in the berries. Even though berries have a much lower sugar content than other types of fruit, in large doses, they can be detrimental to their health.
So think of strawberries as a special, occasional treat.
Watch for Moldy Strawberries
Have you ever bit into a strawberry and turned it over to realize it had mold on it? Yuck, right? Well chickens don’t care for mold either, and it can cause illness and death for your birds if they’ve consumed it (or simply come in contact with it.)
So before you give your chickens their sweet treats, do a once over and make sure that the strawberries are free from mold, and not rotten. They can be a little squishy, that’s fine, but just don’t give your chickens anything containing fungus, mold, or overly rotten fruit.
Provide Plenty of Grit
It goes without saying that chickens need grit in order to digest their food, and if you are introducing something new to their diet, give em an extra handful of grit so they can easily process the berries.
Because berries have a high sugar content, they are not able to break down the berries as easily as their commercial feeds. Grit can help with this dilemma.
Serve Strawberries Cold
On hot summer days, nothing is better than something icy cold to cool down the coop. Freeze berries that you don’t plan to eat, or extras from the garden, and hand them out when your chooks are trying to handle a hot day.
Give Your Chickens Their Own Garden
A strawberry patch of their own may be just what the doctor ordered for your free-range chickens. As long as you provide a variety of food items so your chickens have a balanced diet, they can have their strawberry patch free choice.
You can even add in other chicken favorites like leafy greens so they have a bit of a salad bar to choose from. Just don’t plan on keeping anything for yourself…your chooks will have called dibs.
The first time you give your chickens strawberries, you’ll probably be shocked at how quickly they disappear. These plump juicy berries are a favorite fruit for chickens, and if you do happen to have your own strawberry patch, you might want to consider protecting it from your new strawberry thieves if you weren’t planning on sharing.