Can Chickens Eat Bananas?

Posted by Christy Caplan

I have two flocks and two roosters, and my chickens love to eat watermelon, tomatoes, and cottage cheese. But bananas, not so much.

The rule is to keep treats to 10 percent of their overall diet. Bananas are great because they have:

  • Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Fiber
  • Folate

What treats are ok for chickens to eat?

We put out a lot of squash and pumpkins as these are veggies they absolutely love. We're also a big fan of herbs as treats for the ladies.

Chicken feed options are varied but remember the 90/10 rule. You should only feed 10 percent of chicken treats as backyard chickens need to eat their feed. If your bird's free-range they will enjoy protein like bugs and insects too so remember they're also getting food just by scratching and pecking. Table scraps aren't great for the ladies. Feeding chickens earthworms are great as a snack for birds that are molting as they're high protein for the flock but you want healthy chickens so everything should be given with that in mind.

Grass clippings can cause sour crops so be careful and don't add that as a 'snack' to the chicken run. Different chicken breeds also may get heavy quickly so if you have big birds like Wyandotte birds refrain from kitchen scraps.

If you want fresh eggs daily you must consider healthy snacks like sunflower seeds, leafy greens, mealworms, blueberries, and watermelon but do not give them raw potato!

Bananas are always on the O.K. list for your chickens. Here's a comprehensive guide of treats that your chickens can have in addition to their feed.

The better the diet the better quality the eggs! Yet feeding chickens bananas is fine!

Here are some rules when it comes to bananas:

  • Don't include the banana peel as your chickens won't know what to do with it
  • Keep moldy food in the garbage and not in the coop. If your birds don't enjoy what you give them throw it away. Always make sure the chicken pen is clear of old human food.
  • There are many health benefits but these treats should be given on special occasions and not in large quantities
  • You can mash up the banana if you want but they'll peck at it enough to get small bites, don't worry about cutting it up in small pieces
  • Ripe bananas are fine but little pieces or small quantities, not a whole banana or large amounts
  • A chicken's diet should include a pellet or crumble (a dry food) and it should meet their dietary needs for egg-laying and egg production
  • I find that my birds don't love citrus fruit but you can try it.

Always pay attention to skin health, eye health, muscle strength, a healthy heart, and what nutritional value the food you're feeding contains.

Know someone who would like to add chickens to their flock? Tell us in the comments below!

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Can Chickens Eat Bananas?