Now, most chicken experts recommend farmers to feed their chickens with grains, fresh veggies, and fruits to enjoy a balanced diet. One of the fruits you can feed your chickens is the kiwi. But, can chickens eat kiwi as a fruit? The answer is yes. Kiwi is one of the highly nutritious fruits that offer a strong source of vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals, folates, and antioxidants.
Besides, chickens can eat all of a kiwi fruit including the skin, flesh, and seeds. As long as the fruit is ripe and not rotten, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t feed your chickens with kiwi.
With that done and dusted, the next question you’re likely to ask is how much is enough. So, that’s exactly what this short guide will be discussing. We’ll also discuss the health benefits of kiwi and how you’re supposed to feed your chickens with this highly nutritious fruit.
Things to Consider for Choosing Kiwis for Your Chickens
A kiwi is a tiny fruit that’s loaded with lots of essential nutrients that are vital for the well-being of your chickens. But, before giving it to your chickens, it’s good to understand the appropriate amounts of nutrients that are there in each serving of kiwi. So, here, we’re going to list what a 100g (3 ounces) of kiwi fruit offers.
As you can see, kiwi fruits are rich in essential nutrients, with vitamin C being exceptionally high (at 80%). So, before we get to the next section, we would like to discuss some of the common nutrients and how they benefit your chicken.
- Minerals: Kiwi is rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. These minerals are essential in boosting metabolic health, blood clot formation, muscle contractions, nerve functioning, and proper bone formation.
- Carbohydrates: Kiwi is a rich source of carbohydrates in the form of starch and sugar. Since carbohydrates are the main sources of energy for chickens, feeding them with kiwi fruits will be ideal.
- Vitamins: Here, we’re talking of Vitamins B6, C, and K with vitamin C being the highest. Vitamin K aids in blood clot formation and bone health while Vitamin C helps to support the immune system of your feathered friends. Vitamin E is vital in laying hens as it improves egg production.
- Energy: Energy gives your free-ranging chickens the fuel they need to walk and run.
- Fiber: Enough dietary fiber in a kiwi’s skin helps to enhance digestion and prevent constipation.
- Proteins: Proteins are bodybuilding components that give your chickens enough muscles to increase their weight.
- Water: Lastly, kiwis contain 80% water. This water is essential in aiding digestion, transporting nutrients in the blood, and keeping the chicken cool.
What Are the Health Benefits of Kiwis for the Chickens?
Benefits Heart Health
Now, if you’re raising a flock of fast-growing broilers or hybrid chickens that lay lots of eggs, then such chickens are susceptible to heart failure. So, to boost their heart health, you need to feed them with kiwis.
You see, kiwi contains carotenoids, which are health-promoting compounds that help to protect your flock against heart diseases.
We’re all aware of how fragile chickens are. So, to protect them from disease, you can consider giving them kiwi fruits. Kiwis contain vitamins C and E as the main antioxidants. These antioxidants help to improve the performance of the immune system and fight oxidative stress caused by heat stress among your chickens.
The seeds and skin of kiwi contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber regulates blood sugar while insoluble fiber maintains bowel movement. Now, the dietary fibers in kiwi retain water quite well. This helps to improve digestion, prevent any blockage in the digestive tract, and prevent constipation.
Builds the Body
Lastly, it’s every farmer’s wish to sell healthy and heavy chickens, especially if they’re broilers. Giving them kiwi is one way you can ensure this. Kiwis contain proteins and minerals. Proteins give your chickens enough muscles to build weight while minerals, such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium aid in the formation of strong and healthy bones.
Have Any Health Issues (Problems) with Feeding Chicken Kiwis?
Now, kiwis are highly nutritious fruits with lots of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fibers. Secondly, kiwis are low in calories and fats.
However, this only happens when they’re offered in moderation. You see, kiwi is a fruit that contains high sugar content. When mixed with other sugary fruits and offered frequently, kiwis can cause serious health issues to chickens suffering from metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
Can Chickens Eat Kiwi Skin, Seeds, and Flesh?
The answer is yes. Chickens can eat the kiwi fruit including the skin, flesh, and seeds. Provided you don’t give them too much, all the parts of a kiwi are safe to eat. When feeding your chickens, it’s a good practice to give them the whole fruit and allow them to peck and eat everything.
Otherwise, peeling the skin and removing the seeds means that you’ll deny your chickens vital nutrients. That said, let’s look at how your chicken can benefit from each part of kiwi fruit.
Now, chickens are not like humans. So, when it comes to eating kiwi seeds, they won’t have a problem with that. However, it’s important to mention that kiwi seeds are so tiny that they can’t choke your chicken. They can be swallowed while full and not cause any danger.
Also, the seeds are harmless and are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, roughage, and omega-3 fatty acids. Lastly, being small means that kiwi seeds are very challenging to get rid of. So allowing your chickens to eat them is a kind of a time saver.
Kiwi skins have a mix of bitter and tangy flavors with an acidic essence that’s quite irritating to humans. But, what about chickens? Can chickens eat kiwi skin? Well, when it comes to chickens, this is a different story.
Chickens can happily eat kiwi skin without any problem. However, there are times when your chickens might tear through the skin to eat the sweet juicy flesh inside. Since the skin holds most of the nutrients found in kiwi fruit (such as Vitamins E, C, fiber, and folate), you can try grinding the skin and mixing it with chicken feed.
Secondly, grinding the kiwi skin is essential because of its toughness, especially near the top and the core. This means that your chickens won’t be choked when eating.
Lastly, there’s the flesh. This is considered the juiciest and softest part of the kiwi fruit. The flesh can be deep yellow when ripe or bright green when unripe. In most cases, it’s good that you feed your chickens ripe kiwi. Unripe kiwi is sour and contains high acid content that can cause gastric disorders in your chickens.
Should Kiwis Serve as Treats or Feed?
Kiwis are nutrient-dense fruits that offer many health benefits to your chickens. Does this, therefore, mean that kiwis should serve as the main meal or feed for your chickens? Well, the answer is no. Kiwis should be offered as treats and not as the main feed.
Therefore, they should only consist of up to 10% of your chickens’ daily diet and not more. Although kiwis contain a blend of many nutrients, they still miss some essential nutrients that are beneficial to your chickens.
The worst part is that these fruits contain high sugar content that can spike the sugar levels in chickens suffering from diabetes. When offered in high amounts, the high sugar content can lead to diabetes among your chickens in the future.
Worst of all, excess sugar can pile in the chicken’s body and convert to fats. These fats can cause obesity among your chickens and later result in high blood pressure. So, to avoid such risks, kiwis should be classified as treats and offered in small amounts in the ratio of 1 fruit in every 6 – 7 chickens.
Serving Tips / How to Feed Kiwis to Chickens?
When it comes to feeding your chickens with kiwi, how you feed them can make a huge difference in how your chickens benefit. So, in this section, we’re going to offer some tips on how to feed your chickens with kiwi.
Serve Ripe Kiwi
Before you offer kiwi to your chickens, ensure that it’s fresh and ripe. Ripe kiwis are juicy, soft, and very nutritious. Unripe kiwis are acidic and most of the nutrients are yet to develop fully. Also, make sure the fruit is fresh and not rotten.
Next, wash the kiwi fruits thoroughly to remove any dirt and chemical deposits on the skin, especially near the top and core. Remember, your chickens have sensitive organs that require extreme care.
Cut in Half
Now cut the kiwi fruit into half or quarters and give it to your chickens. Your chickens will tear the pieces and eat everything including the seeds, flesh, and skin. If you have young chicks or first-time birds, then you can slice the kiwi into small pieces to encourage them to eat.
Remove Any Uneaten Kiwi
In case there are kiwi leftovers in the coop, make sure that you remove them immediately. Since the kiwi will get rotten over time, removing the leftover pieces will prevent rats and rodents from getting into the coop. It will also prevent the buildup of parasites and bacteria in the coop.
Which Foods Can Chickens Eat?
- Apples: They aid in digestion. However, the seeds contain cyanide and should hence be removed.
- Almonds: Almonds are great and should be chopped first.
- Asparagus: They’re packed with Vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. However, they should be fed in moderation to avoid altering the taste of the eggs.
- Broccoli: High in vitamins and low in fats.
- Bananas: Bananas are a rich source of Vitamins B6, C, and A and vital minerals such as magnesium and iron.
- Berries: Berries such as blueberries and strawberries are great as they contain Vitamins A, C, and B9. They’re also rich in minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory components.
- Vegetables: Vegetables consist of a long list that includes asparagus, potatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, zucchini, celery, lettuce, spinach, and radishes among others. All these veggies contain vitamins and minerals that are useful to your flock.
- Seeds: Seeds from sunflowers, pumpkins, chia, and cantaloupe contain vitamins and minerals that are very beneficial to your chickens.
- Crickets: Crickets contain carbohydrates, minerals, proteins, and fats.
- Popcorns: So long you don’t add salt or sugar, popcorn can serve as a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Meat: Meat serves as a rich source of protein. Mealworms can also fall into this category.
- Watermelon: This is a great refreshing treat for your chickens that contains vitamins and water.
- Nuts: You can also give your chickens nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, and peanut butter. They contain high omega fats and proteins that are beneficial to your chickens in myriad ways.
- Pasta: Pasta is high in carbohydrates and hence great for chickens.
- Peels: Peels from potatoes, bananas, and oranges are also great so long as they’re ripe and not green. Also, make sure that you slice them into small pieces to avoid choking your chickens.
- Fruits: Pineapples, oranges, cherries, peaches, mangoes, kiwis, plums, and pomegranates are all great when offered in moderation.
- Yogurt: In small quantities, yogurt contains proteins and aids in digestion.
The best thing about chickens is that they’re omnivorous. This makes it easier for you to balance their diet by incorporating various foods that benefit their bodies in different ways. For instance, kiwis are fruits that offer an excellent source of key nutrients with Vitamin C being in plenty.
Besides, these fruits are non-toxic and are soft and easy to eat and digest for your chickens. However, you need to note that kiwis are treats and should hence be offered in small quantities about twice or thrice weekly. When feeding your chickens, you should ensure the kiwis are fresh and ripe and not rotten.
Hello, I am John Reid. I have been raising chickens for the last 15 years. I have got my experience from my father. My father is the owner of a large chicken farm. This is our family business that has been continuing for over 35 years. I am very interested in backyard chickens and I know how to take care of them. You can learn more About Us here. Happy Reading!!