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Keeping chickens can be a fun hobby, or it can also be a lucrative endeavor. Either way, deciding what to feed the chickens is the most important decision. Chicken feed will be your biggest expense and it will also be the biggest factor that will determine the health of your chickens. Adding nutritious and low-cost foods to their diet can be very rewarding but then you need to know what to give and what not to give. So, how about bananas? Can chickens eat bananas?
Chickens can eat bananas, including banana peel. Bananas contain many beneficial nutrients and minerals as well as magnesium and potassium. They are however high in natural sugars so they should be fed in moderation as a food supplement and not as a regular or main food source.
It is important to know how a particular food will affect your chickens, so let’s look at how bananas affect chickens.
Can chickens eat bananas
Chickens can definitely eat bananas, chickens can almost eat anything and they will also try to eat almost anything. This makes it the responsibility of the chicken keeper to make sure that the chickens only have access to beneficial foods and not to anything that might harm them. Bananas, however, is a great food for chickens and it will do them no harm unless they get too much of it.
This also includes the banana peel, chickens can happily eat the banana peel. There are many good nutrients and minerals contained in the peel so tossing it is a real waste.
Related article: How much to feed chickens
One thing that might be an issue though, is the chemicals that can be found on commercial banana peels. In commercial production there are many pesticides, herbicides and insecticides used. These chemicals are harmful to all life and will definitely harm your chickens. The best thing is to wash the peels before feeding them to chickens.
The most important factor to consider is how much and how often to feed bananas to your chickens. As mentioned above, bananas are very high in natural sugars and chickens find it hard to digest these sugars. The best way is to mix the bananas including the peels into the main feed now and then (maybe once or twice a week).
Related article: Can chickens eat onions
Do chickens like bananas
Chickens love bananas! This sweet and juicy fruit makes the perfect treat for them and they will go straight for it. If they have the choice they will choose to go for the overripe bananas, they like them as ripe as possible.
Most chickens also like the peel, but they struggle to get the peel into bite sizes. It will help a lot to get the peels shredded into smaller bite-sized pieces. If the peel is kept in big pieces they might not be able to eat it and it might start rotting which will bring in dangerous bacteria.
It will also depend on the breed of chickens. The best way is to experiment by giving your chickens some bananas and seeing how they respond. You can then use this knowledge to know how to proceed with their diet.
Related article: Can chickens eat peaches
Will chickens eat bananas
In general, chickens will eat bananas without hesitation, and that includes the peel. Chickens are foraging animals by nature and when they are left to their own devices they eat an omnivorous diet. This natural diet will include all kinds of plants and animals like worms, bugs, grains, seeds, flowers, fruits etc.
Chickens are also much keener to eat the super ripe bananas – the riper the better. They will also go for less ripe ones but if they have the choice the choice will always be for the ripper stuff.
The best way to know your chickens is to interact with them and then observe their response. What we mean by that is to give them different things, including under-ripe and overripe bananas and then see what they do. If they are quick to eat it then you know they love it.
Can chickens have banana peels
Chickens can and will eat banana peels. There are a few things to keep in mind, but in general, banana peel is a great addition to their diet.
One thing to keep in mind is the chemicals on the banana peel. The pesticides, herbicides and other poisonous chemicals that can be found on commercially produces banana peels will definitely harm your chickens. The best way is the wash the peels before feeding them to your chickens.
Banana peels are also too big for them to peck into smaller pieces. The peels will have to be cut or shredded into smaller pieces before being fed to them. This can be a pretty labour intensive process but it is low cost and beneficial.
Can baby chicks eat bananas
Baby chickens are a bit more fragile compared to fully grown chickens so they are not able to eat all the same things. They need some extra care to make sure they have the chance to grow into fully grown healthy chickens. In terms of food, their beaks are obviously much smaller and their digestive system is also much weaker.
That being mentioned, baby chicks can eat bananas without too much trouble. The nutrients and minerals contained in the bananas will assist the baby chicks to become big healthy chickens.
Feeding bananas to baby chicks should be done with caution though. The chicks are small and they can easily choke and die. Make the bananas as small as possible or you could even mush them into a pulp to make sure the chicks don’t choke.
Related article: Can baby chicks eat bread
How do you feed bananas to chickens
There are multiple ways that you can feed bananas to your chickens, but this is the best and safest way that we have found:
Firstly separate the actual banana from the banana peels. The banana you can cut into small bite-sized pieces or you can mush it into a pulp. The peels you will need to soak in water and then give them a good wash to take off as many chemicals as possible. Next, you can cut the peels into bite-sized pieces or you can use a shredding machine.
After the bananas are ready, you can mix them in with the grain feed so that the chickens can scavenge around and pick out the pieces as they go.
How much nutrition in 1 banana
In a 100 gram banana, you will find 89 calories including 0.3 grams of fat, 1.1 grams of protein, 23 grams of carbs, 13 grams of sugar and 2.6 grams of dietary fiber.
The low dietary fiber and high sugar content are what limits the number of bananas that chickens can consume safely.
Do banana peels have nutritional value
Banana peels have quite a lot of nutritional value, this makes them a great resource for chicken feed. The peel can contain almost the same amount of nutrients that the fruit contains but with less sugar. This makes them perfect for the chickens once they have been processed into edible pieces.
Banana peels are also considered a waste product so many places will gladly gift them to you for free. Any small-scale operation will greatly benefit from saving some input costs here and there.
So, can chickens eat bananas? As it turns out bananas contain many beneficial nutrients and minerals and therefore it’s perfectly ok to feed your chickens bananas as long as it’s part of a balanced diet. Perhaps, limit the amount you feed them as bananas also contain sugars.
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