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Keeping backyard chickens can be a great hobby that can yield extra food as well as extra income. A great way to do this is with egg and meat production, but in these cases you want your chickens to be as healthy as possible by giving them the right food. So then, what can you feed your chickens? And more importantly for this article, can chickens eat peaches?
Chickens are omnivorous animals meaning they eat both animals and plants, which include fruit. Chickens can eat peaches and other fruits but they are not able to process the high amounts of sugar contained in fruit. Peaches and other fruits are good as a supplement but not as the main food source.
Getting the right nutrition for your chickens is an important task to keep them healthy and happy. Let’s take a deeper look at adding peaches to their diet.
Chickens can almost eat anything. They are descendants of the forest fowl which evolved by scavenging the forest floor for anything it can eat.
This included small insects, other animals, plants, seeds, grains, fruits and anything else that was edible. This means the chicken can eat many different things, but it also means they need a decent variety.
A lot of the chicken feed on the market has minimum variety and mainly consists of 60% to 70% of cereal grain. It can be very beneficial to add some extra things to their diet, like peaches. Peaches have lots of good nutrients and minerals and are high in water content. They are also high in sugar so this should be kept in mind.
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Due to the high sugar content in peaches, it is definitely possible to overdo it with the peaches. It is, therefore, best to add some peaches to the food but not to feed them only peaches. They are scavenging animals so it will be good for them if the peaches are mixed in with all the other food ingredients so that they can scratch through it all and eat a bit of this and a bit of that as they go.
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Peaches have soft and smooth skin that also contains a lot of nutrients. The peach skin holds no issues for the chickens and they will happily eat the skins. There are no toxins or dangerous things contained in the skins so you do not have to stress about feeding peach skins to your chickens.
Chickens have a strong and sharp beak that they use to peck their food. This beak will go straight through the soft peach skin as they eat the fruit.
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Chickens are ferocious eaters and they will happily eat anything they see. They do however have preferences and some food they do enjoy more than other food. Peaches are definitely one of the foods that they prefer more than others.
Chickens love the smell and the texture of peaches. The sweet and fresh smell attracts them and the texture is soft making it easy for them to peck at it.
This also makes it dangerous, because when they are given the option they will only peck away at the sweet fruit and they will forget all about the other food. For this reason, it is necessary to mix in the peaches so that the chickens have to scavenge for them and find them one at a time.
Related article: Can chickens eat potatoes
Can chickens eat canned peaches
In the canning process food gets treated to make them last longer. They also might have some added ingredients like extra sugar, preservatives, and stabilizers. All of these things are not good even for humans, so they are definitely not good for chickens.
Canned food is never as good as fresh stuff.
The short answer is yes, chickens can eat canned peaches, but that does not mean it is good for them.
If you find some leftover canned peaches once in a while then it is not a problem if you add them to the chicken feed, but preferably it should not be a regular thing and the quantity should be kept to a minimum.
It is much better to feed fresh peaches to chickens compared to canned peaches.
It is commonly known that peach seeds are poisonous to humans, this is not different for chickens. Peach seeds are poisonous for your chickens so they should definitely be avoided. They can also cause other issues like choking the chickens or getting stuck in their throats.
It is a bit of a labor-intensive process, but peach seeds should be removed before feeding peaches to chickens. You can take a knife and cut the peach in half, then the seed can easily be popped out. It is definitely some extra work but it is a much better option compared to endangering your chickens or to missing this valuable food source.
Peaches are very high in nutritional value which makes them a great supplement to your regular chicken feed. They are nutritious for humans and similarly nutritious for chickens.
Every average-sized peach contains about 50 calories with 15 grams of carbohydrates and 13 grams of sugar. As mentioned above, the sugar content is rather high so it is best to keep this in mind when thinking about the quality of peaches that you want to feed to your chickens.
Peaches are high in vitamin C, collagen, potassium, fiber, carbohydrates and natural sugars.
Vitamin C helps the chickens with their collagen production and also boosts their immune system to keep them healthy. The collagen contained in peaches help chickens with healing and recovery and also with developing healthy skin. Potassium helps with cell function so it is very important to overall health and it can fight off many life-threatening diseases. The fiber content also helps with overall health including keeping intestines healthy and controlling their body weight.
There are many benefits to including peaches in the diet as discussed above. Hopefully, this has given you some answers in the search of can chickens eat peaches.
So, can chickens eat peaches? Peaches are a nice and tasty snack to give your chickens, just as long as it’s not too much and given as part of a balanced diet.