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Keeping chickens can be the most rewarding hobby, but it can also be very tricky. Chickens need to be constantly kept healthy and the main way to do this is with a balanced diet. We want to add as much as we can to this diet including all the leftovers from the house which mostly include fruit, so what about pineapple? Can chickens eat pineapple?
Chickens can and will definitely eat pineapple. Chickens love all kinds of treats including this sweet and juicy fruit. Pineapple has many beneficial nutrients and minerals that will make your chickens healthy. Although it is a good dietary supplement, it must be kept in moderation.
Too much pineapple will harm your chickens so it is important to learn when and how to feed pineapple to your chickens. This article will take a deeper look at the question “can chickens eat pineapple?”.
Chickens are known to eat anything they come across. This is mostly true, with a few exceptions of course. Chickens are the domesticated descendant of the forest fowl which scratches and pecks everything on the forest floor. That includes grasses, insects, fruits, seeds etc. This makes it pretty easy to feed chickens because they are happy to eat anything, but that does not mean anything is good for them – their diet must remain natural and balanced.
On the forest floor fruit is not something that is constantly available in large amounts. This same principle should be followed with feeding. Some fruits are good now and then, including pineapple, but not in large amounts and not every day. Pineapple and other fruits should only be given as treats and as supplements to get some more valuable nutrients and minerals to the chickens.
Some chickens might not like pineapple, in these cases, you can experiment first. Feed some pineapple to the chickens and see if they eat it. Also, make sure the pineapple is ripe, not under-ripe and not overripe. This might all lead to the pineapple not being eaten and then rotting in the coop.
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Chickens cannot eat or digest pineapple rinds. Make sure that when you feed pineapple to your chickens you first remove the rinds and cut everything into smaller pieces.
Chickens do not have teeth so everything they eat they have to peck with the beak and then swallow. If they are unable to eat it they will leave it to rot.
The pineapple rinds are especially tough, sharp and fibrous. This makes them impossible to eat and also impossible to digest for the chickens.
There are many other good uses for the pineapple skin, like making some tea or pineapple water.
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Chickens can eat canned pineapples but where it is possible we would recommend to rather feed them fresh pineapple. The canned stuff is just not as good as the real thing. In the canning process, the food gets treated so that it can last longer which may not be ideal for a chicken to eat.
Many times the food gets heat-treated to destroy potential bacteria. These processes also destroy the naturally occurring nutrients. There are also other ingredients that get added like sugar, stabilizers and preservatives. None of these ingredients are natural so it is better to avoid feeding them to your chickens as much as possible.
Related article: How much to feed chickens
Pineapples can be fed to chickens as leftover food scrapes or you can buy pineapples with the sole purpose of feeding them to your chickens.
When feeding pineapple to chickens the pineapple should first be checked to see if it is ripe by feeling the hardness and by pulling a leaf, the leaf should come out easily and the pineapple should not be too hard or too soft.
Cut the pineapple peel off and discard, then cut the pineapple fruit into smaller pieces that can be easily eaten by the chickens.
The pineapple should not be given just by itself, it should be mixed in with other ingredients. For example, mix the small pieces of pineapple with the main grain feed.
Pineapple is one of the most beneficial fruits to humans and so also to chickens. It is rich in many minerals, nutrients and other beneficial compounds. Some of the most important ones are vitamin C, bromelain and magnesium. All of these are very important to chickens and normal chicken feed will also have some of it added in.
Vitamin C makes sure the chickens have a healthy immune system so that they can fight off any pests and diseases.
Bromelain is an enzyme that helps with digestion so it is also a necessity for any healthy chicken.
Magnesium and other minerals are also abundant in pineapple and they help with all the different functions that keep chickens healthy.
So, can chickens eat pineapple? Chickens love all kinds of treats, including pineapples. As with most fruits, pineapples contain beneficial nutrients and minerals but also contain sugars. Therefore, pineapples are great as a snack and as part of a balanced diet but not as a main meal.