Do you love kiwi as much as we do? Those fuzzy little fruits are super tasty and good for you too (and the inside sometimes looks like the Batman logo). Do chickens feel the same way about kiwi as we do (minus the Batman love)? Can chickens eat kiwi or will this fruit make your chicken sick?
Keep scrolling and we will jump right in to answering these questions and more!
Can Chickens Eat Kiwi?
Yes, chickens can eat kiwi in it's entirety - the skin, flesh and seeds. Kiwi is a safe and nutrient rich treat to feed chickens as long as they are ripe and haven't gone bad or moldy.
What parts of the kiwi can chickens eat?
You can keep your chickens healthy letting them eat all parts of a kiwi. Just as long as the kiwi has not gone bad and doesn't have mold or anything of the sort.
Some fruits and veggies are completely safe for chickens to eat. For example, chickens can eat watermelon and chickens can eat radishes. But, while chickens can eat tomatoes and chickens can eat mangoes, some parts of those plants (greens, leaves, stems, etc) can be harmful, or even toxic. So, it's important to know what parts of fruits your chickens can eat.
Can chickens eat kiwi skin and seeds?
Yes, chickens can eat kiwi skin and kiwi seeds. Fortunately, the entire kiwi is safe for chickens. Which is great because it would be terribly difficult to deseed them if the seeds were not safe for them to eat.
The skins actually contain a lot of dietary fiber and other nutrients which are very good for your chickens health.
However, while the skin is safe and nutritious that doesn't always mean your chickens are going to eat it. The skin is not easy to eat.
Chickens can eat cantaloupe, chickens can eat oranges, grapefruits and other fruits with thick rinds also. But, don't be surprised if you happen to find some skins leftover once the fowl feeding frenzy has finally finished.
Though, once your chickens get used to the skin, they may also devour it. We frequently have kiwi with our breakfast and throw the skins to our flock - after the first few days they figured out how to clean those skins right up.
Need some help keeping your chickens health and care taken care of? Check out the Organized Chicken Keeper for an easy to follow system.
What are the health benefits of kiwi?
Kiwi has a ton of vitamins and minerals that can be very helpful for your chickens' health. Every aspect of their health can be positively affected by eating kiwi, in moderate portions. So, letting your chickens eat kiwi fruit is a good treat choice.
Below, you'll find several of these nutrients and their health benefits, as well as, a nutritional analysis table.
When combined, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients all work to have a healthy chicken.
- Antioxidants: (Beta Carotene, Lycopene) repair damage from free radicals, fight off/prevent future damage, protect from oxidative damage, anti-inflammatory, lower blood pressure, improve heart health in high enough doses, development and health of tissue, skin, and feathers
- Vitamin B6: healthy blood vessels, eye/vision health, nervous system , immune system
- Calcium: bones and egg shell strength
- Carbohydrates: give chickens energy
- Vitamin C: joint, cellular, and immune health; collagen synthesis
- Vitamin E: immune system support, cell regeneration
- Fiber: only small amounts or they can become constipated, get a blockage, etc; energy, growth, and digestive health, reduce cholesterol, controls blood sugar, digestive health
- Folate (B Vitamin): folate deficiency; helps blood formation; healthy feathers & size
- Iron: prevents anemia
- Vitamin K: blood clotting, bone metabolism
- Magnesium: bone strength and development, cellular metabolism, heart health, muscle function
- Phosphorus: bone formation
- Potassium: temperature control; hydration & electrolyte regulation, metabolism; heart health/heart disease preventative
- Protein: muscle growth and development
- Riboflavin: immune system
The table below, courtesy of the MedicalNewsToday.com, is the nutritional value of 1 kiwi (69 g).
|Carbohydrate, by difference||10||g|
|Fiber, total dietary||2.1||g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||6.2||g|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||64||mg|
How to feed kiwi to chickens
Kiwi isn't very hard to prepare for your flock. We mentioned earlier that the kiwi skin is a little tough but it isn't so tough that a chicken can't peck right through it if you toss them a whole kiwi.
Now, we don't necessarily recommend feeding whole kiwi to your flock. It's so small, most of your chickens won't get any and it can lead to in-flock fighting.
The best ways to feed kiwi to your chickens is to cut it into slices or, even better, chopped into small pieces. Smaller pieces are better for a few reasons. One, being small pieces are easier to scatter and thus, your chickens will not be piled on top of each other.
Small pieces are also easier to eat and less likely to become choking hazards. Another thing you can do with these small pieces is mix them up with some other fruits. Chickens can eat bananas, chickens can eat chopped apples, cherries, blueberries, blackberries,...you get it. Make them a nice, fresh, delicious, fruit salad!
Another fun way to feed kiwi to your chickens is to freeze kiwi first and then give it to them. This is especially good in the summertime. Kick it up a notch, run a piece of string through it, hang it up somewhere about eye level for your chickens, and *BOOM* you have a DIY, boredom-busting, chicken toy!
Two pretty common question are "How much kiwi can I feed?" and "How often can I feed kiwi to my chickens?". When feeding kiwi, or any non-grain based chicken feed, we stick to the 90%/10% rule.
Essentially, this rule just says that 90% of what you feed your chickens should be specially formulated feed made especially for them; usually known as layer feed. Any other kind of food, snack, or treat should only constitute 10% of their diet.
The reason for this is because chickens get almost all of the specific nutrients, in the amounts they need, from their feed and from what they can catch and eat free ranging. Too much of something, even a "good" nutrient, can throw off a chickens internal balance and lead to health problems.
Wash and check
Like any fruit or vegetable you would want to eat yourself, wash the kiwi before giving it to your chickens. We do this to wash off some of the prickly hairlike fibers. But, more importantly, we wash the kiwi to make sure that there is no pesticide residue left on it. If possible, try and source your food from someone who is pesticide free.
Additionally, following the same concept, don't feed your chicken anything that is in a condition that you would not eat yourself. We're not suggesting you feed them only human food.
What we're saying is, if the kiwi is starting to rot, don't feed it to them. Same if it is moldy. Basically, if you wouldn't eat your food in the same condition, don't feed it to your animals.
Kiwi is a super tasty treat for your chickens. Make sure you feed it in moderation and your chickens will love you all the more for it!
If you need more help with taking care of your chickens, check out The Organized Chicken Keeper for a complete system for managing their health through keeping their supplies stocked and coop clean.