You’re probably wondering Can Chickens Eat Oranges? Read on to see if they are healthy or not for your flock.
Chickens are one of the most common domesticated animals out there. That’s because they’re extremely affordable and low maintenance. Most importantly, they provide us with food in the form of eggs and meat. Chickens eat just about anything but many are wondering can chickens eat oranges?
The kitchen is the place in the house where delicious food is cooked in abundance almost every day. The leftovers of these edibles are among the food that people usually offer their chickens. This is why they get used to eating a large variety of food, In fact, when they see their owner bringing something towards them or throwing some crumbles in their coop they eagerly run towards them hoping to have some yummy scraps.
Not every food leftover is healthy for chickens. Some food items can be quite hazardous for them and should go straight to the bin instead of the chicken run area. One should think twice before feeding scraps to chickens if they really want them to survive and produce. However, oranges are something that they can definitely eat.
See How Chickens Eat Oranges
Are Oranges Good For Chickens?
Considering the composition of oranges, they are full of citric acid or Vitamin C. So the real question here is: is citric acid safe for chicken’s diet? The answer to this question is yes. Chickens can eat oranges but only in a controlled amount. Always remember that too much of something is bad even for chickens.
There have been researches done on chickens where it was suggested that abundant quantity of citric acid can cause excessive preen in chickens. In some cases, the results are quite extreme in terms of pulling out feathers of chickens.
One other bad effect of vitamin C food intake found in chickens is that it creates resistance and interference in terms of calcium absorption from the chicken’s diet. A good amount of calcium is necessary to produce an egg with thick shelling. If the calcium level is low in chicken then the eggs produced will have a thin shell. This will make the eggs more prone to breakage even before their collection.
Further, it is to be noted that different breeds of chicken have different sensitivity level to citrus acid. It is advisable to give a different variety of leftovers or fruit scraps to chickens. Just make sure you are not giving them the oranges every day.
So far the inside content of oranges has been discussed but what about its peel? Can chickens eat orange peels too?
Are Oranges Peels Good For Chicken?
Some chickens are curious about orange peels and would definitely take a peck. However, there are some breeds that some simply tend to avoid eating them. There had been some speculations that citric acid present in the orange peel can destroy natural bacteria in the gut and crop of chickens. However, this theory had been proven wrong and it has been accepted that orange peel is actually a good chicken food.
The citric acid in the orange peel aids in digestion with the help of natural bacteria present in the chicken’s digestive system. Likewise, it also helps in removing harmful bacteria from the gut. Interestingly, the whole flock of chicken can take advantage of this functionality because if a nasty bacterium is erased from each chicken then there is a minimum chance of getting an infection from the faeces of another chicken. Hence, adding orange peels in chicken’s diet can improve the health of the flock as a whole.
How to Feed Oranges to Chickens
As chickens have no teeth, they can’t take small bites of food in order to swallow them. Therefore, there are only two options on how you can include orange to their diet. First is that you can chop the oranges and their peels to tiny piece so it’ easier for chickens to peck and swallow them.
Second is that you can give oranges and peels to keep them busy the whole day. All you have to do is to throw larger portions of both oranges and citrus peels in the chicken run area or coop so that they can keep pecking them for hours. Even if they are not able to eat the whole orange peel, they will certainly enjoy the exercise of trying to consume it.
Can chickens eat oranges? Yes, they can! However, it is very important to discard the rotten scraps that aren’t eaten by the chickens at the end of the day so that their environment remains healthy and clean. Your chickens will love you for it.