Chickens enjoy many different fruits and vegetables. If you are wanting to treat your flock, and are wondering “can chickens eat bananas?” – the answer is YES! My chickens absolutely love this tasty snack! Not only are they a yummy addition to their diet, but they also can benefit your birds with a great source of potassium.
Chickens are not that picky, they are omnivorous, so they will eat pretty much anything that is set in front of them! To see if your flock likes bananas, toss a few into their pen or feeding area. Most likely there won’t be anything left behind, after a few minutes.
Are Bananas Safe for your Chickens?
Despite the fact that bananas have some nutritional benefits, feeding them in large amounts to your flock can have some adverse effects on their health. Chickens can enjoy bananas as a treat, but only in small amounts. This is because they have a high sugar content, which isn’t great for your birds.
Why is sugar content bad for your chickens? This is because they are not able to digest large quantities of it. Which is the reason why you shouldn’t be feeding them a lot of ripe bananas, this can be dangerous to their health.
Does this mean that you should not give your flock overripe bananas?
The answer is no because they need a variety of foods to grow healthy and become productive. You just need to be sure that you are only giving them ripe bananas as a snack, which means small quantities.
You should also be aware that banana peels may contain dangerous chemicals used in the form of pesticides. When ingested, they can become detrimental to the health of your chickens.
Letting your flock enjoy bananas every now again, is totally fine! But they shouldn’t be a a food that is consistently added to their diet. Although there is some nutritional value in bananas, this doesn’t include all of the vitamins and minerals they need. In the long run, they can become harmful to your birds. And I’m pretty sure we want our hens to be happy and healthy, so they are producing the best eggs!
Can Chickens Eat Banana Peels?
Before you feed your chickens banana skins, you will want to be sure sure that you are not exposing them to dangerous elements such as chemicals used as pesticides. Most producers use pesticides to control harmful pests and these chemicals can remain on the peels long after harvest.
There are a few way to get rid of these chemicals before feeding them to your flock:
- Wash them! – Just like how we wash fruits and veggies before eating them, be sure to give your peels a good rinse!
- Boiling – Not only does boiling the peels make them softer, but it helps to kill any of the harmful chemicals.
Although there are a few benefits to banana peels, your chickens may struggle a little bit when eating them. This is because they are tough and will require some extra effort to pull them apart when eating them.
For that reason, you can make it easy for your chickens to enjoy bananas and their peels. After all, they deserve a delicious little treat every once in a while!
How do You Prepare Banana Peels for Your Chickens?
It may surprise you that there is a bit of preparation that goes into giving your chickens banana peels. They typically won’t eat one whole peel, simply because they are tough. To make them a little more enjoyable, you can boil them!
Boiling Banana Skins
This is one of the easiest and most convenient ways of making banana peels easier for your birds to eat. By boiling them, the peels will soften!
How to Boil Banana Peels for Your Chickens
Although there isn’t a specific recipe for how to do this, try boiling them for about 10 minute. You want them to become tender and easy to pull apart.
Next, make them easier to eat by chopping each peel into smaller pieces before passing them to your flock.
In general, the whole banana is a perfectly okay in moderation. Honestly, chickens appreciate an overripe banana and would like it more often, if they didn’t contain so much sugar!
Benefits Of Bananas For Your Flock
Bananas, starting from the peels all the way to the edible part, can be a good treat to give to your birds. Although you shouldn’t give them a raw banana peel, they are considered edible once boiled and have some benefits to them as well!
- The Peel – It’s rich in vitamins such as B6 and B12. In addition, this outer part of the banana has plenty of potassium as well as magnesium which are crucial for the growth and development of your birds.
- The Inside – This part has a substantial amount of protein, fiber, polyphenols and carotenoids in bananas, making it a vital source of nutrients for humans and chickens as well.
Nutrients of Ripe Bananas for Your Chickens
Bananas contain several vitamins and minerals that will encourage your chickens to be more productive layers and boost their overall health.
4 Essential nutrients found in ripe bananas:
1. Vitamin B6 – This vitamin plays a crucial role by supporting the nervous system health.
2. Vitamin B12 –These are known to boost your chickens’ health in a number of ways. The ability to support nerve function, liver and skin health, metabolism, boost energy levels, and support eye health.
3. Potassium –bananas are rich in potassium which can help reduce stress, increase muscle strength, improve metabolism and enhance electrolytic functions of your chickens.
4. Magnesium –This is an important element, especially to your chickens. Magnesium will help increase energy, promote a healthy heart and provide other benefits such as calming effects and improved sleep in your chickens.
In addition, bananas have 89 calories, 0.3 grams of fat like the monounsaturated, saturated, omega-3 as well as omega-6 fatty acids, 1.1 grams of protein, 75 percent water and 22.8 grams of carbs including fiber and sugar.
These are nutrients that are contained in ripe bananas particularly the peels. For that reason, you must ensure that your chickens feed on both the banana peels and the rest of the banana.
Don’t forget: That you will have to boil the peels first before chopping them into tiny pieces to feed your chickens. For the banana itself, you won’t have to bother with any type of preparation, instead, you can just peel it off and toss to your birds in small quantities.
Why Should You Give Bananas To Your Chickens?
Bananas have several different nutritional benefits and are an easy treat to give your flock. They aren’t bad for your hens, but should be given in moderation.
When prepared correctly, bananas can be a nutritious treat for your birds. Regardless of the amount that you give to your chickens, you can rest assured that bananas will provide them with all the nutrients it contains.
Can You Give Baby Chicks Bananas?
Your baby chicks will LOVE bananas as a special treat! There are a few things you should know before feeding them to your babies:
- Small Pieces- Make sure to cut them into small pieces, so your chicks don’t choke!
- Make them Mushy – If you want to ensure that your chicks are completely safe, take a fork and mash them up a bit!
- Frozen Pieces – Especially if it’s summer time, this little trick will help to keep your babies cool and will give them a tasty treat to enjoy.
I liked listening to Pampered Chicken Mama talk about how she gives her baby chicks bananas! She gives some awesome tips and tricks on how to safely feed them bananas.
The answer to the question – can chickens eat bananas is a yes. Bananas come with several health benefits not only to humans but animals as well. That is why you are advised to feed your chickens on overripe bananas. This helps them acquire magnesium, potassium, vitamin-6 and vitamin-12 among other essential nutrients.
Since bananas contain large amounts of sugar, it’s recommended that you feed them to your chickens in small quantities to avoid affecting their health. Chickens cannot digest sugar thus the need for giving them small portions of bananas including their peels. Otherwise, bananas are a perfect treat for your birds.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!
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