You may be wondering, can chickens eat blackberries? Like blueberries and strawberries, blackberries are safe for your chickens to eat.
They are also mushy and soft. This means that your birds will not find it difficult to eat and digest them. Chickens are usually not picky when it comes to what they can eat.
They tend to try anything at least once. However, like human beings, not everything is suitable for your birds. Some foods can be very harmful to your chickens and may even lead to death.
Your chickens will most probably have a good time munching on blackberries. This may not apply to all chickens because the personal preference of your flock will have a say.
Chickens are natural foragers and will enjoy pecking at berries like blackberries.
Blackberries As Treats
If you have been asking yourself whether your backyard chickens can eat blackberries, you are already answered. However, it is essential to remember that blackberries should only be treats.
Like other berries, blackberries do not have all the nutritional needs of your birds. Your chickens will require the correct mix of protein, carbohydrates, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.
You can give all of these to your backyard flock by choosing the right feed and adding vegetables, herbs, and fruits as treats.
Blackberries can also be enticing to your chickens because they are very sweet. They are usually very sweet because they have high sugar content. However, too much sugar can be very harmful to your chickens. It can lead to excessive weight gain as well as other health problems.
Can Chickens Eat Blackberry Seeds
Many farmers and chicken keepers mostly ask themselves if blackberry seeds are safe for their birds to eat. This is asked frequently because manually removing seeds from blackberries can be a hassle. There is nothing to worry about if you have been thinking of giving your chickens blackberry seeds. Blackberry seeds are safe, and your chicken can eat them.
Are the seeds poisonous to chickens? The answer is no. They are entirely safe for your birds to eat, although it will depend on their preference whether they can eat them. Chickens will also not find it hard to digest blackberry seeds. Therefore, you can give them whole blackberries and save yourself the hassle of taking out their seeds one by one.
Can Chickens Eat Blackberry Leaves?
Blackberry leaves are excellent and safe for your chickens. There is no problem with your backyard chickens eating them as they do not contain any harmful chemicals which may hurt or poison your birds. However, most chickens do not find the blackberry leaves to be enticing. Therefore, it is rare to find your flock munching on them. They mostly focus on the berries instead of the leaves.
If you are using pesticides on your farm, you should avoid giving your birds blackberry leaves. Chickens can ingest any pesticide residue, which can eventually lead to health issues and complications.
Benefits Of Giving Your Chickens Blackberries
As mentioned earlier, blackberries are safe for chickens to eat. They are also incredibly healthy for your birds and come with several benefits. For instance, they have low calories and are naturally full of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. Here are some of the notable minerals and nutrients in blackberries.
Manganese is a vital mineral that plays an important role in various chemical processes in the body, such as supporting the immune system and healthy bone development. This mineral will also help your chickens’ bodies to break down cholesterol, amino acids, and carbohydrates while controlling blood sugar.
Like manganese, fiber will also help to control blood levels and reduce cholesterol. It also supports healthy bowel movements as it does in human beings by fueling the good bacteria in the gut.
Vitamin K and Vitamin C
Vitamin K is vital in blood clotting, and its deficiency may lead to your chickens laying eggs with blood spots. On the other hand, Vitamin C helps the body to form muscles, blood vessels, and cartilage. It can also help your chicken’s skin and feathers to regenerate healthily and more quickly. Besides, it will help to lower the risk of various poultry diseases.
The two types of vitamins will support the health of your birds and ensure that they lay healthy and good-quality eggs. This will impact the health of those who consume the eggs and the chickens themselves.
It is important to feed your chickens on feeds rich in Vitamin A as it supports healthy eyesight. It will also boost the ability of your hen to produce. Blackberries are among the best choices if you want something rich in Vitamin A for your feathered friends.
Blackberries are usually rich in vitamin B. Giving your backyard chickens something rich in Vitamin B will prevent them from dealing with many painful and uncomfortable issues. These issues include having inflamed cavities, bowed legs, dermatitis, mouth sores, kidney and liver problems, and feathering issues.
It can be hard sometimes to tell if your feathered friend is in pain. Therefore, you can help your chickens by ensuring that they have enough vitamin B to prevent pain.
Unlike many fruit seeds, blackberry seeds do not cause choking or any digestive issues. Besides being easy to digest, blackberry seeds are also full of Omega-3, which supports egg production and heart health.
How Often Can Your Chickens Eat Blackberries?
It is safe for your chickens to eat blackberries, but how often can they do that?
As earlier mentioned, you should only give blackberries to your birds as treats. They have high sugar content and can cause various health problems if you give a lot of them. One of the common health problems is weight gain which can later complicate chicken obesity.
Therefore, it is best to feed your birds blackberries in moderation. There are no fixed amount of blackberries that your chickens can eat. It is the responsibility of the owner to control their intake.
If you are unsure of the amount you can give them, a handful of blackberries can be shared amongst several chickens in your coop. You can alternate offering them blackberries and other produce as treats. With this, your flock will get a variety in nutritional value and taste.
Preparing Blackberries For Chicken Feeding
You will not have to spend a lot of time and effort preparing blackberries for your feathered friends to enjoy. They are convenient treats that will not require a lot of preparation.
You should check on their quality before giving them to your chickens. Any rotten and moldy blackberries should be discarded. Feeding blackberries to your flock is very simple. All you will have to do is prepare them and give them to the birds just the way they are. Your birds will enjoy pecking at them because they are sweet and soft.
However, when giving blackberries to your chickens as treats, you should remember not to mix them with other poultry feed. Since they are soft, they can be crushed easily. They may more likely rot if mixed with poultry feed and left unconsumed. No one will want his chickens feeding on rotten blackberries. They not only smell but will also make the chicken feed unpleasant to eat. This will force you to throw away the unconsumed food, which can be very costly.
In addition, rotten fruits are bad for the general health of your flock. They can cause various health problems which can be avoided. You should feed your chickens on blackberries in places that are away from their feed, as well as where you can easily clean. It is easy to clean up as you will just have to pick up the blackberry debris and other remaining parts that were left uneaten.
What Kind Of Berries Can Your Chickens Eat?
Apart from blackberries, backyard chickens can also feed on other berries. All kinds of berries are healthy and safe for your birds to consume. Some of the best berries to give your chickens include strawberries and blueberries. They have plenty of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients suitable for your birds.
Other Chicken Treats
Chicken treats such as natural food are good for your birds because they add a variety to their regular diet. They will also serve as a supplement to your flock’s feed in terms of your nutrients. There are lots of natural foods that you can give to your chickens. Here is a list of some of them:
- Raw apples without seeds
- Seedless grapes
Your birds will also enjoy eating herbs such as oregano, thyme, and rosemary.
Blackberries are safe for your chickens to eat. They are easy to serve and provide them with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. However, they are only meant to be treats and should not be made a primary diet for your flock.