Okay, the question is, can chickens eat blueberries? A closer look at my chickens reveals a lot to be desired. To begin with, I have found these birds to be remarkably intelligent, friendly, and funny. That is the main reason why they are such a joy to have them in your backyard. This information can sound fictitious until you toss a few blueberries to your flock. Surprisingly, they will all turn and chase down these delicious little berries.
Now the question is, can chickens eat blueberries? The answer is yes. They will eat blueberries, just like other types of berries, are tasty, nutritious, and a good treat for chickens. They will love it and even fight over it just to have a taste of this fruit.
Chickens enjoy many types of treats, just like other poultry. Most of the treats are their favorite foods besides their regular diet. This is because chickens find different kinds of delicious foods compared to their usual poultry feed.
Despite their love for different treats, chickens must stick to their stable diet to stay healthy. Too much of certain types of foods is not a good idea for them.
At least 5 or 10 percent of such foods should be in their daily portion of commercial feed. This way, it will help balance their nutrient requirements without compromising their health.
Chickens can eat a variety of cooked, raw, or fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to that, they can enjoy meat, fish, whole grain as well as a varied diet.
When you subject them to such meals, they will find their lives to be more exciting and fulfilling. In return, you will enjoy plenty of fresh, tasty, and nutritious eggs, not to mention delicious meat from them.
On the other hand, you will not allow anything, whether table scrap or kitchen leftovers, to go to waste. In the process, you will save some coins for other future projects.
Treats for your chickens should only be limited to less than 10 percent of their daily diet. But greens such as cut grass, kale, weeds, and many others can be fed in any amount that your chickens need.
This is because greens have numerous essential nutrients that will help your flock flourish throughout. Chopped weed and grass, when added to a tub of water, will most likely make your birds very happy.
Additionally, many kinds of grasses and weeds are among the best treats for your chickens or other poultry. How about berries? Well, most of the berries are great treats for chickens.
Regardless of their age and size, your chickens will find them sweet and easy to eat. It is attributed to the chicken’s love for fruits. And surprisingly, berries are part of those fruits they will find irresistible.
Out of several types of berries, chickens consider blueberries, and strawberries to be their favorites. Can chickens eat blueberries, whether sliced or whole, their tops and all other parts making up this fruit.
To make everything easy for them, you should simply slice blueberries in half to prevent choking. Let’s look at blueberries in detail concerning feeding your flock.
Why should you feed your chickens blueberries?
Blueberries should only be a treat and not the primary diet for your birds. As such, you are to feed them in small quantities and occasionally.
Too much of something is terrible for your hens, chick, or roosters. This also applies to feeding blueberries to your chickens.
When you give them in moderation, they will become healthy and happy. But if you provide them too much of these berries, the results could be devastating or disastrous.
This is to say that blueberries, just like the other berry fruits, are harmful to your birds in larger quantities. As such, you need to consider feeding them in moderation and on specific days. So, why should you feed your chickens blueberries? Let’s find out!
1. Blueberries are Loaded With Antioxidants
Blueberries contain antioxidants. These elements play a crucial role in keeping free radicals in check. In most cases, free radicals pose no threat to the functionality of the body.
When in small amounts, these free radicals are beneficial. But as their numbers increase, they are more likely to damage cells in the body. Their ability to destroy cells causes oxidative stress.
However, the most common antioxidants in blueberries include ellagic acid, anthocyanins, and resveratrol. Apart from protecting the cells, these compounds reduce the risks of diseases—no wonder this type of fruit boasts the highest antioxidant activities after the pomegranates.
2. Blueberries Can Help Improve Blood Sugar
Numerous studies show that berries, especially blueberries, can protect the cells against high blood sugar levels. When consumed with carbohydrate foods, this type of berry can keep your chickens healthy for too long.
3. Blueberry is a Rich Source of Fiber
All berries are high in fiber, particularly the blueberry. Most of the fiber in this fruit is soluble, although there’s insoluble fiber as well. According to researchers, consuming soluble fiber can slow down food movement through the digestive tract.
As a result, your chicken will feel less hungry while experiencing feelings of fullness. This may lead to reduced calorie intake. With low-calorie intake, your birds will not become overweight; however, much they eat their regular diet.
Furthermore, fiber plays a significant role in the reduction of calories that your chickens absorb from mixed meals. Doubling the fiber intake may decrease the absorption of calories by less than 130 in a day.
The high fiber content of blueberries means something else to your birds. In the real sense, the low fiber content in this fruit shows that it is low in the net or digestible carbs. For instance, 7.7 grams of carbs in blueberries have 2.2 ounces of fiber. One cup of this type of berries contains 84 calories and 4 grams of soluble fiber.
4. Blueberries are Rich in Many Nutrients
As mentioned earlier, berries have fewer calories compared to other fruits. Despite all that, they are incredibly nutritious. In addition to having large quantities of antioxidants, this fruit boasts several minerals and vitamins.
For example, blueberries are a great source of manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Animal researchers have claimed that this fruit can protect against heart disease, improve memory, coordination, and balance.
Below is a simple analysis of nutritional content in a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) blueberries:
- Calories: 43 percent
- Vitamin C: 35 percent ( for the Reference Daily Intake or RDI)
- Manganese: 32 percent of the RDI
- Vitamin K1: 25 percent of the RDI
- Copper: 8 percent of the RDI
- Folate: 6 percent of the RDI
In general, the calorie count for 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of blueberries has a range of 32 (for strawberries) to 57 (for blueberries). This makes it one of the lowest-calorie fruits you will ever come across.
5. Blueberries are Effective in Fighting Inflammation
All berries have a reputation for their potent anti-inflammatory properties. As you may know, inflammation is a significant body’s defense mechanism against injury or infection.
Sadly, most chicken owners subject their birds to a lifestyle of inadequate physical activity, unhealthy food choices, and increased stress. All these factors lead to excessive, prolonged inflammation among different breeds of chickens.
If left unchecked, this chronic inflammation can lead to conditions such as obesity and heart disease. To prevent such cases, you can feed your chickens blueberries because they contain antioxidants responsible for lowering inflammatory markers.
6. Blueberries May Help Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Generally speaking, berries are considered a heart-healthy food. In particular, blueberries can help lower cholesterol in different animals with metabolic syndrome or obese.
An eight-week study on the effects of blueberries on adult animal metabolic syndrome showed a steady decline of 11 percent in bad cholesterol. This should tell you that blueberries can prevent bad cholesterol from becoming oxidized. And this is a \major health risk factor for heart problems.
7. Blueberries Can Be Included in Several Chicken Diets
One of the significant advantages of feeding your chickens blueberries is that you can include it in almost any diet. As a reminder, you should let your birds enjoy this treat in moderation alongside their usual commercial feed. Liberal amounts of this fruit can have positive effects on your chicken’s health.
Wild and organic blueberries are readily available in every part of the world today. In this regard, you should not let your birds miss out on this delicious treat. If they are not in season, you can go for the frozen ones from the grocery stores.
8. Blueberries Can Help Keep the Arteries Healthy
Apart from lowering cholesterol levels, blueberries can also provide significant benefits to your flock. A diet containing this treat is beneficial to your chicken’s heart health, particularly the arteries.
To be specific, blueberries prevent endothelial dysfunction, which is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Typically, excessive inflammation tends to damage endothelial cells. These cells play a critical role in controlling blood pressure, clotting, and other essential functions.
Any damage to them can be fatal to the arteries and the heart in general. But you can protect your chickens against such problems by feeding them a diet comprising blueberries in moderation.
How Many Blueberries Should You Feed Your Chickens?
Since blueberries are nutritious and have impressive health benefits, you should consider using them as a treat for your birds.
That being said, two or three berries for each chicken will provide excellent results in terms of health. This is the reason why they are called treats rather than the main diet.
When feeding your birds blueberries, always remember the following:
Scale down the number of berries you have to account for the total number of your birds. This is because they only need up to three berries to achieve their dietary requirements.
Make sure that your chicken’s diet is well-balanced in a different way. A balanced diet is a must if you want to keep your chickens healthy and productive.
Do not provide your birds with blueberries daily. Just give them the right quantity of this treat as recommended by experts.
Check the blueberries to ensure that they are in good condition and safe for your birds. Don’t give them moldy or rotten berries because they might be containing some toxic substances. In this case, feed them soft, ripe blueberries.
Include other treats or berries in the diet to make them enjoy their meal. Variety in their deity is essential to their wellbeing and happiness.
Choose the appropriate time to feed your flock. Mornings can offer the best time for them to digest their meal. Alternatively, evening feeds should be included to sustain them across the night.
Are Blueberry Plants Poisonous to Your Chickens?
Chickens can eat blueberries. They belong to the rose family. This group of plants includes apricots, plums, apples, pears, almonds, raspberries, cherries, and roses.
Every plant belonging to this family produces small amounts of hydrogen cyanide in its seeds and leaves. Such quantities are too small to create any impact on your chickens.
What should worry you, however, is the amount of pesticide used in commercially grown blueberries. This means that you need to wash these fruits thoroughly before feeding them to your birds.
If you’re growing them on your farm, you don’t have to worry about pesticides, given that you trust their source. Another worry (although not so severe) is the color of your chicken’s poop. Most likely, it will turn blue or purple.
How often should you feed your chickens blueberries? A few days per week is recommended to keep your flock healthy. Keep in mind that you should not feed them this treat daily.
Which other berries can you feed your chickens? Apart from blueberries, other numerous berries can also make excellent treats for your birds. These berries include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and mulberries. All of them contain essential nutrients that your chickens need to grow healthy.
I hope I answered this question, Can Chickens Eat Blueberries? Blueberries taste great, are nutritious, and come with many health benefits to your chickens. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, among other nutrients. For better results, you can incorporate them into your chicken’s main diet in small quantities. Remember that moderation is key to keeping your flock healthy.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!