So, can chickens eat cucumbers? It was the other day that I discovered my chicken’s affinity to cucumbers. This comes in the wake of having a surplus of these treats right in my kitchen. So, instead of throwing them away, I can happily feed my chickens.
The right answer is yes. Chickens love cucumbers in the same way they like other treats. For that reason, you should consider feeding them a few cucumbers that are not palatable for your consumption. Just make a few slices and toss them to your flock to see their reactions. Most likely, they will scramble for this treat and even look up to you for more.
Giving your chickens table or kitchen scraps is an excellent way to provide them healthy treats. At the same time, it certifies that no leftovers go to waste. Most importantly, it helps you save some money on commercial chicken feed.
Make sure that you take advantage of the excess food by giving them to your birds. Next time you remove everything from your fridge, remember to pass a few edibles to your flock.
Also, ensure that scrape from your dinner plates don’t go to the garbage when you can give to your chickens. If you come home with leftovers from another source, remember to spare some of them for your chickens. They will become fond of you because of that simple show of affection to them.
Most people are skeptical about what treats to feed their chickens. Maybe you are one of them. You are not sure where to get started with this newfound way of feeding your chickens. If this is true, then you are in the right place. We will help you get started with the simplest and most abundant chicken treat.
Before we get down to the subject matter, you need to know the general rule of thumb. This rule states that if a specific type of food is good for you, it’s definitely suitable for your flock.
Unfortunately, this does not include fried, salty sugary, or moldy foods. Also, it does not consider alcoholic beverages or stimulants, such as coffee, to be ideal for your chickens treats. Therefore, take note of such foods when feeding your feathered friends.
To begin with, let’s have a general discussion on the typical chicken treats. Just like human beings, chickens enjoy different diets comprising a variety of nutritious treats. All these treats play different roles, such as supplementing the usual chicken diet with essential nutrients. Also, they can act as boredom busters, particularly in times of confinement.
Some treats can serve as attention-grabbing devices when you want your birds to focus on something important. As usual, you need to consider moderation every time you are providing your chickens with different types of treats.
In most cases, these treats should take up to 10 percent of the chicken feed to avoid future complications. You should take this suggestion seriously to prevent your flock from relying on treats more than their staple diet.
Too many treats can cause serious health problems, let alone affecting egg production and the quality of meat. With this information at the back of your mind, it is time to find out if your chickens can eat cucumbers.
Why Should You Feed Your Chickens Cucumbers?
Chickens like cucumbers, and there is no doubt about it. This type of treatment helps them hydrate when it is hot. It is because cucumbers contain a lot of water, which cools off their bodies when they consume it.
Besides, cucumbers are readily available and are easy to prepare when feeding your flock. What you need to do is to cut them lengthwise and into thirds before passing them to chickens to eat.
Cutting this vegetable into cucumbers exposes their soft flesh, allowing your chickens to have an excellent place to start enjoying their treat. But if you slice the cukes into halves, your birds may flip them over or peel side up and fail to get the soft flesh.
When you cut them into thirds, the flesh side becomes visible from all angles. As a result, the chickens will have an easy time pecking at their treat. As you can see, feeding your chickens cucumbers is not as challenging as feeding them other types of food.
Why Should You Not Feed Your Chickens Cucumbers?
In the real sense, there is no valid reason why you shouldn’t give your birds cucumbers. There are very few risks associated with consuming cucumbers. One of them is the concern about the pesticides farmers use to control pesticides.
Otherwise, there is no primary concern about this type of food. In this regard, you should always wash them or peel off the skin before feeding your chickens. This way, you will be sure that they are safe for consumption.
How Many Cucumbers Should You Feed Your Chickens?
Before you even get started with feeding your flock, you must always remember that everything should be in moderation. Not many more than 10 percent of your chicken’s daily diet should comprise of treats. This is a significant point to note because too many treats can harm your birds.
Keep in mind that every time you see your chickens eating treats, they are not consuming their staple feed. As you may guess, their daily feed is their ultimate source of nutrition. It applies to both free-range and confined chickens.
Poultry nutritionists take their time to monitor the composition of ingredients in commercial chicken feed. They do so to ensure that each chicken’s nutrients requirements are met.
Supplemental foods such as table scraps, and snacks, should only be included to replace a fraction of essential dietary elements. This is to help you remember that you should check how much daily feed your chickens are eating compared to treats.
Excessive treats, regardless of whether they are healthy or not, can contribute to serious health problems.
Common health complications resulting from excess treats include:
- Reduced egg production
- Habitual production of multiple-yolked eggs
- Malformed eggs
- Protein deficiency
- Fatty liver syndrome
- Vent prolapse
- Heart problems
With this information at the back of your mind, you can find easy ways to feed your flock cucumbers. For instance, you can incorporate a few slices of this treat to their usual diet. Keep the amount of this treat at 10 percent of the entire diet to help your birds stay healthy.
To help your flock enjoy eating cucumbers, you must find the best way of making this treat easy to eat. In this case, you should make what is known as cucumber tetherballs. This refers to hanging several cucumbers on sturdy strings to help them peck at this treat whenever they feel hungry.
The best part of using this method is that it keeps your flock active while entertaining you all day long. The entertainment part comes in where your chickens spend most of their time jumping to reach their treat.
However, you will require enough space to set up your cucumber tetherball. More area is essential to a happy and healthy flock. For that reason, make sure that each bird has a bare minimum space of about 4 square feet in the coop or 10 square feet in the run. The main advantage of having more space around your birds is to prevent health and some behavioral issues.
Just like young people, bored chickens will resort to some form of mischief, especially those that are confined. Fortunately, free-range chickens rarely engage in such misconduct.
Nevertheless, the presence of tetherball around your flock will promote boredom-busting activities. Make sure that you offer this form of a treat as an occasional snack besides serving as a boredom buster.
What Are the Health Benefits of Cucumbers to Your Chickens?
It’s wise of you to know that chickens eat what they crave and beside the taste of that particular food. And cucumbers make to the list of the most favorite treats your birds will fight for. This leads to the question of what health benefits cucumbers have for your birds.
Health benefits are the most critical factor to consider when feeding your chickens cucumbers. It is not always about making them happy or satisfied. But they should also feed on the kind of food that will help them grow healthy and become productive.
Fast forward, the first health benefit of cucumbers is the presence of nutrients such as vitamin B, and several antioxidants. All these benefits are equally important to people as well as chickens.
Cucumbers have significant benefits that mostly revolve around your bird’s overall health. Your chickens will find them delicious, especially during sunny days. This is because they have high water content besides other vital nutrients.
The fleshy part of a cucumber is the main center of attraction to your birds and for good reasons. This section is rich in nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and folic acid.
On the other hand, the outer section of the skin contains fiber and a few minerals such as molybdenum, potassium, and magnesium. All these nutrients contribute to the well-being of your birds when you feed them cucumbers.
As mentioned before, cucumbers are a great source of various nutrients, minerals, vitamins, energy, and water. Minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, vitamins C and K are found in large quantities in cucumbers. They also have small amounts of sodium, iron, and vitamin B (niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6).
Below is a table of nutrients found in cucumbers and their respective values:
|Total Lipid (fat)[g]||0.11|
|Carbohydrates by difference [g]||3.63|
|Fiber, total dietary [g]||0.5|
|Sugars-total including NLEA [g]||1.67|
|Glucose (dextrose) [g]||0.76|
With 95 percent water, cucumbers can help your birds stay hydrated for quite long. If that is not convincing enough, vitamin K will promote blood clots and keep the bones healthy.
When it comes to vitamin A, the situation is somehow different. This class of vitamins is responsible for improving the vision of your birds, strengthening their immune system, and helping in reproduction. In general, vitamin A ensures that organs such as kidneys, lungs, and heart are working correctly.
It is a perfect blend of water and fiber. Cucumbers can protect your chickens against constipation. This is because the fibers contained in cucumbers enhances digestion, making it easy for your birds to overcome issues related to constipation.
Cucumbers provide a potent antioxidant powder that is beneficial to your chickens. A month-long consumption of this treat shows a tremendous improvement in antioxidant activities. This leaves your flock healthy and productive.
Since they are low in acidity, cucumbers are the best choice of food that your chickens can tolerate. Besides the ability to normalize body temperatures in summer, this treat can prevent the accumulation of harmful substances in the body. That explains why its juice is diuretic in nature.
Can chickens eat cucumber seeds? Yes. You can feed your chickens cucumber seeds because they are safe and nutritious. Furthermore, cucumber seeds are rich in amino acid cucurbitine. This form of amino acid has vermifuge properties which are useful in deworming your birds.
Why do you have to peel the cucumber a little bit when feeding your chickens? Peeling the cucumber a little bit enables your chickens to access the fleshy part. This is the main section of this treat that contains the most essential nutrients needed by your chickens. Also, peeling off a little bit makes this treat more enticing even to those chickens that have never eaten cucumbers.
Feeding chickens treats such as cucumbers can be fun and a better way of supplementing their diet. It’s also a better way to get closer to your birds and interact with them. At the same time, it ensures that their diet is well-rounded. Make sure that you feed your birds treats in moderation and at specific times to avoid future health problems.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!