Most backyard chicken keepers give their chickens alternative foods to help them meet their nutritional needs. So if you’re wondering can chickens eat plums, you’ve come to the right place.
One of the best ways to nourish your birds is by giving them fruits. You can be sure of them going crazy for these tasty and sweet snacks.
If you have been asking yourself this question, worry no more. We have an answer for you. This article will cover everything you need to know about feeding plums to your chickens. Keep reading to learn more.
Are Plums Healthy for Chickens?
Yes, plums are safe and healthy for your chickens to eat. Plums are widely known for their juicy flesh and abundant flesh that your birds will find irresistible.
Several benefits come with feeding your chickens on plums. Here are some of them:
Plums Are Rich in Antioxidants
Plums can be good for the general health of your backyard chickens because they are rich in antioxidants. They will help your chickens to fight against the free radicals in their bodies and keep them safe and secure from various diseases.
Plums Help to Boost the Immune System
Plums contain plenty of vitamin C, which is responsible for boosting the immune system of chickens. Therefore, your birds will be less prone to diseases and will have a healthier heart as well. If your chickens become ill, you can provide them with vitamin C to help them recover faster and reduce inflammation.
Studies have shown that giving your chickens plums will offer them immune-enhancing properties. Besides, including plums in your chickens’ diet will help prevent coccidiosis, which affects their intestinal tract.
Plums Improve Digestion
Plums are generally rich in fibers that hardly dissolve with water. If you give them to your backyard chickens, the fibers will help to prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movement.
Plums Can Promote Your Chicken’s Bone Health
Because of the presence of Calcium, vitamins, and minerals in plums, backyard chickens can enjoy the goodness of these nutrients by eating plums. In particular, Calcium can help improve the health of your chicken’s bones. This is one of the best ways to make your chickens more active and healthy too.
Plums Promote the Overall Health of Chickens
Plums generally improve the overall health of chickens. Here are some of the minerals and nutrients in plums that can help to improve the general health of chickens and make them more active and healthy:
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is responsible for the good functioning of mucus-producing glands in birds, such as the esophagus, nose, and inner eyelid.
- Vitamin K: A deficiency of vitamin K in the diet of chickens can affect their blood coagulation. This means that if one of your birds is bleeding as a result of an injury, it may be hard to stop clotting.
- Potassium: Potassium is essential in egg-laying hens as it helps with egg production. It also lowers heat stress in chickens during hot weather.
- Sorbitol: Various studies have indicated that sorbitol can decrease cholesterol in chickens. If you are breeding broiler hens for meat, you can also give them sorbitol as it helps them to gain weight.
- Calcium: Your laying hens will require Calcium to lay eggs. It is vital in the formation of eggshells. If you do not provide your hens with enough Calcium, they may eventually stop laying eggs.
- Folate: Folate is vital for skeletal and normal feather growth in chickens. It also helps in the prevention of anemia.
Can Chickens Eat Plum Pits?
Like a mango, plum is also a drupe fruit. It has a single seed that is covered by a stone-like pit that you can easily extract from fleshly covering. Such fruits are sometimes referred to as stone fruits.
The seed or stone pit of plums can not be eaten by chickens. However, a large part of the fruit is edible. The seed should be discarded because it contains a substance known as amygdalin. When consumed, it will break down hydrogen cyanide which is both harmful to human beings as well as animals. It can lead to digestive problems if your chicken consumes it in small quantities. If consumed in large quantities, it can cause serious health issues or even death.
Therefore, you must ensure that the pit is removed from the plums and discarded before feeding plums to your chickens. Most backyard chickens love to forage and may attempt pecking at the plum seeds. You will have to toss the rock hard pit in a compost bin because it does not decompose easily.
Are Dried Plums Poisonous to Chickens?
You can feed your backyard chickens on dried plums because they are rich in nutrients. However, you will have to give them in moderation because they contain too much sugar as compared to fresh plum fruit.
A cup of dried plums contains approximately 65 grams of sugar. On the other hand, a cup of fresh plums has about 15 grams of sugar. You must feed the prunes to your chickens only when the pit has been removed.
You can also mix dried plums with various commercial feeds and have your chickens feed on them. The birds will get the necessary nutrients from their standard feed as well as from the prunes.
How Do You Feed Plums to Your Chickens?
Plums are a delicacy for backyard chickens, and all of them will enjoy eating them. They are simple to cut and prepare. Besides, they can be digested easily by chickens. When feeding your chickens on plums, it is usually advisable to keep the treat away from the chickens’ waste by using a feeder or a tray.
You can buy plums for your chickens at a farmer’s market or from your nearest grocery store. They are usually available all year round. When buying, you will have to make sure that you are choosing only those that are ripe as they will be more delicious to your flock.
Here is how you can prepare plums for your chickens:
- Wash your plums well after buying them from the market or harvesting them from the orchard. This will get rid of pollutants or any dirt on them.
- Remove the pit from your plum, then cut it in half. You must remember to toss away the pit into the compost bin to keep the chickens from eating and pecking on it.
- Take a knife and cut your plum into smaller pieces so that your birds find it easy to eat them. This will also save them from choking on it.
- Toss the plums for your chickens to consume.
You can also feed plums to your chickens by mixing them with other fruits such as apples, strawberries, and blueberries. Cut the fruits into tiny pieces and mix them in a large bowl. You can then put them in a bowl or feeder for your chickens to feed on.
Another way of feeding plums to your chickens is by combining them with commercial feeds. This will ensure that your chickens taste a varied meal and get a complete nutritional combination that will be good for their health.
How Much and How Often Can Your Chickens Eat Plums?
You must always remember that at least 90% of your chicken’s diet must consist of commercial feed. The feeds are specifically formulated to meet all the nutritional requirements of chickens. This is essential for your birds, especially when they are molting or laying eggs.
Since plums are not among the staple foods of backyard chickens, you should avoid giving them daily. They are rich in minerals and vitamins but may not offer the required nourishment to meet your chicken’s dietary needs.
Like other fruits, plums should account for not more than 10% of the total diet of your chicken. This is a general rule that must be adhered to irrespective of the age of your chickens. Therefore, you should only provide your chickens with small amounts of plum to keep them active and healthy.
Chickens like to eat juicy fruits such as plums and will enjoy pecking at them throughout. However, feeding your birds on a lot of plums all the time might be harmful to their health. Therefore, you should feed them once in a while as a special treat.
Plums are rich in a variety of sugars such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Although these sugars are good for humans, they are not safe for your flock. This is because chickens are not able to digest sugars properly.
In general, your chickens should be able to feed on the plums within five minutes. If you have chicks, you can give them a piece of plum. You will have to ensure that it is sliced into smaller pieces so that the chicks do not. On the other hand, half of the plum is enough for your mature chickens.
Your chickens can eat plums. They contain a variety of nutrients as well as minerals and vitamins. Giving your chickens plum will improve their general health and ensure that they remain active most of the time. However, you will have to offer them in moderation.