So, can chickens eat plums? Yes! Plums are small, sweet, and juicy fruits. Therefore, your chickens will enjoy pecking at them all day long. Since they are high in sugars, you should feed them sparingly. Too much sugar is detrimental to the wellbeing of your chickens.
After observing chickens for a while, I conclude that they like treats more than their daily diet. This is because different treats provide them with a variety of tastes in addition to supplementing their staple food. Most of these treats consist of table scraps, vegetables, and fruits, such as plums.
Chickens are likely to feed on anything we eat. That is why they are categorized as omnivores. To back up this claim, just observe your flock when on a free-range.
You might be surprised to see your birds scratching the ground to find worms, insects, and bugs to eat. On one side, you will find a handful of them searching dustbins in a bid to feast on kitchen scraps. Don’t be alarmed because this is their nature.
By eating different types of foods, your birds are more likely to lay high nutritious eggs thanks to their diverse diet. Also, their meat will be tastier compared to chickens raised mainly on commercial feed.
To help them achieve their dietary needs, you must always look out for alternative foods. In this regard, treats should come into your mind.
Give them treats in small quantities to keep them healthy and active. Avoid foods that have too much salt, sugar, and fat. This is because chickens cannot digest the aforementioned compounds. This brings our attention to plums as one of their favorite treats.
Even though these fruits have large quantities of sugar, they can bring a lot of positive changes to your flock’s diet. Plums are known for their nutrients and juicy flesh, which your birds will find irresistible.
However, you must always watch out when feeding your chickens plums. First of all, you should remove seeds to make this treat safe for them. Seeds from plums contain traces of cyanide, which can cause serious health problems when your birds ingest them.
The plum, just like a mango fruit, is a drupe. In this regard, the term “drupe” is used to describe fruits that have their seeds surrounded by a stone-like pit. That is the reason such fruits are sometimes called stone fruits.
Plums share the same family as nectarines, apricots, and peaches. Unlike their family members, they are a little bit diverse.
They can come in small or large sizes, with purple, green, red, orange, or yellow skin with orange, yellow, or pink flesh. These variations make it a unique fruit.
They were first cultivated in China hundreds of years ago before finding their way to the rest of the world. At the moment, over 2000 varieties grow in different parts of the world.
Even though they are human food, they can also be part of your chicken’s diet. And this is where we shift our attention. Below are the reasons why you need to feed your chicken plums.
Why Should You Feed Plums to Your Chickens?
Plums are very nutritious, not only to humans but also to animals such as chickens. They contain a variety of nutrients that are usually beneficial healthwise.
These nutrients include minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber, among others. All these compounds help your chickens stay healthy, happy, and productive.
As such, you need to find a way of including a few plums to their staple diet to help create a balanced diet. Plums add some sweetness to your chicken feed, but their nutritional value is the most crucial part of this treat.
Amount of Nutrients per serving:
- Protein: 1 gram
- Calories: 76
- Carbs: 18 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Sugar: 16 grams
- Fat: less than 1 gram
Also, plums are an excellent source of:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
Plums May Promote Digestive Health
Plums are known for their ability to promote digestive health in chickens. This is because they can relieve constipation thanks to their fiber content. One plum is capable of providing up to 1 gram of fiber. Most of this fiber is insoluble, meaning that it does not dissolve or blend with water.
The fiber in plums plays a critical role in preventing cases such as constipation and bowel movement. They do so by merely adding bulk to the stool. At the same time, they speed up the flow of waste from the digestive tract.
Apart from that, the juicy part of the plum contains sorbitol. This is a type of sugar alcohol that exhibits natural laxative effects. When your birds eat plums, this alcohol helps them speed up the digestion process.
In other words, the laxative effects in this fruit is more effective when it comes to treating constipation than different types of laxatives.
Regardless of promoting the digestive health of your birds, feeding them too many plums should not be encouraged. This issue relates to the fact that excess plums can cause undesirable effects on their wellbeing.
Plums are Rich in Antioxidants
Plums have plenty of antioxidants that are beneficial to your chicken’s health. Antioxidants help in reducing inflammation in addition to protecting the cells against free radicals. Free radicals are known for wreaking havoc to the cells.
The most common types of antioxidants found in plums are polyphenols, which promote bone health. Also, they help reduce heart disease, leaving your birds healthy throughout.
Several studies show that plums have twice as much polyphenol antioxidants than other popular fruits like peaches and nectarines.
Another research reveals that polyphenols in plums can reduce inflammatory markers linked to the lung and joint diseases.
Anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol, is the most active antioxidant found in plums. This compound has powerful health effects, such as lowering the risk of heart-related diseases.
Plums May Promote Your Chicken’s Bone Health
Plums can also improve bone health in chickens. Consumption of this fruit helps reduce the risk of deteriorating bone health. To be more specific, certain nutrients in plums prevent or reverse bone loss.
However, it is not clear how plums promote bone health. Despite the lack of information about the role, plums play in maintaining bone health. Experts believe that antioxidants are responsible. Additionally, their ability to lower inflammation could be another reason why they help in bone health.
Moreover, feeding your plums to your flock may increase certain hormones that promote bone formation. This is good news, especially for young birds that are still developing their bones.
Other essential compounds in plums that contribute to bone health include minerals and vitamins. They are known for their bone-protective effects in chickens. These nutrients consist of vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Plums Can May Improve Heart Health
Plums can protect against heart diseases. These juicy fruits have undergone several studies to reveal their effect on heart health.
The findings of their health benefits are promising, given that they can lower the risks of high blood pressure.
At the same time, they can reduce cholesterol levels by a large percentage, and this prevents heart problems. The positive effect of plums to heart health is attributed to the high content of antioxidants, potassium, and fiber.
How to Prepare Plums for Your Chickens
You can buy plums from the grocery store near you or the supermarket. But if you have an orchard with plums, you can harvest a few for your birds. Make sure that you choose only the ripe ones so that your chickens can eat them easily.
Once you have them ready, wash each fruit to remove dirt and chemical residues. Then cut them open to remove the seeds. Don’t allow your birds to consume those seeds because they contain traces of cyanide.
Proceed to slice each plum into smaller pieces before giving your chickens to eat. Cutting them into tiny pieces helps your chickens to eat them easily because they don’t have teeth to chew.
Yes, your birds will love this treat because it is sweet and juicy. But ensure that the amount of plums your chickens can eat at one time is 10% of their daily diet.
Don’t overfeed them because they might refuse to eat their usual food. In particular, too many treats have adverse effects on their digestion and overall health.
Plums have high sugar content in the form of fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Even though these sugars are beneficial to human beings, they are not safe for your chickens. This is because your birds cannot digest them properly. So, you should limit the number of plums that you are feeding your flock.
In what form should l feed plums to my chickens? You can give them raw plums that they are ripe and easy to eat. Just remove the seeds and slice them into small pieces before feeding your flock.
How many plums should I feed my chickens per day? The amount of plums you need to feed your flock should not exceed 10 % of their daily diet. That is the recommended amount for any given treat.
Chickens can indeed eat plums when you provide them as their treat. Plums are also rich in essential nutrients that your birds need to grow healthy. These nutrients play significant roles in improving their digestive health, bone health, and reducing risks of heart diseases. Regardless of all their health benefits, plums should be fed to chickens in moderation.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!