So, can chickens eat watermelon? At the start, this doesn’t sound like a tricky question. But don’t we all like watermelons? Nothing tastes better and refreshing than cold watermelon on a hot day. This gigantic sweet, healthy fruit comes with essential nutrients that are beneficial to us and farm animals as well.
Chickens love watermelons in the same way they like other delicious foods. You can feed them by simply cutting open the whole fruit and allowing them to have a feast. On the other hand, you may use the cooling watermelon soup and mint to keep your birds hydrated in the summertime.
Chickens are just like other poultry when it comes to their feeding habit. They seem to consume different types of foods coming their way. These lovely birds will eat anything and everything they perceive edible. Whether you give them fruits, vegetables, or grains, they will just eat everything, leaving nothing on the ground.
Just like hedgehogs, pigs, and humans, your feathered friends are omnivores. Most of their diet consists of a variety of plants, fungi, animals, and algae. With plants, chickens enjoy different types of fruits, including watermelon. This sweet, delicious, and watery fruit sends them into a moment of frenzy whenever they spot it. They will scramble or even fight over this treat just to have a taste of its sweet flesh.
Watermelon in the summertime is something to behold. It makes hot summers breathable while keeping your flock full throughout. Most importantly, watermelon is healthy and contains several nutrients that your birds need. It also consists of a whopping 92 percent water, among other nutrients. This makes it a treat of choice for all chickens raised in warmer places.
Most likely, your chickens will eat more of this fruit, including the flesh and rind. Spread out the seeds, so your birds get can get access to them. This shows how much watermelon means to your flock. This is because it adds some flavor to their diet, not to mention enhancing their health.
However, you should consider feeding your birds with fresh watermelon. All you have to do is to cut this treat into small pieces and toss them to them. Doing so will help your chickens find an easy way to enjoy their treat. This is because they don’t have teeth, so they cannot chew their food as we do.
Feeding your flock of birds with fresh watermelon is a sign that you care about them. Therefore, avoid giving them moldy treats or rotten foods to maintain their health. Spoiled foods contain several compounds that are hazardous or harmful to them.
If you make a habit of feeding your flock with bad treats, they will become sick and even die. So, you need to watch out for the state of the watermelon and other foods before feeding them.
Watermelon is one of the safest treats for your chickens. This statement answers the question, “can chickens eat watermelon?” Now that you have the right answer, you need to know the importance of supplementing your chicken’s diet with watermelon. Read on to learn more about this uncommon fruit and why your birds need it.
Why Should You Feed Your Chickens Watermelon?
1. Watermelon Helps Them Cool Off During Hot Summer
Your chickens can tolerate some variations in hot weather and temperature. Unlike human beings, they cannot sweat; however hot it may seem outside.
To cool off their bodies, they need to find an easy way, which involves several activities. One of them is opening their wings to trap some air. The other one is by burrowing themselves in the soil, at least to reduce the heat in their bodies.
Both methods are not enough to keep them entirely comfortable. In this case, you can help them stay cool by providing them with a few slices of ripe watermelon. This type of treat has plenty of water that will help them cool their bodies on a hot day.
Besides, watermelon’s structure enables it to deflect most of the heat to remain cool throughout. This way, it can maintain its content to the lowest possible temperatures that will cool off your chickens. This is how watermelons keep your birds cool and comfortable during summer.
2. Watermelon Rehydrates Your Chickens
Chickens tend to feel dehydrated in summer or when subjected to extreme hot weather conditions.
During such times, your birds lose a lot of water in the form of vapor. This phenomenon is so common, especially when they are breathing out. To help them stay hydrated, you can provide plenty of water at strategic locations.
Alternatively, you may feed them watermelon to help them rehydrate. Watermelon has very high water content in addition to essential nutrients that your chickens need to stay healthy. Therefore, it will sufficiently replenish the water lost by your chickens due to spending their time in hot weather.
3. Watermelon Can Uplift the Mood of Your Chickens
Your chickens can display different moods in different situations. They may feel sad or happy, depending on various factors. Some of these factors may adversely affect the production of eggs. This should tell you that their emotional state is essential in their well-being and productivity.
Feeding them slices of watermelon will help uplift their mood and emotional state. Watermelon is a very delicious and nutritious treat for your feathered friends. After feasting on it, your fowls will feel relaxed and stress-free for a long time. Consequently, their egg production will improve tremendously much to your delight.
4. Watermelon Improves Your Chicken’s Health
The fact that watermelons are nutritious, you can rest assured that they will help improve your chicken’s health. This is because they contain useful nutrients that are essential for maintaining the health of your birds. Key among these nutrients is fiber.
Typically, fiber plays a significant role in adding bulk to their stools. Also, it improves their digestive system. With a healthy digestive system, your chickens will enjoy overall well-being. As a result, their production of eggs and meat will improve as well. But no matter how delicious this treat is, make sure that you feed them in moderation.
What Should You Consider When Feeding Watermelons to Your Chickens?
There are numerous cases of chickens dying after consuming the watermelon rind. Although such reports need some scrutiny to verify them, just know feeding your chickens watermelon is safe. With this information at your fingertips, you need to consider the following factors when feeding watermelon to your chickens:
1. Provide Fresh Watermelon Rinds to Your Chickens
To avoid any health-related problems, you must provide fresh watermelon to your chickens to eat. Just take fresh watermelon and cut it into half before letting your birds feast on it. Make sure that you dispose of any leftovers once your chickens finish their feast.
In most cases, your chickens will stop eating as soon as they have nothing left to eat. The same case applies to treats such as watermelons.
Leftover watermelon will become a fertile ground for the growth and development of fungi. Such fungi are known to produce toxic substances that might harm your birds just in case they ingest them.
That is why most people think that watermelon contributes to the death of their chickens. But the real cause of such deaths is the toxins produced by those fungi growing on stale watermelons. So, avoid feeding your birds watermelons that are expired or moldy.
2.Slice the Watermelon Rind Into Small Pieces
The best way of feeding your chickens watermelons is by cutting them into smaller pieces. As you may know, these birds don’t have teeth to tear, bite, or chew their food. Instead, they swallow it whole. As such, it is wise to slice a watermelon into small chunks so they will have an easy time when eating.
The same applies to when you are feeding them watermelon rind. Cut the rind into tiny pieces for easy digestion. Larger pieces, however, might suffocate your birds hence the need to avoid such incidents.
3. Remove the Hard/ Tough Skin of the Watermelons
A better way of feeding watermelon to your chickens is by removing the hard skin. Once you remove the tough skin, you will only have the softer part of the rind for your birds.
They will find it easy to eat their treat when the hardest part of the skin is not there. Also, removing this section of the watermelon makes it easy for digestion.
Why is Watermelon Considered a Healthy Treat for Your Chickens?
Watermelon is one of the few treats that boasts plenty of nutrients that your chickens need to grow.
These nutrients include vitamin A, vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and a few powerful antioxidants. It also contains trace elements such as thiamin, riboflavin, folate, niacin, phosphorus, pantothenic acid, magnesium, zinc, manganese, potassium, copper, choline, selenium, and lycopene.
Surprisingly, watermelon contains more lycopene than all other fruits or vegetables. All these nutrients play a significant role in the lives of your chickens.
When ripe, watermelon has the best value of nutritional benefits not only to you but also to your chickens. This is evident, especially when a watermelon’s flesh changes from white-pink to deep pink.
A fully grown and ripe watermelon is an excellent gift to your birds when it comes to nutrient benefits. When in white color, the level of lycopene and beta-carotene in watermelon’s flesh increases as it grows. Antioxidant levels shoot up significantly when it ripens. That is the main reason you should feed a ripe watermelon to your chickens.
How Do You Choose a Fully Ripened Watermelon For Your Chickens?
You can obtain watermelons from your farm or simply purchase them from any nearby grocery. When buying this fruit for your chickens, you should look out for the ripe ones.
If you purchase a pre-cut watermelon, settle for that one, which has a deeper pink color. Make sure that it does not have the white streaking or any other deformities. The seeds should be white or deep in color for a ripe watermelon.
All these physical characteristics will guide you when buying the best quality of pre-cut watermelon for your chickens.
If you decide to buy the uncut or whole watermelon, ensure that it feels ripe and dense. This is because the water content in watermelons increases as they ripen. So, a heavy watermelon is an indication of a fully ripened fruit. A well-ripened watermelon has 90 percent water, which makes it heavier.
Apart from the water content, you should also look for other features. An example of the feature you need to look for is the smoothness of the rind. A smooth rind that is a bit dulled on top will help you know if the watermelon is ready for consumption.
Also, check out for the spot where the watermelon rests while it is on the ground. If you notice that the spot is green or white, just know that watermelon is not yet ready for consumption.
Why is watermelon such a great treat for your chickens? Because watermelon contains 90 percent water, which hydrates your chickens in hot weather. It is also cold and sweet in addition to containing a good interior with excellent green exterior. Most importantly, it has several healthy nutrients that will benefit your chickens. And no part of this treat goes to waste when you feed it to your fowl.
Can you use watermelons as an alternative to freshwater? Not really. Watermelons are treats or supplemental diet for your birds and not as an alternative to water. This should tell you that water is essential in all situations regardless of what you are feeding your chickens.
You can indeed feed your chickens watermelon. This treat contains a large percentage of water, which hydrates your birds in hot weather. Besides, watermelon contains healthy nutrients to keep your poultry healthy and productive. Make sure that you look for a ripe and fresh watermelon every time you want to feed your flock.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!