Juicy, refreshing, and full of flavor, it’s unsurprising that most people love grapes. But unfortunately for dogs, grapes are a definite no-no. Is the same true for your flock? Can chickens eat grapes, and how do you feed them to your flock?
It is perfectly safe for chickens to consume grapes in moderation. They’re loaded with vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your flock. However, they should be washed and chopped up before serving. A handful of chopped grapes is enough to feed a small flock.
If you’re thinking about feeding your flock a bit of grape from your afternoon snack, you need to know the facts. This article can help. Below, you will uncover critical information, such as whether or not chickens can consume grapes, how they’re beneficial, and how to feed them correctly.
Chickens have a very diverse diet, and one of their favorite treats is fruit – namely, the juicy and scrumptious grape. Chickens enjoy all types of grapes, from the yummy dessert-like red grapes to the slightly sour green variety. Luckily for the chickens, it is 100% safe to eat grapes in moderation.
The keyword is moderation. Grapes (and other fruits) should not be the leading ingredient in your chicken’s diet. A chicken’s diet (source: uga.edu) requires ample protein, carbohydrates, fats, etc., and it cannot be sustained with grapes alone.
The other issue is that a lot of chickens have a sweet tooth. If they’re fed grapes (and other sweet fruits) too regularly, they may snub the “regular” foods they need to consume to be strong, healthy, and thriving.
That said, chickens should only be fed grapes once a week as a treat. This will ensure they get some variety in their diet without going overboard.
Although your chicken may confuse grapes as a dessert, the good news is that grapes are highly beneficial to chickens. Here are some of the top benefits:
Unlike processed foods, grapes are a natural and fresh ingredient that contains a host of vitamins, probiotics, and fiber, all of which are easily absorbed by your chickens. In turn, your chicken’s digestive system improves, leading to a healthier flock.
As Toni Sorenson once said, “Variety in your diet is health in your life.” But this quote doesn’t pertain to just humans. It’s also relevant to your flock. A variety in your chicken’s diet is essential to its overall health and well-being.
Grapes are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. But the standout vitamins are Vitamin K and C. Vitamin K helps to build strong bones and fend off blood clots, while vitamin C boosts the immune system.
However, the combination of vitamins and minerals in grapes creates a powerhouse of nutrients that enhances your chicken’s health. Not only that, but it can improve egg quality, resulting in stronger shells and enhanced flavor.
Here’s a video showing chickens eating grapes naturally:
Knowing that your chickens can eat grapes is only half the battle; you also need to understand how to serve them to your flock correctly. There are a few things to consider.
- Wash the grapes, especially if they are not organic. While grapes are a-okay for chickadee consumption, the pesticides or herbicides coating the grapes are not. Wash the grapes – just like you’d wash them for yourself.
- Cut them into small pieces. Chickens can be ferocious eaters that don’t think twice about noshing on their favorite foods, like grapes. Cut them up to avoid a choking hazard.
- Don’t worry about stems and seeds. Your chicken will have no problem munching on the stems and steeds of grapes.
- Serve with other nutritious foods, if desired. Serving a handful of chopped grapes with some chicken feed, oats, or other nutrient-dense items is a great idea.
You cannot feed whole grapes to chicken. Remember – your chickens don’t have teeth, and they can be a bit wild when it comes to eating. Instead of taking the time to methodically chew the grape as a human would, chickens tend to go “all in,” which can result in choking.
That said, the first rule of thumb is never to feed whole grapes to chickens.
Think of your chickens as a tenacious grape-loving toddler, in which case, you need to cut up the grapes before serving. Again, this all comes down to the inevitable choking hazard that grapes present. Cut them into small pieces, and let your flock feast!
Chickens do not need a whole lot of grapes. In fact, you can easily feed an entire small flock of chickens with a single handful of chopped-up grapes.
Remember – your chickens need a diet with variety, and too many grapes can lead to a nutritional deficiency or digestive issues. That, or they’ll snub their other food altogether, leading to further issues.
Grapes shouldn’t be a staple in your flock’s diet. Make grapes a treat and offer them no more than once a week. If chickens are eating grapes daily, they may not be getting all the nutrition they need to stay healthy.
It’s not all hunky dory when it comes to grapes. While a couple of grapes weekly is perfectly safe for your flock, overdoing it can be troublesome. Here’s why:
- Grapes are high in sugar. A chicken’s diet should contain no more than 5% sugar.
- A chicken’s love for grapes can lead to the refusal of other foods. In turn, your chicken may end up with a nutritional deficiency and health problems.
- Grapes can be a choking hazard. Chickens don’t think twice when it comes to grapes. They may try to swallow it whole, leading to a choking bout.
- Too many grapes can cause indigestion. While a grape treat here and there benefits a chicken’s digestive tract, too many grapes will have the opposite outcome.
Chickens can safely eat grapes (all kinds) and their accompanying seeds and stems. However, grapes must be washed and chopped up before serving. They should only be served in small increments on a weekly basis (or less).