Bananas are some of those wonderful fruits which can be delicious and healthy at the same time with its high potassium content. So, naturally you’re probably wondering if your chickens can eat bananas?
And the answer is…
Here’s the answer – you can surely feed bananas to chickens, but preferably in small amounts only. As much as they are rich in potassium and some minerals and vitamins, they are also rich in sugar which can be bad for chickens if consumed in large quantities.
If you have chickens, you probably enjoy feeding them random food in the chicken pen, and observe what they will and won’t eat. Fortunately, chickens are not very picky. You can just peel the banana peel off and toss a small portion of the banana to them and they’re sure to go wild.
Just some facts…
A single banana contains about 400 mg of potassium. Humans need 4,800 mg, or more than ten times of that every day to stay healthy. Physically, it is impossible to eat enough bananas to kill you, and the same way goes for chickens. One chicken would need to eat more than 20 bananas in a single session to get enough potassium to kill it.
How do you feed bananas to chickens?
So, how do you exactly feed a banana to chickens? There is a variety of feeding techniques you can follow and experiment for you. Only chickens with advanced skills can peel bananas :-), so it is probably best to split it open or peel it for them.
You can also slice them into rounds or chunks, and throw these out for them to pick at. To keep the alpha birds from hogging all the treats, you can break or cut a banana up so all the birds get some.
Sliced and frozen, you can feed the bananas to them as a warm weather treat.
Another fun way of feeding these is to hang them up one at a time, then let your chickens run for them to peck. Not only does this keep your flock amused, but this also keeps the feed off the floor.
So… can chickens eat bananas? Yes, and in fact you can feed chickens both ripe and unripe bananas, but from a certain viewpoint, unripe fruit is better for it is firmer and has less sugar. As bananas ripen, they get softer and sweeter, both of which things, in poultry diets, are best avoided in large quantities.
Things to consider when asking if chickens can eat bananas
In feeding your birds bananas, there is definitely a lot to love about, but keep in mind that sometimes, it’s not a perfect plan. Because of their high sugar content, feeding bananas to your chickens can be dangerous. Chickens cannot digest that much sugar, and if you were to give them bananas every day, you can probably upset the balance of their feed, and at some stage, your birds will likely suffer problems related to this. So just don’t feed your chickens bananas everyday! Plus, that could get expensive real quick!
Too much consumption of soft food can lead to crop problems for chickens. Sugars in fruits can give your birds sour crop. After eating bananas, you will likely see your chickens wiping their beaks on the ground. This is because chickens don’t usually like stuff stuck to their beaks, and this is a common problem when they eat mushy feed like soft fruits.
As for the banana peel, can it be edible for chickens as well? Actually, it depends on how your chickens would like it. Some chickens eat it but won’t eat up unless the whole ones are chopped up into little pieces, while some never eat the peel – they just get inside, eat the fruit, and leave the skins.
You can definitely feed the banana peels to your little companions, but be mindful enough of the potential dangers that can come with it. Bananas, just like other fruits, are often treated with pesticides to maintain their freshness when stored and these are concentrated on or in the skin. Also, their skins are mostly made up of fibre or cellulose which has very little, if any nutritional value.
So… one last time…Can chickens eat bananas? They can definitely eat and enjoy bananas just like their masters. These birds can get a nice amount of health benefits from eating these bananas, be it their peel or fruit. However, we should be responsible enough to know both the good and bad side of feeding these fruits to them and making sure we use moderation… just like everything else!