Chickens love to consume a range of foods and scraps. They’re not particularly fussy when it comes to eating. But what about pineapple? Is this something we should give our chickens? Is it safe to do so and will they even enjoy it?
So can chickens eat pineapple? Chickens can safely consume pineapple. You want to prepare the pineapple in advance and only feed the flesh, removing the fibrous outer shell before serving. However, pineapple should only be served in moderation and not to replace their daily feed.
While chickens can definitely eat pineapple, and many of them will consume it as it is a tasty treat, there are some things to take into consideration.
This article would like to address this so be sure to read to the end to ensure that you safely feed this fruit to your birds.
Are Pineapples Safe For Chickens?
Pineapple is safe for chickens if given in moderation. This typically means 1-3 servings per week.
While this fruit is healthy, and contains many vitamins, minerals and other compounds that can benefit a chicken, in excess it can cause issues.
Of course, sugar (fructose) is relatively high in pineapple. Along with the naturally present digestive enzymes, any significant serving of this fruit can cause issues. We will be exploring this a little bit later in this article.
When feeding pineapple, you must ensure it is safe and easy to consume. You can do this by cutting a pineapple into manageable chunks and removing all the outer fibrous shell.
The outer fibrous shell can be rough, textured, and hard for a chicken to swallow. In an unfortunate incident, this could get lodged or stuck in the throat of one of your chickens and prove fatal.
Small sized chunks (like you often see in prepared versions for humans) is the style of pineapple that you will be wanting to serve.
Health Benefits of Pineapple For Chickens
If fed infrequently, pineapple has a lot of health benefits for chickens.
First and foremost, pineapple is high and abundant in Vitamin C. This is very important for a strong and robust immune system in your chickens. Consequently, this will help to prevent your birds from contracting any illness. It also means they’ll grow larger and the quality of their eggs will be superior.
Vitamin C is also widely used by chickens to synthesize collagen for use across their body, primarily their skin and feat.
Other nutritional perks of pineapple include no cholesterol and no saturated fats. Both of which need to be carefully controlled in chickens.
Perhaps a standout component of pineapple is that it contained bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that naturally supports the digestion process. This will help your birds break down the rest of their food and extract the vitamins and minerals their feed contains.
Beyond this, studies have indicated that bromelain can help prevent and fight against cancer, inflammation, blood clotting and arthritis.
To add to this, pineapple is known to effectively reduce the chances of chickens contracting worms. This is of course something any chicken owner fears due to the repercussions it can bring. As chickens are susceptible to various species of worms, pineapple could be a safe preventative measure.
Pineapple Nutrition Facts
Pineapple is relatively low in calories (around 5 calories per chunk or 50 calories per 100 grams) and rich in vitamins and minerals. Most notably: Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium.
Reasons To Feed Pineapple In Moderation
Typical of any fruit, pineapple is high in naturally occurring sugars. While sugar in small quantities is not something to be concerned about, it can be in excess. This is why 1-3 feedings of pineapple per week is recommended and advised.
This is to prevent unnecessary weight gain in your birds which can lead to a drop in egg production.
While chickens are not generally fussy eaters, being omnivores that can eat a lot of different foods, they do have their own preferences. Not all chickens will eat and enjoy the same foods.
For the most part, chickens do enjoy pineapple. However not all will. Some will completely neglect any scraps that are provided and will leave them to sit and rot.
Of course this can prove problematic for rats and mice, and any other predator that get the scent of the sweet fruit.
As such, when you are first feeding pineapple it is important that you closely observe and monitor whether your chickens like pineapple. Identify the ones that do not and adjust the serving sizes accordingly.
Beyond this, be sure to clean up all the pineapple scraps not eaten as soon as possible.
Either way, you should continue to provide your chickens their regular feed. They should have the choice and be able to stay well fed regardless of their preferences.
Another factor to consider when feeding your chickens pineapple is that it can actually be the cause of digestive issues. This is especially likely in birds with Ill health or whom have not concerned pineapple before. While chickens are usually quite good as self-regulating their consumption, issues are likely to arise with any birds who have eaten too much pineapple that they can handle.
Any chicken that struggles to break pineapple down will often show observable signs and symptoms. The most common is diarrhea, which will again need to be cleaned up promptly.
It’s important to note that not all chickens will suffer with digestive issues from pineapple. In fact, it’s usually quite rare. But it is important to be aware of.
This is why it is best to start off with very small feedings. Monitor and assess before you make it more of a recurring treat.
Moderation is ultimately very important.
Final Things To Consider
- Pineapple should be provided fresh, cut up into manageable chunks and all the outer fibrous shell should be removed.
- Feed pineapple in moderation: 1-3 per week.
- Look out for neglected pineapple or any other negative signs and symptoms following pineapple consumption.
- Never feed your chickens over or under-ripe pineapple (acidity can cause issues)
- To test the ripeness of a pineapple, pull out a leaf. If it comes away easily, it is ready. Feel the firmness too; too soft indicates over-ripening and could even be rotting.
- Consider offering dried pineapple. This is generally easier for your chickens to consume and is naturally less acidic. It’s easier to store too. You can get a great deal on Amazon here.
Chickens can safely eat pineapple and they generally really enjoy this as a treat. It has a lot of health benefits too; mainly boosting their immune systems and helping them digest and absorb nutrients from their food.
However, pineapple, like any other fruit should be fed in moderation. Start slow and see how they get on. Never force feed any food your birds show disinterest in and do not neglect potential negative responses.
Aside from this, give it a try, start slow and see how your birds get on. They may just find that this is their new favorite treat!