Being omnivores, plants are a natural part of a chicken’s diet. Chickens will eat a wide range of garden plants with cucumber plants and the fruit they bear, being no exception. If you are looking to add some chicken-friendly plants to your garden, planting some cucumbers plants would be appealing to your chicken and beneficial.
Can Chickens Eat Cucumber Plants?
It is not only safe for your chicken to eat cucumber plants and the cucumbers it produces, but it is also nutritionally beneficial and happens to be a thoroughly enjoyable treat for them!
Are Cucumber Plants Healthy for Chickens?
Maybe you have a cucumber plant in your garden that you noticed your chickens pecking away at, or perhaps you would like to add some edible greenery to where your chickens roam to keep them both entertained and fed.
Whatever the reason for your inquiry, you will be pleased to know that cucumber plants won’t harm your chicken (given in moderation, of course). That said, cucumber plants won’t provide your chickens as much nutritional value as feeding them the actual fruit.
The fruit that cucumber plants produce is an excellent source of water. Cucumbers are made up of approximately 96% of water, making them a great treat for those overwhelmingly hot summer evenings. Chickens love eating cucumbers, and it can make a great treat!
Why You Should Feed Chickens Cucumbers
Not only that, but eating the seeds of a cucumber can help keep those pesky intestinal worms away!
The fruits that cucumber plants bear are great sources of vitamin K, which can be especially beneficial to younger chicks. Giving your chicken a balanced diet is essential to their overall health, with young chicks requiring a sufficient source of vitamin K.
Chicks that are newly hatched are more likely to develop a vitamin K deficiency as they have less than half the amount of prothrombin content in their blood compared to an adult chicken and are thus more susceptible to vitamin K deficiencies caused by poor diets.
Unable to clot, a vitamin K deficiency puts a chicken’s life at risk and can cause intramuscular bleeding. For this reason, adding a cucumber plant to your garden would be a great way to add a hefty source of vitamin K to your chicken’s diet, keep them hydrated in warmer temperatures, and fend off intestinal worms.
How Much Cucumber Plants Can Chickens Eat?
As with everything, moderation is always crucial to get the nutritional benefit of one’s food without turning it into a bad thing. If you have already given your avian friend some cucumbers, you may have noticed how much they enjoyed it and might be wondering how often it can be given as a snack.
Can Chickens Eat Cucumber Vines?
The sprouts, stems, leaves, and flowers of the fruit are completely safe to eat, as long as they do not have any pesticides or harmful toxins that can harm your flock.
It is important to note that cucumber plants’ vines and stems are rather durable, allowing the plant to hold up well against your chicken’s dietary interests.
One reason to keep this in mind is that it would take your chicken a considerable amount of time to eat a significant amount of those thick cucumber vines compared to the fruit’s softer flesh. Most chickens will prefer eating the actual fruit than the vines.
Can Chickens Eat Cucumber Plant Leaves?
Cucumber leaves are entirely safe for chickens to eat as long as they are free of mold and pesticides. Cucumbers are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family (Cucumis sativus), which share many of their squash family characteristics.
This means the whole plant from top to bottom (including the fruit) is edible. However, like us, chickens will prefer to consume certain parts of the plant.
Are Cucumber Plants Safe for Chickens?
Although cucumber plants are safe for your chicken to peck and nibble on, the cucumber itself contains about a teaspoon of sugar. This makes indulging in them a potential culprit for obesity, so before you cave in to your chicken’s clear desire for more, it would serve them better not to.
Too much of any treat can lead to complications with egg production, a fatty liver, feather-picking, heart problems, and much more. As such, it is recommended to keep treats to a maximum of ten percent of their diet.
So, if your chicken is getting treats from other sources, just be sure not to give too much cucumber that it would exceed this overall percent.
How to Feed Cucumber Plants to Chickens?
If your chicken is free-range or just going for a stroll in your garden to enjoy some beautiful weather, there is nothing wrong with letting them pick at their pleasure.
If you wanted to give them some leaves to see if they eat them, be sure to discard the moldy ones. Don’t be surprised if your chickens don’t eat them. They may peck at it for a while, to see what it is, but they’ll likely leave the plants alone once they realize what it is.
If you are looking to make your chickens experience a little less of a challenge and a more enjoyable eating experience, take the cucumber fruit and cut it into cubes to expose more of the fruit’s softer flesh portion.
All parts of the cucumber plant are safe for your chickens to eat, as long as it is free from pesticides. That said, your free-range birds will only eat them if they wander into your garden.
Feeding your chickens a handful of cucumber plants won’t be very tasty and won’t make a great treat for your pets. If you give them some leaves, discard the moldy ones.
If you’re trying to clean up your garden, let the chickens roam around in it to see which leaves they enjoy and which ones they don’t.