Chickens are omnivorous animals and can eat a variety of things, including fruits, vegetables, grains, and insects. But can chickens eat pomegranate? We’ll take a look at whether or not chickens can eat this sweet, tart fruit as well as the dangers and health benefits.
Can Chickens Eat Pomegranate?
Yes, chickens can eat the all parts of a pomegranate (Punica granatum), including the rind. It is not toxic or harmful and it is packed with tons of good nutrition that may be beneficial for your flock.
Will Chickens Eat Pomegranate?
Chickens are birds that will eat most anything. Most birds are not picky and will eat anything you give them. That said, don’t be surprised if you have a bird that leaves the pomegranate untouched.
Like humans, some chickens prefer certain foods and over others. Meaning if you give them a choice to eat pomegranate or yogurt, they may prefer eating the yogurt instead of the pomegranate. It doesn’t mean the pomegranate is bad for them, it just means your bird doesn’t enjoy eating the arils.
If your pet doesn’t want to eat pomegranate, then don’t force them.
Is Pomegranate Safe for Chickens to Eat?
As mentioned above, pomegranate is healthy for both humans and animals. It is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, both of which are known to prevent radicals from damaging the cells in your body.
A study was conducted where the pomegranate fruit peel was supplemented in the drinking water of over 200 broiler chickens, for 42 days. At the end of the study, it was shown that the fruit was indeed beneficial to the overall health of the bird. It also proved that pomegranate is a great source as natural oxidants.
How Pomegranate Benefits Chickens
Several studies have been done to determine how pomegranate benefits chickens, so let’s take a close look at why you may want to consider feeding the fruit to your flock.
- Antioxidants: Pomegranate is a rich source of antioxidants. The fruit is rich in polyphenolic compounds that protect the body from chronic illnesses and diseases. Some of the diseases that affect poultry are; fowl cholera, Colibacillosis and other bacterial diseases.
- The pomegranate peel can help broiler birds deal with heat stress, better feed conversion, and can even enhance growth.
- Pomegranate fruit extract contains anti inflammatory properties that can prevent degradation in collagen and inhibit or slow down joint destruction which causes osteoarthritis.
- Several in vitro studies have shown the fruit to contain antimicrobial properties. Meaning the extract can help inhibit the growth of Salmonella enteritidis, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, Yersinia enterocolitica, E.Coli, and Salmonella.
- Pomegranate contains a good amount of fiber, which is beneficial for reducing inflammation in the gut and improving overall digestion.
Nutrients In Pomegranate
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate Guidelines, half a serving of the fruit contains:
- Folate: 33 milligrams
- Sugar: 89 grams
- Calories: 72
- Vitamin C: 9 milligrams
- Carbohydrates: 27 grams
- Vitamin K: 3 micrograms
- Potassium: 205 milligrams
How Does Feeding Your Chickens Pomegranate Affect Eggs for Consumption?
Pomegranates have a 5.5 pH level, meaning they can affect the taste of the eggs your chickens lay. That said, feeding your chickens small amounts of pomegranate won’t have an affect on the taste of eggs.
If you’re worried the pomegranate will affect your laying hens eggs, they won’t. Several studies online have shown that your chickens diet won’t affect the taste of eggs.
How Often Can Chickens Eat Pomegranate?
Even though there are many benefits of feeding your chickens pomegranate. The fruit should be given in moderation. It shouldn’t replace their regular feed.
Feeding your chickens a high quality feed ensures they get the essential nutrients, and minerals to help them live a happy and healthy lifestyle.
Pomegranate should be given as an occasional treat and make up no more than 10% of their entire diet. Your chickens feed is formulated to ensure your pet’s get the proper amounts of nutrition for their dietary needs.
How to Feed Pomegranate to Chickens?
When it comes to feeding your chickens pomegranate, you can feed them the seeds (arils) by throwing them in the coop on the ground. If it’s the first time feeding them the fruit, try putting some of the seeds in a bowl. Another option is to put parts of the fruit in with their regular feed.
If your birds won’t eat the fruit, you can try putting pieces of the rind in their water. According to one of the studies online, putting the rind in the water offers some of the same benefits as eating the fruit.
You’ll want to cut the fruit in half or into several pieces to make it easier for the birds to eat. They won’t be able to eat a whole fruit without you cutting it first.
Some birds will eat the seeds, white spongy inside and even the rind.
Can You Give Chickens Pomegranate Juice?
Yes, like the fruit it is not toxic to chickens. That said, most fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar, so you’ll want to avoid giving it to them daily. Fruit juices are not good for you, therefore, they are not good for your birds.
Instead of store bought fruit juice, ensure your poultry water bowl has plenty of fresh cold water and that’s all they need to stay hydrated.
Can Baby Chicks Eat Pomegranate?
Baby chicks older than three weeks can eat small amounts of pomegranate. That said, chicks require a starter feed diet. The starter feed diet ensures your birds get the proper nutrition they require during the developmental stage of their life.
If you do feed the babies pomegranate, be sure to crush the seeds into small pieces to prevent them from choking on them.
Pomegranates are a superfood that is extremely beneficial for chickens, when fed in moderation. The next time you pick up a pomegranate from the supermarket or farmers market, pick up an extra.
Wash the rind off under cold water to remove the toxins and pesticides and share it with your flock. You’ll have fun watching them watching them run all over the coop trying to hoard the fruit, knowing that it has several health benefits.