When raising chickens, you’ll see they eat whatever you give them, so don’t worry about spoiling their appetites. However, backyard chickens can get bored with the same old food if you don’t mix up some fresh fruit and vegetables.
It’s fun to experiment to see what chickens can eat and what they won’t touch away from the foods that are commonly eaten. So, it’s natural to wonder can chickens eat bananas, and more so, can chickens have banana peels as part of their diet?
Bananas are a great source of nutrition, especially potassium. So, now you can ask, should you eat your banana, and then can you toss the banana peels to your hens?
Whether the skins can be fed to broiler chickens and what role they play in a balanced diet is covered in further detail in our guide. In the end, you’ll be able to feed chickens a slice of banana bread without worrying. (Read Can Chickens Eat Shrimp Tails)
Can Chickens Eat Bananas and Peels?
Bananas have a lot of good stuff in them, like magnesium and potassium, polyphenols and carotenoids, protein and fiber, and vitamins B6 and B12. The only drawback to feeding these to your chickens is making sure they are not contaminated with pollutants like insecticides.
Even if organic bananas are preferable, whether or not you should chew on the banana peel remains controversial. Unlike humans and other animals, chickens cannot chew the peels because they have no teeth.
Thus, you need to know how to prepare bananas if you want to feed them to your chickens.
How To Prepare Banana Peels?
Can chickens have bananas is common, although they have no teeth, so an effective technique is boiling the peels until they are soft?
- The skins are far healthier than the fruit inside, even though you might think the peels to be nothing more than scraps.
- If you want to test them out after boiling them till soft, just sprinkle some brown sugar.
- Do chickens eat bananas without sugar? Ensure you don’t feed your chickens additional sugar, so skip this ingredient if you’re cooking for your flock.
- Have them cooked till they’re soft.
- The chickens will eat more of them if you cut them up into more manageable pieces before you toss them into the coop.
- If you can get your hands on any overripe bananas, that would be ideal because they are already sweet and won’t need to be sweetened for the hens.
- One thing to note is unripe bananas can be a healthier option to feed your chickens.
- Since overripe bananas contain more sugars, feed your chickens small quantities, as they may see weight gain compared to unripe bananas.
Can My Baby Chickens Eat Bananas?
Instead of throwing away the banana peels that remain after making banana bread using over-ripened bananas, you can feed them to your chickens to improve their diet and strengthen their neurological system. However, you must remember that Chicks have special nutritional needs and should regularly be fed a balanced diet.
A chick’s immune system needs to be built up quickly; thus, it should only take starter feed for the first two weeks of its existence. Two weeks later, though, you can begin feeding a few treats. From here, Chicks benefit from eating bananas and banana peels in moderation.
Bananas should be organic if possible, so there is less risk of pesticides seeping into the fruit. The chances of inadequately cleaning peels is removed. For the same reason, mix the banana and peels so that your chicks like eating them. Again, your chicks will go crazy for the extra treats if you follow these steps. (Learn How To Keep Cats Away From Chickens)
When you feed bananas to your chickens, you may get a breakdown of the banana nutrition here with more details on nutrition.
- The NRC states laying hens need 150 mg of potassium per day, and bananas are a substantial supply of this mineral.
- Bananas are rich in magnesium, which helps with bone development.
- Copper supplementation is used to promote growth and reduce cholesterol levels in broiler hens, and bananas are an excellent source of this mineral.
- Chickens need manganese for growth and reproduction, and bananas are an excellent source to prevent thin shells and poor egg production.
- Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6, which is essential for chickens to keep a healthy appetite. Similarly to humans, chickens can develop anemia if they don’t get enough vitamin B6.
- B12 is found in bananas; if they don’t get enough vitamin B12, chickens can lose feathers, become underweight, have nervous system issues, and lose eye health. On the other hand, B12 offers your chickens a healthy boost.
- Bananas are a superb source of fiber, and chickens do best when diets include 10% fiber.
- Bananas are a good source of folate, which is necessary for the proper growth of feathers, skin health, appetite, healthy bones, and the prevention of anemia, among other health benefits.
- The protein in bananas is an essential part of a chicken’s diet. When it comes to egg production and staying healthy, protein is crucial.
Other dietary details of the over-ripe fruit are:
When chickens eat banana, they consume 89 calories, 0.3 grams of saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, omega-3, and omega-6 fats are included in one banana. Besides this, they can have a healthy dose of Vitamin C, B12 (which supports the nervous system), protein, carbs, and fiber.
Bananas are a terrific complement to the balanced diet you should provide for your laying hens, and you can easily find overripe bananas on sale in many grocery stores. Frozen bananas are a healthy treat for hot days, so if you have too many, cut them up or cook them, and then toss them in the freezer.
Chickens love frozen bananas, which means you have a longer-lasting supply. Remember that this technique won’t work with other kinds of produce; green potatoes are a key example.
The green color contains harmful chemicals and is toxic to humans, so not suitable for chickens. Also, over-ripened foods aren’t the same as moldy food, so don’t serve bananas that are moldy.
Why Chickens Need Nutrition?
Lack of proper nutrition in their diet can cause your chickens to show signs of anxiety periodically. For instance, the coop floor may have a few more feathers than usual.
The number of bananas and other treats you’ve been giving your chickens might need to be reevaluated. You may have to restrict your chickens’ access to fruit until they calm down to keep them from consuming too much sugar.
Poor Egg Laying Numbers
Even if the weather hasn’t changed, your hens may not get enough protein if they’re laying fewer eggs than usual. Bananas have a lot of sweetness but not much protein (carbohydrates). Chickens will stop laying eggs if fed a diet with too much sugar and insufficient protein.
Besides this, you can find an increase in double yolks or even abnormal eggs.
Chickens Can Eat Bananas? Drawbacks of Eating Banana Peels
It’s entertaining to give your birds small quantities of bananas now and then, but that’s not the greatest way to maintain a chicken’s diet. Since bananas are high in sugar, offering them to chickens is not a good idea.
Chickens can’t handle any more sugar than that, so don’t give it to them. Bananas don’t have the same nutritional value as dry food and are a poor substitute. While chickens may not digest a whole banana, they’ll still benefit from the fruit’s sugars and vitamins.
Are Bananas Safe To Feed Your Chickens?
A herd that is fed too many bananas may become sick. Even though bananas are a rare treat, their high sugar content harms birds. There’s also the fact that chickens shouldn’t harm banana peels since they could be contaminated with insecticides. Feeding your chickens overripe bananas is fine occasionally, but you shouldn’t make them a major component of their diet.
How To Prepare Banana Peels To Feed Your Chickens?
Chickens won’t eat a single banana peel because it’s too tough, so you’ll need to do some prep work before feeding it to your chickens. However, boiling banana peels makes them more palatable. You can reduce their bulk by chopping them up as an additional convenience. The tough parts of banana skins that could be difficult for even young chickens to digest are loosened up by boiling.
How Often For Feeding Bananas To Chickens?
Banana peels are good for chickens but don’t feed them too many bananas. Even healthful bananas shouldn’t have more than 5% sugar, so two or three slices per week are adequate.
Only feed your chickens ripe bananas since under-ripe bananas contain too much fiber. An overly ripe banana will be heavy in sugar, making it hard for their bodies to use other nutrients. (Read Do Pigs Eat Bananas)
Different Ways To Feed Bananas To Chickens
You won’t need to make any effort before giving your flock banana peels. A mature banana and its fruit can both be easily peeled by chickens on their own. You can help them get at vitamin B6 and other health advantages that make bananas ideal for chickens by peeling and slicing the fruit.
You might also boil to ensure that your chickens consume most of an unpeeled banana together. Giving peels to laying hens increases their fiber intake, which is essential if you want them to continue producing regular eggs.
Considering that, here are some creative methods to convince your chickens to eat bananas as their healthy treats and to get their Vitamin C and Vitamin B12. Add some oats or laying feed and slice the banana into rounds, peel and all.
Because of the banana’s inherent stickiness, the grains or cereal will adhere with no additional chemicals. As a result, people may unknowingly consume vitamin B6, vitamin C, and other nutrients.
Mostly, chickens, and bananas are suitable for baby chicks, and something they won’t have any trouble digesting, like a frozen bananas smoothie, is a great idea.
Conclusion On Are Bananas Good For Chickens?
Getting chickens to eat banana peels isn’t too challenging, and they do make sugary treats to help baby chicks grow when fed in small quantities. Feeding chickens bananas taking nothing more than boiling banana skins, although don’t skip their regular chicken feed.
Also, for young chickens, bananas or overripe bananas that are too ripe could lead to stomach upset. It is advisable to let them eat banana, but also mix their diet with other fruits and veggies is advisable.