Chickens eat almost anything and are omnivorous, so they eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Chickens also eat animal matter if it is available and small enough, such as insects. Whether you raise chickens in your backyard or are just interested in chickens, knowing the nutritional benefits of feeding persimmons to your chickens can be helpful.
Persimmons are a delicious citrus fruit that both humans and chickens enjoy. Persimmons are a type of fruit packed full of vitamins and minerals, vitamins A and C being the most common. As backyard chicken keepers, it’s essential to understand whether or not chickens can eat persimmons before freely feeding this fruit to keep your chicken healthy.
Luckily, persimmons may be good to give your chickens, yet there are guidelines to follow. In our guide, you can learn more about the nutrients in persimmons and the pros and cons of feeding this fruit to your chickens. By the end, you’ll better understand how to keep chickens healthy while feeding this tasty treat for your chickens. (Read Do Goats Eat Pumpkins)
Do Chickens Like Persimmons?
Chickens love to eat persimmons, and you’ll find backyard and wild chickens will love to eat ripe persimmons whenever possible. To a chicken, persimmons taste like candy because of the sweetness coming from the high sugar content. Thus, when persimmons are ripe, your flock will quickly gobble up these sweet, juicy fruits.
Be sure you are feeding your chickens persimmons in moderation. Chickens like to eat fruits so much that they may overindulge if given the chance. Overall, feel confident that your chickens will happily enjoy any ripe persimmons you feed them as a treat to your chickens.
Are Persimmons Good for Chickens?
Generally speaking, chickens can safely eat persimmons in moderation. Both wild American persimmons and cultivated Asian persimmon varieties like Fuyu and Hachiya can make nutritious food for chickens. Persimmons are a good source of key vitamins and minerals vital to chicken health. These fruits contain high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, manganese, and also a good serving of fiber. The flesh of the fruit also provides chickens with antioxidants.
So in small amounts, persimmons can provide beneficial nutrients for chickens. The vitamins and minerals in this fruit from the persimmon tree can help boost chickens’ immune systems and keep them healthy. In addition, chickens are known to be naturally protected against pests by persimmons. Pests like mites or lice can infest your chicken coop to eat the fruit.
However, pests find this fruit to taste bitter because of its tannin content. Therefore, by giving your chickens this tempting treat, you’re also assisting in deterring trespassers.
Nutritional Benefits of Feeding Persimmons to Chickens
There are a few notable benefits of feeding ripe persimmons to your backyard chickens:
- Vitamin C – Persimmons are packed with vitamin C. This essential vitamin supports immune function in chickens and humans alike. Vitamin C also aids in collagen production.
- Antioxidants – Persimmons contain antioxidants like beta-carotene and lycopene. These compounds help reduce inflammation and cellular damage in chickens caused by free radicals.
- Treat – Ripe, fresh persimmons are a sweet, tasty treat chickens really love. Feeding chickens, persimmons can be a great way to supplement their diet and add variety.
So in moderation, persimmons can be added as a nutritious fruit to chickens diet. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in persimmons provide health benefits for chickens.
Are Persimmons Safe for Chickens to Eat?
Persimmons do contain high amounts of natural sugar. Too much sugar can cause health issues in chickens. So feeding chickens persimmons should only be done in moderation – no more than 1-2 times per week. Only feed chickens ripe persimmons. Unripe persimmons contain high levels of tannins that can be toxic to chickens. Make sure any persimmons you feed your flock are soft and sweet.
As with any new food, introduce persimmons slowly. Start by feeding chickens a few bites and watching for any adverse reactions. You’ll also want to remove the seeds from Fuyu persimmons before feeding them to chickens. Persimmon seeds can cause digestive upset in chickens if consumed whole.
Overall, feed chickens as a treat. Birds eat ripe persimmons, which are safe for them to consume, but in moderation, and only feed chickens soft, ripe persimmon fruit. (Read Can Chickens Eat Pecans)
How Much Persimmon Can Chickens Eat?
When feeding persimmons to backyard chickens, less is more. Chickens should only eat small amounts of persimmons 1-2 times a week. Here are some feeding guidelines:
- Only feed chickens ripe, soft persimmons – not firm, unripe fruit
- Remove all seeds from Fuyu persimmons before giving them to chickens
- Introduce persimmons slowly at first to watch for reactions
- Feed chickens no more than 1-2 persimmons per chicken per week
- Persimmons should make up no more than 10% of a chicken’s weekly diet
Too many persimmons can lead to digestive upset, diarrhea, intestinal issues, and even death in extreme cases. It’s best to keep this sweet, high-sugar fruit an occasional treat.
How to Prepare Persimmons for Chickens
Preparing persimmons properly before feeding them to chickens is essential. Here are some tips:
- Wash persimmons thoroughly first to remove any dirt or chemical residues
- Remove stems, leaves, and skins – chickens can’t digest these
- Cut larger persimmons into smaller pieces or thin slices
- Scoop out and discard all seeds from Fuyu persimmons
- Mash or puree overly ripe persimmons before feeding
- Mix mashed persimmons with scratch grains or crumble them over their chicken feed
- Refrigerate cut persimmons if not feeding immediately
Feeding chickens properly prepared persimmon pieces allows them to enjoy this fruit safely. Never feed chickens whole, unwashed fruits with seeds still inside.
When Can Chickens Eat Persimmons?
Chickens can eat persimmons when the fruits are ripe. Unripe, firm persimmons contain high concentrations of tannins that can be toxic to chickens. Only feed chickens persimmons that are soft, sweet, and have orange flesh. Fuyu varieties should be jelly-like and squishy. Hachiya persimmons should feel incredibly soft – almost liquid inside.
Avoid feeding chickens partially ripe persimmons. Wait until persimmons are fully ripened and softened before giving them to your flock. You can feed chickens persimmons year-round as you find ripe fruits. Just be sure they make up a small part of your chickens’ overall diet.
What Other Fruits Can Chickens Eat?
In addition to persimmons, other fruits fed to chickens can include:
- Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
- Melons – cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon
- Citrus – oranges, tangerines, grapefruit
- Apples – apple seeds need to be removed
- Peaches – pits removed
- Pumpkin – Chickens can eat pumpkin, yet remove the seeds as they cause chickens chewing problems.
- Grapes – cut in half to avoid choking
Fruits provide valuable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that benefit chicken health. Aim to feed your flock a diverse mix of fruits a few times a week.
Remember never to feed chickens avocados as this can cause death in chickens.
Can Chickens Eat Persimmon Skin and Seeds?
It’s best not to feed chickens persimmon skin or seeds. Persimmon skins are difficult for chickens to digest. And seeds, pits, or stones contain amygdalin, which can be toxic to chickens if consumed in large amounts.
While a few seeds likely won’t harm chickens, removing all skins and seeds before feeding persimmons is better to avoid potential issues. Only offer chickens the soft inner orange flesh of ripe persimmons. Scoop out or cut around skins and seeds and discard them before feeding your flock. (Read Do Possums Eat Dog Poop)
Side Effects of Eating Too Many Persimmons
Feeding chickens too many persimmons can cause some potential health issues, including:
- Digestive upset – loose droppings, diarrhea
- Intestinal tract impaction – from skins and seeds
- Weight gain – persimmons are high in natural sugars
- Potential for bumblefoot – from excess weight gain
- Greater susceptibility to illness – excess sugar suppresses immunity
That’s why feeding persimmons to backyard chickens in strict moderation is crucial. Limit treats to 1-2 persimmons per chicken, just 1-2 times maximum weekly.
Conclusion: Feed Chickens Persimmons
As a sweet, tasty fruit chickens love, ripe persimmons can be a nutritious occasional treat for backyard chickens. They provide vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Just be sure to feed persimmons in moderation – no more than 1-2 times per week.
Remove skins and seeds; only offer chickens soft, ripe fruits to avoid potential issues. Chickens can eat raw fruits and veggies; when given to chickens, these take less preparation than most. Overall, persimmons are a great treat for chickens and help chickens maintain their health.
FAQs: Feeding Persimmons to Chickens
Can chickens eat persimmons whole?
No, chickens should not eat whole persimmons. Chickens need large persimmons cut into small pieces. Seeds contain benefits yet pose a choking hazard, so remove them. You can add flax and chia seeds to their diet if they like seeds.
Are persimmons better for chickens than grapes?
The persimmon fruit is safe, as are grapes, which both make healthy treats for chickens in moderation. Neither fruit is necessarily better or worse.
Can I feed chickens persimmons every day?
Persimmons should only be an occasional treat. Chickens may become obese from this high-sugar fruit, so they should be eaten by chickens just 1-2 times per week max. (Read What Happens If You Quit Feeding Raccoons)
How many persimmons can I give my chickens?
Limit treats to 1-2 persimmons per chicken, 1-2 times weekly. Any more can cause health issues.
Are wild persimmons safe for chickens?
Wild American persimmons are safe for backyard chickens to eat when completely ripe and soft. Introduce them slowly at first.