You know that as soon as you walk out back, you’re going to be bombarded by a congregation of clucking ladies, ready to get their late latest snack. If you’re trying to broaden your horizons and mix up their goodie buffet, you might wonder if peanuts are a good choice.
After all, chickens can eat a wide array of fruits, vegetables, grains, and other goodies because they are omnivores. Since peanuts are so high in protein, which chickens absolutely need, we say yes! Give your chickens some peanuts—just not raw or seasoned ones! Let us explain.
Plain Roasted Peanuts Are Safe for Chickens
Peanuts are perfectly safe if you have a few on hand to toss to your chicken. In fact, your chickens might really enjoy plucking at the complex pieces of peanut, enjoying the flavor and texture of the snack. Peanuts have many health benefits for your chickens, but they should always come in moderation. While they might be bursting with health benefits, peanuts are very high and fat, which can affect the overall health of your flock.
Of course, it does depend on what type of peanuts you feed your chickens. You will want to be sure that they are roasted without additional seasonings or salt. Your poultry won’t benefit from added salt in the diet, so keep that at a minimum and ensure that there are no extra preservatives or seasonings that could harm your flock.
Roasted Peanut Nutrition Facts
Health Benefits of Dry Roasted Peanuts
There are tons of benefits to eating dry roasted peanuts. Your chicken can definitely enjoy the effects. Here are a few components in peanuts that make them so nutritious.
Peanuts are packed with protein. Your birds will find this extremely helpful as it aids in their muscles’ health and even benefits production.
Magnesium will help the body with many processes, but it is especially good for regulating muscle and nerve function, maintaining proper blood sugar levels, and producing protein, bone, and DNA.
Biotin is responsible for essential skin functions like feather development. It also helps smooth out skin, keeping natural oils at appropriate production levels.
Copper can create happy heart health for your flock. It promotes healthy red blood cells and boosts immunity.
Manganese helps your chicken’s body form connective tissue, and it keeps the bones healthy.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to nourish your chicken’s skin and feathers.
Niacin is a healthy mineral that improves your chickens’ skin and brain function.
Downfalls of Too Many Peanuts
We bragged them up, so let’s bring it back down. Yes, peanuts are safe and healthy for your chickens, permitting they’re properly prepared. So, what makes them bad?
Raw peanuts contain lectin, which can’t process in your chicken’s bodies—so always make sure they are cooked!
Also, peanuts are super high in fat. That can be a really good thing to have in moderation, but too much fat is just that—too much. Excess fat in your chicken’s diet causes a health issue called Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome.
This syndrome causes fat to build up around the liver, decreasing functionality and making the organ soft and prone to bleeding. So, just make sure to control their fat intake.
Peanuts might not be outrageously priced, but when feeding a whole flock, things can get a little up there. So, for your wallet’s sake, it’s also best to add peanuts or peanut butter (plain) into your chicken’s diet, ideally weekly.
Different Types of Peanuts
We went to stop you right there. There are, of course, different types of peanuts to be aware of. Essentially your chicken should have a bag of plain roasted peanuts with no additives. Often even plain peanuts will come pre-salted. If that’s the case, you’re going to want to steer clear of those kinds of peanuts.
Below, we’ll explain a little more in-depth why you should avoid salty or seasoned peanuts.
Plain roasted peanuts are entirely healthy for your flock. They provide a solid protein source packed with amino acids that help your chicken system thrive.
Some seasonings can be unsafe for your flock. You’ll not want to give your chickens any of your Flamin’ Hot Planters Peanuts. Your chicken system is designed to eat natural organic materials. So always make sure to steer clear of any artificial flavorings or spices.
Even though chickens can handle salt in small amounts, and it’s even required for their diet, salted peanuts are just slightly too salty.
High sodium can disrupt your chicken’s natural digestive system. It can cause issues within the body, such as toxicity. An excess amount of sodium in the system causes things like diarrhea, but it can lead to other really detrimental effects if you continuously feed them high sodium content.
It would be best if you never feed your chickens raw peanuts, as they contain a substance called lectin. Your chickens cannot break down lectin in their system, which can lead to home health problems.
Because boiling peanuts helps to maintain bio-nutrients, this might be the healthiest way to serve your chicken’s peanuts.
Your chickens can easily pick apart peanut shells. You know those weeks can Peck through just about anything. They are more than capable of picking apart these pieces to get to the nut itself. However, you can also shell the peanuts if you feel more comfortable.
Peanut butter contains a medley of fantastic ingredients for your flock. Peanut butter is an excellent treat and motivator as well. However, peanut butter works best when mixed with other snack items to prevent choking and make it easier for your flock to eat.
So now you know that peanuts are perfectly safe and even healthy for your flock. Like any other addition to your chicken’s diet, these are insufficient for everyday nutrition. It would help if you only fed them in moderation, mainly due to the high-fat content.
Be careful not to feed your flock salted peanuts, as it contains far too much sodium for them to take. Plain dry roasted peanuts are the way to go if boiled isn’t an option.
Featured Image Credit: KelseyJ, Shutterstock