Chickens are adventurous eaters that will try all kinds of foods, including lots of fruits. And if you’ve had a pomegranate lately, you might wonder what your chickens would make of the shiny, jewel-like seeds. Will they like them? Are they safe to eat?
Yes! Pomegranates are actually a very healthy food for chickens. They can eat all parts of the fruit, including its pith and rind. It can also be a fun food to feed to chickens because of its novelty.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate
There are lots of reasons to feed pomegranates to your chickens as a healthy snack. Pomegranates are high in fiber and have tons of vitamins and minerals in them. They also have been shown to have other health benefits that may or may not extend to chickens. Pomegranates are full of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Eating pomegranates regularly can help reduce bacterial infections and even help regulate cell growth and prevent cancer from spreading. Although these effects haven’t been studied in chickens, it’s worth considering, especially when the fruit is already a healthy source of fiber and important vitamins.
Drawbacks of Pomegranate?
Pomegranates have lots of health benefits, but it’s important to remember that no fruit is good for chickens in excess. Like other fruits, they do have sugars that can be unhealthy in large doses. Because of this, it’s best to keep fruits like pomegranates as a small side to your chicken’s food or an occasional treat, not the main course.
Ways to Feed Pomegranate
It is hard to go wrong when it comes to feeding your chickens pomegranate. In fact, a secondary benefit of feeding your flock this fruit is that there are so many exciting ways to prepare it! You can chop the whole fruit—including the rind and pith—into small, bite-sized pieces for your chickens to eat. Or you can feed just the seeds, scattering them over the ground. Their bright red color makes them an interesting and engaging food for your chickens to search and find.
Another option is to cut a pomegranate in half and let your chickens dig out the seeds for themselves. The pomegranate has such an unusual structure, and many chickens love to puzzle over by pulling out the delicious seeds one by one. If you feed your chicken a big chunk of pomegranate like this, they’ll likely ignore the outer rind for the most part.
Pomegranate chunks are also fun as hanging treats. Suspending a half or quarter pomegranate from a rope is a great way to give your chickens something fun to peck at and explore, and they’ll love the seeds that fall when they peck at it too.
Pomegranates are a healthy, safe snack for your chickens in any form. Their bright red seeds are full of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Chickens also love to peck at their hard rinds and white pith. If your chicken loves fruit, then it’s hard to beat a pomegranate. Just make sure that it isn’t their only source of nutrition so that they can get all the other foods they need as well.
Featured Image Credit: itanapunyo, Pixabay