When hanging out with our pets, it’s natural to share our food with them, even chickens. But when it comes to human food, we must be careful what we share. Some food has added sugars and artificial sweeteners that are harmful to animals, so it’s always best to check! However, you’ll be happy to know that peanut butter is safe for chickens to eat.
Peanut butter provides nutrition, it’s tasty, and there’s no doubt your chickens will love it. When it comes to this yummy treat, there are some things you need to take into consideration. So, keep reading to learn everything about chickens and peanut butter snacks!
Is Peanut Butter Healthy for Chickens?
From a nutritional point of view, peanut butter isn’t the worst thing you can give your chicken. It’s high in protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, which will benefit your chickens.
Peanut butter should be eaten in moderation, so don’t start feeding them a peanut butter sandwich for lunch every day. While it is healthy in some respects, peanut butter is high in fat and carbohydrates, and some can also be high in sugar.
How to Feed Your Chicken Peanut Butter
The main problem with peanut butter is the mess it makes, and it’s not the easiest to clean. If you try and give your chickens a spoonful of peanut butter, chances are they’ll end up wearing a lot of it.
Ideal ways to feed your chickens include:
Can Chickens Eat…?
Peanut butter can be served with other foods, like apples, so we wanted to explore if there were any other ways your chicken could enjoy peanut butter.
Peanut Butter and Honey
Honey is a fantastic addition to your chicken’s diet. It’s full of antioxidants and micronutrients, which help build your chicken’s bone strength and immunity while promoting a healthy digestive system.
Peanut Butter Crackers
If you choose low-salt options, broken grain crackers are an excellent choice for your chicken. They aren’t the most nourishing of treats, so offer them sparingly.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
It’s the perfect duo, but is it suitable for your chicken? It’s not the healthiest choice because the jelly part is very high in sugar. It won’t do any harm in small amounts, and if you’ve been sharing a sandwich with them occasionally, don’t feel bad.
A chicken-friendly version would be to spread peanut butter on fruit (but stay away from citrus fruits). Your chicken will love pecking at it; it’s a pretty perfect snack.
Peanut Leaves and Plants
Chickens can eat raw or cooked peanut leaves, flowers, or stems. This snack should be offered in moderation because the bloom can sometimes have a laxative effect.
Chickens can eat peanut shells or husks because they’re not only non-toxic but also provide protein and fiber. You could add shells to their feed to give it an added, satisfying crunch.
Chicken Nutrition Requirements
Chickens need what every living creature needs from their food: protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Without the right combination of these groups, your chicken is at risk of obesity or, on the other side of the scale, malnutrition.
When feeding your chicken treats, a good rule to follow is the 90/10 rule, where you offer 90% feed to a maximum of 10% treats daily. The best time to provide a snack is in the evening when they’ve consumed most of their daily nutrients. That way, it doesn’t fill them before a meal, and they can sleep content and happy.
Foods to Stay Away From
You should avoid food scraps that contain anything high in salt or fat, and don’t feed them moldy food since some molds are highly toxic and can kill poultry quickly. Specific examples of food you should steer clear from are:
Avoid refined sugars like those contained in muffins and cookies. Chickens cannot digest large amounts of salt, so crisps and chips shouldn’t be in their diet. Too much salt can kill a chicken by causing heart failure or an electrolyte imbalance.
Processed meals and meat like pizza or salami are high in salt and sugar and have low nutritional value, so they are also unhealthy for chickens.
Chickens can eat peanut butter but in moderation. There are also several ways to feed your chickens peanut butter and other foods you can pair it with. Fruits like apples act like edible toys because your chicken has to work for the treat. Playing really can’t get better than that, in our opinion.
Featured Image Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya, Unsplash