As an antioxidant superfood, we could all do with more blueberries in our diets. Personally, I love them, and I share them with my backyard flock on occasion too.
Can chickens eat blueberries? This is an easy one – chickens love blueberries and they’re great for them! If you can give your flock some blueberries to eat, you should do so.
Are Blueberries Healthy for Chickens?
Just like most berries, blueberries are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals for both us and chickens.
There aren’t a lot of foods classified as a “superfood”, but blueberries are one. It’s mainly due to compounds called anthocyanidins, which are antioxidants that help with a range of health conditions.
In a nutshell, they’re packed with goodness and don’t have any downsides. Perfectly fine to share with your chickens!
Related content – Can chickens eat raspberries?
How to Feed Blueberries to Your Chickens
Another awesome thing about blueberries is that they’re a perfect size and soft enough that you don’t have to cut or mash them for your flock.
Sure, there are a few huge ones here and there. But even those should be fine, I’m sure your chickens will peck at them and break them up a little if needed.
I have a friend who has a huge patch of blueberry bushes on his farm – along with some free-range chickens – so as you can imagine, those berries don’t last long once they hit the floor.
He said his girls also hop up and peck at the bushes to pull some off, but they prefer scooping them up once they’re on the floor.
Personally, I just think that’s because they’re spoiled. If I added some blueberry bushes to my garden I don’t think they’d ever be left alone long enough to produce a decent yield.
So, the answer is that you can feed them to your chickens however you want. By hand, from the bush, scatting some to scratch for, in their feed….whatever works for you.
Oh, and an interesting little fact – don’t be surprised if you notice your chicken’s poop is bright blue after eating blueberries!
Here is a cool video showing a bunch of chickens that can’t gobble up blueberries fast enough:
Some Foods That Chickens Should Not Eat
Blueberries are awesome for chickens, as are a lot of other foods. Not all fruits, vegetables and foods that are healthy for us are OK for chickens though.
Here are some of the foods that are toxic to chickens that might take you by surprise:
Raw beans – If you’re a keen gardener or homesteader you are probably growing some of your own vegetables. You need to know that raw beans are very toxic to chickens, even deadly.
Green potatoes – Whether or not chickens can eat potatoes often causes some confusion. It’s quite clear though; when potatoes are exposed to direct sunlight they turn green and shouldn’t be fed to them.
When you see green on potato skins it means it’s producing a toxin called solanine. Normal white potatoes are fine, as are sweet potatoes as they don’t produce the toxin at all.
Rotten/moldy foods – Mold spores that grow on food are very toxic to chickens and can cause some serious health issues. Vegetables and fruits a little past their best are fine, just keep an eye out of mold or moldy feed that’s been out too long.
Chocolate and candy – Chickens don’t need to eat candy, soft drinks, and chocolate for enjoyment will we do. Furthermore, chocolate contains compounds called methylxanthines which are harmful to chooks and other pets.
Processed foods – Foods that aren’t great for us are even worse for chickens. Their digestive system is less conditioned to deal with fast foods, salty foods, processed foods and so on.
Avocado pits and skins – The flesh part of the fruit is fine, but the skin and pits contain a fungicidal toxin called persin. Don’t leave out avocados for them to peck out of the skin.
In Summary – Can Chickens Eat Blueberries?
Yes, blueberries are one of the best fruits you can give to your chickens.
These little blue superfood berries are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A few of these on occasion is only going to help the overall health and wellness of your flock.
Just keep fruits, vegetables, and other human foods to no more than 10% of your chicken’s overall diet.
Chickens have some important dietary needs that must be met to ensure they are healthy and able to lay those eggs you love finding in their nesting box.
A good commercial feed will make sure they’re getting all the good nutrition they need. Fruits, vegetables, and other foods are a bonus on top.
Health benefits of blueberries – BBCGoodFood.co.uk
Chocolate intoxication pdf – ASPCApro.org