Whether or not you should give your chickens citrus fruits is a contentious topic among backyard flock owners. Personally, I don’t see there's any harm in small amounts.
Can chickens eat grapefruit? Yes, chickens can eat grapefruits. A lot of chickens don’t like citrus fruits and other acidic foods. If your flock does, then they’re fine in moderation and can provide some good nutrition.
Can Chickens Eat Grapefruit Peels?
I don’t know about you but for me, the best way to eat a grapefruit (and the quickest way) is to slice it in half and eat it out of the peel.
This is also fine for chickens. The rind is far too tough for them to eat much of it, and even if they do there’s no harm in them doing so.
This is assuming you gave it a good wash of course. If you’re buying from a supermarket there is a good chance of trace pesticides.
Is Citrus Bad for Chickens?
I’ve seen, read, and heard some people say citrus is bad for chickens and can harm egg production and cause an upset stomach and some other mild health issues.
I’ve also heard from plenty of backyard flock owners that are 100% sure citrus fruits are fine for chickens and have no problem giving their flock oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits.
I can’t find any conclusive evidence or studies on the topic. I think the only fair thing to say on the subject is that it’s up to you.
Fruits are “treat” foods anyway, so they should always be fed in moderation. I’m happy giving my flock a few segments of orange or grapefruit on occasion, and they’ve never shown ill-effects.
That said, a lot of chickens will avoid acidic foods. Don’t be surprised if your flock turns their beaks up when offered grapefruit.
How to Feed Grapefruit to Chickens
The only thing you really need to be careful of when feeding fruits to chickens is that it’s clean, and will not be left out so mold can start to grow.
From there, it’s going to get gobbled up pretty quickly so it’s up to you how you feed it to them.
For most fruits that come with their own hard skin, like grapefruits, I tend to slice them in half and put them on the floor for my flock to peck at.
Related content - Here are some foods that are bad for chickens.
You can also throw the segments into their run or wherever your chicks roam. You can see a video of chickens chasing down orange segments here as an example.
Or, you can slice up the fruit into smaller pieces and throw it in with their feed or some other food you’re giving them.
The best advice is to see what works for your chickens. It’s usually a case of however they can get their beaks into the food that’ll take it though!
Here Are Some Other Fruits Chickens Can Eat
If you’re looking to enhance your chicken’s diets with more fruits, here are some of the best:
Bananas - You can find out more about how much chickens love bananas and the health benefits here.
Melons - Melons are a bit like larger grapefruits without the bitter and sour taste. Chop them in half and put them out for your flock and they’ll thank you for it.
Oranges - Another less bitter relative of the grapefruit. You can find out more about chickens and oranges here.
Apples - Apples are great for chickens. Most people can find a stray apple tree nearby for free supplies too!
Strawberries - Who doesn’t love strawberries? Chickens sure love them, give your flock a try.
Figs - Not the most common fruit, but packed with great nutrition and a favorite in our yard.
Plums - One of the fruits higher in sugars, and the pips should be avoided. The flesh is tasty and nutritious though.
In Summary - Can Chickens Eat Grapefruit and Peels?
Yes, chickens can eat grapefruits. There is some concern about citrus fruits within the backyard community, bit for most people it’s never caused their flock any issues.
You should feed your backyard flock fruits, vegetables, and other foods in moderation anyway. Too much of any foods outside of their commercial feed can cause stomach issues.
Just don’t be surprised if they don’t like it. Despite being a healthy and safe fruit to share, a lot of chickens don’t like acidic foods.