Can chickens eat jackfruit? Are the seeds or the fruit toxic to chickens? Should you be sharing jackfruit with your flock?
Jackfruit is one of the more interesting fruits. It’s billed as a “healthy vegan meat replacement”, and to me tastes a bit like pineapple with a stringy texture.
This yellow fruit is packed with good nutrition and is great for us, but there isn’t a lot of information regarding feeding it to chickens. The seeds are potentially toxic for us if not prepared properly, so the best advice is to give jackfruit to your flock with caution.
What are Jackfruits?
If you’ve only just heard about jackfruits, you’re not alone. I only heard about Jackfruit for the first time last year when a vegan friend of mine wouldn’t stop talking about it.
So, the next time I was around his house I tried some. And, I have to say, it’s quite the unique fruit!
From the outside, it looks a bit like a large bumpy skinned melon (it’s hard to describe how the skin feels). Inside, the yellow fruit has a meat-like texture and comprises of several fruit pods with loads of seeds.
I did some additional research, it’s a tropical fruit that’s related to the breadfruit and figs and grows mostly across Brazil, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
As far as I can tell, it’s fairly new to the U.S. and UK markets, or at least not readily available in a lot of major stores.
This is probably the reason why there isn’t a lot of information out there about jackfruit and the benefits for various animals and pets.
Health Benefits of Jackfruit
According to Healthline, jackfruit has an “impressive nutrition profile”.
It’s rich in a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Jackfruit also contains a decent amount of fiber and protein.
Obviously, this kind of nutrition is more ideal for us than chickens, but they’ll benefit from all this good nutrition too.
Can Chickens Eat Jackfruit?
All the evidence points towards jackfruit being fine for chickens. As I said above, there doesn’t seem to be much decent information regarding this exotic fruit and any domestic pets.
Based on the nutritional information and the fact that it’s not known to be toxic (some sources say the seeds might be) it should be fine to give some to your chickens.
Do keep in mind that fruits, vegetables, and all table scraps are treats for chickens. Despite how healthy and safe they are.
Your flock should be getting at least 90% of their dietary needs met by a quality commercial feed. That leaves plenty of room to offer them fruits like jackfruit though, and I know how fun and rewarding it is feeding those hungry munching machines.
Can Chickens Eat Jackfruit Skin and Rind?
According to the Singapore Government Agency Website, the seeds of jackfruit can be eaten and taste like chestnuts.
Although they do say that care must be taken to prepare them properly or they can be poisonous.
That’s for us, I’m not sure about pets and animals like chickens. Therefore I wouldn’t give my flock the seeds just to be on the safe side.
I can’t find any issues with eating the rind. According to Healthline, all parts of the fruit can be eaten either raw or cooked.
I suspect your chickens will treat the rind much like they do with other fruits like melon and peck away at it and make their own mind up.
Some Foods That Aren’t Safe for Chickens
Jackfruit is fine, but there are some common foods that aren’t OK to give to chickens. Here are some of the foods that are potentially dangerous to chooks:
Coffee and Chocolate – There are compounds in coffee and chocolate that are toxic to chickens, and most small animals and pets too.
Raw Beans – Unless properly cooked, most beans are very toxic to chickens. They can even be fatal in small amounts so be very careful if you grow beans.
Junk Foods – Junk foods are typically high in salt, sodium, and other preservatives. Not a huge surprise that they’re not good for chickens.
Green Tomatoes and Potatoes – It’s commonly known that potatoes can be toxic to chickens. The facts are that potatoes (and tomatoes) are toxic when they’re green as that is an indication that they contain a toxin called solanine.
Avocado (Pit & Skin) – I love avocados, and obviously I don’t eat the stone or the skin – it’s way too hard. Don’t try and give it to your chickens though, both the seed and skin of an avocado contain a toxin called persin that’s toxic to chickens.
This isn’t a complete list, but it covers some of the most common foods that a lot of people assume would be fine for chickens.
Jackfruit is a rare and interesting fruit. It’s not known to be toxic to chickens, so if you have some spare why not share it and see if they like it.
Some sources say the seeds can potentially pose a problem. If you want to be super-safe, don’t give them the seeds.
Image credits – Photos by Hannah Oliver and MANOJ AP on Unsplash
Jackfruit – SingaporeInfopedia
Why Is Jackfruit Good for You? – Healthline.com