Chickens can eat nectaries, and in my experience they absolutely love them. You don’t want them to eat the pit – although it’s very unlikely as the seeds are so big – they’ll gobble up the flesh and skin with no issues.
Are Nectarines Healthy for Chickens?
Like most fruits, nectarines are packed with good nutrition. A lot of which chickens will benefit from, just as we do.
Most notably, nectarines are rich in a wide array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Making them a healthy immune-boosting snack for your chooks.
Despite being healthy, it’s important to remember than fruits, veg, and other leftovers are treats for chickens.
It’s important that they get the bulk of their deity needs met with a good commercial feed. This ensures they’re getting all the key nutrients, which is especially important for laying hens.
With that said, healthy fruits add some beneficial variety to their diets – and you’ll find out just how quickly they gobble them up!
Related – Can chickens eat peaches too? Nectarines with furry coats!
Can Chickens Eat Nectarine Skins and Pits?
You’ve probably heard that a lot of fruit stones, pits, seeds, whatever you want to call them are potentially toxic.
This is because the pits of a lot of fruits – and this includes nectarines – contain a compound called amygdalin. This compound breaks down into hydrogen cyanide when ingested, which is a toxic substance.
What most people do not tell you, however, is that it would take a LOT of stones to cause any ill-effects in chickens.
If you’ve been giving them the stones so far, don’t panic. I bet they didn’t even eat them anyway, right? They’re pretty big and way too hard for them to crack.
To err on the side of caution, just don’t give them the seeds. They’re pretty easy to remove. As for the skin, it’s fine, and chickens usually will eat this part of the fruit along with all the tasty flesh.
More Foods That Chickens Can Eat
Nectarines are just one of many fruits that chickens love. They also enjoy eating veggies and grains too. Here are some of the foods backyard chicken owners commonly feed their flock:
Vegetables are great. You can typically feed them to chickens either cooked or raw, and they’re packed with great nutrition. Try carrots, cabbage, sprouts, kale, asparagus, etc.
As I touched on with nectarines, fruits tend to be packed with loads of nutrition that chickens can benefit from. As long as they’re fresh, see if your hens like blueberries, pomegranate, mango, apples, etc.
Grains and chickens go hand-in-hand. Corn, wheat, barley, quinoa, if it’s a grain, chances are they’re going to gobble it up in a hurry.
Some Foods You Shouldn’t Give to Chickens
Chickens are notorious for eating just about anything. However, it’s our job to make sure they don’t eat anything harmful though. Here’s a list of some of the common foods to avoid feeding chickens:
Raw Beans – Unless beans are properly cooked they contain a toxin called lectin. This toxin can be very toxic to chickens – and us – so always check beans have been properly cooked.
Chocolate – Chocolate is off-limits for most household pets because it contains compounds that are hard for them to digest. This includes chickens, so no chocolate treats for your backyard flock.
Tea and Coffee – I love my tea and coffee, I also recycle a lot of tea bags and coffee grounds in my garden. These drinks contain the same harmful compounds as chocolate, caffeine, and theobromine, so I have to keep my compost heap off-limits.
Green Potatoes/Tomatoes – Nightshade vegetables produce a toxin called solanine. This toxin is harmful to chickens, so you need to be careful when feeding them vegetables belonging to the nightshade group.
Two of the most common vegetables are potatoes and tomatoes. The warning sign is green, if either tomatoes or potatoes are green don’t feed them to your chickens.
Avocado Pits/Skin – The flesh of this fruit is fine, but the skin and large stone of an avocado contain a fungicidal toxin called persin. This can cause some serious health issues for chickens, don’t risk it.
Sugary, Greasy, Fatty Foods – You shouldn’t give your chickens fast food, soda drinks, candy, etc. They’re not toxic per se, but chickens find salty foods hard to digest and they aren’t good for their long-term health.
Giving backyard chickens different foods is fun, and a great way to bond with your flock.
Nectarines are perfectly fine for chickens if you have this fruit often. More importantly, I’ve never met a chicken that wouldn’t eat one, so go ahead and see if your flock enjoys them.
As I mentioned above, personally, I remove the stones as there’s a slight health risk. It’s not a huge deal though.
Image credits – Photos by , and Jason Leung on Unslpash, nectarine photo by Steve Buissinne on Pixabay
12 Surprising Benefits Of Nectarines – OrganicFacts.net