Yes, chickens can eat peaches. You shouldn’t give them the pit (stone/seed), but the flesh of the fruit and the skin is fine. Chickens will benefit from vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other good nutrition in peaches – plus they love them!
Are Peaches Healthy for Chickens?
Most fruits are healthy for chickens – and us – and peaches are no different.
They’re rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, plus they have good water content. Peaches also really easy to feed to chickens as they’re soft and will be quickly gobbled up.
Chickens have different dietary requirements to us, most of which will be met by feeing them a quality commercial feed.
Extra “treats” like fruits and vegetables add some variety to their diets and helps to provide a wider range of good nutrition though.
So, I always recommend giving your flock some vegetables, fruits, and other foods that are safe for them. This goes for nectarines too, which are basically peaches without the fuzzy skin!
Can Chickens Eat Peach Skins and Pits?
You may have heard that the pits of some fruits – and this includes peaches – contain cyanide and are potentially dangerous.
This is true, to a point.
The pit also called a stone or a seed of a peach does contain a compound called amygdalin, which when ingested breaks down into hydrogen cyanide.
While it’s good to be aware of this and not to eat them, the risk is very small. If you or your chickens have ingested a pit here or there, which I doubt as they’re rock hard, you’re going to be ok.
As a rule of thumb, just don’t give them the pits. It’s very unlikely they’d eat them, but it’s always good to err on the side of caution.
How to Feed Peaches to Chickens
With soft fruits like peaches, you can feed them to chickens any which way you want really. As long as they can’t spoil or get stolen by other animals, you’re good to go.
If you want to give them something to play with, you can hang a peach from a string. If you want to make it easy for them, you can chop them. Or, you can just leave whole peaches out.
If you want to see chickens making light work of some whole peaches, check out this video:
Some Foods Chickens Should Not Eat
There aren’t many foods you’ll come across that are harmful to chickens, but you need to be very aware of the foods that are.
Here are some foods to avoid giving to your flock as they are potentially toxic and are known to cause health issues:
Chocolate – As with most small animals and household pets, there are compounds in chocolate that are toxic to chickens.
Tea and Coffe – Much like chocolate, tea contains the same two harmful compounds, and coffee is high in caffeine. A lot of people recycle tea and coffee as composting materials, keep it well away from your chickens.
Raw Beans – If you grow beans this is one to be aware of. Undercooked or raw beans are potentially fatal to chickens, even in small doses. Beans have to be boiled to destroy the harmful lectins.
Greasy/Salty Foods – Not toxic as such, but not recommended either. Chickens require good nutrition to stay healthy and lay tasty eggs. The last thing you want is an overweight junk food dependant chicken!
Avocado Pits/Skin – This is one of the known dangers to most household and backyard pets. The skin and stone contain a fungicidal toxin called persin which can cause health issues and even death.
Green Potatoes/Tomatoes – When potatoes and tomatoes are green they have a toxin called solanine present. This toxin isn’t present when they’re ripe, but it’s something to be aware of.
Related – Here’s how to feed chickens potato peels.
Some Foods Chickens Can Eat
Seeing what chickens will or will not eat is fun. They will eat almost anything, as long as you know it’s safe for them you should try it.
Here are some of the most common foods backyard flock owners give their chickens:
Vegetables – Vegetables are one of the easiest ways to give your flock some great nutrition. You can give them the skins, ends, and other scraps you don’t want and they’ll be happy to help you out.
Fruits – Fruits contain a wide range of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and other good stuff. Most are fine for chickens, try them on berries, figs, melons, and bananas and I’m sure you won’t see any going to waste.
Herbs – Herbs are great because they provide some unique wellness properties, and most are easy to grow yourself. I have lavender (smells awesome) and parsley in my yard, both of which my chooks love.
Grains – Grains are a staple in most commercial chicken feed and scratch mixes. They provide energy, good nutrition, and help promote their natural foraging. Try feeding your flock some wheat, corn, oats, quinoa, etc.
Related – Here’s why cornmeal is great for chickens.
In Summary – Can Chickens Eat Peaches?
They sure can, and I’ve never met a chicken that didn’t love peach!
As I covered above, it’s good practice to remove the seed – although the risk of them eating the pit and getting sick is very small.
How many peach pits do you have to eat to kill you? – Quora.com
Image credits – Header image by Kevin Bravo, peaches image by Irina Iriser on Unsplash