Have leftover pomegranates in the fridge? Don’t eat the seeds yourself? Wondering, can chickens eat pomegranate and seeds?
Chickens can eat pomegranates, yes. They are not toxic or harmful in any way, and they’re packed with good nutrition too. This includes the seeds and the rind too.
Are Pomegranates Healthy for Chickens?
Pomegranates are unusual fruits, aren’t they?
They have a hard reddish rind, and when you cut them open there are pockets of jewel-like seeds called arils.
Pomegranates are a great source of fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, as well as a range of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
There’s no doubt they are one of the healthiest fruits, for both us and chickens. Chickens have different dietary requirements than us, but they do benefit from nutrient-dense fruits like pomegranates.
How to Feed Pomegranates to Chickens
All parts of the fruit are safe to eat, so don’t worry about putting it all out.
We don’t eat the skin because it’s too tough and tasteless. We don’t eat the white pithy part either, apparently, this is because it’s very bitter.
I’ve never tried to eat either of these parts, but I’m going to next time just so I can say I’ve tried it.
When feeding pomegranates to chooks, you have a few options:
- You can simply chop up whatever you want to give them into small easy to eat bits and put in their feeder or scatter it.
- What I do with some fruits that have a hard skin is to chop them in half and leave them out to be pecked at.
- Or, another thing I do with some fruits, like bananas or a bunch of grapes, is to hang them from a piece of string. This gives my chickens something to peck at and play around with.
- You could scatter the seeds around where they roam too. They are shiny, easy to find, and will give them something to scratch and forage around for.
Related – Do chickens have many taste buds? Nope, that’s why they don’t mind bitter foods.
Other Fruits That Chickens Can Eat
If your flock are fruit monsters like mine is, there are loads of other fruits you can see if they like.
Here are some of the best fruits for chickens:
Grapes – These are a flock favorite here. Any size, shape, or color. If they’re grapes, they’re going to get eaten quickly.
All Berries – I haven’t come across a berry that chickens didn’t like. I’m talking about the mainstream types, mulberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc. If you have a rare type of berry growing nearby, I’d double check first.
Melons – Watermelons and cantaloupes, in particular, are great for chickens. They’re easy to feed, just slice them in half, and they are water-dense as well as containing minerals, vitamins, etc.
Prunes – Prunes are a bit high on the sugary side, but in my experience chickens love them and they provide some good nutritional value.
Apples – We have a crab apple tree nearby, so for most of the year my chicks get to enjoy free apples.
Bananas – This is a nice soft fruit and another one you can hang if you want to give your flock something to play peck-away at.
These are some of the fruits I feed my flock. You can feed chickens almost any fruit really though.
Some owners think citrus is bad for chickens, but I’ve never been able to find any good scientific evidence to confirm this.
If you’re feeding them something for the first time, just do a quick check or ask someone that’ll be able to confirm it’s OK.
Foods Chickens Can’t Eat
Most foods are fine in moderation. Some are harmful though, and it’s important you’re aware of what foods you shouldn’t give to your chickens.
Here are some foods that contain potentially harmful toxins:
(Green) Potatoes – Potatoes are a constant source of confusion for backyard flock owners. Some people say they’re toxic, some say they aren’t, and some people seem to be unaware of any dangers.
The facts are, that potatoes are part of the nightshade family of vegetables. This group possesses a toxin called solanine, which they produce to harm pests trying to eat them.
It’s only present in certain parts of the plants though. In the case of potatoes, solanine is only present when they turn green due to being exposed to sunlight.
Coffee and Tea – I’m not suggesting you’re going to be taking out a cup of morning coffee for your chicks here. If you use coffee grounds or tea bags in your compost keep you need to be aware that caffeine is toxic to chickens.
Chocolate – If you have other household pets like cats and dogs you’ll be aware that chocolate is toxic to a lot of animals.
Chickens are on that list too. The same two compounds have ill-effects on other pets – theobromine and caffeine – also cause chickens heart problems.
Raw Beans – This is a really important one to be aware of. Even a small amount of raw beans can be fatal to a chicken. Until properly cooked, beans contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin.
That’s not a complete list, but it’s some of the more dangerous and commonly found foods you may have been tempted to share with your flock.
In Summary – Can Chickens Eat Pomegranate?
Yes, pomegranates are super healthy and tasty. Your chickens will be more than happy to eat the fruit and seeds and will benefit from this nutrient-dense fruit.
Keep in mind that around 90% of a chicken’s diet should come from a good quality chicken feed.
You have some room to share different treats with them though. Fruits, vegetables, and herbs are some of the best “treats” for chooks.
The health benefits of pomegranate – BBCGoodFood.com
What is solanine and is it toxic – Food-info.net
Image credits – Header image by Max Welt, pomegranate image by Photo by Nasim Keshmiri on Unsplash