Chickens love berries, and most of them offer some great health benefits. They also have the added benefit of giving chickens something to pick themselves if you want to grow your own plants.
Can chickens eat raspberries? Yes, raspberries are fine for chickens to eat in moderation. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are great for chickens.
Are Raspberries Healthy for Chickens?
We’re all familiar with the red raspberries, but they actually come in several colors such as black, yellow, golden, and purple.
Each color has its own individual composition of nutrition, but they’re all awesome and perfectly safe for chickens.
Obviously, chickens require a much wider range of nutrition than what raspberries or other fruits and vegetables can provide.
You should only feed them fruits as treats making up a small amount of their diet. It’s generally recommended that they should get at least 90% of their diet from their commercial feed.
They love eating different foods though, and it’s a load of fun sharing different foods with chicks. Put raspberries high up on the list of foods you share with them.
Can Chickens Eat the Seeds and Leaves From Raspberry Plants?
There are a few plants that bear edible fruits and have poisonous leaves and seeds or pits. Tomatoes and rhubarb are a couple that comes to mind, the leaves of these plants are toxic to chickens.
The pits and skins of avocado are also toxic to chickens, yet the flesh of the fruit is perfectly fine.
If you’re growing plants in your yard where your chickens roam, you should always double-check that no parts of the plant are toxic. I’m sure you’re well aware that chickens will often eat their way through anything they come across!
Want to see some hens gobbling up some raspberries? I thought so - check out this video:
Some Foods Chickens Should Not Eat
Raspberries are fine and I recommend feeding them to your flock.
Some common foods we eat are not OK for chickens though, here are some foods you should never give to your flock:
Chocolate, candy, sugary treats - Chickens don’t have a sweet tooth, in fact, they don’t even have many taste buds. But worse than that, some compounds in chocolate are toxic to them, and adding sugar to their diet is also bad for chicks.
Nightshade plants/vegetables - The nightshade range of plants produce toxins to ward off insects and animals eating them. There are some parts that can be eaten, and some that can’t.
Green parts on potatoes contain the toxin, called solanine for example, as do green tomatoes, eggplants, and some of the other plants in this family. Best to avoid nightshade plants if you’re unsure.
Raw beans - Raw beans look so harmless, yet they contain a toxin that can be fatal to chickens. Never let your chooks loose around bean plants or feed them raw.
Greasy/junk foods - Junk foods can be hard for chickens to digest. They are also high in bad fats, additives, preservatives, and loads of other stuff that chickens don’t need or want in their diet.
Coffee grounds - I’ll mention this one because I know a lot of people use coffee grounds as composting matter in their yards. Coffee is toxic for the same reasons as chocolate, keep it well away from your girls.
Some Foods That Chickens Love (And Are Safe)
The good news is that there are more foods that are safe for chickens than those that are bad.
Here are some of the best foods that chicken owners commonly feed their flocks:
Cooked meats - Chickens, and laying or molting chickens in particular need a good deal of protein. Cooked meats are a good source of protein, just be sure to chop it up into small pieces.
Grains - They love scratching around for grains, and they’re a good source of nutrition. Try your hens and roosters on oats, wheat, rice, quinoa, and other grains.
Vegetables - Most vegetables are fine; try then on carrots, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and sweet potatoes to start with.
Fruits - Most fruits are also fine; try feeding your flock other berries, bananas, melons, and apples.
In Summary - Can Chickens Eat Raspberries?
Yes, raspberries are perfectly fine for chickens. Neither the berries, seeds or any parts of the plant is toxic so it’s safe to grow them around your yard with free-ranging chickens.
They’re one of the better foods to give your chickens, in fact, so I recommend going out of your way to see if they enjoy them - which I’m pretty certain they will.
Health benefits of raspberries - MedicalNewsToday.com