If you’re a chicken owner, you probably only recently started paying attention to what harms them and what doesn’t. Chickens eat almost everything you give them, to the point where you need to check if all they’re eating are healthy. In this case, can chickens eat blackberries?
Chickens never go hungry. They eat everything edible and some that are not. They don’t seem to care about nutritional labels, and they don’t care if the food is good for them.
But you should care. These feathery birds are your pets, and you’re responsible for whatever happens to them.
You don’t need to take a veterinary course to make sure that your chickens only eat healthy foods. In this article, you’ll learn if chickens eat blackberries and if you should give them to them in the first place.
Can Chickens Eat Blackberries?
Yes, your chicken can eat blackberries, and they’re a harmless treat for its consumption. Blackberries contain a wide range of nutrients that are safe for your chickens in moderation.
However, chickens aren’t all the same. While my chickens might enjoy eating blackberries day in day out, your chickens might refuse them altogether.
If your chickens are refusing to have a blackberry treat, you shouldn’t force it on them. However, can you even force it on them if you wanted to?
While blackberries don’t pose any health risks to your birds in moderation, excessive consumption might cause complications.
Blackberries contain some nutrients that are bad for chickens when consumed excessively. However, if your chicken loves blackberries and you have a blackberry tree around, there’s very little you can do.
Your chickens will always go to the blackberry tree, jump and pluck some of the juicy berries and end up eating an excess of the fruit.
If you notice a blackberry fruit around, you must devise a creative way to prevent your chickens from gaining unrestricted access to the tree, to avoid the disadvantages.
Nutritional Contents Of Blackberries
If you’re somewhat pet-savvy, you should already know what nutrients are healthy for your chickens.
This section is for the somewhat pet-savvy ones, as I’ll outline most of the nutrients you’ll find in a blackberry, so you can determine if it contains nutrients in which your chickens are deficient.
A regular 100g serving of blackberries contains 88g of water. Just like in most fruits, water easily dominates the blackberry.
The major nutrient in blackberry is carbohydrates. Of every 100g of blackberry, carbohydrates take 9.6g; that’s almost 10% of the fruit.
Other nutrients present in blackberries include proteins, fats, dietary fibers, selenium, sugars, sodium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, several vitamins, and copper.
Most of these nutrients exist in small quantities but make a big difference in the overall diet of your chickens.
If your chickens already get enough carbs and sugars from their feed, feeding them with blackberries can be overkill.
However, if your chickens are deficient in some of the nutrients present in the fruit, you can serve it as a safe supplement to the chickens’ feed.
Health Benefits of Blackberries to Chickens
What will your chickens gain from eating blackberries?
There are lots of nutrients that provide value to chickens. It won’t be a great idea to feed them with valueless foods.
In this section, you’ll learn all of the health benefits that your chickens gain from eating blackberries.
Here you go.
Fiber aids bowel movements and prevents constipation. Since chickens are very rough eaters, they tend to eat foods that trouble their digestive systems.
These foods get passed on to the bowels and pass out as feces. Eating enough fibers simplifies this process.
While that constitutes the main functions of fibers, they also help regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In short, you can’t afford to feed your chickens fiber-rich foods.
There are so many vitamins in blackberries that it’s hard to list the functions of the various vitamins in the fruit.
While vitamin C lowers the risk of heart disease and helps to form stronger bones and cartilage, vitamin K helps prevent blood clotting.
Vitamin A improves chickens’ eyesight amongst chickens and works with other nutrients to enhance egg production.
Your best bet is to provide your chickens with as many vitamins as possible. Every vitamin performs a different function, and the combination of them all makes for a healthy chicken.
Blackberries are abundant in minerals, but there is one that especially stands out: manganese.
Manganese isn’t plentifully abundant in blackberries, but your chicken doesn’t need it in plentiful quantities either.
Manganese is crucial for forming strong eggshells for your chickens’ eggs, and they aid in the growth of bones and cartilages.
Every 100g of blackberries that your chicken consumes contains 0.64mg of manganese. If your chickens’ feed is manganese-deficient, it’s time to introduce blackberries into its diet.
Risks of Feeding Blackberries to Chickens
Before feeding blackberries to your chickens, you should know the potential health risks it holds for your cat.
Blackberries aren’t all good. Excessive or improper intake of the fruit could lead to health complications.
Here are some of the potential health complications that could arise from the consumption of blackberries.
- Excessive Sugar
Sugar is one content of fruits that we can’t stop talking about. It is abundant in most fruits, and that’s fine; one place it shouldn’t be abundant in is your chicken’s body system.
Chickens eat a lot of foods that contain sugar in abundance. If your chickens are already running red on sugar, it won’t be very wise to add sugar-laden blackberries to it, would it?
In case you’re not aware, sugar can increase the risks of heart disease in chickens. Sugar can impact the quality and quantity of your chicken’s egg production.
If you don’t monitor your chicken’s sugar intake, you’ll have an overweight chicken in a couple of months.
How Many Blackberries Should Chickens Eat?
As I’ve hinted earlier, chickens actively seek and eat blackberry as long as you keep giving it to them.
To prevent your blackberries from going over the recommended daily amount of blackberries, you must actively restrict your chickens from accessing blackberries.
Can Chickens Eat Blackberry Seeds?
If you’ve ever seen a blackberry, you’d have an idea of how cumbersome it will be to remove every seed from the blackberries.
There are many blackberry drupelets in a group. The drupelets contain one seed each, and they cluster together to form the blackberry, as you commonly see it.
The fact is, you shouldn’t remove the blackberry seed when feeding blackberries to your chickens. The seeds don’t contain anything that’s unhealthful for your chicken.
Also, seeds contain some nutrients, and nutritional benefits are with the seeds included.
Even if you can, it’s not in your chicken’s best interest to remove the seeds from the blackberries before serving.
Can Baby Chicks Eat Blackberries?
Your chickens’ babies shouldn’t miss out on the delicacy of blackberries. Since baby chickens are future adult chickens, it’s okay if you feed them with blackberries.
However, if you decide to feed your baby chickens with blackberries, you should do it in moderation. Baby chickens can’t digest quite as much as their adult counterparts, you know.
Blackberries are very nutritious fruits. Don’t rid your chickens of the opportunity to enjoy them with you. Do you want to know if chickens can eat blackberries?
Not only can chickens eat blackberries, but it’s also nutritional for them. Blackberries contain many nutrients that are crucial for the healthy growth of a chicken.
Next time you have a blackberry, don’t hesitate to share it with your chicken. It’s good for them too!