Can Chickens Eat Oranges?

Feeding your flock extra table scraps or goodies that havent gone bad is entertaining, and usually pretty good for your chickens. I mean, who doesnt love a bit of a variety in their diet?

With that being said, there are whispering throughout the chicken fanciers world that indicate that too much vitamin C (a well-known benefit of oranges) can cause some strange or undesirable behaviors and outcomes amongst flocks. Some swear that after eating anything with excessive Vitamin C will cause chickens to pull out their own feathers or even produce thin-shelled eggs .

But the thing is, there are many who believe that the acidity of oranges causes upset within the natural (good) bacteria of a chickens digestive systemparticularly the crop. Now, Im not sure that orange acid knows the difference between good and bad bacteria, but its worth mentioning the two schools of thought on the matter.

Are oranges okay for chickens to eat?

Oranges, which are rich in vitamin C, could offer some health benefits to your backyard chickens. However, chickens produce enough vitamin C all on their own, so it’s not a necessary nutrient. Because of this, there’s no need to force your chicken to eat your orange scraps.

What fruits are toxic to chickens?

Fruit Pits/Seeds: Apple seeds, and pits in fruits such as apricot, cherry, peach, pear, and plums contain the toxin cyanide. These fruits are generally fine to offer to your chickens as treats, so long as the pits have been removed.

Why is citrus not good for chickens?

Citrus peel is likely to have pesticides on the surface, some of which are extremely toxic. Citrus fruit is also routinely waxed to preserve them for storage and these should not be consumed. Citrus oils found in the skin of the fruit are quite strong and as you wouldn’t eat the peel then don’t feed it to the hens.

Despite the myths you may have heard or come across on the internet, Citrus is just fine for chickens. The reality is that most chickens will avoid citrus. Most of mine seem not to be bothered even by Oranges! I would avoid giving them peel to eat as it may have toxic pesticides and waxes on the outside and citrus oils found in the peels are quite strong.

As Citrus fruit is expensive in comparison to chicken feed I would never bother buying it specially for the birds. Chickens thrive on a varied and balanced diet which should include some whole grains, sprouts, greens, natural proteins from insects, worms, seeds, and a healthy amount of fresh fruits as they might find foraging, i.e., fallen ripe fruits, berries.

Once upon a time someone started a, now well circulated, rumour that citrus fruits will kill chickens. I found many testimonies from chicken keepers of no ill effects from feeding citrus as part of a well balanced diet. Citrus fruit pulp and peels have been made into pellets for animal feed.

Citrus fruit rind and pulp can lower the bacteria content in the GI tract of poultry and livestock in a natural and beneficial way. Free ranging chickens will eat a healthy balance of what nature provides. All things in moderation (but not chemicals, avocado, chocolate, caffeine, spoiled, sugary or very salty foods don’t let them eat cake!

The best fast foods are ones that have no additives, can be picked ripe, and eaten immediately, including some citrus. There is some evidence to suggest that Chickens are better able to handle heat stress when given a few drops of lemon juice each in their water. It seems to have something to do with both the Vitamin C and the small amounts of Ascorbic acid helping to provide calcium in the gut.

Feeding your chickens food scraps is not only a frugal way to live, it also gives your chickens some variety from their boring old chicken feed. Since you are here reading this, you probably only have one question right now: can you also include oranges in that scraps for chickens pile? It depends. Some sources say its okay, while others say its not. Either way, your chickens probably will not be interested in them.

The new object thrown into their chicken coop will strike up their curiosity, so they will probably run up to it, nip at it a few times, then likely walk away dissatisfied. If you do choose to feed oranges to your chickens, make sure its cut up into small pieces and mixed up with the rest of their food.

If your chickens really dont like the taste of oranges, they may be turned off from their food altogether, so its good to start with a little bit at first and work up from there. Image Credit: PERO-studio, ShutterstockChickens love to eat your scraps from chopping vegetables or peeling fruits, or even your childs leftover pieces of food from mealtime. Watermelon Pumpkin Oatmeal Corn Mealworms Pasta Cottage Cheese Meat

Also, dont forget to feed them only foods that are fresh and pesticide and herbicide-free to keep them healthy and happy. Oliver (Ollie) Jones A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured).

Oranges are among the worlds most popular fruits, they are a healthy source of vitamin C and have a many health benefits. But have you ever wondered if chickens can eat oranges or orange peels?

You dont have to peel the orange, but just make sure that the fleshy interior is completely exposed. The oranges, being high in sugar, can attract pests into the chicken run and coop.

This is because some people have noted that a high amount of Vitamin C in a chickens diet can cause two things to happen: The chickens start to pull out their feathers The shell of the eggs become thinner However, it is worth bearing in mind that some people have seen negative consequences to feeding their chickens some oranges, and you may see the same.

Are Oranges Safe for Chickens?

I often think that if my chickens don’t want to eat it, it must not be very good for them. Well, I might be a little off about that when it comes to oranges.While oranges are safe for chickens to eat, whether they choose to eat them or not is a different story.Most chickens will steer clear of the citrus fruit and its peel, but there’s always an exception to the rule.With that being said, there are whispering throughout the chicken fancier’s world that indicate that too much vitamin C (a well-known benefit of oranges) can cause some strange or undesirable behaviors and outcomes amongst flocks.Some swear that after eating anything with excessive Vitamin C will cause chickens to pull out their own feathers or even produce thin-shelled eggs.

What About the Peels?

We know that chickens cannot eat avocado peels, but what about orange peels?First off, it’s probably something you don’t need to worry about…because chickens typically want nothing to do with an orange peel. If you thought their hate for the pulp was strong, try to give a chicken an orange peel.In fact, I gave my chickens and orange and they kicked it around for days until I removed it and threw it away as a hardened little orange ball.But the thing is, there are many who believe that the acidity of oranges causes upset within the natural (good) bacteria of a chicken’s digestive system—particularly the crop.So, if you’ve heard that oranges are bad for chickens, this is probably where that school of thought comes from.On the other end of the spectrum, are those who believe that the acidity is good for chickens in that is can kill bad bacteria. Now, I’m not sure that orange acid knows the difference between good and bad bacteria, but it’s worth mentioning the two schools of thought on the matter.

Can chickens eat Citrus Fruit?

Despite the myths you may have heard or come across on the internet,

Why is citrus bad for chickens?

It is not bad for chickens. Citrus is safe for chickens in small amounts and not poisonous to chickens at all.
Once upon a time someone started a, now well circulated, rumour that citrus fruits will kill chickens. I had never, in 30 some odd years with chickens had heard that rumour.

Are lemons and limes OK for chickens?

There is some evidence to suggest that Chickens are better able to handle heat stress when given a few drops of lemon juice each in their water.It seems to have something to do with both the Vitamin C and the small amounts of Ascorbic acid helping to provide calcium in the gut.Too much acid has the opposite effect and can give shell-less eggs so never overdo it.

Can you feed chicken grapefruit?

So I did this as an experiment and none of my hens ate any grapefruit at all. I ended up chucking it on the compost heap.Who knew Chickens had the sense to avoid grapefruit!

Can you feed citrus peel to chickens?

This is the one thing I would avoid. As a rule chickens won’t eat the peel as it is very tough and can‘t be swallowed whole.

Chickens Just Don’t Love Citrus

It’s not that oranges are necessarily bad for chickens (although this website from RSPCA Australia says not to do it), but you will probably find out they’d rather not eat them. The new object thrown into their chicken coop will strike up their curiosity, so they will probably run up to it, nip at it a few times, then likely walk away dissatisfied.Oranges, which are rich in vitamin C, could offer some health benefits to your backyard chickens. However, chickens produce enough vitamin C all on their own, so it’s not a necessary nutrient.Because of this, there’s no need to force your chicken to eat your orange scraps. They are likely just fine eating everything else!If you do choose to feed oranges to your chickens, make sure it’s cut up into small pieces and mixed up with the rest of their food. Experiment with just a little at first and observe your chickens. If your chickens really don’t like the taste of oranges, they may be turned off from their food altogether, so it’s good to start with a little bit at first and work up from there.

What About Orange Peels?

Some peels, like avocado peels, definitely should not be fed to chickens. However, peels from oranges are fine for chickens. Just like the oranges themselves, though, your chickens probably won’t care for the peels either.You may have heard that oranges and orange peels are bad for chickens because some think the acid from oranges can upset a chicken’s digestive system, messing up their good and bad bacteria balance.This acid theory is not totally proven, though, because there’s another camp of self-proclaimed chicken dietary experts that say acid is good for killing off the bad bacteria.If nothing else, the oranges and orange peels can be fun playthings for your chickens. Some people say when they throw oranges or orange peels in their chicken coop, the chickens will kick the pieces around until you remove them.

What Fruits Are Safe for Chickens?

Now that you know how the chicken and orange relationship is, you may be curious about what other fruits are safe for chickens to eat.Basically, the only fruit-related things you should not feed your chickens are avocado peels and pits. The flesh is fine, and other fruits, like bananas, berries, melon, apple, and much more. One type of fruit you should not feed your chicken is rancid or rotten fruit, as it could make your chickens sick.

Can Chickens Eat Oranges?

Yes, chickens can eat oranges. While chickens may not necessarily require the same amount of Vitamin C that a human does, it is still worth getting a little bit into their diet on occasion.This could only be healthy for them.However, you probably do not want your chickens to be eating too many oranges each week. It certainly should not become a staple of their diet.

Can Chickens Eat Orange Peels?

Yes, chickens can eat orange peels because they are not toxic. But the problem is that they tend not to touch the peel or any of the rind of the orange. You can cut up the orange a little bit, but more about this later in the post.

They May Not Even Like Oranges

The vast majority of chickens who come into contact with oranges will turn their beak up at them. They don’t like them. They may peck a little bit at the orange, but the overwhelming taste probably gets to them.The same would happen if you gave them any sort of citrus fruit. So, while chickens can eat oranges, they probably won’t.You can always see if your chickens are willing to eat the oranges, but there are so many other fruits out there that you can give them, like:There is no sense bothering with oranges unless they are table scraps and you would have thrown them away otherwise.

Serving Oranges to Your Birds

If your chickens do like the taste of oranges, they are probably not going to eat the entire orange.This means that, at the absolute minimum, you are going to want to cut up the orange a little bit, since chickens do not like the orange peels.You don’t have to peel the orange, but just make sure that the fleshy interior is completely exposed.Remember; oranges are incredibly high in sugar. You should not be giving your chickens too many oranges, or other fruits for that matter. It can make them sick.At the most, you will probably want to be giving your chickens one or two oranges total per week.You should take the oranges away within a few hours if the chickens haven’t eaten them. The oranges, being high in sugar, can attract pests into the chicken run and coop. The chickens may be able to deal with them, but you still want to reduce the number of pests as much as possible, right?