Many chicken owners tend to give leftovers to their birds. But like other animals, chickens do not eat everything.
There might be pineapples in that leftover pile.
Can Chickens Eat Pineapple?
Yes, the chickens often eat pineapple. They do not eat pineapple as a whole fruit. You have to cut the soft part of the fruit into small pieces. Chickens like the taste of pineapple but not always.
Chickens also love to eat corn, grass, and certain kinds of food leftovers.
Chickens eat selective items in a limited quantity. If you have chickens at home, you should understand their food habits. You may think that they are chewing everything that you throw to them. But it is not true.
Don’t feed your chickens any of the following food:
• Raw Dry Beans. These beans contain harmful substances like natural insecticide and phytohemagglutinin. You should not feed these beans to your chickens.
• White Potato. White potatoes contain a toxin substance. Regular use of white potato can cause diarrhea and heart failure in chickens.
• Fruit Seeds. Chickens like to eat most of the fruits like apples. They do not eat the seeds. So, don’t feed the seeds of fruits like cherries, apricots, pears, plums, and peaches. These seeds contain cyanide.
• Alcohol. Chickens do not like any alcoholic products..
• Avocado. Avocado can cause myocardial necrosis and toxicosis in chickens. So, do not feed your chicken with parts of an avocado fruit like flesh or skin.
• Onions. Onions can cause jaundice and anemia due to the presence of thiosulphate. This substance can cause damage to red blood cells which may cause the death of the chickens.
• Leaves of Rhubarb, Tomato, and Eggplant. It is ok to feed your chicken with the ripe tomato and mature eggplant flesh.
The green tomato and immature eggplant contain the toxin solanine. This substance is quite harmful to the chickens. So, do not feed the green tomatoes and immature green plants.
• Chocolate, Teabags, and other Caffeine products. Do not feed any products which contain caffeine substance. Teabags and Chocolate contain caffeine content like Methylxanthines Theobromine. So, don’t feed these items to your chicken.
• Stale Foods. Don’t feed any stale food to your chickens. Stale food contains fungus and can cause health issues.
• Sweet, Salty, and Over-Fried Foods. Like human beings, the chickens also get overweight. An obese chicken is not a healthy chicken. So, the food of chicken should not contain salt and sugar. Do not feed any fried item to your chickens.
• Foods Items with Chemical Spray Residue. Several food products contain insecticides and pesticides right from their storage at warehouses. So, wash them and remove any poisonous particles before feeding to chickens.
• Spinach and other Citrus Products. If the chickens eat citrus products, the shell of eggs will be thinner. The number of eggs will also be lesser. So, don’t give too much citrus foods to chickens.
• Dairy products. Fact: chickens cannot digest milk products. A dairy-products rich diet can cause diarrhea.
• Asparagus. Regular feeding of asparagus can cause a change in the taste of your chickens’ eggs.
• Pasta, White Rice, and Bread. These contain very low nutrients. So, you can avoid these products.
• Iceberg Lettuce. There is no nutrition in the iceberg lettuce. So, you can skip feeding these items to your chickens.
Fact: Chickens Won’t Eat Everything
We generally tend to think that chickens will eat anything that we throw to them. We throw all the food leftovers to them thinking that they are a chewing machine.
You must understand that chickens eat only certain foodstuffs and not everything.
Many times, large numbers of chickens die due to the spread of some specific disease. Most of these diseases occur due to food content. You should consider their health issues and care for giving nutritious foods.
You must assess the quality and content of the food before putting it to the chickens. Several foods like listed above can be harmful to your chickens.
Starter Feeds for Newly-Hatched Chicks
Once the eggs hatch, the chicks are fed immediately with a starter diet. The protein level should be between 10%-20%.
22%-24% higher protein starter rations are for meat poultry such as pheasant, quail, and turkey.
These fixed portions are formulated to give proper nutrition for growing baby chicks.
There are different protein levels for different kinds of chickens. Higher levels are fed to broilers and roasters to maximize growth but aren’t necessary for egg-layers.
Grower Feeds for 10 Week Olds
After ten weeks, grower feeds are substituted from the starter feeds.
15%-16% of protein-based feeds are created to sustain growth for chickens towards maturity.
20% higher protein content is recommended for game birds.
Layer Feeds for Egg-Layers
When the egg-layers reach 18 weeks old or when they first lay eggs (whichever comes first), that’s the time they are fed layer feeds.
These are designed to give optimal nutrition for egg-laying chickens.
They contain large doses of calcium and 16% protein for the proper development of their eggshells.
Supplying Water for the Chickens
It is essential to provide clean drinking water for your chicken at all times.
They will drink three times as much water by their weight as they consume the feeds.
A rule you should always follow is to provide one quart of water for every four chickens.
During warm summer months, their water intake will increase significantly.
For the first hour, newly hatched chicks should be fed water only. It should contain ¼ cup of sugar and one teaspoonful of Terramycin per gallon. It will help with the chicks’ immunity.
On the second day of the chicks’ life, one teaspoonful of Terramycin should be added, without any sugar.
At ten weeks old, the starter feeds should be replaced with the grower feeds.
15%-16% protein from grower feeds and designed for the chickens’ growth towards maturity.
20% higher protein content in feeds is recommended for growing game birds.
Only Feed Small Amounts of Table Scraps to Your Chickens
Chickens will eat anything offered to them. They like to eat leftover table scraps.
However, they are not beneficial for the health of the chickens, especially to egg-layers.
Only a small quantity of table scraps is recommended as a “treat” and isn’t harmful.
The Chickens’ Nutritional Needs
Like all living things in the animal kingdom, chickens require water, proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals to sustain life.
Complete nutritional poultry feeds are developed to meet different stages of the chickens’ lives.
Where to Find Accurate Information on Feeding Chickens
In selecting the right kind of feeds for your chickens, all information can be found at the back of the sack/bag of feeds.
Grit for Chickens
Chickens don’t have teeth to chew food. They swallow food whole, which goes into the food pouch to be stored.
The ingested food goes to the stomach and mixed with digestive juices, then goes to the gizzard.
The gizzard contains small stones that the chicken has previously ingested to help the gizzard grind up the food.
Nutrients are absorbed into the different parts of the body as the remaining food goes to the intestine.
Grit is the term used for the swallowed stones, which the chickens need to grind the food.
Recommended grits for chickens are cherry and granite stones. Oyster shells and limestone are also good but aren’t a worthy substitute because they are too soft.
Feeding Oyster Shells
When egg-laying hens are Calcium-deficient, the eggs lain have thin shells or have nothing at all.
Choosing a complete feed for egg-layers like DuMor 16% Poultry Layer provides the right amount of nutrients in the correct proportion that allows hens to lay eggs with strong shells.
Oyster shells are widely used to feed egg-layers as a form of supplemental calcium.
A recommended two lbs. should be added to every one hundred lbs. of complete egg-layer ration.
How Often Do You Need to Feed Your Chickens?
A widely accepted method for feeding chickens to get maximum production is a full feeding method, which refers to eating at all times.
In a typical lifespan of egg-laying hens, when their consumption of feeds is limited to the amount they desire, the egg production will stop.
How Much Do You Need to Feed Your Chickens?
An average chicken will eat about ¼ pound of feed per day, depending on many factors like weather conditions, productivity levels, and chicken sizes.
Scratch Feeds for Chickens
Chickens don’t get adequate nutrition from scratch feeds.
Scratch feeds usually consist of grain, corn, barley, wheat, or oats. They are low in protein and do not provide balanced nutrition for your chickens, compared to complete feeds.
It is recommended that scratch feeds be fed to chickens sparingly.
If you feed your chickens scratch feed, it’s a good idea to also give them grit, like granite or cherry stone.
A rule that you should follow to feed the chickens enough scratch that they can consume in twenty minutes.
Even though it doesn’t provide the chickens with good nutrition, it encourages the natural characteristic to scratch the ground providing good exercise.