Can chickens eat bananas? Maybe you have some bananas that are looking a little past their prime, but you don't want to throw them away. Or maybe you just have a few extras that you know you aren't going to get too and you thought this might be a great little treat for your backyard hens.
So, should you be feeding your chickens bananas? In short, yes. However, because bananas are very high in sugar, you should be cautious about how much of this treat you feed to your chickens.
Read on to learn more about how to feed your chickens bananas safely.
Are Bananas Good For Chickens?
Bananas contain magnesium, vitamin B12, and vitamin B6 and other essential nutrients. These are essential vitamins and minerals that your chickens need to remain healthy. Feeding your chickens bananas can be a great way to get in a few extra nutrients, with one caveat. The sugar!
Like humans, chickens need many of the vitamins in minerals found in bananas like potassium for their bodies to function properly, fight off disease, and to stay healthy. Potassium is also an important mineral in the egg laying process. Bananas are also a great source of antioxidants for chickens. Vitamin B12 is another one of the many nutrients chickens can obtain from bananas. Vitamin B12 plays a role in helping a chickens nervous systems function properly. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause many symptoms in backyard chickens such as eggs laying production decline.
All of that said you should try to only feed your chickens bananas in moderation due to their hight sugar content. Too many bananas can cause health problems.
Can Chickens Eat Banana Peels?
Yes, chickens can eat the entire banana including the peel. However, there is a catch here as well. Commercial (non-organic) farmers often spray bananas down with pesticides. Try to only feed the peel to your chickens if it was organically grown or washed thoroughly. I should also note, I have rarely experienced chickens who enjoy and actually eat the banana peel. Just be sure to remove the banana peel before you serve!
Do Chickens Like Bananas?
Chickens tend to really enjoy bananas! So much so, in fact, that they sometimes to not eat other more nutritious food when too many bananas are provided. Do your flock a favor and only include bananas in their diet once in a while.
How To Feed Bananas to Chickens
Now that you know that bananas are a great treat for chickens, you might be asking how can I feed them to my flock? By peeling the banana and then giving them the inside and peel separately the chickens seem to have the easiest time eating bananas. you can also try just throwing them in whole peel and all. There are also different degrees of ripeness that you want to consider when feeding chickens bananas.
These are the bananas that you have just bought from the market, fresh and ready to eat, not green but also not overly ripe.
There are several ways to feed your chickens fresh banana.
One way is to simply but the whole the banana in your chickens’ run. it may take them a while to get through the peel of a fresh banana, but they eventually will and it will be devoured quickly once they get to the sweet inside.
You can remove the peel and even cut the banana into smaller sized pieces, but I find this extra step unnecessary. Peeling the banana does increase the likelihood your hens will eat the fruit.
Frozen bananas are a great way to cool your hens down in the summer heat! I love this method of feeding chickens bananas and it's a great little treat for your backyard flock in during the warmer months.
Overripe or moldy bananas tend to have a higher sugar content than fresh or unripe bananas. feed these bananas to your chickens sparingly as they are very sweet. Mushy food is also hard for chickens to consume, if the banana you are trying to feed is too overly ripe your chickens may have a hard time eating it.
I do not recommend feeding chickens moldy bananas, and they probably won't be eaten anyway.
Tips on Feeding Chickens Bananas
- Feed your chickens bananas no more than once a week.
- remove the peel before feeding to chickens for an easier snack.
- don't feed your chickens too overly ripe or moldy bananas.