Peaches are a luscious fruit that can be used to make many delectable treats. If peaches are in season, you may have some extra ones laying around that you don’t want going to waste. Aside from making jams and pies, why not give a peach or two to your chickens? Before you do that, you may wonder, can chickens eat peaches? Is the fruit safe for them?
Here is what you need to know about giving peaches to your feathered friends.
Can Chickens Eat Peaches?
Chickens are omnivorous, but that does not mean they can eat whatever you hand to them. As you may already know, there are many foods that humans can have that chickens would die from, including plants in the nightshade family.
Peaches, though, are generally safe for chickens to eat. The flesh is juicy, aromatic, and delicious. It will be hard to keep your clucking pals away from this delicious fruit. However, there is one thing you must understand. For humans and other animals, the core of the peach, also known as the pit, is highly toxic.
Chickens love peaches, but keep them away from the pit.
Is The Skin of a Peach Safe For Chickens?
Yes, the skin of the peach is safe for chickens to eat. The skins of a peach may not be your favorite part, but they are actually loaded with vitamins and minerals. Your chickens will have no problem pulling off pieces of the skin to swallow. The more ripe the peach, the thinner the skin, too. So don’t worry about them being unable to digest it — your chickens will be just fine.
Is The Peach Seed Safe For Chickens to Eat?
No, you should never give peach pits to chickens. Some fruits, including peaches, have pits that contain amygdalin, which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide during digestion.
Now, you don’t have to freak out if your chicken accidentally swallows a piece of the peach pit. The amounts of amygdalin are small, and so your chicken would have to eat a lot more than a nibble to actually get sick.
However, that does not mean you should let your guard down. Avoid any chance of your chickens getting poisoned by removing the stones prior to giving your chickens peaches.
The Benefit of Peaches for Chickens
Peaches are nutritious. A single medium-sized fruit contains only 50 calories, which include 13 grams of sugar and 15 grams of carbohydrates. Fat and protein are also available in small amounts, about 1-2 grams each.
Take a peek at the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients available in peaches that make them amazing:
The juice in peaches is a wonderful way to quench your flock’s thirst. Peaches are high in water content, and so they are also a good fruit for freezing in the summertime.
Fiber is necessary for a couple of things. First, fiber helps with digestion and satiety, warding off obesity. Both soluble and insoluble fiber help your chicken with constipation and diarrhea, as well.
Peaches may not have the same amount of potassium as bananas, but they are a good source of the mineral. Potassium is needed for cell functioning. It also helps protect your flock against high blood pressure, stroke, and kidney issues.
Plant-based collagen from peaches is a great way to keep your chickens healthy. Collagen is also needed for wound recovery.
This powerful antioxidant is responsible for a great number of things in people and animals. Not only does it boost your immune system, it is also necessary for generating collagen. Your chickens can always use a shot of vitamin C to protect them from nasty diseases and illnesses.
How to Give Peaches to Your Flock
Wondering how to give a peach or two to your feathered friends? Here are some examples, some more amusing than others:
Give Them a Whole Peach
One of the easiest ways to give your chickens a peach is to provide them with whole ones. The only thing you are going to want to remove is the stone, which can be a little messy. Once you have scooped out the core, toss the peach to your chickens. Optionally, you can hold a whole peach between your fingers and let your chickens peck at it until they have reached the toxic pit. Then simply throw the remnants away.
Diced Up Peaches
Another way to offer peaches is to dice them up. It doesn’t matter if you leave the skins on. Dicing up the peaches makes it easier to remove the pit and monitor how much of the fruit each chicken is eating. Put the fruit on a pan instead of the ground. Otherwise, dirt will stick to the fruit, ruining it.
Avoid store-bought canned peaches, unless they are packaged only in water or unsweetened fruit juice. Anything else will have far too much sugar added in. Even if you rinsed it off, your chickens do not need that kind of sugar in their diet.
Mixed Fruit Salad
If you have other fruits and vegetables laying around that you are not going to use, consider making a mixed salad. Add in the diced peaches, berries, cooked beans or grains, leafy greens, and other foods that are safe for chickens to eat. This is an excellent way to boost your flock’s overall health.
If your chickens free range, you can leave hidden caches of peaches around the yard for them to find. This encourages their foraging behaviors and adds a touch of fun to their day. Again, you will want to put the peaches somewhere that won’t get the food contaminated. Keep an eye out for any predators or rodents that may be attracted to the fruit.
On a hot summer day, frozen fruits that contain a lot of juice are a delicacy, especially to your chickens. You can add a couple pieces of frozen peaches to the water bowl for your chickens to peck, or you can let the frozen peaches thaw a little before putting the sections on a plate. Your chickens will love being able to cool down and stay hydrated at the same time.
How Much Peach to Give Your Chickens
Now that you know that yes, chickens can eat peaches, the next question to follow is how much is too much. Like all treats, chickens should only be allowed to have fruit in moderation. A chicken’s diet should be 90% high-quality feed. The remaining 10% is a variety of treats.
As such, you should give your chickens a small serving of peaches only a few times a week. Too much will lead to weight gain and other health concerns.
Final Thoughts on Peaches for Chickens
Can chickens eat peaches? The answer is yes. Peaches — minus the stone or pit — are a supremely healthy treat that will benefit your entire flock. Chickens need many of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in peaches. Since peaches contain a lot of water, they are also an ideal fruit to give your chickens whenever the temperature starts to rise outside. Just remember that anything sugary, even natural fruit, must be given to your flock in moderation.
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.