Green fruits and vegetables come to the upend when we think about chicken treats.
Yes, chickens love eating fruits and vegetables equivalent to cheat meals in humans. But, what about the cucumbers, which are readily available in summer? Can chickens eat cucumbers?
Chickens can eat cucumber(both fresh and old), and it does not have any harmful effects on chickens’ health. A full-size cucumber has approximately 96% water content, 45 calories, and many essential minerals like Potassium, Magnesium, and Manganese. However, it should keep in mind that most vegetables and fruits are deficient in energy, so they can only be added as a supplement to the chicken’s feed.
In this blog, you will get answers to your different questions about cucumbers as chicken feed, the health benefits of cucumbers for chickens, how we can add cucumbers to our chicken’s diet, and many more.
So let’s go to some basic questions.
Can chickens eat raw cucumbers?
Yes, chickens can eat raw cucumbers. Like the table scrap, raw cucumber is a fascination for chickens. Besides the taste of the treat, different colorful things are the source of attraction for chickens.
To see how much chickens like raw green cucumber, slice a cucumber and toss it in front of your flock! You will see them scrambling and competing for their share.
Can chickens eat old cucumbers? Apart from green cucumbers, chicken equally loves yellow cucumbers.
If you find an overripe yellow cucumber in your fridge and don’t want to eat it. It may have a slightly odd taste for you, but the waste bin is not its place! You can use it as a treat for your poultry birds to get some affection. It also certifies the maximum recycling of vegetable waste.
Can baby chickens eat cucumbers?
Baby chickens have different nutritional needs as compared to mature chickens. Growing baby chickens needs more energy and mineral supplements in their diet and have a more efficient metabolism. We should feed them anything by keeping these facts in mind.
Baby chickens can consume cucumbers. However, it should be considered as a treat supplementing the staple feed. Poultry nutritionists make the commercial staple feed for chicken so that feed can meet growth requirements.
If cucumbers are making the major portion of a chick diet, they may not provide sufficient energy for its growing nutritional requirements, consequently; leads to poor growth and health problems. That’s why It is recommended to feed cucumbers to chickens after 3 to 4 months of age.
Do chickens like cucumbers?
Chickens are curious creatures; every different and colorful thing encourages their curiosity. It may be anything; chickens will come up to explore it. And if it is something edible, you will find your chickens coming around you from nowhere!
Vegetables like spinach and fruits like cucumber (yes, it’s a fruit) are on the upfront as chicken treats. Chickens love to eat cucumbers. Especially, chickens like to pick the seeds of fruit and its internal soft flesh.
Nutrition Facts of Cucumber
According to USDA, a 301gram (8.25″) unpeeled raw cucumber has the following nutritional profile:
|Vitamin c||8.43 mg|
|Beta carotene||135 mcg|
|Vitamin k||49.4 mcg|
Health Benefits of Cucumbers for Chickens
It’s wise to consider the impact of feed on your chickens’ health aside from how much they love and crave that food. Cucumbers can have many health benefits for chickens.
- High water content in cucumber can be very beneficial, especially on hot summer days. If you feed a cold cucumber to your chickens, it will help hydrate and keep them from the effects of a harsh environment.
- As cucumber is rich in different vitamins, it is an excellent source to improve the immunity of chickens against various diseases.
- Cucumbers also have plenty of micro and macro minerals. By adding in chicken feed, cucumber can supplement essential minerals, directly helping their growth and egg production.
How Many Cucumbers Should You Feed Your Chickens?
You should provide cucumbers as treats to chickens, and it is evident that when we offer treats, chickens spend most of their time enjoying them, ignoring their staple feed. There is a thumb rule that treats should not be provided more than 10% of your chicken diet, so the cucumbers too.
How do you feed chickens cucumbers?
- It’s recommended to feed unpeeled cucumbers to your chickens to get the maximum nutritional benefits.
- Wash them before offering because cucumbers can have some pesticide residues left on them.
- Slice cucumber lengthwise, exposing the soft flesh and seeds so that chickens can start from their best part.
- Put these sliced cucumbers in the favorite pot of chickens.
Should you include cucumbers in the daily diet of your chicken?
Cucumbers have up to 96% water content that can cause large watery poops in chickens when given in excess. So cucumber is not harmful to chickens when given in limited quantity. However, it is recommended to offer cucumbers to chickens with certain gap days, and the amount should be limited as a treat.
Can chickens eat cucumber peels?
Yes, chickens can also eat cucumber peels. It may be given individually or mixed in the table scrap. However, cucumber peels do not have an equivalent amount of nutrients as compared to the inner flesh.
Can chickens eat cucumber leaves?
Cucumber leaves contain Cucurbitin, an amino acid that acts as an anti-nutritional factor and is associated with degenerative problems of reproductive organs. So leaves of cucumber should be avoided as chicken feed. However, the amount of cucurbitin in cucumbers is not fatally high.
Can chickens eat cucumber seeds?
Yes, you can feed your chickens cucumber seeds because they are safe and have high energy compared to the cucumber flesh.
Can chickens eat cucumber vines?
Cucumber vines also contain Cucurbitin like cucumber leaves. However, the amount is not that high, which can be dangerous for chickens. So chickens can eat cucumber vines.
Can chickens eat cucumber beetles?
If you raise chickens and also grow cucumber vines in your backyard, it’s a good match. Chickens love to eat insects and even their larva. So your chickens can protect your cucumber vines from beetles and their larva without costing any ill effects.
Chickens can eat cucumbers, and feeding treats like cucumbers is a better way of supplementing their diet with vitamins and minerals. It is also a good way to use your extra veggies and fruits to reduce commercial chicken feed costs. At the same time, it increases the love and affection of chickens for you.
Make sure that the chicken diet is well-balanced with moderation in treats to avoid any health problems.