Can Chickens Eat Bananas?

Can Chickens Eat Bananas Featured Image
Chickens can definitely eat bananas and banana peels, but only once or twice per week. Bananas are high in sugar and should only form a very small portion of a chickens diet.

We’ve all made the mistake of buying too much produce at the store. Bananas are one of the fruits that people tend to throw away the most.

Instead of throwing out those overripe bananas, why not feed bananas to your backyard chickens? Chickens are omnivores – so they should be able to consume bananas, right?

In this article, we will discuss whether it is safe to feed chickens bananas and banana peels as treats, how much is safe, and how to properly prepare this tasty treat so your chickens get the most health benefit from them.

Is it Safe for Chickens to Eat Bananas?

The answer to this most important question is yes – in moderation. Feeding backyard chickens bananas in limited amounts is okay as long as your chickens otherwise have a balanced diet.

pullet eating banana from hand

However, bananas should only be served once or twice a week and not in large amounts, and should never exceed 5 to 10% of what your chickens eat due to their high sugar content.

Chickens don’t have teeth and will often scoop mouthfuls of food into their beak and swallow it whole, so you want to ensure the food is cut into little pieces for easy swallowing.

See Also:  How Long Does it Take for a Chicken to Grow to Eating Size

Additionally, baby chicks will love bananas as a treat but they should be made mushy before offering it to them to avoid choking.

bowl of mushy bananas
Mushy bananas like this are ideal for baby chicks

You should also never serve moldy bananas to your chickens. Mold can cause all sorts of health problems and can even cause your birds to die.

Bananas should not be fed in large quantities, and you should avoid providing too much unripe or overripe bananas to chickens as that can negatively affect their crops though small quantities of either are okay.

Banana chips should not be fed to chickens as they are processed food and contain far too much sugar to be healthy. Organic bananas are better than non-organic due to the amount of pesticide used to grow them.

Can Chickens Eat Banana Peels?

Chickens can eat the whole banana as well as the banana peels as long as the peels are prepared properly. Banana peels can be difficult to eat as they are quite tough so you will need to chop these up.

Banana peels also contain pesticides long after they are picked, and special preparation is required before offering these peels to your chickens.

How do you Prepare Banana Peels for Chickens?

Unlike the fruit inside which can be fed to your chickens immediately, you have to prepare the banana peel prior to offering it to your chickens.

The first step is to thoroughly wash the banana peel to get rid of any pesticides. The next step is to boil the banana to soften it. Boil for a few minutes, and allow the banana peels to cool.

See Also:  What Do Chickens Eat? All Questions Answered
boiled bananas on table
This is what bananas look like after you’ve boiled them

After the peels cool, you will need to cut the peels into small pieces to make it easier for your birds to eat and enjoy.

If you have a garden, the water that you boiled your bananas in can be given to your plants. The nutrients will help your plants grow!

What Health Benefits do Bananas Provide for Chickens?

A backyard chicken who is given bananas occasionally in small quantities as part of a chicken’s diet will gain important boosts to their health. Bananas are a wonderful source of potassium and carbohydrates.

The fruit of the banana contains polyphenols and carotenoids, which are vital to the health of your birds.

Bananas also contain vitamin b6, vitamin C, vitamin b12, magnesium, and even calcium! All of these are important for chickens to consume and can help with eye health, nerve function, muscle strength and their nervous system as well as skin health!

Does Feeding Hens Bananas Affect Their Eggs?

Egg production can be affected when hens eat bananas because of the high potassium content. The extra potassium will help your hens lay eggs.

Bananas are not detrimental to the quality or quantity of the eggs you will receive from your hens.

Feeding your chickens bananas, and other fruits and veggies such as blueberries and cucumber, will help to ensure a well-balanced diet for your flock as well as great-tasting eggs!

Christina

A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

Recent Posts