Can Chickens Eat Strawberries?

Can Chickens Eat Strawberries Featured Image
Chickens can eat strawberries but only in small amounts due to the high sugar content. It's best to dice strawberries and remove the leaves, stems and tops.

Backyard chickens are well-known to love strawberries, but is it safe to include them in your chicken’s diet regularly?

If your flock of chickens enjoys strawberries, it’s important to know what strawberries contain and how they affect the health of your birds, so you can make an informed decision on whether to include these summer berries in your chicken’s diet.

Is it Safe for Chickens to Eat Strawberries?

It is safe for chickens to eat fresh strawberries as an occasional treat on a hot summer day as part of a balanced diet.

However, due to the high sugar concentration of these berries, it is important to limit the amount you provide to them – high-sugar fruits should not make up more than 5 to 10% of your chicken’s diet.

The best way to feed chickens strawberries is to wash the berries, and then chill them to help cool down your birds on a hot day. Dice the berries so your chickens can easily eat them – whole berries are difficult for your birds to consume.

Chickens can’t chew their food as they don’t have teeth, so they will often scoop food into their beak and swallow it whole. You will want to ensure strawberries are cut into small pieces for easy consumption, especially for baby chicks.

chopping strawberries on chopping board
While time-consuming, it’s best to cut strawberries into smaller pieces, even for fully-grown hens

It is important to thoroughly check for rotten food and never feed moldy strawberries to your chickens as it can be deadly to them.

See Also:  What Can Chickens Not Eat? (14 Dangerous Foods)

Be sure to thoroughly wash any strawberries you plan to give your chickens to remove pesticides that may be on the outside of the fruit.

Some chicken owners have reported that they don’t feed strawberries to their chickens because of possible solanine being contained in them. This neurotoxin is present in nightshade plants, but there is little scientific evidence to support that strawberries contain solanine.

Is it Okay for Chickens to Eat Strawberry Leaves, Stems, and Tops?

No. Chickens should only be fed the actual berries as the leaves, stems and tops of the strawberry can make chickens sick. Certainly do not let them wander in your strawberry patch!

man feeding strawberries to chickens
Avoid feeding strawberries like this with the leaves and stem still attached.

If your chickens accidentally eat the leaves or stems, they will likely get sick. It is unlikely to kill them though unless they eat them in very high quantities.

What are the Health Benefits of Feeding Strawberries to Chickens?

Strawberries are known to help chickens from developing heart-related health problems such as high blood pressure.

Strawberries are wonderful for the immune system and contain antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin c, manganese, calcium, folate, magnesium and potassium.

Strawberries can reduce inflammation, improve blood sugar as a heart-healthy carbohydrate.

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.

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