Lots of people love to give fruit and table scraps to their chickens.
But not all foods are safe for chickens to eat.
You may be wondering, can chickens eat pineapple?
The short answer is, yes.
However, pineapples are acidic and very high in sugar so you need to be careful.
Keep reading below to learn how to safely feed your chickens pineapple, including portion sizes, whether chickens eat pineapple skin, and much more…
Contents and Quick Navigation
Can Chickens Eat Pineapple?
In short, yes, chickens can eat pineapple.
But only when certain guidelines are followed.
First, chickens can only eat the soft, juicy flesh of the pineapple. This is the same part of the pineapple that you and I enjoy eating.
Secondly, chickens can only eat a small amount of pineapple at a given time. You should give them pineapple as an occasional treat. Just like how eating too much candy is bad for children, eating too much pineapple is bad for chickens.
Ideally you should feed your flock pineapple once or twice a week. If your chickens eat pineapple more often than this, it could irritate their stomach and cause health problems.
Finally, you should only feed your chickens ripe pineapple. Overripe and underripe pineapples are too acidic for them to eat.
If you can follow all of these guidelines, you can feed pineapple to your backyard flock without problems.
Do Chickens Like Pineapple?
Every chicken is an individual that will have their own preferences for what foods they do and do not enjoy eating.
That being said, most chickens love pineapple.
It is a sweet, delicious fruit that is high in sugar. This makes pineapple an incredibly tasty snack that is fun to peck at and eat. For some chickens, it will be their favorite treat!
The only part of the pineapple that most chickens will eat is the flesh. They may sample other parts of the pineapple such as the core, rind, and skin, but after a few pecks they tend to move on to the much tastier pineapple flesh.
Chickens are very picky about pineapples being ripe. They are very smart creatures and instinctually know that overripe and underripe pineapples are not good for them. If you do try to feed your flock an underripe or overripe pineapple, you can expect your chickens to ignore it.
Is Pineapple Good for Chickens?
You might be wondering what the health benefits of feeding chickens pineapple are.
If fed in the right amounts, pineapple can have numerous health benefits.
Pineapple contains a lot of Vitamin C which is known for boosting their immune system and providing antioxidant activity. Although chickens can make their own Vitamin C, giving them extra Vitamin C still provides benefits, especially in hotter climates.
Manganese is another nutrient in pineapple that chickens benefit from. It plays a key role in helping their metabolism, allowing for greater energy supply. It also is good for growth, bone health, and solid eggshells.
Another wonderful nutrient that pineapples contain is Bromelain. This enzyme increases food digestibility and decreases the amount of harmful bacteria in their stomach.
Pineapple can also help keep the parasitic worm load in your chickens low.
Overall, pineapple has many health benefits for chickens when fed in moderation, including strengthening the immune system, providing protection from oxidants and harmful gut bacteria, increased digestion of food, improved bone health, increased energy supply, solid eggshells, and protection against worms.
However, when fed in excess pineapple can be quite harmful to chickens as it is very acidic and can cause digestive distress.
How To Feed Pineapple To Chickens
Pineapple can be served to chickens in a variety of ways.
Serving fresh pineapple is the easiest way to treat your chickens.
First, you need to make sure that the pineapple is ripe. Overripe and underripe pineapples are more acidic than ripe pineapples and can cause health problems if eaten.
Ripe pineapples are either yellow or yellow-green and have a deliciously sweet smell. Underripe pineapples have no smell while overripe pineapples smell bad. The skin of a ripe pineapple is firm but has a little bit of give when you squeeze it.
Once you know that your pineapple is ripe, there are many different ways you can serve it to your chickens.
The easiest way to give pineapple to your flock is to cut off a thin slice for them to peck at.
Another fun way to feed pineapple to your flock is to hang it up.
You will need to skin it, cut out the core, and pull a rope through the hole left behind. Tie a knot at the bottom of the pineapple so that the pineapple cannot fall off the rope.
Next, tie the top of the rope to something so that the pineapple hangs in the air at a height that your chickens can easily reach. If you choose to serve pineapple with this fun method, just make sure that you have enough chickens eating the pineapple so no single chicken gets too much pineapple.
|Moldy||Never feed your chickens moldy or rotten pineapple. Mold spores contain toxins that can harm your chickens.|
|Frozen||Frozen pineapple is a great snack for hot summer days. Cut the pineapple into cubes that are about 3/4th the size of the cubes in your ice cube tray. Place the pineapple chunks into the ice cube tray and fill with water. Freeze overnight for a tasty cold treat to entertain your chickens the next day.|
|Dried||Dried pineapple is another option for your chickens. It is less acidic than fresh pineapple, which means it is harder to feed too much to your chickens. Another benefit to dried pineapple is that it can be stored for longer without spoiling.|
Which Part of the Pineapple Can Chickens Not Eat?
Chickens should not be fed the crown, core, or skin (rind) of the pineapple.
- The crown of the pineapple is the top of the pineapple, including the leaves. Underneath the leaves, it is hard and spiky. There is a chance that your chickens will injure themselves on the hard spikes if they peck at them.
- The core is the tougher, innermost area of the pineapple. It contains a ton of fibers that chickens have trouble digesting. In extreme cases, chickens can eat too much fiber and end up with a blockage in their digestive tract. The core of the pineapple also contains higher amounts of bromelain. While a little bit of bromelain can have health benefits, too much can give your chickens upset stomachs.
- The rind is the tougher, blander part of the pineapple between the skin and the flesh. Both the rind and the skin should not be eaten by chickens as they contain too much indigestible fiber.
Tips on Feeding Chickens Pineapple
Remember that pineapple should only be fed to your chickens as a treat.
Just like how eating too much candy can be bad for you, feeding your chickens too much pineapple is bad for their health. Follow the tips below to feed your chickens the perfect amount of pineapple.
You should only feed them pineapple 1-2 times per week.
Never feed them pineapple multiple days in a row.
As for portion sizes, the pineapple should be around 5% of their daily food.
This means you can feed an average chicken 1-2 pineapple chunks each as a treat.
For example, if you normally give your chicken 100g of feed each day, you should only give that chicken 5 grams of pineapple, which is a little more than a teaspoon. The beautiful thing about this method is that it works for both standard and bantam breeds despite their different sizes.
You should also keep in mind that every chicken is an individual.
Our guidelines are based off of the average chicken. If your chicken is more sensitive to pineapple than most, you should feed them less pineapple. Some chickens may not tolerate pineapple at all. If one of your chickens had a bad reaction to eating pineapple, then you should stop feeding them pineapple.
Can Pineapple Be Bad for Chickens?
Have you ever eaten so much pineapple in one sitting that your stomach hurts?
Well, the same thing can happen to your chickens.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain. While eating a little bit of bromelain can have good health benefits, eating too much is painful. Only feed the recommended amount of pineapple to your chickens to avoid this issue. Too much bromelain may also lead to an upset stomach.
It also does not help that pineapples are acidic.
Eating too much acidic food can irritate their digestive tract. This is also why you should never feed your chicken a pineapple that is overripe or underripe; they are much more acidic than a ripe pineapple. Between the acidity and the bromelain, the digestive issues caused by eating too much pineapple can cause diarrhea.
Part of the reason why pineapples taste so delicious is their high sugar content. Frequently feeding your chickens high sugar foods such as pineapple puts them at greater risk of obesity and related diseases such as diabetes.
One last thing to keep in mind is that all chickens are individuals.
There may be some chickens that experience sensitivities to pineapple. Most commonly, chickens that are sensitive to pineapple experience digestive issues. If you have a chicken like this in your flock, you should not feed that individual chicken pineapple.
You can tell if a chicken is having digestive issues if their droppings are different (either in frequency or consistency).
Overall, pineapple can make a healthy addition to your chickens’ diet providing you do not over feed them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do pineapples give chickens diarrhea?
Chickens will not get diarrhea when you feed them the right amount of pineapple (5% or less of their total food for the day).
However, if you feed your chickens too much pineapple then it can give them diarrhea.
It is important to make sure you only give your chickens a small amount of pineapple as an occasional treat to prevent them from getting diarrhea.
Are pineapples toxic to chickens?
Pineapple is not toxic to chickens.
It is perfectly safe for chickens to eat as long as you only feed it to them as an occasional treat.
If you feed your chickens too much pineapple then it may result in an upset stomach.
What happens if you overfeed your chickens with too much pineapple?
Overfeeding your chicken with too much pineapple can cause short-term digestive problems such as indigestion or diarrhea. Long-term health problems such as obesity and diabetes may develop if you feed your chicken too much pineapple over a long period of time.
Pineapple can be a wonderful treat for your flock.
You just need to make sure not to overfeed them!
Give them around 5% or less of their daily food as pineapple, and only feed them pineapple once or twice per week.
Remember to only feed your chickens the ripe flesh of the pineapple that you would eat yourself. If your chickens like to peck at the rind or core, then remove those parts to be on the safe side.
If you decide to feed your chickens pineapple then you will be rewarded with a yard full of the sounds of happy chickens enjoying their new favorite treat!
Do your chickens like pineapple? Let us know in the comments section below…