Can Chickens Eat Oranges?

Chickens are omnivores, which means they eat animal and plant sources. Chickens love eating oranges, although they aren’t entirely herbivores. They like these fruits, especially when they are ripe.

Furthermore, oranges are great and healthy for domestic fowl like chickens. These fruits are excellent for chickens with an amino acid deficiency that makes chickens sick.

Are Oranges Good for Chickens?

Yes, oranges can be wonderful fruits for your chickens. They aren’t toxic for chickens. Although chickens don’t necessarily need oranges in their everyday diet, oranges are rich in vitamin C.

While chickens can make their own vitamin C, the vitamin C in oranges can give your flock a boost to keep its immune system robust. Besides having vitamin C, oranges are also rich in potassium and fiber, which are beneficial for chickens.

Benefits of Oranges for Chickens

Although oranges aren’t a staple food for chickens, these delicious fruits can benefit your chickens in several ways. These are some great benefits of oranges for your chickens.

– Oranges Pack Plenty of Vitamin C for Chickens

Oranges are a health powerhouse for chickens. They come with plenty of minerals and vitamins. The most vital vitamin in these fruits is vitamin C. This water-soluble vitamin is crucial for chickens because it blocks cell damage in a chicken’s body.

The natural vitamin C in oranges also has several benefits. For instance, it forms blood vessels, cartilage, collagen, and muscles in a chicken’s body.

Furthermore, the vitamin C in oranges also helps boost a chicken’s immune system, protecting the bird against pathogens and viruses. That’s why chickens that eat oranges have plenty of vitamin C in their bodies, and thus they are at low risk of succumbing to chicken diseases.

The vitamin C in oranges can also improve chickens’ iron absorption and fight anemia. Most importantly, the vitamin C in these fruits also has other crucial nutrients that help keep a chicken’s body healthy.

– Oranges Are Rich in Calcium

Calcium is essential for chickens alongside other domestic fowl. Studies show that oranges have around 55 milligrams of natural calcium. Chickens need calcium for strong bones. They also need calcium to maintain robust bone health.

Calcium is essential for layers because it helps hens produce eggs with firm shells. Oranges can be wonderful fruits to give young chickens at risk of developing a calcium deficiency, hence experiencing problems such as bone deformities and rickets. Thus, oranges can serve as great calcium supplements for chickens.

– Oranges are Rich in Potassium

Potassium is another crucial mineral for chickens of all ages. This mineral helps regulate muscle function and heartbeat in chickens. Since oranges are among the citrus fruits with a high potassium concentration, these fruits can be excellent potassium supplements for your flock.

The vast potassium content in these fruits can help protect your chickens from bone-related illnesses. Furthermore, the potassium in oranges can lower the effect of heat stress on your flock.

– Oranges Are Rich in Thiamine

Thiamine is one of the essential vitamins in oranges that is crucial for a chicken’s health development and growth. This mineral helps promote cell growth and boost energy levels in chickens.

Although thiamine deficiencies in chickens are rare, some chickens, especially those that don’t get enough vitamin B in their diet, are at risk of thiamine deficiency.

Besides boosting growth and development in chickens and boosting metabolic supply in poultry, thiamine also helps strengthen a chicken’s immune system and boost a chicken’s body functions.

Some of the symptoms of thiamine deficiency in chickens, which should encourage you to give more oranges to your flock, include loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, lethargy, weakness, and fatigue.

– Oranges Are Nutritional Powerhouses for Chickens

One orange contains more nutrients than other food items you introduce to your flock. For instance, oranges contain a decent amount of calories, sugars, fiber, carbs, healthy fats, and vitamins.

These fruits have the most negligible concentration of water and carbs compared to most fruits. They also have an insignificant amount of fat, meaning your chickens won’t become obese from eating oranges.

Because oranges have a high amount of fiber, these fruits can help improve your chicken’s digestive system. Thus, your flock won’t suffer from digestive problems like constipation and diarrhea because the fiber in oranges will eliminate such issues.

The folate in oranges is crucial for chickens because it boosts their metabolism. Furthermore, folate improves a chicken’s reproductive organs and other critical processes that occur in a chicken’s body.

The nutrient is essential for baby chicks during early development because it helps lower their risk of physical defects as they grow older.

– Oranges Lower the Risk of Heart Disease in Chickens

Like humans, chickens also suffer from heart disease. Many plant compounds and nutrients in oranges, such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C, can help lower your flock’s risk of heart disease. Thus, giving oranges to your flock can be the best natural way to reduce heart disease risk.

Can Chickens Eat Moldy Oranges?

No, chickens won’t eat moldy oranges. Anything stale is dangerous for chickens, including moldy oranges. Moldy oranges have harmful bacteria that can wreck your chickens’ health.

Plus, moldy oranges can expose your chickens to digestive problems like diarrhea. Consequently, chickens should strictly consume ripe and fresh oranges because they are nutritious, delicious, and healthy.

Can Chickens Eat Orange Peels and Seeds?

Most chickens aren’t so much into orange peels and seeds. However, chickens can eat orange peels and seeds because they are safe for the birds. Orange peels, for instance, have loads of vitamins, including vitamin C.

They also have fiber to keep your chickens’ digestive problems at bay. Nonetheless, most chickens don’t like whole orange peels. Instead, they prefer eating the orange peels in small pieces. Other chickens also don’t like the taste of orange peels, so they will go for the fresh part of an orange rather than peels.

While orange seeds aren’t bad for chickens, most chickens will have a hard time swallowing the seeds, especially young chickens. Therefore, orange seeds may not necessarily be suitable for chickens.

Can Baby Chicks Eat Oranges?

Yes, baby chicks can eat oranges, but unlike adult chickens, they don’t like these fruits. Furthermore, unripe oranges can be tough on baby chicks, although ripe oranges are lovely for baby chicks. Kindly cut oranges into tiny pieces before giving them to your baby chicks.

How to Feed Oranges to Your Chickens?

Here are some ideas on how to feed oranges to your chickens-

  • Peel the oranges before feeding them to your flock because chickens don’t have teeth to tear through the tough orange peels. Giving whole oranges to your chickens may not be helpful because they won’t consume the fruits.
  • Cut the peeled oranges into small pieces and give them to your chickens
  • Mix the small orange pieces with chicken feed.

Other Types of Citruses Chickens Can Eat

Chickens are lovers of citrus fruits. While your flock will enjoy pecking at oranges, there are several types of citrus fruits that are excellent for chickens. These are other types of citrus fruits that your chickens can eat.

  • Lemons– Like oranges, lemons are good for chickens for several reasons. First, they have loads of vitamin C, which will ultimately help boost your flock’s immunity. Lemons are also rich in fiber, which will boost your chicken’s digestive system. Furthermore, lemons and their peels have other essential nutrients, including vitamin B, potassium, and folate, which are beneficial for domestic fowl.
  • Grapefruits –Grapefruits are wonderful citrus fruits with high amounts of carotenoids, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. All these can help protect a chicken’s body against many health problems.
  • Limes– Limes are nutritious for chickens as oranges are for your birds. They have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C than most citruses. Limes also have potent antioxidants that help chickens fight off inflammation and several health problems.


Oranges are excellent fruits for chickens. These fruits will provide your flock with several health benefits. They will also refresh your chickens, especially in summer. Even so, oranges aren’t a staple for many chickens, so they aren’t the only food items suitable for chickens.

Your flock should consume other foods, including vegetables, chicken feed, bugs, and plant material. Furthermore, your chickens should consume oranges in moderation.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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