Can Chickens Eat Watermelon? Benefits & Risks
Chickens can eat watermelons safely if you give your birds these fleshy and tasty fruits in moderation. Watermelons don’t have harmful elements like persin, which can harm your chickens’ health. Melons also have plenty of nutritional value in store for your chickens.
For instance, melons can help keep your chickens hydrated during hot months. Furthermore, these fruits have plenty of beneficial compounds and nutrients.
Benefits of Chickens Eating Watermelon
Watermelon is one of the most beneficial fruits for chickens. These fleshy, juicy fruit can provide your birds with many health benefits. These are among the multiple benefits of feeding watermelons to your chickens.
– Watermelon Can Keep Your Birds Hydrated
Dehydration is a serious issue in chickens, particularly during hot weather. Chickens facing dehydration stand a high risk of death. Without adequate hydration, your chickens won’t manage vital organ functions, including nutrient delivery and alertness.
Since melon boasts a high water content, it can give your birds the water they need for their organs to function properly. Because the fruit has 92% water content, it’s ideal for boosting your chickens’ daily water intake.
Because of its high water content, melon boasts an extremely low-calorie density. Therefore, your birds will meet their daily water intake without consuming plenty of calories if they eat melon frequently, especially on hot days.
Eating watermelon can help your chickens keep full for several hours; therefore, you won’t need to provide them with plenty of commercial feed.
– Watermelon Has Multiple Beneficial Plant Compounds and Nutrients
Watermelon is good for chickens because it has multiple nutrients. Some of the nutrients in this fruit include magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Chickens require such essential plant compounds and nutrients for optimal health.
Watermelon is also a plentiful source of a special amino acid called citrulline. This amino acid is especially beneficial for backyard chickens because it helps improve their physical performance while foraging outdoors.
Furthermore, melon has plenty of antioxidants, which help chickens combat free radicals, preventing the birds from succumbing to diseases due to free radical cell damage.
– Watermelon Helps Boost Heart Health in Chickens
Chickens, especially those in confinement, require good heart health for survival because they hardly walk around, so they are at risk of heart disease and weight gain. Heart disease is also a leading cause of chicken death. Factors such as diet can make your chicken susceptible to heart disease.
Watermelon has an essential component known as lycopene, which can help reduce your chickens’ risk of heart disease. Other healthy minerals and vitamins in watermelons that can protect your chickens from heart disease include potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A.
– Watermelon Can Prevent Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Chickens
Oxidative stress and inflammation are the leading causes of chicken deaths worldwide. Providing watermelon to your chickens can help reduce their oxidative stress and inflammation risk because this fruit has a blend of essential antioxidants.
Lycopene is a crucial antioxidant in watermelon that help combat inflammation and oxidative stress in chickens.
– Watermelon Can Improve Digestion in Chickens
Watermelon has lots of water. Furthermore, this fruit has a decent amount of fiber. Water and fiber are crucial for healthy digestion in chickens and all creatures.
The fiber in watermelon will keep your chickens’ bowels’ movements working accordingly, while water, on the other hand, will keep waste moving through your birds’ digestive system. Giving your chickens a few pieces of watermelon will help improve their digestion and prevent them from succumbing to digestive problems.
Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Yes, chickens can eat watermelon seeds because they are safe for chickens. Watermelon seeds have lots of minerals and nutrients. Furthermore, these seeds aren’t difficult for chickens to consume and digest because they are smaller and more edible than other fruits’ seeds.
Thus, you shouldn’t remove watermelon seeds from the watermelons while giving these fruits to your birds. Even young chickens can easily consume watermelon seeds because they are small and not as tough as mango seeds.
Do Chickens Eat Watermelon Rind?
Yes, chickens can eat watermelon rind because it isn’t hard for the birds to peck. Watermelon rinds are hard, and you should cut them into smaller pieces before giving them to your chickens. Nonetheless, avoid giving watermelon rinds to your baby chicks because it can be too hard for them.
Furthermore, wash the watermelon rinds first before feeding them to your chickens because giving the rinds without cleaning them properly can be detrimental. These rinds, especially from commercially-farmed watermelons, could have some pesticides that could potentially harm your chickens.
Thus, feeding the fleshy part of the watermelon to your chickens is helpful rather than providing them with watermelon rinds.
How to Feed Watermelon to Chickens?
Chickens love watermelons because they are some of their tastiest and best fruits. You can feed watermelons to your chickens in three ways. First, you can cut the watermelon into small pieces and give it directly to your birds to peck. The chickens will love pecking the juicy parts of the fruits as soon as they have them at their disposal.
Or, you can throw the watermelon to your chickens as a whole fruit, especially if you have so many adult chickens wanting a fruit to peck during the summer months.
However, this method of feeding watermelons to your chickens is suitable for adult chickens capable of pecking through the tough rind. Otherwise, baby chicks and other smaller hens won’t manage to peck at the fruit. Alternatively, consider mixing watermelon with chickens’ feed; they will like the sweet and juicy taste this fruit will add to their feed.
At What Age Can Chickens Have Watermelon?
Chickens of all ages can eat watermelon as long the fruit is ripe and juicy. Even five-week-old baby chicks can eat this fruit without struggle. Thanks to their strong digestive system, older chickens can consume whole watermelons and their rinds.
Feed Your Chickens a Balanced Diet
It’s good to provide melons to your chickens. However, it would be wise if you didn’t forget to give your chickens a balanced diet with as many crucial nutrients and minerals as possible.
Besides watermelon, your birds should eat a healthy diet with vitamins like vitamins C, D, E, and A. They should also get enough calcium and protein in their diet.
Chickens can eat watermelons because these fruits have so many nutritional benefits. These fruits are especially good for your chickens in hot weather because they can help keep the birds hydrated. Nonetheless, provide other healthy foods to your chickens apart from watermelons.