What about dried raisins and sultanas? As nice as it is to give our friendly pet chickens some lovely treats, maybe we should check to see if it is safe for chickens to eat grapes before we give them too many to eat!
Fortunately, it is safe for chickens to eat grapes, and raisins. However, we need to remember that these are very sweet treats, and that is why we humans like to eat them almost as much as chickens love to eat grapes.
Can chickens eat grapes and is it safe?
So what this means is that while it is okay to give treats to our pet chickens, we need to remember that a balanced healthy diet is the most important thing to keep chickens healthy. Treat can be given as long as they are in moderation, and the remainder of the diet is full of healthy and varied food sources.
Do chickens like to eat grapes?
I can say absolutely – yes! I included some old grapes in my kitchen scraps recently, but it was the first time my chickens had experienced grapes. It took them a while to pluck up the courage to try one, but as soon as one chicken pickup up a grape and ran away with it, the whole flock chased after. It was quite comical until they realized there was enough for everyone!
The other thing to consider is that chickens have no teeth, so they are unable to chew on their food. Instead, chickens are quite adept at grabbing their food and eating it whole, to be digested at a later date. The trouble with that concept is that they need to be able to digest the grape before it passes through their system otherwise it is basically zero food value, and causes a risk of blocking the digestive tract, especially if the chicken gets too many grapes all at once.
The best way to do it is to limit the number of grapes provided as part of the treat, and if possible, the grapes should be roughly chopped or split such that the chicken can peck the grape to pieces, and digest the pieces rather than ingest a whole grape. Fortunately, chickens love to eat all of the various parts of the grape, from the stems, the seeds, the flesh and even the skin are all extremely yummy for pet chickens, so splitting up the grapes into pieces is the best way to go! It’s a bit like the question – can chickens eat watermelon – they love to eat the whole thing!
Should Chickens Eat Grapes?
This is a difficult question that can best be answered by considering what might happen in nature. Because chickens are completely opportunistic by nature, they are likely to scavenge for all types of food, and whatever they will come across, they will grab and swallow. This means they are unlikely to have come across a single source of food in nature, and even in domestic situations, they are more healthy when they have a balanced diet with a broad spread of healthy food sources.
This is why we recommend that sweet treats such as grapes be provided as a treat for chickens, but only as a part of a varied healthy diet, and not to the exclusion of other foods. This is the best way to keep your chickens healthy and to avoid any food or digestion related problems which can be very serious for poor little chickens.
Can Chickens Eat Raisins?
I am not sure why you would need to feed raisins or sultanas to chickens, other than for a special treat on a special occasion. But the answer is yes, chickens love to eat these types of sweet treats, and it can certainly by nice to reward them with a special treat and watch the way they excitedly chase around to grab every possible morsel.
The problem is to limit the amount to a small amount for each chicken, and to make sure that one particularly greedy individual doesn’t snaffle the whole lot before the others get a chance to join it on the party!
If one chicken does manage to steal the whole lot, they will almost certainly regret it, leading to digestion problems, at least in the short term, but maybe more seriously as well. Unfortunately, animals just don’t know how to self limit themselves when it comes to eating, and will likely do so until they get sick. So it is up to us to look after our pet chickens and keep them from harm, especially when it comes to over eating sweet food.
The best thing to do is follow the standard diet guidelines to make sure your chickens stay happy. You will have much stronger and healthier chickens who continue to lay healthy eggs for many years to come.
Click here to read more information about how to keep chickens healthy.