Yes, chickens CAN eat bananas and they love them! Get an over ripe banana, chuck it in with your chickens & it will be gone in minutes. Bananas can be very high in sugar so they should only be given as a treat.
Are bananas good or bad for chickens?
Banana is both good and bad for chickens, it is full of vitamins such as A, B6 & vitamin C. These are very important vitamins for chickens, but ripe bananas are also full of sugars so should only be given as a treat. We give our 2 rescue chickens 1 banana per week, so why is banana good for a chicken?
- Vitamin A helps chickens in growing strong & healthy as well as being essential for reproduction (Egg production). A lack of vitamin A may cause nutritional roup which is characterised by conjunctivitis like symptoms.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is essential to the metabolism of amino acids in chickens. A lack of vitamin B6 in chickens can cause muscle spasms.
- Vitamin C is important to maintain a chicken’s egg laying performance. It is required to maintain normal body metabolic activities and to meet physiological requirements like laying eggs.
Bananas also contain some minerals that are also good for chickens and their health, they contain mainly magnesium, iron & niacin. They also contain some other trace elements but these three are the main contenders.
- Magnesium is essential for the chicken’s body to be able to digest calcium and phosphorus which are important for egg development as well as other cellular metabolic processes.
- Iron is an essential mineral for all living things, playing important roles in oxygen and electron transport as well as in DNA synthesis.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) is also essential to most living organisms, Niacin is used by the body to convert various nutrients like fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into usable energy.
Can chickens eat banana peel?
Yes, they certainly can eat banana skins although not all chickens will unless it is cut into small pieces. Banana skins/peels can be very fibrous and hard for a chicken to eat unless chopped up. However it is worth the effort as the banana peel also holds the minerals and vitamins we have just discussed.
Can I feed my chickens a whole banana?
Yes you can! Chickens are a big fan of overripe bananas as they are a tasty, sweet and easily eaten food for them. I find the most effective way to feed a banana to a chicken is to throw in a whole unopened & ripe (soft) banana into their coop. This is how to feed bananas to your chickens.
The chickens have to work at opening the banana skin to get to the tasty middle, this means they have to work at the banana to get a reward. They also have to get through some of the skin which contains lots of the above vitamins and minerals.
How much banana can chickens eat?
Bananas can be very high in natural sugars so they should only be given to chickens as a treat. On average we feed our chickens around half an over ripe banana per week. This works as a great supplement when given as part of a balanced diet. You should always have a good feed available to your chickens.
What to do with the left over banana peels? You could always make them into Banana Peel Fertiliser for your plants!
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