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 contains vitamins such as A, B6 & C. These are essential vitamins for chickens, but ripe bananas are also full of sugars, so they should only be given as a treat. We give our 2 rescue chickens 1 banana per week, so why is a 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 groups 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 vital to maintain a chicken’s egg-laying performance. Maintaining average body metabolic activities and meeting physiological requirements like laying eggs is required.
What minerals does a banana contain?
Bananas also contain some minerals that are good for chickens and their health, mainly magnesium, iron & niacin. They contain other trace elements, but these three are the leading contenders.
Magnesium is essential for the chicken’s body to digest calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for egg development and other cellular metabolic processes.
Iron is an essential mineral for all living things, playing important roles in oxygen and electron transport and 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 can eat banana skins, although not all chickens will unless cut into small pieces. Banana skins/peels can be very fibrous and hard for a chicken to eat unless chopped. However, it is worth the effort as the banana peel also holds the minerals and vitamins we discussed.
Can I feed my chooks a whole banana?
Yes, you can! Chickens are big fans of overripe bananas, a tasty, sweet and quickly eaten food. 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 chooks eat?
Bananas can be very high in natural sugars, so they should only be given to chickens as a treat. We feed our chickens around half an over-ripe banana per week. This is a great supplement when given as part of a balanced diet. It would be best to always have suitable feed available to your chickens.
What to do with the leftover banana peels? You could always make them into Banana Peel Fertiliser for your plants!