A famous rule of thumb among chicken owners states that if you can eat it, your chicken can probably eat it too.
But, although it’s a good rule to follow so long as every food is only given in moderation, there are a few exceptions.
Of course, every chicken owner wants to provide their chooks with a versatile and healthy diet. But, rumors have been circulating that citrus fruits should be completely avoided in a chicken’s diet.
So where do clementines fit into the mix?
Here we explore whether chickens can eat clementines, whether citrus is truly bad for chickens, and what you should know about feeding clementines and other citrus fruits to chickens.
Can Chickens Eat Clementines?
If you’ve accidentally overstocked your supply of sweet and juicy clementines, then it’s only natural you start to wonder if your flock can have some too!
The good news is chickens can safely eat small amounts of clementine fruit. But, just like anything, clementines should only be fed to your chickens in moderation.
This is especially true for feeding any kind of citrus fruits to your chickens. Too much citrus is considered unhealthy for chickens, but small doses are absolutely safe.
In moderation, chickens can enjoy the taste, antioxidants, and vitamins that clementines offer, without any nasty side effects. The same goes for chickens eating mandarins too!
It’s important to note though, not all chickens will like the taste of clementines or other citrus fruits, and many will avoid them entirely.
What About Clementine Peel, Piff, Or Seeds?
Although the fruit of the clementine is considered the healthiest for chickens consumption, there is no danger to your chickens if they’ve eaten small amounts of clementine peel, piff, or even any seeds.
In saying that, Clementine peel doesn’t really offer nutritional value to your chooks, so it’s best not to leave it out in the yard. It might also inadvertently attract some unwanted pests and predators.
Is Citrus Bad For Chickens?
When it comes to the diet of chickens, there are a lot of opinions about what’s considered healthy and what’s not.
There’s a lot of chatter in the chicken-keeping community that the acidity and excessive Vitamin C in citrus fruits like clementines or oranges are actually bad for chickens, as well as other poultry too.
But, it’s no secret that Vitamin C is an important factor for a laying hen’s health and egg production.
Plus, clementines and other citrus fruits have a whole host of other benefits for your chook’s overall health and well-being, including:
- Fiber: for help with digestion
- Vitamin C: a powerful antioxidant for immunity
- Potassium & Calcium: helping with egg production and eggshell formation
- Vitamin E: for general health and wellbeing
Of course, there may be some unwanted side effects if your chickens were to overconsume citrus fruits, due to the high acidity and sugar content, just like with many other foods too. But, in any small and moderate amount, citrus is not known to be harmful to chickens!
Feeding Your Chickens Clementines
Remember, the key rule to feeding any healthy table scraps to your chickens: all foods in moderation.
The same can be said for feeding clementines or other citrus fruits to your chickens.
The best approach is to first peel your clementines and dispose of the peel. It really doesn’t offer your chooks much nutritional value, and they don’t seem to like it anyway.
Then, you can either offer your flock a few pieces of the fruit as a treat or cut it up into smaller chunks and add it to your next fruit and vegetable mix!
Everybody loves a good variety in their diet — chickens too!
By feeding your flock healthy fruits and vegetables as treats or as a weekly or biweekly meal you can bolster their nutrient and keep them happy.
In small amounts, clementines are absolutely safe for chickens to eat, and even provide them with some healthy nutrients too.
So, although you shouldn’t go overboard feeding your chickens citrus fruits, small amounts here and there won’t cause any harm!