There’s not a lot of food that chickens won’t eat. But, it’s our responsibility as chicken owners to be sure we are only offering our chooks foods that are going to benefit them, and not put them at risk.
When it comes to foods like peanut butter, it can be hard to immediately judge whether it’s going to be healthy for chickens, or even be safe for chickens to eat.
Here we present all the facts and weigh up whether chickens can really eat peanut butter, if it’s safe, what benefits it has, and what you need to be aware of before feeding it to your flock.
Can Chickens Eat Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter comes in all different shapes and sizes, from crunchy to smooth to organic, natural, or ordinarily processed.
In every case, peanut butter is absolutely safe for chickens to eat. That is, it doesn’t contain any toxic substances, or ingredients considered unhealthy for chickens to eat in moderation.
One thing to note, however, is that peanut butter is very high in fat, and subsequently, calories. Although this fat content is high, it’s actually monounsaturated fat which is much better for your chickens to eat.
Nonetheless, peanut butter isn’t made for chickens, and won’t cover their essential nutritional requirements. For this reason, peanut butter should only ever be given to chickens as a treat, and only in small, normal amounts.
Note: the more natural or organic the peanut butter is, the healthier it will be for your chickens.
What Are The Nutritional Benefits of Peanut Butter For Chickens?
Just to be clear, peanut butter is generally high in fat and carbohydrates, making it a very high-calorie food for chickens to eat. Always serve peanut butter to your chickens sparingly, only as a rare treat or as part of a fruit and vegetable mix for them.
But, if you do serve it to your chickens in moderation you’d be surprised at the numerous health benefits that peanut butter can provide for your feathery friends.
For starters, peanut butter is rich in minerals that can improve bone strength and development and egg production. These nutritious minerals include:
In addition to that, peanut butter is filled with vitamins. The following vitamins can also boost your chickens’ bone health. Not to mention, they boost the functions of their reproductive, digestive, and respiratory systems.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic acid
Let’s not forget that peanut butter tastes delicious. Just another reason your chickens will love you for it.
This doesn’t mean you should blindly feed your chickens peanut butter. But in moderation, it means your chickens can get the health benefits, without any potential risks.
How To Serve Peanut Butter To Chickens?
One of the best ways to serve peanut butter to your little buddies is to make a trail mix of it. There are countless mixes you can create inspired by whatever chicken-safe foods you have at home.
This is one of our favorite peanut butter trail mix recipes:
- Add a teaspoon of peanut butter for every chicken you own.
- Add 2-3 of your favorite chicken-safe seeds. Chia seeds, poppy seeds, safflower seeds, or flax seeds are all brilliant. Just a handful of each is perfect.
- You can other grains or even chickpeas too.
- Stir and mix all the ingredients together into one slightly sticky pile of seeds.
- Serve this to your chickens for an instant protein boost, filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
What’s even better about this kind of recipe is that you can blend in any supplements you want to give to your chickens too, so long as they are considered healthy.
Just make sure you don’t give your chickens this treat every day, but rather as an occasional snack, or fortnightly meal.
Can Chickens Eat Raw Peanuts?
If you don’t have peanut butter but you have peanuts around, then you may be thinking if you can simply give them whole raw peanuts to eat.
Well, although the shell can be quite tough for a chicken’s beak, chickens can safely eat raw peanuts from the shell to the nut.
Usually, they will avoid the shell entirely, but if they eat a bit of it then there is no harm done.
Similarly, chickens can eat pecans, chickens can eat hazelnuts too, and a range of other nuts too. Just like peanuts, they are considered healthy in small doses.
To Wrap It Up
So long as it’s only fed in moderation, as an occasional treat, or within another meal of healthy chicken food, then chickens can eat peanut butter.
It’s packed full of protein, and countless vitamins and minerals which benefit a chicken from its bones to its egg-laying, to its general wellbeing.
Just be aware peanut butter is high in fats and carbohydrates, which also makes it high in calories. Although this is great for winter, if it’s consumed in excess your chickens may gain weight.
For this reason, always feed your chickens peanut butter or other nuts in careful moderation.