As a backyard chicken keeper, one of your responsibilities is to ensure your chickens consume a healthy, balanced diet. As you’ll know, chickens really aren’t fussy. But this doesn’t mean you should just feed them any kind of fruit, vegetable, or other table scraps.
Feeding your chickens fruit is generally a good idea, so long as you aren’t allowing them to overindulge. But, some fruits you need to limit their intake of due to the high sugar content or other lack of balanced nutrients for chickens.
So, can chickens eat persimmons? Let’s take a look at how this fruit can benefit your flock and how to serve it appropriately.
Can Chickens Eat Persimmons?
Persimmons, whether they are a Fuyu persimmon, Hachiya persimmon, or American persimmon, are actually considered a berry. You can find little berry-sized persimmons or larger tennis ball-sized ones. They can range from yellow to dark red or orange depending on their ripeness. But, much like other berries such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, persimmons contain a high sugar content.
However, no matter the size, type, or color, your chickens can munch on persimmons safely, and in fact, I bet your chickens will love it. A few of my chickens couldn’t get enough of it — they literally finished the whole thing except for a bit of skin.
So, chickens can eat persimmons, and this sweet and succulent fruit doesn’t just taste good to chickens, but it also contains a variety of beneficial nutrients such as vitamin A and vitamin C. But, just like any when feeding your chickens any kind of berries or other high sugar fruits, such as mango, you want to limit their intake to ensure they don’t overindulge.
Be sure to practice moderation. Feed your chickens their regular layer pellets, pellet mix, or seed mixes up to about 85-90% of their regular daily intake to ensure they receive a balanced diet.
Are Persimmons Good For Chickens?
Although feeding chickens can be quite forgiving, as they are very quick to adapt to different foods, they still require a balanced diet. Chickens need a good amount of energy for their daily activity, protein for muscle development and fitness, and calcium and other nutrients and minerals to produce eggs regularly.
The bulk of your chickens’ diet (about 90 percent) should consist of normal feed mixes as it accounts for all these necessities. But, feeding your chicken fruits, vegetables, and other healthy table scraps or the remaining 10% can be a great way to bolster their health and immunity and supply them with boosts of different healthy nutrients.
So, as long as you are only feeding your chickens persimmons on the odd occasion, such as a handful a few times a week, then they will be healthy for your chickens. Persimmons also don’t contain anything harmful for your chickens to eat in normal doses, so you don’t need to worry about any unfavorable side effects.
Nutritional Benefits of Persimmons for Chickens
Not only is it safe for chickens to eat persimmons in normal amounts, but this fruit can also be incredibly good for them. Persimmons can introduce several beneficial nutrients into a chicken’s body including:
- Vitamin A – powerful antioxidant, good for reproduction and immunity. It also supports skin, eye, and respiratory health
- Vitamin C – potent antioxidant, boosts immunity
- Vitamin B6 – supports metabolism and alleviates stress
- Folate – promotes the healthy growth of feathers
Although persimmons are packed with these nutritional benefits for your feathered companions you should take care not to give your chickens too many persimmons. This is simply to avoid oversupplying them with these minerals at the cost of their normal dietary requirements.
How to Give Your Chickens Persimmons
To test if my chickens were going to eat a persimmon for the first time I simply chopped one up into bite-sized pieces and threw it into the yard. As per the norm, a few of my chickens rushed in and it turned into a frenzy. But some of my chickens were more timid, and some hardly even tried it.
If a chicken is a picky eater or if it has never fed on a persimmon, you can introduce it gradually to incorporate the fruit into your chooks diet. You can hang up a piece of the fruit in the chickens’ coop and allow them to “examine” it before having a taste.
Persimmons’ skin and flesh are rather soft, so you don’t need to cut them up very much or remove the skin — your chickens will work for it if they are keen. If you do have a persimmon tree then your chickens will surely try their luck!
Once your chickens get used to persimmons, you can make the experience more fun by cutting up the fruit into different shapes and sizes, or stashing pieces of the fruit and letting your flock search for them.
Another good way to incorporate some persimmons into your chicken’s diet is to make a fruit and vegetable mix and give it to them as a meal once a week. I like to include one or two foods from each food group. Like one root vegetable such as beetroot or radish, one sprinkling of seeds such as flax seeds or chia seeds, and one or two fruits such as persimmons.
Chickens can eat persimmons. They are absolutely safe and healthy for your chickens to eat in regular amounts, from the skin to the flesh, to the leaves on top.
When I buy persimmons at the market I always get extra to add into my fruit and vegetable mix that I provide my chickens once or twice a week. It’s a great addition to the mix, and my chickens absolutely love them