When it comes to their food, chickens are unusually open to eating anything. They are open to trying a wide variety of cuisine. Since they are omnivores, they also benefit from a broad diet and thrive on a variety of foods. What about avocados, though? Can you safely feed them, and can you give your chickens this "fruit"?
Within the world of chicken and poultry owners, there is debate over whether it is safe to feed avocado to your hens. Some people will say you can, while others will say you can serve the flesh.
Can Chickens Eat Avocado?
Unquestionably, chicks can eat avocado. Rarely have we come across a backyard bird that didn’t enjoy sticking their beak into some avocado. For them as well, it may be pretty healthful. Avocados are stuffed full of “good fats” and a variety of other nutrients. Of course, you’ll need to take a few safety measures.
Is Chicken and Avocado a Good Match?
The majority of chickens adore the flavor of avocado and will run over to consume some. Aside from its wonderful flavor, avocado will also contribute fiber to your chicken's diet. By controlling the amount of water in the intestines, fiber can help lower the risk of constipation or diarrhea.
Avocados have a wealth of nutrients that are beneficial to chickens, including vitamins A and D that aid in egg production.
Phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin K, which aids in blood clotting and is crucial for a healthy chicken, also aid in the hatching of eggs.
There are a lot of beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 lipids in avocado. These fats can benefit your hens and are one of the main reasons it is so well-liked by people. Omega fats are good for the heart and may potentially lower the chance of heart arrhythmias. Both blood sugar levels and artery plaque accumulation can be decreased by it. Additionally, it lessens inflammation, which is particularly beneficial for older chickens that may be suffering from arthritis and for those who have recently undergone a surgical operation.
Because chickens are thirsty creatures and some will consume more than a liter of water on a hot day, it's crucial to provide them with access to clean, fresh water at all times. Avocados can also aid in the hydration of your chickens, particularly on hot days or if one of them is refusing to drink. A small taste of avocado will frequently make them act normally again.
Why Avocados Are Bad for Chickens
In either case, avocados are known to have a poisonous substance that poses a serious risk to your chickens. Most of the time, the risk is not justified. The peel, pits, leaves, and flesh of avocados all contain the deadly substance persin. Any part of the avocado has been linked to toxicosis when consumed.
The avocado plant's skin and stone contain the lethal chemical persin. Many birds, especially chickens, are susceptible to respiratory issues brought on by this toxin, which frequently result in death within a few days. The only portion of the plant that is safe to consume is the fruit because the leaves and stem of the plant also contain persin. You shouldn't be concerned about the stone, leaves, or stems because the majority of chickens won't eat them. However, you must take the skin off the fruit before giving it to them since they will devour it to get to the fruit.
Although the fats in avocados are healthy fats, and we'll discuss them soon, eating too much fat of any kind might make you gain weight. Weight gain can cause heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and other illnesses that can shorten a chicken's lifespan. The easiest method to make sure your chicken maintains a healthy weight is to avoid a high-fat diet.
Can Avocado Cause the Death of My Chicken?
Yes, if you're not careful, avocados can kill hens. Your chickens will curiously peck at an entire avocado if it should roll into their enclosure.
To reach the flesh, they might swallow some of the peel, inhaling persin in the process. In less than 48 hours, a tiny bird can be killed by just 5% of an avocado. If your bantam hens manage to get their hands on an avocado's stem, leaves, peel, or stone, they won't stand a chance.
Even more vulnerable to persin toxicosis are young, weaker, and older chickens. Persin can result in the following side effects, even in tiny doses:
- Increasing heart rate
- Heart (myocardial) tissue injury
- Arduous breathing
- Unease and restlessness
Aside from the carcinogens, avocados also contain acids and lipids that poultry can have trouble digesting.
Even a small bit of avocado can give some birds terrible diarrhea that lasts for a few weeks. Your birds aren't having fun, and cleaning up the mess won't be enjoyable for you either.
How Do I Feed Avocado to My Chicken?
Take Out the Seed
Cutting the avocado in half and removing the seed is the first step in prepping it for your chicken.
Scoop out the avocado with a spoon, but avoid getting too close to the skin because the persin content of the fruit there may be higher.
Feed them little portions
It's advisable to keep the amount size to one-quarter of an avocado per chicken every few days because even the edible section of the avocado contains some persin and a lot of fat.
avocados shouldn't be consumed by Chickens. For the nutritional benefit, there is a great deal of risk. You might decide to completely prevent your chickens from eating avocado due to the toxic content of the fruit. If you do decide to feed avocado to your chickens, don't offer them the peel or the seed. Only the meat is risk-free in extremely small amounts.