Banana is one of the most loved and consumed fruit in the world both by humans and animals. There are so many goodies in bananas other than being rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and manganese.
Bananas are also fat-free, cholesterol-free, and virtually sodium-free.
can chicken eat bananas?
And as a lover of chickens who wants the best healthy treats for your chickens, you may want to extend this delicious treat to your chickens as well, but you are not sure how to go about it; what quantity is healthy enough, what part of banana should they eat or not and so on.
So, in this article, we are going to look at the pros and cons of feeding bananas to your chicken, the health benefits of feeding bananas to chickens, what parts of the banana can chicken eat, etc.
Thus at the end of this article, you should be able to answer the question, can chickens eat bananas?.
Let us start with the peel of banana
Banana peel is the fleshly pigmented outer coat of a banana.
The peel of banana is also edible just like the inner part of a banana. The peel is also packed with a lot of vitamins ( vitamins B6 and B12), and minerals (magnesium and potassium).
Plus, it is rich in fiber and protein, along with carotenoids, polyphenols, etc. So, yes, your chickens can eat banana peels
However, like other fruit peels, it may contain some trace of anti-nutritional factors ( like phytates, alkaloids, oxalates, and hydrogen cyanides), which may be detrimental to the health of your chickens.
In addition, banana peels may be treated with chemicals like insecticides. These might make your chickens sick and you if you eat their eggs.
Also, chickens find it difficult to pick apart due to its high fiber nature. Notwithstanding, we need to make it easier for them to eat.
Banana peel is a good source of vitamin B6 and B12
One of the best ways to prepare banana peel for your chickens is by applying heat. Research has shown that heat (broiling or microwaving) helps to reduce the anti-nutrients in banana peel and make it more palatable.
Here, you have to boil the peels up until they become tender. You can preserve them by sun-drying them or simply microwave them.
To make it more palatable and attractive, cut them into little pieces. You will see how your chickens will savor them with delight because chickens love to pick their foods.
You can make your banana peel palatable to your chickens by boiling and cutting them
Moreover, the entire banana is a unique delicacy to chickens. Chickens prefer the over-ripe bananas. One method to cut down feed costs and to provide this treatment to your chickens is to check local fruit and vegetable stores and even wholesalers in your location.
They usually pay to get rid of over-ripe fruit; a hand full of people love over-ripe bananas. It could be a win-win situation for the seller, you, and your chickens you pick some baskets of over-ripe bananas periodically.
If my chicken is around me, I have this natural tendency, I believe other people do as well, to throw whatever I am eating at them to see if they will eat it. Within the first to third curious pick by the chicken, you should be able to know if the chickens find it palatable.
However, I have thrown so many fruits at chickens, some they eat with delight while some were left after a few picks. But with bananas, they definitely eat it- no need of boiling and cutting like the peels.
As your chicken relishes this wonderful treat, you may want to know what nutritional benefits are in bananas.
Here are some nutritional benefits of bananas to your chickens
With all these goodies I don’t see reasons while you cannot feed your chickens bananas. Chickens love the main banana itself and you don’t need to boil to prepare it-peel and serve, they can as well peck through the outer cover.
If you are worried about cost and consistency, you can ask local sellers for over-ripe bananas, and they will be more glad to give them to you.
There are a lot of health benefits in feeding your chickens bananas, but it is not always safe when to use them wrongly. For instance, high sugar content in bananas can be unsafe for your chickens when abuse.
Chickens cannot process that much sugar, and banana don’t meet the dietary needs of chicken feed.
In addition, since chickens can’t process wet food to get the whole nutrient therein, and at the same time, they also get the harmful part of it easily. Therefore, you should not over-feed your chicken banana, only give in a small amount.
Also, with the peel, ensure you boil/heat the peel very well to reduce the anti-nutritional factors in it. And remember that pesticides are major pollutants on the peels.
Although, these side effects can’t deter the fact that banana is a good treat to your chicken, and if you still ask me the question ‘can chickens eat a banana?” my answer is still a big Yes!.
If you want to know if your chicken love bananas just toss some cuts into their run and see for yourself. At first, they might curiously run to it and have a few picks, if they find it palatable they will savor it with joy.
Some might not like it as an adult bird since they weren’t raised with it, while some don’t care. To curb this, you can introduce the banana to your chicken as they mature; in that way their system will get used to it.
Banana as a whole, starting from the peel to the inner part, can be a wonderful reward to your flock. You should not serve your chicken raw banana peels, because they are unpalatable and may contain some chemical treatment.
You should ensure to boil them softly before serving them to your chickens
Here, are some advantages of feeding bananas to your flock
The Peel- It is rich in vitamins such as vitamin B6 and B12. Plus, it contains a lot of potassium and magnesium, which are essential for the proper development and performance of your birds.
The Inside- The inner part of a banana consists of a significant amount of fiber, protein, carbohydrate, polyphenols, and carotenoids, making it an important nutrient source both for chickens and humans.
It is needless to say that bananas have various dietary benefits and are a simple treat to offer your chickens. They aren’t bad for your ladies and roos, however, they must be given in small quantities.
When properly prepared, bananas can be a healthy treat for your birds. In spite the quantity you offer to your chickens, you can feel confident that bananas will provide them with all it contains.
Note: you will boil the peels before slicing them into smaller pieces to feed to your birds.
For the inner banana, It does not need a lot of preparation before serving them to your chickens; just peel it off and throw it to your birds in small quantities.
Your baby chicks will definitely love bananas due to their pasty and tender nature. However, there are a couple of things you need to consider before feeding them to your chicks.
Having gone through this post, you will agree with me that bananas have a lot of health and nutritional benefits to our chicken, hence I can answer Yes! to the question; " can chickens eat bananas?"
However, remember to boil, or microwave the peels before feeding them to your chicken. And don't overfeed your chickens with bananas.
1. Ali Nawaz Ranjha, Muhammad Modassar & Irfan, Shafeeqa & Nadeem, Muhammad & Mahmood, Shahid. (2020). A Comprehensive Review on Nutritional Value, Medicinal Uses, and Processing of Banana. Food Reviews International. 1-27. 10.1080/87559129.2020.1725890.
2. Azza A. Abou-arab, Ferial M. Abu-Salem. (2017). Nutritional and Anti-Nutritional Composition of Banana Peels as Influenced by Microwave Drying Methods. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology International Journal of Nutrition and Food Engineering Vol:11, No:12, 2017
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