Yes, chickens can eat almonds as the nut is very nutritious for them. But, they do not eat almonds in high quantities as it can lead to an upset digestive system.
Almonds come in many varieties, and out of these, some taste bitter while some taste sweet. The bitter ones can be extremely toxic for chickens. So, while feeding almonds to chickens, you need to be conscious of the type.
Most nuts are nutritious and are power-packed with proteins, calcium, and other important vitamins. In this article, we shall study which types of nuts you should feed chickens.
Are Almonds Good For Chickens?
Almonds are rich in proteins. They have low sodium levels and are rich in calcium as well. Sweet almonds, when consumed regularly, can boost the immune system and protect the heart against cardiovascular troubles and diabetes.
As a poultry owner, you must ensure that your chickens eat almonds in moderation, as too many sweet almonds can lead to an upset stomach. Almonds are not nutritious on their own to sustain the growth of chickens, but they can be used as chicken treats. When chickens eat almonds regularly, their egg production is boosted, and the quality of the eggs is richer because of the increased nutrients and proteins in their diet.
As chickens love to peck their food from the ground, you can treat them with sweet almonds once or twice a week. Ensure that your chickens eat almonds in moderation. Ensure that you do not add bitter almonds to your chicken’s diet. Bitter almonds are extremely toxic as they contain traces of hydrogen cyanide.
Nutritional Value of Almonds
Almonds contain 579 calories per 100g portion. Sweet almonds contain a high amount of fat, almost 14gm per one-ounce serving. One-ounce serving also delivers 6gm of protein and 3.5gm of fibre. All this nutrition is beneficial for the healthy growth of your chickens. (Source).
How Often Can I Feed Almonds to My Chickens?
As a poultry owner, you must ensure that your chickens eat almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashew nuts, etc. regularly as a chicken treat.
By regular, we mean once or twice a week. You should check whether the almonds you have for feeding chickens are bitter or sweet. Ensure that your chickens only eat almonds that are sweet only. You can randomly taste a few from your handful of chicken almonds to be double sure.
Give them almonds after their meals or in-between meals to peck upon from the ground. When giving almonds, give them their regular feed as well. Chickens do not have teeth. They usually gulp down these hard nuts, which are then broken down by the gizzard – an internal organ in their stomachs for breaking down hard-to-digest food. So, you need not worry about them choking on these nuts.
Can Baby Chicks Eat Almonds Safely?
Yes, baby chicks can eat almonds safely as well. But, you must be very careful that you feed them only sweet almonds and not bitter almonds. They may die if they ingest even a few bitter almonds.
Furthermore, give them almonds in moderation. As they have tender stomachs, they may end up with upset digestion. It is best to give them a few almonds to peck on once a week.
What Foods To Avoid While Feeding Chickens?
There are a few foods you must avoid in your chicken feed:
- Do not feed chickens raw peanuts as they contain enzyme trypsin, which can lead to kidney and pancreatic problems.
- Do not feed them too much salt, sugar, and such other flavorings as they will end up drinking too much water and get uncomfortable.
- Do not feed your chickens with avocados. They contain a toxin called persin.
- Raw or undercooked beans should be avoided as they contain harmful lectins.
- Do not feed chickens with coated or sugary foods as they do not get any nutrition from them.
- Avoid chocolates and fatty food as they result in obesity in hens.
- Sometimes, chickens eat acorns as well. But, ensure that when your chickens eat acorns, you crush them first so that they can have the innards easily.
All In All: Is Almond Healthy For Chickens?
All in all, almonds are a great source of nutrition for chicken’s health. Ensure that your chickens eat almonds that are sweet and not bitter. Bitter almonds are extremely toxic for their health. Most chickens eat nuts and even enjoy pecking on them from the ground.
Give them a handful of mixed nuts like pine nuts, hazel, walnuts, cashew nuts, and others to peck upon every once a week, along with other nutritious meals like cooked rice.