Maybe chickens can eat avocados. While the avocado meat is not particularly harmful, the avocado skin and pits can be toxic for their bodies because of the presence of a toxin called persin. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry later.
The answer to this depends upon how willing you are to take a risk. If you are careful about feeding them only the flesh, then perhaps it is fine. But, even a small amount of avocado peels or the pit can harm them. So, it is better that you avoid this fruit completely.
So, if avocados are on your mind for your chicken’s diet for the health benefits, then here is all that you need to know about chickens and avocados.
Is Avocado Flesh Good for Chickens?
You might want to include avocado meat to your chicken’s diet for its several health benefits. But, if you plan to do so, ensure that the avocados are completely and thoroughly de-skinned and de-pitted.
It is alright if chickens eat avocado flesh that is fully ripened. Avocados are loaded with iron, potassium, and good fats. Avocados contain nutrients that are capable of warding off cancer risk from the body. So, ensure that chickens eat avocados from time to time to benefit from them, but not in large quantities.
Nutritional Value of Avocados:
The above table displays all the nutritional value in a 100 g serving of avocados. Although the fruit contains too much fat, it is only good fats. The other benefits are explained below:
The fiber present in this fruit can help lower the possibility of diarrhea or constipation. It also regulates the water content in their intestines.
Chickens are naturally thirsty animals and generally consume more than a liter of water daily. Avocados are a great source of water and they help in optimal hydration of your flock during summers.
Avocados are rich in vitamin A that helps to sustain their growth and enhance their egg production. The deficiency of this vitamin in your bird’s diet can even kill chickens.
Riboflavin present in avocado also helps in boosting egg production. It also helps in preventing Curly-Toe Paralysis in chickens.
Crazy Chick Disease or Encephalomalacia may occur due to the deficiency of Vitamin E in chickens. Avocados have plenty of this vitamin.
Omega fats like Omega-3 and Omega-6 can help to reduce inflammation in older chickens.
Calcium supplements are often given to prevent crickets from your chickens. It also helps in building stronger bones. Avocados are enriched with calcium and can, therefore, benefit them when given from time to time.
Niacin has many anti-inflammatory properties that benefit chickens. Lack of this nutrient can lead to bowed legs and mouth cavity inflammation.
Copper and Iron
Both these nutrients help in preventing anemia in chickens.
These are some of the various nutrients in avocados. So, if your chickens love feeding on this fruit, you can give them avocados weekly once. Do not give them whole avocado, but, remove the ripened flesh and give them in small doses.
Many chicken farmers are quite concerned about feeding them avocado peels and pits by mistake. So, they prefer to feed them the nutrients found in avocados as supplements rather than in the fresh form.
How Does Persin Affect Chickens?
Persin is present in avocado pits and skins. It is also present in the bark and leaves of the avocado plant. So, even if you have an avocado plant in your poultry farm, ensure that your chickens are not allowed to go near it.
Consuming avocado skins, leaves, barks and pits from the avocado plant can lead to respiratory problems in chickens and most likely die within a few days. Persin can be found in the skin and pits of avocados. But, you don’t have to worry much about the pits, as chickens tend to forgo that part of the fruit.
Another thing to keep in mind in your chickens avocado is that the flesh should be completely ripened. Even green avocados may have small amounts of persin in them.
How Often Can I Feed Avocado To My Chickens?
The best way to feed chickens avocados is to remove the skins and scoop out the flesh. But, ensure your chickens eat avocados in small doses only. Include it in their feed in such a way that they eat avocado only once or twice a week, along with other nutritional meals.
What To Do If Your Chickens Have Accidentally Eaten Avocados?
Chickens have strong intuitions regarding their food. If they believe something is harmful for them, they will avoid it like plague.
So, even if you feel that your chickens have eaten avocado skin by mistake, do not worry! A small amount may not cause a lot of harm to them and they might thrive. Just call a vet for a thorough inspection.
Although this is a debatable topic in the poultry community, If you want your chickens to eat avocado, make sure you feed them yourself so that there is no risk.
Extra: Can Chickens Eat Guacamole?
While it is still controversial whether can chickens eat avocado, it is wise to avoid feeding them any dishes made from avocado. Guacamole is made from avocado flesh and certain other ingredients.
It contains salt, spices, and certain flavorings that may not be good for your chickens. So, it is wise to completely avoid guacamole. You can feed chickens avocado from time to time, as you can be mindful of removing the skin, pits, and greenish flesh.
Avocados have several benefits for most animals and humans. But, when it comes to birds, the toxin persin present in the skin and seeds can prove fatal to their health. So, it is alright if your chickens eat avocados as treats from time to time, but not regularly.
Furthermore, when you feed them avocados, ensure that you remove the skin and pits completely and feed them only ripened avocado meat and not the whole avocado.