Yes, chickens can eat coconut oil. This superfood can provide them with many nutritional benefits. But, as the fat content is high, you should feed coconut oil to chickens in moderation.
Coconut oil has many health benefits for chickens. You can not only make chickens eat coconut oil but also use it for external application on their bodies. It is a versatile oil for chickens.
However, the saturated fat content is quite high, so coconut oil must be fed chickens in moderation. You can also feed dried or desiccated coconut to your birds for additional fiber. Feeding chickens fresh coconut is an easy way to provide them with a plethora of health benefits.
Here is a low down on whether chickens can eat coconut oil and how much should you feed them.
What is Coconut Oil? Is it Good for Chickens?
Coconut oil is the oil extracted from mature coconut meat. Coconut oil production is a time-consuming process, and hence, the oil is quite costly. After extraction, coconut oil undergoes a refinement process. Coconut oil is absolutely pure and often solidifies at cold temperatures.
This edible oil has many health benefits for chickens. For all chicken enthusiasts, coconut oil is a superfood that should be given regularly to ensure the overall health and wellbeing of your birds.
Health Benefits of Coconut Oil for Chickens
There are several health benefits of this edible oil extracted from coconuts:
- It Kills Bacteria
Half of the fatty acids in this oil are lauric acid. This acid has antibacterial properties that can kill viruses and fungi. Many chicken enthusiasts regularly apply coconut oil to their chicken’s bodies to prevent infestations. The natural healing properties of this oil can be used for treating wounds and cuts on the skin.
- Coconut Oil Hydrates the Skin
Coconut oil hydrates the skin of chickens. The skin gets dry in the winter months, and this oil can be applied regularly to prevent dryness. It can also be rubbed on their feet to prevent cracks and blistering.
- It Improves Gut Health
Coconut oil can help improve digestion. It can also boost nutrient absorption and reduce inflammation. Regular consumption of this oil by chickens can prevent constipation in your birds. Constipation is a common issue with birds because they do not drink enough water.
- Repels Ticks and Fleas
Chickens are kept outdoors most of the time, making them more susceptible to ticks and fleas. These can quickly infest your poultry with disease-carrying germs. Coconut oil has a pleasant smell that repels ticks and fleas.
- Stronger Eggs
Egg-laying hens can benefit from coconut oil. Sometimes, the eggshells are very weak and easily break due to a lack of required nutrients. This oil can restore several lost nutrients in their bodies, strengthen weak shells, and boost their production rate.
These are some of the wonderful benefits of coconut oil for your poultry.
How to Feed Coconut Oil to Chickens?
There are many ways to feed coconut oil to hens and chicks. Some ways are explained below:
- Coat Fruits and Vegetables with Coconut Oil
Coating fruits like bananas with coconut oil makes a superfood blend that your birds can benefit significantly from.
- Mix Chicken Feed with Coconut Oil
Mixing chicken feed with coconut oil is a great idea as it can add good fats to their diet in required amounts. It is also a great way to feed picky eaters.
- Give them a Scoop Directly
Pure coconut oil can be given to them directly out of the jar to peck upon. Almost solid coconut oil does not have a runny texture but a wax-like texture and can be given to them between meals.
How Much Coconut Oil Should you Give to Chickens?
Coconut oil has large amounts of fats. When given in excess, it can increase the cholesterol levels in your birds. You should ensure that your hens eat this oil in moderation.
Even if it is one of their favorite treats, practice moderation as large quantities can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, and cramps.
Chickens should be fed coconut oil once or twice a week. It is better to add this oil to their diet regularly to gain maximum benefits. You can cover all their treats in coconut oil or add it regularly to their diet.
To sum it all up, they should be given coconut oil mixed in their animal feeds to improve chickens’ skin, boost egg quality, boost their immune system, and improve egg production.
Chicken keepers should be wary of the high saturated fat content in this oil and add it moderately to their chickens diet. You can also give them coconut meal, coconut water, fresh coconut, and coconut flour to gain the maximum benefits of the fruit.