Can Chickens Eat Cherries? Why Berries Can Be Your Bird's Best Treat

Devangana Rathore
Feb 01, 2023 By Devangana Rathore
Originally Published on Oct 29, 2021
Edited by Lara Simpson
Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi
Domestic Chickens Eating Grains and Grass.

Chickens don't cause much trouble when it comes to food.

Although chicken feed accounts for roughly 90% of their diet, the remainder can be made up of fruits and veggies. If you have pet hens, you'll want to know what foods you may give them as safe treats.

One category of healthy treats is fruits. What about cherries, though? Can you give cherries to chickens?

Will they like them, and will they benefit from eating them? Let's talk about the health benefits of cherries for chickens before we get into the health advantages of cherries for chickens. So, can chickens eat cherries?

Yes, chickens can eat cherries. Cherries are high in nutrients and offer tasty and healthy treats for your avian pet. However, before feeding cherries to hens, remove their seeds, as the seeds contain amygdalin and can cause choking in the birds.

Also, if they receive a cherry that has dropped from the tree, they may take parts of the fruit that they like and dump the pits on the ground.

Your chickens can certainly eat cherries, and they are one of the most entertaining fruits to watch your chickens consume since they provide a wide variety of highly accessible nutrients.

Of course, we know that it is absolutely OK to give cherries to your chickens, but you might be asking if you should offer the whole fruit or feed specific portions.

So can chickens eat cherries? Let's take a closer look. You can also discover other fun things like can chickens eat carrots and can chickens eat grapes.

How to feed cherries to baby chickens?

Cherries are deemed safe for chickens of all sizes and shapes. As with most sweet treats, cherries should be consumed in moderation because too many cherries might disturb a chicken's digestive system.

Chicks are going through fast growth and require a special diet to suit their nutritional requirements. It's best if they stay to an excellent chick/starter feed until they're fully grown.

You may feed cherries to your chickens in several different ways. Some of them are: Dried cherries are perhaps the most worry-free technique of feeding cherries to your chickens.

They are simple to keep and do not rot as quickly as fresh cherries. The chickens can eat all types of dried cherries, but be sure they don't have any added sugar. You don't have to fear them suffocating on a full-sized cherry or swallowing the pits.

The pits are instantly removed, which is a bonus. Because dried fruit contains far less water, the sugar content is much higher.

The next level up from a dried cherry would be to serve them pitted cherries. The pits will be included in the majority of fresh cherries purchased at the grocery shop.

Cherry pits, on the other hand, may provide a choking hazard to smaller birds. To prevent this problem completely, you may buy cherries with pits or pet them yourself by cutting the cherry in half and extracting the fit by hand.

By eliminating the pit, you don't waste any nutrients that your birds might take.

For the most part, Chickens are intelligent enough to ignore the toxic ingredients and concentrate on the luscious flesh of the fruit. Chocolate-covered and maraschino cherries, for example, are heavy in sugar and should be avoided by your chickens.

Is it alright to feed your chickens whole cherries? Whole cherries will undoubtedly keep your chickens occupied for a long time, making it a nice treat for them as well.

Chickens are perfectly capable of digesting cherries without your assistance. In most cases, they will peck around the pit then eat the cherry. You can offer them whole cherries if you choose.

You may offer a special chicken trail mix or snack mix for your chickens as a special treat. You can make your own trail mix by adding dried cherries, smashed oysters or eggshells, and dry mealworms in an even ratio.

Are cherries a healthy food for your chickens?

Cherries are fat-free, low-calorie fruits that are high in phytonutrients and have no sodium or cholesterol. Cherries, in fact, are a fantastic food for your chickens since they contain lots of vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin C, calcium, and vitamin A.

Vitamins- Vitamin A is vital in birds and animals, including chickens, just as it is in people. Vitamin A not only enhances their eyesight and overall health, but it also helps them produce more eggs.

Chickens' immune systems are boosted by vitamin C. It also relieves stress in chickens, particularly the heat stress they experience during summer days. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant for chickens, and vitamin K is necessary for bone development. A vitamin E deficiency can cause encephalomalacia in hens.

Minerals- Calcium protects chickens from rickets and improves the quality of their eggs. Hemoglobin is made up of iron, and a lack of it can induce anemia in chickens.

Copper cures their digestive problems, and the healthy feathers and bones are maintained by zinc. Potassium is required for physiological function, particularly in muscle, kidney, heart, and nerve cells.

Finally, cherries contain a high moisture content, which keeps chickens nourished, especially in the heat. With these vitamins and minerals acting in favor of chickens, cherries can indeed be considered healthy for chickens.

How many cherries can chickens eat in a day?

While they should never be used in place of their usual feed, you can give them to them several times a week. It is recommended that you exercise two or three times per week. We should follow the suggestion that everything is in proportion when it comes to sweet treats.

If you see a significant difference in the consistency of your flock while feeding them cherries, you might like to reduce the amount of fruit you feed them. Although cherries are healthy for hens, their seeds are poisonous.

Choking hazard is the more obvious danger that cherry seeds provide to hens. Because chickens have a narrow neck, they can quickly choke on some of those seeds if they try to eat cherries entire.

If you eat a cherry seed and accidentally shatter it during chewing, the amygdalin (a chemical found in the pits of various fruits) inside your body turns into cyanide. A significant portion of cyanide in your body prevents your cells from utilizing oxygen, resulting in death.

Do chickens eat wild cherries- Chickens can eat wild cherries or black cherries. Wild cherries, also referred to as sweet cherries or gean, are a type of cherry that is more nutritious than conventional cherries. Nevertheless,  feeding these types of fruits to chickens might be challenging.

Can chickens eat sour cherries- Sour cherries, like wild cherries, are safe for chickens to eat. Only vitamins A and C are abundant in them. As a result, these are better for your pet than conventional cherries. Sour cherries have even more nutrition than sweet cherries, but they may not appeal to a flock of chickens who prefer sweets.

Can chickens eat cherry leaves or cherry blossoms?

Cherry tree leaves, like cherry pits, can contain cyanide, which is highly toxic to both animals and humans. The blooms of a cherry tree are known as cherry blossoms. It's OK if your chickens come across these blossoms on the ground and want to eat them.

They can eat cherry blossoms with no problems. Since the pits contain small levels of cyanide, there is some concern that cherries can be toxic.

However, the pit of the cherry, not the cherry itself, contains cyanide. Therefore, for the cyanide to get any impact, your chicken would have to consume and digest the pit and consume a substantial amount of it.

Cherries of all kinds and variations can be fed to hens. The most prevalent flavors are sour and wild, and both provide excellent health benefits to your chicken.

The single types of cherries you should avoid are those that are glazed and have a sugar coating. Naturally, this increases the sugar content of the cherry significantly and can easily be offered in excess.

There is a big chance of gaining weight there. Other fruits and oyster shell calcium supplements and grit can be added to give them a health boost.

As you may know, chickens will eat practically anything you offer them if they are desperate enough; however, they will almost always choose the fruit first! Cherries are no exemption to this law, and they're chock-full of essential nutrients for your chickens.

As we've covered throughout this post, these fruits are safe for your hens to consume, and as you can see from the facts above, cherries are one of the greatest fruits to include in their diet. Cherries of all varieties, as well as their flowers, are edible to chickens.

Their seeds are the sole harmful material to be aware of.

You'll want to ensure your chickens consume cherries in moderation, just like you would with any other fruit. This shouldn't be difficult if you're using fresh cherries, which are only available occasionally in most parts of the world.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions forcan chickens eat cherries, then why not take a look at how often should I feed my cat or can guinea pigs eat bread.

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Written by Devangana Rathore

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana Rathore picture

Devangana RathoreBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language, Master of Philosophy

Devangana is a highly accomplished content writer and a deep thinker with a Master's degree in Philosophy from Trinity College, Dublin. With a wealth of experience in copywriting, she has worked with The Career Coach in Dublin and is constantly looking to enhance her skills through online courses from some of the world's leading universities. Devangana has a strong background in computer science and is also an accomplished editor and social media manager. Her leadership skills were honed during her time as the literacy society president and student president at the University of Delhi.

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Fact-checked by Sakshi Raturi

Postgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi Raturi picture

Sakshi RaturiPostgraduate Diploma in Management

Sakshi has experience in marketing strategy, social media planning, and recruiting industry experts for capstone projects, she has displayed a commitment to enhancing their skills and knowledge. She has won multiple awards, including a Certificate of Appreciation for Creative Writing and a Certificate of Merit for Immaculate Turut, and is always seeking new opportunities to grow and develop.

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