Nothing can beat a cold watermelon on a hot summer day because of its juiciness and refreshment. It makes summer heat bearable and satisfies our craving for sweets! And when you enjoy your watermelon treat and want to share it with your backyard feathered friends, you might wonder: can chickens eat watermelon?
Can chickens eat watermelon?
The answer is yes! Chickens can eat watermelon, in fact, they love it like any other delicious food for their snack time. It is considered the best way to keep your chickens cool off and hydrated when it comes to summertime, especially when they’re raised in warmer areas such as the tropical climate area.
It is great to give at other times of the year too, mostly because watermelon is packed with a wide range of healthy nutrients, vitamins, and minerals which the vine extracts from the groundwater, and fills the interior flesh with all sorts of goodies. Especially as the watermelon ripens, the interior becomes chock full of important vitamins and nutrients that are equally good for chickens as for humans.
Even though watermelons have a bunch of positive influences on chickens, we can’t feed them this fruit all time and all year round. Due to the shortage of salt and protein percentage contained in watermelon, it can only be served as a snack thing for chickens. If too much, our poultry will ignore other healthy foods, which leads to the fact that they will provide fewer eggs and they also grow slower.
Importantly for baby chicks that need a lot of nutrients to grow faster, watermelon can just be fed to them in moderation. That’s why even this sweet thing is so ideal for chickens, it’s still always a treat for poultry on hot days, not the main food like grains. Do not overload our chickens with watermelon, especially moldy or rotten ones which contain mycotoxin that is harmful to our poultry.
Can chickens eat watermelon seeds and other parts?
Chickens can eat the whole watermelon. Humans may not necessarily enjoy the skin or rind of the watermelon, but the chicken would absolutely love to peck away at it. It is not uncommon to see a few chickens completely demolish a whole watermelon. However, each kind of chicken develops a different interest in parts of watermelon.
Adult chickens always go for the pink or white flesh of this fruit though they can eat the rinds. It can be easy to understand since this part is too tough even for humans like us.
For the seeds, adult chickens have a well-developed crop that is designed perfectly for processing seeds of all types, including watermelon seeds.
And if you’re planning to feed them some greens, remember to only feed the leaves and vines of the watermelon plant if they are from your own garden, or from ones that are absolutely pesticide-free.
Don’t offer them the rind and the greens at the same time, chickens are smart! They’ll only run to the juicy flesh.
Last but not least, we can’t apply the same as adult chickens to our baby chicks as they’re not fully developed, so the best way to grow baby one is just feeding them the flesh as a snack only.
How to pick fresh watermelon?
You can look for well-ripe watermelons from your farm or garden to feed your chickens. If there’s a grocery nearby, you can simply purchase the fruit from there if you can make sure they’re safe.
A well-ripe watermelon will have a deeper link color with white or deep color seeds. For it to be safe for chickens, make sure that the watermelon does not have white streaking or any other deformities. All these physical characteristics will guide you when buying the best quality of pre-cut watermelon for your chickens.
For uncut or whole watermelon, a heavy watermelon is an indication of a fully ripened fruit. This is because the water content in watermelons increases as they ripen, which reaches the amount of 90%.
Apart from the water content, you should also look for the smoothness of the rind check out the spot where the watermelon rests while it is on the ground. They all can tell you which watermelon is ready for consumption.
When you started raising chickens, did you wonder whether chickens can eat watermelon or not? Do you feed your chickens watermelon in hot weather or all year round? It’ll be great if you can share with us some experience of feeding watermelon for backyard chickens!