Can Chickens Eat Watermelon? Are they crazy good?

Can chickens eat watermelon? You probably already know how much your hens enjoy eating watermelon if you’ve ever made the mistake of doing so in front of them.

If they had the chance, they would rip the object right out of your hands!

Similar to children, chickens occasionally don’t want to consume nutritious food. Vegetables like carrots, for instance, don’t taste as good unless I grate them.

My chicks are picky…

But, they adore watermelon. Try it. To avoid being crushed in the stampede, place a piece in the chicken run and back away.

Yet, is watermelon genuinely beneficial to chickens? How nutrient-dense is it? Can it support their general health maintenance? Are there any fruit components that are detrimental to our flocks?

You may also want to read about the best chicken feed.

Can chickens eat watermelon, are they healthy?

The trend towards growing livestock in a more natural manner has increased interest in fruits and vegetables because of their numerous health-enhancing properties. There are now a number of studies that focus exclusively on the advantages of watermelon for chickens (see sources).

Can chickens eat watermelon? This is what the study’s findings are:

Compared to tomatoes, strawberries, or any other fruit or vegetable, watermelon possesses more antioxidants. Antioxidants provide defense against “free radicals,” which can cause cell instability, disintegration, and chronic disease.

Lycopene, a carotenoid that strengthens the immune system, is abundant in it.
Also, it contains significant amounts of vitamin “C,” which stressed chickens struggle to synthesize on their own under extreme temperatures.

Magnesium and potassium, two minerals that are essential for keeping chickens hydrated in hot weather, are found in abundance in watermelon. There should be no need for additional, homemade electrolytes if you feed them watermelon.

It doesn’t include harmful trans fats or saturated fats, and although it does contain sugar, the advantages of the numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants much outweigh any potential drawbacks.

Can chickens eat watermelon

Can young chicks eat watermelon?

Can chickens eat watermelon when they are young? There has only been been one research explicitly looking at how watermelon affects newborn chicks.

According to that study, feeding newborn chicks up to six weeks old watermelon flesh and seeds had no negative consequences. Yet, because their digestive systems are still developing at that time, they won’t consume the rind.

As always, moderation is key in this situation. Watermelon provides nutrients and hydration benefits that assist both adults and chicks, but to support their rapid growth, they need a well-balanced diet. Give them a good starter feed.

When they consume anything else, including watermelon, they must always have access to a chick grit.

At the age of 17 weeks, I started introducing watermelon to these baby chicks’ diet. They obviously enjoyed it once they were certain it wasn’t a “huge red monster coming to murder them,” as you can see!

Can hens eat the flesh of watermelons?

The hens appear to prefer this portion of the apple the most. It is not unexpected that the flesh includes concentrated levels of lycopene, beta-carotene (one of the most essential carotenoids, also thought to give egg yolks a deep orange color), vitamin “C,” and antioxidants because chickens are good judges of food that is nutritious for them.

The quality and quantity of all those benefits significantly increase when the fruit ripens and transforms from a pale white-ish pink to a deep crimson color.

Hence, even if there is no proof that feeding unripe watermelon to hens is detrimental, it will be to their advantage if you feed the flesh once it has had time to ripen and takes on a bright red color.

Can chickens eat the seeds from watermelon?

One of the most tasty components of the watermelon, according to the experts who know best—our chickens—are the seeds.

My flock consistently seems to strip them bare before beginning to eat the flesh.

Research has shown that the seeds are an incredibly nutritious food source. They have a protein content of about 25%, as well as calcium, which promotes bone health, and potassium, an electrolyte that keeps hens hydrated.

Therefore it’s probably not a surprise that hens’ growth and egg production were noticeably increased when a powder formed from the seeds was fed to them.

The most effective amount of watermelon seed was discovered to be up to but no greater than 10% of their feed, so proceed with caution

Can hens eat the rind of watermelon?

Can chickens eat watermelon rind? My birds typically leave the watermelon they’ve finished eating in this manner. They can’t peck at the rind, also known as the skin, because it is too thick and difficult for them to do so. The flesh scraps are stripped of sugar by ants.

My birds discard watermelon in this manner, but the rind is healthy for them. The rind, however, is one of the most nutrient-dense components of the watermelon and is particularly useful in the management of heat stress, which is one of the most intriguing discoveries of the research on chickens and watermelon.

More than the flesh or the seeds, the rind is a particularly high source of a chemical called L-citrulline (L-cit).

L-cit is an amino acid that has been reported to lower body temperatures in chicks and laying hens, possibly increasing their tolerance to heat.

Also, it was discovered to improve the health of the chicken’s digestive system and its capacity to effectively digest other foods, as well as lessen dangerous bacteria in the gut.

So, it makes more sense from an ecological and dietary standpoint to feed that melon rind to our flock rather than composting it or even putting it in the trash.

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