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Can Chickens Eat Honey?

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Everyone raising chickens wants them to be healthy.

For most people raising chickens at home in the backyard or on the farm, their birds quickly become part of the family. The kids name them and love running out to the coop to grab fresh eggs every morning.

Part of raising chickens is making sure they’re eating the right foods. Because honey is such a healthy source of minerals and beneficial nutrients, some chicken keepers may wonder whether their feathered friends can eat honey as a treat.

Can chickens eat honey?

Honey is healthy for chickens, and your birds will absolutely love anything with honey on it. A spoonful of honey is a nice way to help people get up and close with your birds, who may otherwise be a bit skittish around new folks. Expect your birds to come running to devour the honey or anything sweet that you offer them.

Sliced honeycomb of honey in a wooden frame with spoon

Here’s some helpful information on how to feed your chickens honey and other things you should know about chickens eating sweets.

Feeding Chickens Honey

Chickens can eat honey in practically any form. They’ll eat it raw, organic, or pasteurized.

Chickens also love eating honeycomb, so if you have a bee’s nest on the property and have some extra honeycomb lying around, toss it to your chickens! It will be a nice treat for them that they don’t get to eat often.

Some chicken owners also mix honey with apple cider vinegar, garlic, and other healthy items and feed it to baby chicks to boost their vitamin intake and immunity.

When you feed your chickens honey, you can either spoon-feed them, give it to them on the ground, or mix it in with other food they’re eating that day.

You probably don’t want to mix it in with their normal feed because honey can make it clumpy, and the feed will stick to their beaks.

Instead, you can drizzle it over other food scraps you’re serving just before you give it to the chickens. They’ll come running over and immediately start pecking away at the food.

Hand of a farmer feeding a chicken in a barn

Why Honey Is Great for Chickens

Why do people feed their chickens honey?

Most of the time, people give their chickens honey as a sort of treat. It’s sweet, so it’s not something they get all of the time.

We’ve already said that a lot of chicken owners treat their birds like pets, so they’ll want to give them something nice every once in a while.

Also, honey is the perfect way to introduce chickens to your friends. If you’ve got a friend or two who are afraid to touch the chickens or get too close, then honey is a fantastic way to bridge the gap.

The majority of chickens will overcome their nervousness around people when tempted with honey. Before you know it, your friends will be petting your birds and doing their best to keep a strong grip on the spoon of honey while the birds are pecking at it.

Other than that, honey also has a lot of health benefits that can help chickens. One of the main reasons why people feed their chickens honey is that it is calorie-dense.

Eating honey can help underweight chickens put on the pounds until they’re back to their normal weight.

Honey can give chickens a needed energy boost when things are hot outside and it’s harder to move around.

Finally, honey is a great source of vitamins and antioxidants for your birds.

Dealing with sick chickens can be extremely stressful, especially if you’ve lovingly cared for the birds for months or years. The last thing you want is to see them sick or in pain.

Honey is a terrific natural immunity booster that can help your chickens return to full health faster.

Honey roasted peanuts in white bowl on white background

Can Chickens Eat Honey-Flavored Snacks?

Since honey is good for chickens, can you feed honey-flavored snacks to your chickens?

The main thing you’ll want to watch out for is giving your chickens too much sugar.

Often, honey-flavored products contain a lot of added sugars that are bad for your chickens. Some sugar every once in a while is no big deal, but consistently feeding them sugary snacks will make them overweight and will cause health issues related to weight.

Stick to raw honey, honeycomb, and mild honey-flavored snacks.

Some chicken owners will toss their chickens some honey-flavored breakfast cereal from time to time, which is fine. You just want to avoid giving it to them every day.

Also, don’t feed your chickens anything with a lot of salt, like honey peanuts or honey pretzels. The high salt content can be harmful to chickens.


Handling Sticky Chickens

The first time you feed your chickens honey, you’ll probably end up with birds that have honey all over their beaks and even in their feathers. While it might be good for a chuckle, it’s probably not too much fun for the birds.

The way you feed honey to your chickens will make a big impact on how messy they get.

Feeding chickens honey in a bowl, a spoon, or something similar, is likely to cause a feeding frenzy if you have several chickens. They’ll beat their wings and shove their beaks into the pile of honey to get as much as they can.

To avoid a big mess, it’s usually better to mix the honey in with other foods you’re feeding them.

For example, mixing honey into oats or scraps of bread or drizzling it over fruit scraps is a better way because it prevents sticky beaks and feathers.

Final Thoughts

Feeding honey to chickens is a lot of fun.

Like giving them watermelon, it’s nice to see your birds excited to eat something other than their regular feed.

Honey is a healthy treat you can give your chickens without worry. It’s good for their immune systems and will get them to eat scraps down to the rind.

Keep an eye on your chickens’ weight to ensure you’re not giving them too much honey. If you start to see them getting too plump, you probably want to hold back on the honey treats.


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