If you’re raising chickens on a homestead or in the backyard, they become almost like family pets. Kids name their chickens and play with them. You can even buy leashes to take pet chickens on outdoor walks!
If you love your chickens, then nothing’s better than watching them eat a treat they love. Feeding your chickens watermelons, honey, and other sweets is always fun. People are rightfully worried about introducing new foods into their birds’ diets.
Can a chicken eat peanut butter?
Chickens can eat peanut butter, and they’ll love it every time they do! Peanut butter is a creamy, sweet treat that any chicken will love. Watching your chicken eat peanut butter will be a lot of fun; just ensure you avoid giving them too much sugar to prevent them from becoming overweight.
Thankfully, peanut butter is a perfectly safe occasional treat. Let’s explore everything you need to know about feeding your chickens peanuts or peanut butter.
Why Do Owners Feed Their Chickens Peanut Butter?
Peanut butter is a great treat for chickens. You can buy it in bulk, and it has a very long shelf-life. It can last for years if you keep it at moderate temperatures.
When you’re looking for a sweet treat to use to spend time with your birds, it’s tough to beat peanut butter. You just have to stick some on a spoon, and your chickens will come running.
If you have skittish chickens that shy away from people or don’t like making new friends, peanut butter is a fantastic way to introduce new people to your chickens.
Give your friends peanut butter on a spoon, and your chickens will make fast friends with them.
Peanut butter is also a great way to help your chickens gain and keep weight. If you have sick or underweight chicks, you can add some peanut butter into their diets to make up for any calorie deficit.
However, you have to track how much peanut butter they’re eating. Overweight chickens that eat too much sugar can start having health complications.
That’s why keeping peanut butter to the occasional treat is the best way to go.
How to Feed Peanut Butter to Chickens
We’ve already touched on the spoon-feeding method. People love using spoons and other utensils because the chickens get up close.
However, if you’ve got several chickens, they’ll all fight trying to get to the spoon.
In those cases, it may be better to put some peanut butter on a plate or in a bowl where more chickens can get it at once. Also, putting peanut butter on fruits or vegetables is a nice way to spread the flavor and get your chickens to eat other healthy foods.
Chickens aren’t usually picky eaters, so you can add peanut butter to whatever you want. They’ll happily eat it.
Avoid adding peanut butter into their main feed because it can cause the feed to clump together. They may also start to expect more sugar in their regular diet.
Buying the Right Peanut Butter
In most cases, any peanut butter will do. But if you can buy organic, sugar-free peanut butter, you can feel more comfortable giving it to your chickens more regularly.
Most kinds of peanut butter you find in grocery stores have a ton of sugar, which is why chickens and people love to eat it so much.
Above all, watch how your chickens react after feeding them the peanut butter. Certainly, if any of them get sick or show any other adverse reactions, stop giving it to them going forward.
And watch your chickens to see if they start gaining too much weight. A big part of raising chickens is keeping them in the right weight range. If you feed them too much sugar, they will get too fat, which will be bad for their health.
What About Peanuts?
OK, so we know that peanut butter is a good treat for chickens, but what about just plain peanuts?
Peanuts, as you may guess, are also fine for chickens to eat. However, with peanuts and any other food you feed thickens, the issues arise when adding other ingredients.
Chickens can eat raw peanuts or cooked peanuts without issue.
Instead, stick with peanuts like honey-roasted peanuts without too much salt, or only feed them plain peanuts with nothing added.
You can sprinkle the peanuts on the ground when you feed your chickens or mix peanuts in with other food. Watch out, however, if you try to feed the peanuts to the chickens by hand. That’s a great way to get your fingers pecked!
How Much Peanut Butter Is OK?
How much peanut butter you give to your chickens typically depends on how much they move. Just like humans and any other animal, they need to burn as many calories as they eat if they want to stay healthy.
If your chickens are always on the move and out of the coop, then you can feel confident giving them frequent peanut butter treats. Feed it to them more when the weather is nice out, and they’re spending more time outdoors.
On the other hand, if your chickens are hanging out in the coop when it’s cold, you shouldn’t give them too much peanut butter because it will make them gain weight.
Using peanut butter is a lovely way to reward your chickens and build a bond with them. It’s a nice affordable treat that almost every chicken in the world will enjoy eating. As long as you give them high-quality peanut butter without too many additives, you can use it as an occasional treat.
Watch how your chickens react in the days and weeks after feeding them peanut butter, and assess whether it’s something you want to use going forward. If you’re worried, you can always switch to another healthy treat like honey when you want to give your chickens something sweet to eat.