Can Chickens Eat Watermelon?


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Watermelons are a great treat for chickens to quench their thirst especially during summer when the weather is extremely hot. Just like human beings, chickens love watermelons. Watermelons are made up of 92% water which will help to keep your chickens hydrated.

Chicken eating watermelon

Baby chicks can feed on watermelons but in limited quantities. They need to feed on higher protein foods thus watermelons should be fed to them in moderation. Baby chicks should never be fed watermelon rinds or seeds. Their crops are not fully developed to be able to digest these parts of the watermelon.

Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Flesh?

It is highly recommended to feed fresh ripe watermelon flesh to your chickens (ripe watermelons have red flesh). Unripe watermelons have white flesh which has low levels of lycopene and beta-carotene.

Because watermelons are primarily composed of water, they can help prevent dehydration during the hot summer months.

Both the rind and flesh contain nutritious elements, minerals, and vitamins which are extracted through the vines from ground water. Watermelons contain antioxidants and vitamins A, B6, and C.

They also contain more lycopene than any other fruit. Other nutrients include niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, betaine, choline, zinc, manganese, potassium, selenium, copper, magnesium and phosphorus.

The fresh and clean water in melons can add extra hydration essential for egg production. They need the water to boost energy for egg production. Lack of access to water can result in a lack of egg laying.

Watermelons also contain fiber which plays an important role in adding bulk to the chicken’s stool. This helps to improve their digestive system.

Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Skin?

White chicken eating watermelon skin

If given a choice between watermelon flesh and rind, chickens will definitely go for the flesh. But on the occasion you are left with watermelon leftovers, your chickens can definitely finish them for you.

Be aware that if your garden is exposed, these little birds will not hesitate to raid it and devour the watermelons, starting with the rind and working their way to the flesh.

Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Seeds?   

Fully grown chickens are capable of digesting watermelon seeds perfectly. The adults have a crop that is well-developed so as to process any type of seeds including those of watermelons.

When feeding your chickens watermelon, you can scoop some flesh at the middle which contains many seeds without worrying about removing the seeds.

Avoid feeding watermelon seeds to your baby chicks. Their digestive system is not fully developed to digest the seeds.

Can Chickens Eat the Watermelon Plant?

Chicken and watermelon

The leaves and vines of the watermelon plants are safe for chicken consumption. So if you happen to be growing watermelons in your kitchen garden then you have no reason to worry about poisoning.

One thing you ought to avoid is spraying the melons with pesticides. Chemicals sprayed on the leaves and vines are unsafe for your chickens. This includes any vines you may buy. Ensure that they are also free from pesticides.

If you have a neighboring farm that does aerial spray programs, ensure you rinse your watermelons well before feeding them to your chickens.

Watermelon Treat Ideas

Watermelons contain water and several nutrients which makes them a healthy treat for your chickens. They are excellent for hydration.

Watermelons contain a very nutritious flesh and a healthy green rind. The following treat ideas can be implemented in feeding your chicken.

Watermelon Vine Salad

This salad is a combination of fruits and vegetables that are safe for chickens (carrots or cucumbers), watermelons fruits and well chopped watermelon leaves and vines. Mix them well and feed them to your chickens.

Frozen Watermelon Block

Slice your watermelons into tiny cubes, place them in a bowl full of water and freeze them. On an extremely hot day, feed your chicken the frozen watermelons. They will really enjoy munching them as they defrost.

Conclusion

If you want to get rid of your watermelon vines, feed them to your chickens first. Otherwise, they will ignore the vines and go straight for the flesh. 

Never feed your chickens rotten/moldy melons. Mold contains mycotoxins which can cause serious health issues. Both the flesh and rinds should be fresh.

Watermelons rehydrate chickens in extremely hot seasons and also contain numerous nutrients. So next time you purchase a watermelon, don’t forget to purchase some for your little friends too.

Resources

April

April has owned and worked with domestic fowl including chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, and guineas since 1998. She has a B.S. in Agriculture from Cal Poly in Pomona, CA where she studied genetics, nutrition and reproduction.

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