Can Chickens Eat Watermelon? The Answer Will Blow Your Mind
Chickens seem to eat everything. They’ll eat whatever their eyes find attractive and whatever they can put their beaks on. But can chickens eat watermelon? Is there substance in the fruit that might harm these fowls?
However, some owners report their chickens dying off after eating melons or watermelons. Is there a poisonous chemical or compound in watermelons? Should we feed this fruit to chickens? Is there any benefit?
Can Chickens Eat Watermelon?
Yes, they can. Yes, you can feed your chicken with watermelon. Chickens, like most fowls, require water. During summer, watermelon is a rich source of hydration that could cool your chickens off and replenish their fluids in the body.
However, be sure to feed them with fresh watermelon. It doesn’t matter if you cut them in bits or you give them half a watermelon as long as it's fresh. Moldy foods contain compounds that are harmful and even fatal to chickens.
Benefits of Feeding Water Melon
#1 Helps cool them off during hot weather
Chickens can tolerate slight variations in temperature and weather. Due to their feathers, however, extreme temperatures such as that of summer gives them discomfort.
Chickens tend to burrow in the soil to cool themselves off. During summer, however, and especially during hot weather, this might not be enough to ease the discomfort your fowl experiences.
Feeding them with half a melon is an excellent way to cool them off. Watermelons have very high contents of water. In addition, the structure of the flesh of watermelon allows it to deflect heat and remain cool even during hot weather.
#2 Rehydrates your chicken
During summer, another issue is dehydration. With so much heat, water is released in the form of vapor as chickens exhale. Watermelon is rich in water content. It can sufficiently replenish the fluids lost by chickens due to hot weather.
#3 Improves the emotional state of your chicken
So, your chickens are sad. What now, you ask? For one, egg production is adversely affected by some factors including the emotional state of the chicken.
Watermelon is both a nutritious and a delicious treat for your fowls. This will improve their mood and reduce stress considerably. In turn, the chickens will lay eggs frequently.
#4 Improves chicken’s health
Watermelon contains some nutrients that are necessary to maintain the health of the chickens. One of this is fiber. Fiber adds bulk to their stools and keeps their digestive system healthy. A healthy digestive system is vital for overall health.
Things You Must Consider When Feeding Watermelon to Chicken
Although feeding watermelon to your chicken is relatively safe, there are still a lot of reports of chicken dying from feeding off watermelon rind. Here are some things you must consider to avoid death:
#1 Feed fresh watermelon rinds
You can cut the watermelon in half and allow your chicken to feast on it. Be sure, however, that you remove any leftovers after the chicken are done with it.
Usually, chickens would stop soon after they’ve nothing left to eat out of the watermelon. However, if you’ve feed so much that they’ve stopped eating after they’re full, it’s best to get rid of the leftovers.
Leftovers will harbor and grow a type of fungi that produces toxic substances. These substances are known to be fatal to chicken. Some attribute the death of their chicken to watermelon—but the truth is, it’s the toxins the fungi produce.
#2 Cut the rind into small chunks
If you want to feed your chicken a watermelon rind containing the hard skin of the fruit, then be sure to cut it into small pieces. There’s little chance your chicken might suffocate out of large pieces but it's better safe than sorry.
#3 Peel off the hard skin of the watermelon
If you don’t want to gamble it, you can remove the skin of the watermelon and feed what remains of the rind.
This way, you are sure that they only consume the part that’s easy to digest and that won’t hurt them.
There are many reports of chicken dying off from eating watermelon. Rest assure that watermelon contains no harmful substance that could kill your chicken off.
Molds, however, can grow on a watermelon as soon as you left them for a considerable time in an open air. These fungi produce toxins that could kill your chickens.
You can feed watermelon to your chicken. As long as you ensure that what you feed is fresh, there’s nothing to worry about. Also, watermelon is a healthy treat your chickens will love and benefit from.