Can Chickens Eat Cherries? The Pros and Cons

Published: February 7, 2023

Several chickens in a wooden chicken coop
Credit: / @brookecagle

You may have wondered, can chickens eat cherries? After all, the two seem like they would go well together. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of letting chickens snack on cherries. We will also look at how many farmers should feed their chickens cherries and any other considerations that need to be taken into account.

Can Chickens Eat Cherries?

Yes, chickens can, in fact, eat cherries! Farmers can feel comfortable giving their chickens the occasional fresh cherry treat. While chickens can eat cherries, it's important to note that they should be given as an occasional snack, as large amounts can lead to digestive problems. Cherries can provide a tasty snack for chickens, but they should not be confused with a balanced diet and should not replace food made specifically for them in their feeders.

Cherries are a great source of vitamins and minerals like potassium, calcium, and vitamin C. Some may even consider it a healthy snack.

How to Feed Cherries to Chickens?

Feeding chickens fresh cherries is a great way to provide them with important vitamins and minerals, but it is important to do so safely.

Therefore, you should only feed them the fleshy part of the cherry and not the cherry pits as they can pose a choking hazard. Additionally, chickens should not eat cherry stems and leaves as these of too tough for their systems to digest properly.

When feeding cherries to chickens, it’s best to cut them into smaller pieces for easier consumption.

Regardless of size, always keep an eye on the cherry servings you give your chickens; too much cherry intake can result in digestive issues and potential discomfort.

What Types of Cherries Are Safe?

a bowl of red cherries on a table
Credit: / @nehadeshmukh

When it comes to wild cherries, these can be fantastic for chickens. Fresh sweet cherries are a great source of nutrition; however, care should be taken to ensure they’re free from pesticides before offering them to chickens.

While dried cherries have several enriching nutrients such as iron and magnesium, too much can cause diarrhea in chickens, so it’s important that this type of cherry is used sparingly!

As long as wild and fresh cherries are given in moderation and at the right time of year, farmers should find their chickens happy and healthy from enjoying these delicious fruits.

In addition, cherries should be cut into small pieces, otherwise, they can be difficult to digest.

How Many Cherries Can Chickens Eat?

Feeding cherries to your chickens is an excellent way to provide a tasty treat. The cherry skin can be difficult to digest, so you should remove it before offering the cherries to your chicken friends.

In terms of the amount per week, we recommend around 2-4 cherries per chicken, a few times a week. Remember that cherries should be fed as a treat and should not form the primary part of their diet - it's best used as an occasional snack.

Are Cherries Good for Chickens, Are They Nutritious?

Cherries are one of nature's wonderful edible treats – but can chickens feed on them too? The good news is that, in general, cherries are indeed a safe and nutritious supplement to feed your chickens.

Of course, as with any change in diet, it is important to introduce only a small amount at first, as large amounts of any new feed type can make poultry sick.

Furthermore, overfeeding should be avoided; cherries provide a variety of micronutrients and valuable nutrition but they do contain sugar.

Can Baby Chicks Eat Cherries?

a baby chick in the palm of a hand
Credit: / @afrarpics

Baby chicks are cute and cuddly, but it is important to know what they can and cannot eat to keep them healthy.

While baby chicks may enjoy the taste of cherries, it is even more crucial that you take the amount into consideration. Ensure you cut the cherries into smaller pieces than you would an adult chicken.

It goes without saying, if the pits are hazardous for full-grown chickens, they are definitely off-limits for baby chicks due to their size. 

It is best to feed baby chicks a balanced diet made up of specifically designed chick starter mixes and live foods.

Do Chickens Like Cherries?

Chickens and cherries have a longstanding relationship, with chickens often seen pecking and eating the tart fruit.

It has been debated whether chickens actually like their sour taste or not. The fact is chickens have different tastes just like us humans.

Some chickens may be quite picky when it comes to consuming food and should therefore be encouraged to eat fruits, including cherries. As always, monitor your chickens if you are introducing new foods and feed the in smaller amounts at first before increasing the amount gradually.

Wrapping it Up

In conclusion, chickens can eat cherries in moderation as a special treat. However, it is important to cut the cherry into smaller pieces and remove the pits before feeding them to chickens.

Lastly, some chickens may be picky about what food they consume so encouragement should be given when introducing new foods such as cherries.

Overall, with proper monitoring and guidance on portion size control, you can enjoy watching your chickens happily munching away on their favorite treats!

Frequently Asked Questions

What fruits are toxic to chickens?

There are many fruits that pose a danger to chickens, but here is a list of common fruits:

  • Tomato leaves

  • Apple seeds

  • Avocado pits and skins

Will Chicken Eggs Taste Better If They Eat Cherries?

While it is true that the flavor of a chicken's egg is mainly determined by its diet, it is unlikely that feeding chickens cherries will make it change or taste better on its own.

Are Cherry Leaves Safe for Chickens?

Different sources are reporting different results so we recommend only feeding the flesh of the cherry to your chickens.

How Can I Have Healthier Chickens?

Similar to humans, by providing a healthy diet, and offering clean water with a clean living area. Allowing chickens to be social and providing space for them to roam also helps with their well-being.

Can Chickens Eat Wild Cherries?

Rest assured, chickens can eat wild cherries, again just be careful to remove the cherry skin, stems, and pits before feeding it to chickens. Additionally, chickens can eat both sweet and sour cherries, though you should always monitor the amount you give them and watch for signs of discomfort.

Can Cherry Trees Pose a Hazard?

Potentially. If your cherry tree is right above the chicken coop, it's possible the cherry tree leaves, or cherries themselves may drop so it's best to keep an eye out if you have a tree nearby.

Are Pitted Cherries Still Hazardous to Chickens?

While the pits of cherries pose a hazard, it's best that pitted cherries still have their skins and stems removed before feeding the chickens.

Keep track of all your cattle with the #1 Cattle Management App

Download today for free!

Keep track of all your cattle with the #1 Cattle Management Software

Try out Ranchr today for free