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Citrus and chickens

post #1 of 2
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Besides chicken feed and corn (scratch?), I give my girls fruits and veggies. They love anything red - strawberries, tomatoes, raspberries. I have wondered about oranges. I eat a lot of citrus fruits and have wondered about giving them pieces. Does anyone know why it is not a good idea to feed citrus to chickens? They seem to absolutely love different squashes, too.

post #2 of 2
It's fine as a treat. I did a fairly extensive review of the current scientific knowledge recently, but could find no support for the theory that it messed up the calcium absorption (which is the reason people cite for recommending against it). My girls are getting a few tangerines a week now.

Interesting tidbit is that the extra vitamin C and acidification of the water (study done with adding lemon juice to the water) can actually increase the productivity of heat-stressed birds. A different study showed how although chickens make their own vitamin C in their kidneys, in stressed adult birds this ability to synthesize it is partially impaired so they can benefit from supplementation--this is NOT true for chicks, whose ability is unaffected by stress.
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