Orange juice to chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by honeybunny, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. honeybunny

    honeybunny Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2012
    I was just wondering, I've been feeding my chickens a lot of veggies like carrots, lettuce, bananas, etc., because when I do, I get a couple of eggs out of them now and then.

    We just bought a bunch of orange juice, and I'm wondering if I could give them some in a bowl as a healthy treat?
  2. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    i know i've read somewhere a list of things not to give chickens and citrus was one of them. mine have had oranges when the neighbour gave them some and they weren't interested at all.
  3. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    Mine won't eat citrus.

  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    Citrus is not harmful. I have not seen any source that supports the claim that it is. My chickens enjoy the occasional overripe orange I cut in half and toss to them.
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Citrus it just fine, There are some feed Mfg. that use citrus wast in there feeds.

    That "Treat Chart" is very misleading and has some incorrect information in it and really needs to be updated or removed.

  7. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    Firstly, I wouldn't give a bowlful of orange juice to a chicken. I'm not sure she'd like it, and it seems like a LOT of just one kind of treat. Remember, a chicken's body weight is quite small, so anything you give her must be kept on that scale. A bowlful for a hen is like a vatfull for us.

    That being said, there's a lot of conflicting information out there, and some of it is overkill, and some of it is very scary but just plain wrong. I think it happens because people hear something like "dont' feed green potato peels" and translate that to "never eat any potato peels ever" and pass that info on. I mean, only feed seedless grapes? Is that because of the teeny bit of arsenic in the seeds? If chickens and other birds couldn't handle eating grape seeds, they never would have survived as a class of animals without humans to feed them. Grapes evolved to have their seeds spread by birds. The yummy grape part is there precisely to tempt bird to eat it, and then poop out the seeds somewhere else so the plant can reproduce. Heck, my dad's chicken house entrance is *under the grape arbor.* I saw those hens gorge themselves on fallen fully-seeded grapes. They would jump up as high as they could to pick them off the vine if there weren't any on the ground. Not one chicken even got ill. I've seen articles saying that avocados will kill chickens, but the toxin is in the seed, and a chicken can't eat the seed. The flesh is fine. Those raw potatoes? In reality, chickens won't get sick from eating a raw potato or its skin, but shouldn't eat GREEN potato peelings, and neither should people because of a toxin in the green part. The reason that I've heard not to feed chickens citrus is that it will cause sour crop. But sour crop is caused by poor emptying of the crop which is either caused by or causes a fungal infection--vets aren't sure whether the slowly emptying crop or the fungus comes first. Its' not caused by acidic things.

    Sure, keep them away from chocolate and caffeine, that only makes sense. Those things aren't really "food" anyway. And there are toxic plants out there, but for the most part hens won't eat them anyway. However, common sense is key. Tomato leaves are slightly toxic, yes. But a nibble here and there won't kill a chicken. In fact, a good trick is to add a tomato leaf to your pasta sauce (and pull it out again, like a bay leaf) as a way to make the sauce taste extra tomato-y. Heck, I've had rabbits completely destroy a row of eggplants, which are supposed to have leaves that are FAR more toxic than tomato leaves. No dead bunnies (which was kind of too bad, I thought). Here is my very healthy flock of hens helping me out by eating up the last of the cherry tomatoes before I take the plant to the compost bin. Not one chicken was harmed.They're just not delicate little flowers.


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