Why are citrus fruits bad for chickens?

PattJ

In the Brooder
Feb 13, 2016
26
5
44
I have read many posts on here about poisonous or otherwise prohibited foods, but other than one mention that citrus makes eggs taste funny, and another that it interferes with calcium absorption, I can't find any really definitive explanation of why citrus is bad. Is ANY citrus bad, or are certain fruits or quantities allowable or absolutely not allowed? Before reading this I would give my hens an occasional clementine that had gotten too mushy to eat. I'd halve it and just set in in their run. It never lasted more than an hour (I have about 15 birds, usually). Nothing would be left but a well-picked peel, which I'd remove. Is this practice acceptable or not?
 

KaylorFarms

Crowing
Apr 3, 2017
3,805
1,892
342
Oklahoma
I don't believe citrus is bad for chickens. I know someone who gives their chickens a grapefruit every week and eat it down to the peel. They just can't have it that often
 

Mace Gill

Songster
May 26, 2017
591
869
186
New Jersey
I don't think it's bad for them, but they don't need it. Most creatures produce their own vitamin C, humans and other primates do not, so we need C, which it easy to get from citrus. My chickens don't even like it ... maybe the citric acid is too much for them.
 

PattJ

In the Brooder
Feb 13, 2016
26
5
44
Thanks so much for your responses everyone! I figured they didn't NEED it, but they love it so much, I just wanted to know I was OK with it as an occaisional treat. I hadn't seen any adverse effects, but didn't want some hidden problem to affect them later.
 

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