Can Chickens Eat Grapes?

Can Chickens Eat Grapes?

You might wonder if baby chicks can eat grapes.

 

I’ve had many chickens, and with my chicks, I love feeding them treats. Over the years, I’ve gotten a number of questions about what to feed backyard chickens, as well as queries about what treats are safe for baby chicks.

 

 

A common question I get regarding treats is “Can my chicks eat grapes?” We talked about a number of things that they can eat in another video, but I specifically wanted to talk about grapes because it seems to be a very common question now.

 

Before we talk about grapes, just remember that you really want to limit treats to 10% of your chicks’ diet, at most. You want them eating that high-protein chick starter that will give them all the nutrients that they need to grow. But – if you’re like me – you’re gonna want to give treats. 

 

In this article, I’ll answer that question, as well as provide ways to safely feed grapes to baby chicks (and what to avoid).

 

Main takeaways:

  • Yes, chickens can eat grapes
  • It’s best to cut the grapes up so they’re tiny or smash them
  • Stay away from preserves, jams, jellies, or any grapes with added sugar

 

Other reading:

What do chickens eat?

Can chicks eat strawberries?

Can Chicks Eat Grapes?

Yes, your chicks can eat grapes. Always make sure the grapes are fresh – never feed rotten food to your chicks. You only want to feed them very fresh grapes.

How to Feed Grapes

To reduce the chances of choking or impacted crop, always crush the grapes. You don’t want them getting chunks of grapes or any other fruits stuck in their throats, because that can cause the chicks to choke. 

 

Similarly, you also don’t want these humongous chunks of fruit in their crop, because can lead to impacted crop and other digestive issues.

 

I try to crush them really, really well. If you don’t want to crush them, you can chop them, but crushing them doesn’t take that much effort. You put them in a bag and take a rolling pin or a can and just roll it.

 

There’s really no reason that they can’t eat it other than just the size, so as long as the grapes are crushed, mushy, fresh, not rotten in any way, your baby chicks can definitely enjoy them. 

 

Steer Clear of Jellies, Jams, & Preserves

Fresh grapes and grape jelly are not the same thing in terms of the nutritional value for your chicks. 

 

Fresh grapes have a lot of vital nutrients and vitamins. Grape jelly, on the other hand, likely has a lot of sugar in it, so it’s best avoided.

 

Your chicks don’t need sugar, and they certainly don’t need the preservatives and feed additives in commercial grape jellies. Fresh is always best!

 

So yes, chicks can eat grapes. Just be sure to follow the guidelines in this article!

 

Chicken Feed 101 For New Owners

Chicken Feed 101 For New Owners

Healthy hens and roosters don’t come in baskets from storks. It takes the right kind of chicken feed to turn them into active clucking fluffy butts in your coop.

 

What is chicken feed called?

There are several types of chicken feeds. Starter feed is a protein dense variety of chicken feed designed to meet the dietary requirements of baby chicks. To complicate matters, there are varieties of chicken food known as starter/grower feed, which is essentially a type of feed that chickens can eat from 1-20 weeks of age.

 

Generally, chickens are to be fed depending on their growth development stage. 

 

For baby chicks a day old to 10 weeks starter feed should be crumbles or mash that contain 18% protein. Don’t be confused with crumbles and mash. Crumbles look like tiny pieces of granola while mash are finely ground chicken feed pellets. Both are easier to be consumed by chicks compared to huge pellets.

 

Eventually, they’ll start laying. Chicken layer feed would be similar to the textured mixture of crumbles, mash, and pellets. However, It needs at least 16% protein minimum, with added calcium. Layers need high protein chicken feed as well for more eggs. You also need to stay away from feeding onions, and other strong tasting foods to layers. They cause and undesirable taste to the eggs.

 

What do you feed chickens for tasting the best eggs?

We try different types of chicken feeds, but we feed them high quality layer feed and supplement it with our very own blend of natural herbs, oyster shells, garlic for immune boosting, and apple cider vinegar granules to balance gut pH and introduce beneficial bacteria. You can check it out here.

 

What do you feed a chicken?

The basis of any good chicken diet is a high quality poultry feed. We feed our girls a layer mash, which provides them with the right amount of protein and minerals to keep them laying eggs! In short, you can feed chickens:

  1. Layer pellets (16% protein)
  2. Dried insects like black soldier fly larvae or mealworms
  3. Vegetables (here’s a list of vegetables you can feed chickens)
  4. Fruits such as grapes, berries, and melons
  5. Grasses
  6. Seeds like wheat or millet

 

What is the best feed for chickens?

The best feed is high in protein, while providing all the nutrients chickens need. While there are a lot of commercial chicken feeds on the market, I still prefer non-GMO chicken feed. We’re proud to have the best chicken feed that can even give chickens fluffy feathers and produce the best eggs! Click here to know where to get chicken feed.

 

If you want to make your own homemade feed, just make sure it has essential chicken feed ingredients. You can read my favorite chicken feed recipe here.

 

How much do you feed a chicken per day?

A well known ballpark figure for estimating purpose is 1/4 pound of feed per chicken per day, or, 1.5 pounds of feed per chicken per week. Keep in mind that this is a ballpark figure, and you’ll need to watch your flock’s intake. If they gobble their feed quickly, and still seem hungry, offer more.

 

Do free range chickens need feed?

Yes. Even though they have access to pasture, you still need to give them poultry chicken feed to make sure they’re getting the right kind and enough nutrition.

 

Do chickens need food and water at night?

Chickens roost and sleep at night, and they won’t get up to eat and drink until it’s light again. However, you should always provide 24 hour access to water. Here’s a list of waterers we recommend.

 

How often should chickens be fed?

How often do you feed chickens is a very common question in growing backyard chickens. Food must be available to chickens whenever they need it. The full feeding method is a good technique to guarantee that there is constant supply of feed at all times. You can also use automatic feeders like these. We’ve also reviewed Duncan Feeder’s automatic feeders here.

 

How much food does a chicken need per day?

¼ cup of a high quality chicken feed. Best to offer free choice all day.

 

Can you overfeed chickens?

Everything must be taken in moderation. Overfeeding chicken is possible and they become obese especially if they’re confined to the coop. Free range hens however get enough exercise and are unlikely to be obese.

 

Do free range chickens need scratch? 

No. They don’t. Unless it’s winter and the ground is covered in snow.

 

Then there’s also grit. Grit is not feed, it’s rocks. Chickens need grit to help digest their feed. It’s their equivalent to teeth. Free fed chicken will find their way to grit in the form of tiny bits of stone and gravel but it would be helpful if you threw some in the coop or their feed too. 

 

Grit comes as flint and oyster shell. Oyster shell is soluble and it provides calcium which would be much used by layers in particular. It’s just like feeding chickens with eggshells.

 

What should you not feed chickens? What foods are poisonous to chickens?

While looking for alternative chicken feed, you might have considered beans. Although they look like something chickens would eat, dried and raw beans are a no-no. It contains phytohaemagglutinin which is fatal to chickens. Moldy fruits and vegetables aren’t good as Fowl feed too.

 

Caffeine is also toxic to chickens. Giving them a few pecks of chocolates would not cause too much harm but remember, chocolates are known to cause cardiac arrest in birds!

 

Other foods that are not good for chicken are:

  1. Processed food
  2. Raw potato peels and green potatoes
  3. Avocado skin and pit
  4. Raw meat
  5. Greasy food

 

You can see a list of what not to feed chickens here.

 

What scraps can chickens eat?

Some table scraps that are safe for chicken to consume are:

 

  1. Vegetables (cooked or raw)
  2. Fruits (leave the seeds out)
  3. Grain
  4. Oatmeal
  5. Corn (cooked, raw, and dried)
  6. Peas
  7. Bread
  8. Yogurt

 

Again, make sure that these foods are not moldy or spoiled. You might have also heard of feeding chicken expired yogurt. It’s not something to be frowned on. Feeding chicken yogurt helps even out chicken gut bacteria for a better digestion. You can also add a few tablespoons of yogurt when fermenting chicken feed.

 

Where can I buy chicken feed?

You can find chicken feed for sale at local farm stores. You can also find them on Amazon here.

 

How can I feed my chickens cheap?

To reduce chicken feed bill, free ranging would be a good idea. A garden can provide additional and natural feed for your chicken who sometimes don’t stop eating. Another option is to make your own chicken feed. Learn how to make chicken feed and check out my chicken feed recipe here.

 

What can I grow to feed chickens? 

Growing chicken feed is not complicated at all. Remember what was in grandma’s garden and sow them! Chickens can eat vegetables like corn, lettuce, kale, and any other leafy vegetable you usually grow. Sunflower and Millet are great seed producing plants too! These make great grower feed for chickens and organic chicken feed too.

3 (Easy) Steps To Feeding Healthy Day Old Baby Chicks

3 (Easy) Steps To Feeding Healthy Day Old Baby Chicks

If we’re going to raise baby chicks from day-olds to layers, we may as well start at the beginning – with what to feed baby chicks.

 

In this video, we’ve got a new batch of little cuties that were just born! The problem is what to feed them from now until they’re ready for more advanced cuisine. 

 

In this video, I’ll show you what I feed my newborn chicks.

 

  1. Feed
  2. The Mess
  3. The Bowl
  4. Dried Tiny Shrimp 

 

Feed

As soon as chicks are born, we feed them an 18% chick starter with herbs in it. It’s our own special blend. And the reason we feed that is because it has 18% protein in it. It has all the nutrients that they need to grow from being chicks to healthy layers. And we like to have the herbs in there because the herbs help them grow healthy

 

We started packaging this and selling it is because people ask me constantly on my website: Where do I get my feed? What do I feed? Why do I feed that? What herbs can I use?

 

Providing our mix to people just makes it easier for their chicks to access to the same things that I use without having to go through the rigmarole of mixing it themselves. (You can view our herbal chick starter here)

 

Why Mess Is Good

One thing you might notice is that it’s pretty messy in my brooder. The chicks get feed everywhere. That’s actually a good thing because it shows that they’re eating.

 

One of the biggest concerns I personally had when I first started raising chicks was whether or not they would actually eat enough to grow. If they don’t eat, they don’t grow, which is bad. The mess tells me that they’re eating and I’m happy with that. 

 

Feeder Options For Day Olds

When chicks are day olds, I use a small, low bowl for their feed. That’s very intentional.

 

I’ve tried other feeders for the first couple of days of their lives, but with the hundreds and hundreds of chicks that I’ve raised, I’ve noticed the chicks have a hard time finding the food in juvenile feeders. Right after they’re born, they’re disoriented and tired because it’s hard hatching.

 

A bowl where they can just walk on top of the food, makes it easier for them to find the food, and – most importantly – to eat

 

As they get older, I’ll switch to their bigger feeder (like I show in this video). As day olds though, they don’t really understand how to use the bigger feeders yet: you have to teach them. So for the sake of making sure that they are eating and are healthy, I just use a little dish. 

 

So obviously they really like their feed; the bowl is easy to use and they’re healthy.

 

Encouraging Chicks To Eat

Something else I like to give chicks during the first weeks of their life and really until the time that they’re adults are dried tiny shrimp. (You can see my favorite type here).

 

I like these because they’re tiny. They’re easy to crush and they’re full of protein and they’re irresistible to chickens of all ages. 

 

Especially in the first couple of days of their life, I’m very worried that my chicks are not eating as much as they should. Treats that are full of protein, like these dried tiny shrimps, make it almost impossible for chicks not to eat. They love them so much that they just swarm. 

 

All I do to feed them is just put them right in the dish. These treats are not in place of chick starter, it’s just a supplement and it’s just really to ensure that my chicks are getting as much protein and as many nutrients into their body as possible so that they grow healthy.

 

There you have it! My little day-olds and I hope you’ve gotten a good feel for a convenient and balanced starting diet to help your chicks grow as strong and healthy as possible.

 

Got questions? Got comments? Got suggestions? Leave a comment below

Can Chickens Eat Strawberries?

Can Chickens Eat Strawberries?

 

Main Takeaways:

  • Yes, chickens can eat strawberries
  • For chicks, make sure the strawberries are very ripe and soft.
  • Make sure to squash the berries or chop them very finely
  • This shouldn’t replace regular chick starter! It’s a treat only
  • Stay away from jams, jellies, or anything with preservatives
  • If you buy berries from the store, wash them very well.
  • Consider buying berries from local sources that don’t use pesticides.

 

More reading:

Can chicks eat bananas?

Medicated vs. Unmedicated chick starter

Herbal treats for backyard chickens

Are Crumbles Or Mash Better For Chicks?

Are Crumbles Or Mash Better For Chicks?

Main Takeaways & Extra Info:

  • Crumbles and mash are just different ways to feed starter to chicks. One isn’t necessarily better than the other.
  • It’s important that whichever you feed, the chick starter has at least 18% protein.
  • I feed a mash because I want to make sure my chicks can eat it (particle sizes are small enough)
  • Grinding the food into a mash might preserve some of the nutrients better.
  • Crumbles have gone through an extra step of grinding, and then heating and compressing the ingredients, so some nutrients might be lost. (You can always ask the manufacturer about this)
  • Our chick starter has not been heated – just ground so baby chicks can eat it. (View our chick starter here)
  • With any chick feed be careful about getting it wet and leaving it to mold. Always change the feed out daily!

 

Additional reading:

What do chickens eat

High protein treats for chickens

Watch all the Baby Chick Series Videos here