Chickens will eat almost anything and everything you give them, especially sweet stuff. They’ll adore raisins. What forms can they eat? How can chickens eat raisins, specifically, what preparation is necessary? Keep on reading to find out benefits and drawbacks feeding your chickens raisins.
Dogs Can’t Eat Them, How About Chickens?
Veterinarian clinics across the world warn against raisin consumption by dogs. According to Merck’s Veterinary Manual, dogs that eat them can develop anuric renal failure. Effects set in at 72 hours after consumption. The reason for this is unknown, but, let’s take a closer look at the raisin.
What Are They Made Of?
Raisins are composed of 96% carbohydrates, 1% fats, and 3% protein. It’s linked to weight gain. The carbs include dietary fiber, starch, and sugars. One cup of raisins alone contains 97.7 grams of sugars. Other components include fats and fatty acids with the most abundant component being Omega-6 fatty acids. Raisins also have vitamins like A, C, E, K, Folate, etc. Minerals include calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and fluoride.
Raisins are essentially dried grapes that are used in cooking, health tonics, snacks, and supplements. Raisins help relieve constipation, promote weight gain, prevent cancer, lower hypertension, control diabetes, relieve anemia, cure fever (germicidal, antibiotic, and antioxidant), promote good eyes, prevent acidosis, and promotes bone health. In other words, your chickens will gain weight faster, build stronger bones and be safe from a variety of disorders brought on by bacteria.
Not the Healthiest Choice
So, raisins have a lot of good nutritional components, but they can possibly make your chickens sick. Then you have to consider how much raisins they should and shouldn’t eat. Too much of something tasty can kill your chickens, easily. The first issue with this is overeating. They’ll put on weight very quickly. The issue with putting on weight fast is that it turns to fat not muscle. If you plan on eating your chickens, and you don’t want fatty birds, then don’t feed them raisins.
Again, this is a dried fruit. Chickens typically have issues with digesting wet foods. It causes plenty of digestive problems that can result in death. And, you most likely cannot afford to dry your own fruit. So, pre-dried raisins are worth the money if you want to feed your chickens a balanced diet with raisins. This is probably the cheapest fruit to buy for them if you want to feed them fruit.
Soften Them Up
To help soften up the dry raisins a bit, try soaking them in water before feeding them to your birds. Or, you can add a few raisins into their water buckets to keep them from being bored. This is a good idea when there is no grass for them to pick at.
Janice Cole suggests making some cranberry, raisin, and peanut butter cakes for them. It has raisins, cranberries, oats, mealworms, peanut butter, and starch feed. You simply mix the ingredients in a cupcake pan and freeze it till it becomes firm.
What about the Bran?
In Raisin Bran, there are raisins, whole grain wheat, wheat bran, sugar, brown sugar syrup, salt, and malt flavoring. Your chickens should be ok eating this. Wheat will not hurt your chickens, and the sugar is fine in moderation. You might want to make them some “cereal” by soaking it in water first before feeding them the Bran. Of course, keep in mind that it’s a sugary cereal. They add sugar to the sugary raisins and coat the flakes in corn syrup.
A Nutty Suggestion
Can chickens have raisins with nuts? Yes, nuts and raisins are another good option, however you must keep a few things in mind. First of all, don’t feed your chickens salted nuts. Salt isn’t good for them or you. It leads to hypertension and a number of health defects. Also, nuts are hard. So are the raisins.
Chickens don’t particularly enjoy hard things on their beaks or tough raisins. Even if you soak the mix, the nuts won’t get any softer. So, if you feed them nuts, go for without salt and smaller ones. Another consideration is the type of nut. Some nuts are high in tannins which you’ll have to boil out before consumption because the tannin is toxic. These nuts include hazelnuts, walnuts, and pecans. Almonds have the least amount of tannin.
Everyone loves raisin bread, so do the chickens
Raisin bread is delicious, and your chickens will think so too. It’s made with flour like all-purpose flour, sugar, eggs, butter, milk, and flavorings. First of all, flours may be produced from genetically modified wheat which causes major health issues. Second, you’re essentially feeding your chickens eggs. Third, butter and milk are totally fine for your chickens to consume, but again, the cow that made that milk might have been eating GM grain which is known to leech into the milk. Finally, chickens seem to enjoy bread. It’ll keep them busy and happy!
Give your chickens what they want, but keep balance in mind as you do so. They need to eat healthy just as we do. Get creative with it, but cut out the excess sugar so your chickens will produce great eggs and less fatty meat.
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