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Can Chickens Eat Cherries? (Nutrition, Advantage & Feeding Tips) 

Fruits are not typically a large part of a chicken’s diet. However, some fruits can be given to chickens as a treat. Can chickens eat cherries? Is it a healthy source of nutrients for chickens?  Let’s find out!

What Exactly are Cherries?

Cherries are small round fruits that grow on the cherry tree. The color of cherries can vary depending on the variety, but they are typically red, black, or yellow. They are a rich source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber.  

They have a sweet taste and can be eaten fresh or used in recipes such as pies, jams, and syrups. Salads and other dishes can also be made with cherries.  

Types of Cherries   

There are two types of cherries- Sweet and Sour. Can chickens eat cherries of both kinds? Yes, chickens can eat cherries of both types. However, sweet cherries have higher sugar content, so if you are planning to feed your chickens sweet cherries, do so in moderation.  

Cherry Nutrition   

red cherries inside the fruit basket

Cherries are rich in:  

Vitamins:  

-Vitamin C: important for the immune system  

-Vitamin A: is needed for vision and cell growth  

Minerals:   

-Potassium: is used by the body for muscle contraction and nerve function  

-Fiber: helps with digestion  

Water: Cherries are about 80% water  

Sugar: They can be a healthy source of natural sugar  

Do All Chickens Like Cherries?    

Chickens usually enjoy eating cherries. However, not all chickens eat cherries. Some chickens may not be as interested in them as others. Some may also be allergic to them, while others do not enjoy the taste.  

If your chicken is not interested in cherries, don’t worry. There are plenty of other fruits and vegetables that you can give your chicken as a treat.  

How To Offer Cherries To Your Chickens  

squeezing cherries photo

Cherries can be given to the chicken whole, or they can be cut up into smaller pieces. If you are giving your chicken whole cherries, make sure to remove the pits first. You can also offer cherry halves or slices.  

Dried Cherries For Chickens  

Dried cherries can also be given to chickens. This is a great way to give your chicken cherries year-round. However, as with any dried fruit, they should be consumed in moderation due to the high sugar content. You can either buy preserved cherries or make them yourself at home.  

If you choose to make your own dried cherries, start by washing the fruit and removing the stems and pits. Next, slice them in half or into quarters.  

After that, place them on a dehydrator tray and set the temperature to 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Dehydrate them until they are dry but still pliable. This can take anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.  

Once they are done, allow them to cool before giving them to your chickens. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for six months.  

Canned Cherries For Chickens  

You can also give your chicken canned cherries. However, be sure to check the label first. Canned fruit can contain added sugar, which you will want to avoid. They can raise the blood sugar level of your chickens. If the label does not specify that they are unsweetened, it is safe to assume they are sweetened and find a different can.  

three glass containers of cherries

You can also make your own canned cherries at home. Make sure to wash the fruit and remove the stems and pits.  

If you want to get creative, there are a few recipes that you can make using cherries that your chicken is sure to love.  

Cherry Trail Mix For Chickens

This is a simple recipe that can be made in no time. Start by washing the fruit and removing the stems and pits. Next, slice them in half or into quarters.  

After that, add the cherries to a bowl and some chopped nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Put everything in a container and mix it together.  

Cherry Kebab   

This is a fun and easy recipe that your chicken is sure to love. Start by washing the fruit and removing the stems and pits. Next, thread them onto skewers.  

You can also add other fruits and vegetables to the kebabs. Once they are skewered, place them in the fridge until you are ready to serve them.  

Glazed Cherries    

This is a delicious and festive recipe that is just right for the holidays. Glazed cherries are also a delicious way to use up cherries that are beginning to taste run-down.  

Start by washing the fruit and removing the stems and pits. Next, add them to a saucepan and some sugar, water, and lemon juice. Heat the mixture over medium heat, occasionally stirring, until it comes to a boil.  

Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes. The cherry fruits should be soft, and the sauce should be thick and syrupy.  

Remove the pan from the heat and allow the cherries to cool. Once they are cool, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for two weeks.  

Are Cherries Harmful To Chickens?  

fresh cherries in a bowl and a squeezer photo

Not all cherries are healthy for chickens. Some, such as pitted and stemless cherries, can pose a choking hazard. In addition, sour cherries can also contain cyanide.  

Are Cherries Poisonous?   

Generally speaking, cherries are not poisonous. However, as mentioned before, first. The pits and stems of the cherry can be poisonous to chickens. Make sure to remove these parts before feeding cherries to your chickens. Second, whole cherries can pose a choking hazard if they are not pitted and stemless. In addition, while fresh cherries are usually safe for chickens to eat, sour cherries can contain cyanide.  

Things To Be Aware of When Feeding Cherries  

fresh ripened cherries hanging on the vine

Cherry Seeds 

The cyanide poisoning from cherry stems can also come from the seeds. So, in addition to taking off the stem, remove any seeds before giving cherries to your chickens.  

Cherry Skin 

The skin of the cherry is safe for chickens to eat. In fact, the skin contains more antioxidants than the flesh of the cherry.  

Cherry Pits and Stems

Cherry pits and stems should not be given to chickens. The pits can cause a choking problem, and the stems can contain cyanide, poisonous to chickens.  

Can Chickens eat Cherry Blossoms?

Chickens can eat cherry blossoms. However, they should only be given in moderation as too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems.  

Cherry leaves

Chickens can eat cherry leaves. However, they should only be given in moderation as they can contain cyanide.  

How Many Cherries Can My Chicken Eat?   

Moderation is key when it comes to feeding your flock any treat in their chicken feeders, including cherries. A general rule of thumb is to give your chicken no more than 10% of their daily food intake in treats. So, if you are giving your flock a diet of pellets and vegetables, they can have about 2-3 cherries as a treat.  

Conclusion  

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Cherries are a healthy treat that your chickens can enjoy in moderation. Be sure to remove the pits and stems before giving them to your flock to avoid choking hazards. In addition, while most chickens will love cherries, a few may be allergic to them. If you notice any adverse reactions after feeding your chickens cherries, it is best to avoid giving them in the future.  

FAQs 

Can chickens eat sour cherries?

Yes, your chickens can eat sour cherry as a treat. They are rich in vitamin c. They are safe for your chickens to eat.

Could sour cherries make my chickens choke or croak?      

No, sour cherries will not make your chickens choke or croak. However, they can cause choking if they are not pitted and stemless. Be sure to remove the pits and stems before giving them to your chicken.  

What is the right way to feed cherries to my chickens?   

The right way to feed cherries to your chickens is to wash them and remove the stems and pits. You can then slice them in half or quarter before giving them to your chickens. You can also soak them in water for a refreshing treat.  

Can chickens eat wild cherries?    

While most cherries are safe for chickens to eat, a few can be poisonous. Wild cherries, for example, can contain cyanide. As such, it is best to avoid giving them to your chicken.  

Can baby chicks eat cherries? 

Yes, baby chicks can eat cherries. However, they should only be given in moderation as too much sugar can lead to weight gain and other health problems.  

Are ground cherries harmful to chickens?   

No, ground cherries are not harmful to chickens. However, they can pose a choking hazard if they are not pitted and stemless. Be sure to remove the pits and stems before giving them to your chicken.