Can chickens eat avocado? Yes, avocado flesh is filled with nutrients that, if given in moderation, are healthy for your chickens! They are good for the heart, help to decrease inflammation and boost egg production. It is important to also keep in mind that there are parts of the avocado plant and fruit that can be toxic to your chickens too.
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1. Are Avocados Poisonous to Chickens?
Are avocados poisonous to chickens? It depends upon what part of the avocado you are talking about. There are parts of an avocado that contain a toxic component called persin, that is poisonous to chickens. You definitely should never feed these parts to your flock. But there are other parts that are perfectly safe and healthy to feed to your chickens, in moderation.
2. What Part of an Avocado is Poisonous to Chickens?
The only part of an avocado that is safe to give to a chicken, in moderation, is the flesh or meat of the avocado. Avocado bark, stems, peels(skin), flesh(meat), leaves and pit are all toxic to chickens. Special care should be taken when serving avocado to your chickens so they don’t accidentally consume the poisonous parts.
Parts of an Avocado
- Avocado Peel (Skin)- Toxic
- Avocado Meat (Flesh)- Safe
- Leaves from Avocado Tree- Toxic
- Bark from Avocado Tree Branches- Toxic
- Stem from Avocado- Toxic
- Pits from Avocado (Seed)- Toxic
3. What is Persin?
Persin is considered a naturally occurring fungicidal toxin found in parts of an avocado that is poisonous to many animals, including chickens.
It is important not to feed your chickens any parts of an avocado that contain this harmful toxin. A baby chick can die quickly if it ingests persin.
Oddly enough, persin is safe for humans to consume and laboratory studies are being done that they are finding persin can actually help to combat harmful breast cancer cells from developing.
4. What Happens if Chickens Eat Avocado?
If a chicken consumes the flesh or “meat” part of an avocado this is perfectly fine. If it consumes the peel, leaves, pit or bark from an avocado tree, this can be deadly. Depending upon the size of chicken, it can die of persin poisoning within 24 hours.
Common symptoms of persin poisoning in a chicken include heart damage which causes an increased heart rate, difficulty breathing and weakness.
A chicken with persin poisoning may also be withdrawn and stop laying eggs.
You may notice it has a purple comb and wattle, pant with its mouth open, have difficulty walking and perching and stop preening itself. Some also develop diarrhea.
It isn’t uncommon for a chicken to die within 24 hours of ingesting persin.
|SYMPTOMS OF |
|DIFFICULTY BREATHING||MOUTH OPEN|
|HEART DAMAGE||PURPLE COMB AND|
|INCREASED HEART |
|WITHDRAWN||IS OFF ON ITS OWN|
|DEATH||FIND CHICKEN DEAD|
WITHIN 1-3 DAYS OF
|STOPS LAYING EGGS||HENS PRODUCING|
5. Is Avocado Healthy for Chickens?
Avocado is very healthy for chickens! It contains many nutrients that a chicken will benefit from. Some of these include fiber, healthy fats, vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium and folate.
|HEALHY FATS||GOOD FOR THE HEART,|
|VITAMIN A||BOOSTS EGG|
|VITAMIN B6||HELPS BODY BREAK|
DOWN PROTEIN TO
USE IT PROPERLY
|MAGNESIUM||GOOD FOR BONE |
|VITAMIN C||HELPS CHICKENS |
BETTER DEAL WITH
|VITAMIN E||HELPS PREVENT|
AND EGG WEIGHT
|ZINC||HEALTHY FEATHER |
6. How Much Avocado Can I Safely Feed My Chickens?
It is best to offer avocado to chickens after they consume their regular feed first. A chickens feed contains all the appropriate nutrients that it needs.
A healthy adult chicken should eat about 1/4 lb of its chicken feed each day. If you are feeding it layers feed, that is equivalent to about 1/2 cup.
Treats, including avocado, should not consist of more than 10% of their daily food consumption. This comes out to about 1 TBS of avocado.
I like to feed my chickens their regular feed each morning and offer “treats” in the afternoon.
Try to vary the types of treats that you offer your chickens. Avocado is safe to offer your chickens a couple times a week.
7. Tips on Feeding Avocado to Chickens
- Placement of your chicken coop: Don’t place your chicken coop in an area that your chickens will have access to avocados that drop from the tree. Most chickens will not knowingly eat the parts of an avocado that contain persin, but they will peck at a whole avocado until they get to the good flesh part of the fruit. They may accidentally consume part of the peel which contains persin.
- Remove avocado skin and seed before serving to chickens. Scoop the flesh or “meat” from the avocado and only offer this part to your flock. This way, there is no chance of accidentally ingesting any persin.
- When to feed avocado: Feed regular chicken feed first and offer avocado in the afternoon.
- Amount of avocado: Serve fresh avocado flesh(meat) to chickens no more than 2-3 times a week. Only serve enough to allow a maximum of 1 TBS of avocado per chicken.
CONCLUSION: 7 Things You Need to Know- Can Chickens Eat Avocado?
Avocado skin, leaves, seed and bark from the tree all contain persin and are very poisonous to chickens. The only part that should ever be fed to your chickens in moderation is the flesh.
Depending upon the size, age and amount of persin consumed, a chicken that ingests it will likely die within 1-3 days.
A chicken that ingests persin will likely have respiratory and heart distress, eventually resulting in death.
Avocado flesh is very healthy for your chickens. It contains many nutrients that your chickens will benefit from consuming.
It’s always best to remove the toxic parts of the avocado and only serve the flesh or “meat” part of the avocado.
An adult chicken can eat about 1 TBS of avocado, up to 3 times a week. Try to vary the treats you give your flock though. They like to try different things!