10 Things You Need to Know- Can Chickens Eat Watermelon?

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Can Dogs Eat Chicken Noodle Soup?
CAN CHICKENS EAT WATERMELON

Can chickens eat watermelon? Yes, chickens can eat watermelon in moderation, but care must be taken when feeding it to younger chicks. A young chicks digestive system is more immature and cannot break down all parts of a watermelon.

So, what parts of a watermelon are safe for adult chickens and what parts are safe for young chicks to eat?

1. Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Pulp (Flesh)?

The flesh or red part of the watermelon is called the pulp. It is the juiciest part of the melon and a favorite treat by many chickens.

Adult chickens can eat this part of the melon and will absolutely enjoy it if you serve it to them! Stand clear though, because they will likely fling some watermelon around as they peck at it!

Can Chicks Eat Watermelon Pulp (Flesh)?

Just like adult chickens, young chicks also enjoy the pulp or flesh part of the watermelon. It is perfectly safe to feed to them as a treat.

Chicks younger than one week old should only be fed their regular chick starter feed. After one week, they should be used to and know how to eat their “crumbles” or “mash” and can enjoy a small amount of diced watermelon for a treat every now and then.

CAN CHICKENS EAT WATERMELON

2. Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Rind (Skin)?

The rind or “skin” is the green, outer part of the melon. It becomes a white color towards the inside of the rind. Adult chickens can eat the watermelon rind or skin. It doesn’t taste quite as good as the pulp, but it is perfectly fine for them to eat.

Whenever I feed my flock of chickens sliced watermelon, they will eat the white part of the rind, but leave the outermost skin of the watermelon.

Can Chicks Eat Watermelon Rind (Skin)?

After a chicks first week of life, it is ok for them to eat some of the watermelon rind. It isn’t going to hurt them at all.

The outermost part of the rind will likely be too tough for them to break pieces off of. If you want, you can break it into tiny little pieces for them to eat.

WATERMELON VINE, PULP, SEEDS AND RIND.  CAN CHICKENS EAT WATERMELON?
WATERMELON VINE(WITH LEAVES), PULP, SEEDS AND RIND

3. Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Vines and Leaves?

As long as you didn’t use any pesticides during the growing process, watermelon vines and leaves are perfectly fine for your chickens to eat. Pesticides can be toxic and cause anything from a mild stomach upset to even death.

Can Chicks Eat Watermelon Vines and Leaves?

During a chicks 2nd week of life you can begin giving little treats such as watermelon vines and leaves to them. Just make sure that they were not sprayed with any pesticides. Even a small amount of a pesticide can be deadly to a young chick.

4. Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Seeds?

Watermelon seeds are safe and beneficial for adult chickens to eat. It’s a good thing because it would be kind of a tedious process removing all of the seeds!

Mine seem to be attracted to the black seeds when I first serve it to them. They gobble them up quickly!

Can Chicks Eat Watermelon Seeds?

Young baby chicks shouldn’t be fed watermelon seeds. Their digestive system is too immature and is likely to have more difficulties digesting it. Try to wait until they are closer to 6 weeks of age before giving young chicks watermelon seeds.

5. Is Watermelon a Natural Dewormer for Chickens?

Watermelon seeds have a bitter tasting coating on them called cucurbitacin that when consumed by chickens will paralyze worms and parasites inside their digestive tract. It is believed that this stops the parasites and worms from multiplying and allows the chicken to expel them before they get out of hand.

“When cucumbers, muskmelons, and watermelons grow in the wild, their fruit contains bitter cucurbitacin molecules, a family of highly oxygenated tetracyclic triterpenes that deter pests from foraging.”

ACS Publications

6. Can Chickens Eat Unripe Watermelon?

It is safe for an adult chicken or a young chick to eat unripe watermelon in moderation. An unripe watermelon is not like an unripe tomato that contains a substance that is toxic to chickens called persin.

Unripe watermelon has less nutrients than a ripe one. It contains less Vitamin C, beta carotene and less antioxidants. So, if you have a choice, it is best to serve ripe watermelon over an unripe one.

7. Is Watermelon Healthy for Chickens?

Watermelon is very healthy for chickens to eat! It makes the perfect treat. Not only because it’s filled with nutrients, but because chickens really enjoy eating it.

NUTRIENTS IN A
WATERMELON
1 TBS OF
WATERMELON
(1 SERVING FOR
AN ADULT CHICKEN)
PROTEIN0.06 g
VITAMIN E0.005 mg
SELENIUM0.038 mcg
CALCIUM0.66 mg
BETA CAROTENE28.79 mcg
LYCOPENE430.54 mcg
VITAMIN C0.77 mg
VITAMIN A54.82 IU
VITAMIN K
(POTASSIUM)
10.64 mg
ZINC0.009 mg
PHOSPHORUS1.05 mg
SUGARS0.59 g
FIBER0.038 g
IRON0.023 mg
MAGNESIUM0.95 mg
ENERGY2.85 kcal
CARBOHYDRATES0.72 g
FAT0.014 g
BETA
CRYPTOXANTHIN
7.41 mcg
SODIUM0.10 mg
LUTEIN +
ZEAXANTHIN
0.76 mcg
NUTRIENTS IN A 1 TBS ADULT CHICKEN SERVING OF WATERMELON

8. Can Watermelon Give Chickens Diarrhea?

Watermelon contains a lot of water, as well as lycopene and potassium. Too much of this and it can give chickens diarrhea. Too much can also cause nausea, bloating and indigestion.

If this happens, cut back on the amount that you serve next time. If feeding your chicken caused intestinal upset, remove any remaining watermelon and the nausea, diarrhea, indigestion and bloating should subside within a day.

9. How Much Watermelon Can I Give My Chickens?

Treats should only constitute 10% of a healthy chickens daily diet. The proper amount of chicken feed that a healthy chicken should consume is 1/4 lb of feed per day. This is about 1/2 cup of chicken feed. So, an adult chicken should only be fed about 1 TBS of watermelon per day.

10. Tips: How to Feed Watermelon to Chickens

When feeding any treats to your chickens, offer their regular feed first. I like to offer my flock treats in the afternoon. Chickens are just like kids (well some adults too), they will fill up on treats first if you let them!

Feeding Chickens Watermelon in the Summertime

Can chickens eat watermelon? 
Photo of my chickens eating watermelon to cool off in the heat.
THESE ARE MY CHICKENS COOLING OFF IN THE SUMMERTIME BY EATING SOME FRESH, COOL WATERMELON!

Feeding chickens watermelon in the Summertime is fun! On a hot day, try serving them frozen chunks of watermelon. This not only will help to cool them down, but it will also help keep them entertained as they peck away at the cubes.

Another thing you can do to help keep your chickens cool during a heatwave is to add frozen watermelon pieces to their water. This will help to keep the water cooler for longer and also keep your chickens entertained bobbing for melon!

I also like to slice a watermelon in half, lengthwise, and serve it to them. They will eat everything down to the thin, dark green outer skin!

Watermelon can be served anytime, but is especially beneficial for cooling chickens during extreme heat. It is filled with water and can help cool down a hot chicken from the inside out.

CONCLUSION: 10 Things You Need to Know- Can Chickens Eat Watermelon?

  • All parts of a watermelon are safe for an adult chicken to eat. This includes the vine, leaves, rind (skin), pulp (flesh) and seeds. Avoid giving your chickens leaves and vines if they were sprayed with pesticides and wash the watermelon skin before serving, if they have sprayed.
  • Studies have shown that the consumption of watermelon seeds in adult chickens acts as a dewormer by paralyzing worms and parasites, stopping them from multiplying.
  • By a chicks second week of life, it is safe for them to consume all parts of the watermelon with the exception of the seeds. Seeds are too difficult for their immature digestive systems to process and shouldn’t be given to them until about 6 weeks of age.
  • Unripe watermelon is safe to give to both chicks and chickens, but it isn’t as nutritious for them.
  • Always feed regular feed first and offer treats such as watermelon after.
  • Only serve about 1 TBS of watermelon per chicken in a given day. Too much watermelon can cause stomach upset, giving them diarrhea.
  • Summertime is an especially good time to serve your flock of chickens a nice, cool watermelon treat!

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