As chickens keepers it’s only natural to look for new and exciting ways to treat our much-loved birds, but due to the sometimes delicate nature of a chicken’s digestive system, some can do more harm than good.
There are many plants, fruit and vegetables growing in our gardens that can be hidden dangers to chickens and other pets, so it’s useful to know what these are if your chickens are free-ranging around the area.
When it comes to raspberries, I wanted to find out more because they grow in abundance where our chickens graze, so I did the research and this is what I found out;
Chickens can safely eat raspberries and especially wild or organic berries which haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. Chickens really enjoy eating raspberries, but as with any treat, they should be given in moderation in addition to their normal complete feed.
Read on to find out more about feeding raspberries to chickens, along with more information on raspberry leaves and what happens if grow raspberries where chickens can get to them.
Feeding Raspberries to Chickens
If you’re feeding raspberries to chickens, ideally the best type to feed them are those which have been grown organically in a garden or allotment, so that you know they’ve not been sprayed with pesticides or anything that could be harmful to your flock.
If you don’t have any home-grown berries then organic shop-bought raspberries are fine too – although I probably wouldn’t go out and buy such a luxury treat for chickens!
The raspberry season is short-lived when you grow them yourself, so if I was going to give my chickens a raspberry treat it would probably be a few here and there when they’re growing in abundance.
Raspberries should be fed to chickens as an occasional treat and in moderation – read on to find more information on how often you should treat your chickens.
Other than Raspberries, have a look at other foods your chicken can eat.
Rules Around Feeding Chickens With Food From the Kitchen
When you keep chickens, it’s worth knowing that there are certain regulations about what ‘human’ food you can feed to your flock.
For example, in the UK, you are not allowed to feed chickens anything which is classed as kitchen scraps, which basically means anything which has been prepared in a kitchen.
These rules have been set to prevent cross-contamination of certain diseases from one food chain to another. It’s worth checking if there are any restrictions around poultry feeding in your region.
How Often Can You Treat Chickens With Raspberries?
A good complete chicken feed gives chickens all of the nutrients and energy they need to stay happy and healthy. If you want to give some raspberries to your chickens then they really should be given as an occasional treat a few times a week.
Think of chickens being like small children and the more treats you give them the more they expect, which could lead to them not eating their regular feed which contains everything they need.
How Many Raspberries Should you Give to Each Chicken?
If you’re giving raspberries to your chickens as a treat two or three average-sized berries per chicken is a good amount to give them as one treat. It’s also a good idea to break them up a bit to make them easier to eat.
Too many berries of any type can be overwhelming for a chicken’s digestive system and it’s not unusual for them to have diarrhoea when they consume too much fruit.
Can You Grow Raspberries if You Keep Chickens?
If you keep free-range chickens in a garden or allotment space where you’re growing raspberries then chances are they will eat all of the berries they can reach in a very short amount of time.
This means no raspberries for you and potentially chickens with messy bottoms!
When you’re growing raspberries in a space where chickens can get to them, I would recommend putting netting around the lower section of the plant (but high enough that chickens can’t jump up to get the berries).
Chickens can jump much higher than many people think, especially when food is involved, so they will potentially be able to get to a bulk of the fruit as it starts to ripen.
Will Chickens Eat Raspberry Leaves?
From my experience, chickens aren’t interested in eating raspberry leaves and will pick the fruit directly from the bush.
If you’re chickens do eat any raspberry leaves, don’t worry because the leaves are classed as a non-toxic plant.
Chickens are very good at knowing what’s good to eat and what isn’t and with raspberry leaves, they’re not interested.
For more information on plants and foods that could be potentially dangerous if eaten by chickens, you might find the following article helpful:
Chickens Eating Raspberries – FAQ’s
The seeds of a raspberry are inside the fruit, so because it’s fine for them to eat raspberries (as an occasional treat and in moderation), it’s fine for them to eat the seeds.
If you keep chickens in an area where they can easily get to your raspberry crop, then chances are they will pick off each and every berry that they can reach as they appear on the bush. In which case, protection will be needed around the plants to prevent this from happening.
You Might Also Like
I hope this post has helped you to find out more about chickens eating raspberries, you might also like the following articles too:
Our recommended coop
Chicken coop for different flock sizes and different weather.