Knowing which treats chickens can and can’t have can be a bit confusing, cucumber is one of those standard salad items which many of us buy or even grow in the garden.
For this reason, many chicken keepers want to be able to feed their chickens cucumber as a treat, so to answer all of your potential questions I put together this article on how to feed cucumber to chickens.
Read on to find out more about how you can feed chickens cucumber as a treat, whether chickens like cucumber along with information on how to prepare cumber for chickens and how often they should have it.
Can Chickens Eat Cucumber?
Chickens can eat cucumber as an occasional treat but it should be given in moderation as an addition to their normal complete feed because too much cucumber can throw their digestive system off balance.
Chickens get all the nutrients they need from a good complete chicken feed, so anything given as a treat should be given in moderation to make sure they get enough of their proper feed.
Ideally, the best cucumber to give to your chickens is organic or freshly grown cucumber which hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides or any other nasties, but if you can’t get these, just make sure you give the cucumber a good wash before giving it to your flock.
It’s also worth noting the rules and regulations in your region, for instance, in the UK there are rules which say you can’t give chickens food or scraps that have been prepared in a non-vegan kitchen.
This is due to the possible cross-contamination of certain diseases into the human food chain.
Can Chickens Eat Cucumber Skin and Seeds?
It’s perfectly fine to feed chickens all parts of a cucumber including the seeds and skin, none of which are harmful, providing it’s washed in case it’s been sprayed with pesticides.
In most parts of the world, it’s fine to feed cucumber peels from the kitchen, but there are regulations in the UK that prevent you from feeding any kitchen scraps to chickens whether they’re commercial or back garden chickens.
To make sure you’re feeding your chickens within the law, it’s worth checking your local rules on whether or not you can feed them kitchen scraps.
Can Chickens Eat Cucumber Plants and Flowers?
Cucumber plants and flowers are not known to be toxic to animals, including chickens, although they generally don’t enjoy eating them they might pick at the flowers as they grow.
If chickens do eat cucumber plant flowers, this will prevent the cucumber fruit from growing so if they are attracted to them you might need to net off the vines to keep your cucumbers safe.
Do Chickens Like Cucumber?
I’ve tested out cucumber on our chickens and the verdict was some of our chickens really like it while others paid no interest whatsoever.
So it really depends on the chicken, but they definitely liked it more than other fruit and veggies that I’ve tried them with.
They preferred eating the seeds from the inside of the cucumber than the skin it’s self and on a warm day, this provides them with a refreshing and cooling treat.
How to Prepare Cucumber for Chickens
I’ve done some research on my own chicken flock to see which sized pieces of cucumber they like best along with which size is easiest to eat and I found out the following:
The best way to prepare cucumber for chickens is to cut the whole cucumber in half lengthways so the chickens can peck at the seeds and flesh inside (see image below).
For smaller amounts cut the cucumber in half first and then cut one of the half’s lengthways.
Chickens seem to enjoy the cucumber better when they can peck at the juicy parts inside and it’s much easier for them to eat than small pieces.
I put it down on dry grass for them to eat to stop dirt from becoming stuck to the cucumber. A treat holder is another good way to feed them cucumber because it keeps it clean and excellent for keeping chickens occupied.
You can also give them a whole (or half of a whole) cucumber to peck at to keep them occupied for a while.
How Much Cucumber Should You Give to Chickens?
A flock of seven or eight chickens can peck at a whole large cucumber, as a guide on how much you will need see the table below:
|Number of Chickens||Amount of Cucumber (large)|
|8||1 whole cucumber|
Some homegrown cucumbers can be very small, so you might need to make a judgment on how many are equal to a large cucumber.
It’s worth noting that cucumber can make chicken’s poop very runny if they eat too much, so try to keep it as an occasional treat on a hot day rather than a regular one.
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I hope this post has helped you to find out more about feeding chickens cucumber, you might also like the following articles too:
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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on April 16, 2021.