Have you ever wondered “can chickens eat grapes?” They aren’t safe for dogs, but what about your flock? Chickens like most fruits and vegetables, but grapes may seem questionable at first glance.
Are they safe? I’ve done the research for you and below we’ll tackle all aspects of this topic:
- Are grapes safe for chickens?
- How many can they eat?
- What about raisins?
- The health benefits of grapes for chickens
- What foods are poisonous to chickens?
- Plus, much more!
Let’s jump in!
Can Chickens Eat Grapes?
Yes – your chickens can absolutely eat grapes, and they’ll love you for it! They can eat all types of grapes – green, red and black. However, there are a few things that chickens shouldn’t eat (we’ll get to that part later), but grapes aren’t one of them.
Grapes are nutritious and a lovely treat for your adult flock. Keyword = treat!
How many grapes can chickens eat?
Just like with most things, moderation is best. Use grapes as an occasional treat (no more than a few grapes per chicken) and keep the bulk of their diet limited to a balanced feed, foraged greens, and bugs.
Too many grapes can give humans diarrhea, and chickens are no different! Also, too many grapes mean less of the other essentials in their diet, which can lead to deficiencies.
Bottom line: Keep grapes as an occasional treat only!
What is the best way to give chickens grapes?
It doesn’t have to be complicated; I just toss them in the yard and watch the excitement unfold! They’ll go nuts chasing each one and it sure is fun to watch!
Some grapes can be HUGE, so you could chop them up into bite-size pieces if you’d like. However, your chickens will make quick work of breaking it up themselves, too.
Just make sure to spread them out so that everyone gets a chance at snagging one and never mix fresh grapes into their feed. Grapes have a high water content and can cause your dry feed to spoil. Plus, the grapes could mold if they are buried in the feed and not consumed right away. No thanks!
Can chickens choke on grapes?
Possibly, but not likely. Chickens don’t have teeth. Instead, they tear at food until it becomes manageable, then they swallow it and let their gizzard do the chewing for them! I’ve seen my chickens eat frogs and mice with no issues, so a grape causing harm is very unlikely.
I suggest gradually introducing your chickens to grapes, only giving a few grapes per chicken, and monitoring them for any potential issues. If you want to be extra careful, chop them up into halves or quarters first!
Can chickens eat moldy grapes?
No – if the grapes are starting to grow mold, throw them into your compost bin. Never feed moldy grapes (or anything else moldy!) to your chickens.
Can chickens eat grape seeds?
Of course! Chickens have a very functional digestive tract. They easily break down seeds thanks to their highly-muscular, acid-rich gizzard that stores small stones for grinding. Seeds are not a problem as long as they are provided with grit at all times.
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Can I give my chickens raisins?
You technically can (they are not poisonous), but I personally wouldn’t. Raisins have a much more concentrated sugar content than fresh grapes. It’s best to stick with fresh. If want to toss them some raisins, I wouldn’t give them more than 1-2 raisins per chicken.
Can I give baby chicks grapes?
No, I would not give grapes to baby chicks for 2 reasons:
- Grapes are much too large for baby chicks. You could try chopping them up into tiny pieces, but who has time for that when the spring gardens need to be planted? lol
- Their intake should be focused on a well-balanced feed to support their period of very rapid growth and development
New to baby chicks? Read more about baby chick care in my article: Brooding in Poultry – Everything You Need to Know!
Do Chickens Like to Eat Grapes?
Yes, they do! They love to chase after them when you toss them into the yard (and it’s quite fun to watch!). They like them just as much as blackberries, another favorite of theirs.
If you have grapevines nearby, you may want to fence them off. Otherwise, you’ll find your chickens hopping about trying to snag a delicious grape!
The Health Benefits of Grapes for Chickens
Grapes are a delicious, nutritious snack to provide to your chickens! They are loaded with fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Thanks to their high water content, they also add a bit of hydration as well.
Grapes are a great source of fiber! Fiber is essential for gut health not only in humans, but chickens, too! Chickens have a diverse microbiome that hosts over 900 unique strains of microorganisms that thrive off of consistent fiber intake.
Did you know that fiber also helps to reduce ammonia emissions? That’s because fiber helps their digestive tract to synthesize proteins instead of undigested protein carrying on to ferment into ammonia. Ammonia buildup in the coop can be very toxic to your flock (and you!).
Vitamins and minerals
Grapes aren’t quite as rich in vitamins and minerals as blackberries are, but they still provide some value! The most prominent ones in grapes are copper, zinc, and vitamin C. All of these have a huge role in poultry!
- Copper: Promotes proper growth and a healthy immune system, while also fighting off bacterial overgrowths.
- Zinc: A key player in a chicken’s metabolism, immune function, and reproductive system.
- Vitamin C: Improves their stress response, and disease resistance and combats free radical damage. It also improves their laying rate and hatch potential!
Grapes have one of the highest water contents of any produce out there, so a little bit goes a long way! They can be a refreshing and hydrating treat on a hot summer day. On the other hand, too many grapes can lead to diarrhea, which can be dehydrating. So don’t let them have too many!
Nutritional breakdown of grapes
Want the full rundown? Here’s everything that 1 cup of grapes provides according to USDA FoodData Central. Of course, don’t go feeding your chickens an entire cup of grapes, but it’s easier to look at the data in terms of human portions 🙂
What Foods are Poisonous to Chickens?
While chickens enjoy a wide variety of foods from seeds and fresh greens to mice and frogs, there are a few foods that should never be eaten:
- Raw potato peels
- Avocado pit and peel
- Dry/uncooked beans
- Anything moldy or rotten
- Fried foods
- Salty foods
- Caffeine or alcohol
- High-fat foods
- High-sugar foods
- Artificial sugars
Another thing to consider avoiding is strong-flavored foods. That’s because these flavors can end up in the eggs, resulting in a pungent breakfast for you! I can sometimes pick out a “froggy” taste from my eggs in the spring; pee-yew!
Other Chicken Articles You’ll Love:
- Can Chickens Eat Blackberries? Are they Safe?
- Can Chickens Eat Bananas? What About the Peel?
- Do Chickens Eat Ticks? (…Do Ticks Eat Chickens?)
- How to Grow Chicken Fodder (And Save Money!)
Are you a first-time chicken keeper? Or maybe you don’t even have chickens yet? Definitely check out my ultimate resource How to Care for Chickens: A Beginners Guide.
The answer to the question “Can chickens eat grapes” is YES! Grapes are a delicious, nutritious treat for your chickens to enjoy, on occasion! Your chickens will absolutely love them and it’s a lot of fun to watch them chase after each grape that you toss their way.
The important thing is to make sure that they don’t overindulge in eating grapes. Just a few per chicken!
*Information in this article was referenced from personal experience and/or from my favorite chicken book Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens unless otherwise noted.
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