Can Chickens Eat Pineapple? What About The Peel?

If you have some extra pineapple lying around, you’re probably wondering “Can chickens eat pineapple?” You’re not the only one! I get asked this question all the time.

The short answer is YES, but pineapples can be high in sugar and not ALL parts are edible. So, how much is too much? What parts CAN chickens safely eat? 

To get to the bottom of it, I’ve researched this topic to get all of the answers and we’ll tackle the following questions together:

  • Is pineapple safe for chickens?
  • Is raw, cooked, frozen, dried, or canned pineapple best?
  • Can chickens eat pineapple skin and crowns?
  • Can they eat pineapple cores?
  • What is the best way to feed pineapples to chickens?
  • What is the nutritional value of pineapples?
  • What foods are toxic to chickens?

Let’s dive in!

Chickens foraging in the grass with a whole pineapple in the front of the photo

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links to products (including Amazon). I’ll earn a small commission if you purchase through my link, at no additional cost to you! Regardless, I only link to products that I personally use on our homestead or believe in.

Can Chickens Eat Pineapple?

Yep – pineapples are not on the list of toxic foods, so your chickens can definitely enjoy some! Pineapple can be a great treat for your flock (keyword = treat), however, they are high in sugar so moderation is key.

How much pineapple can chickens eat?

Since pineapple has a high sugar content (and minimal protein), the portions should be limited. A protein-deficient diet can result in reduced egg-laying and overall fertility. 

A good rule of thumb is to only provide 1 Tbsp of pineapple per adult chicken (no more than 1-2 times per week) and leave the bulk of their diet to balanced feed, foraged greens, ticks, and even meat! Too much sugar can lead to obesity and fatty liver, just like with humans!

If you accidentally got heavy-handed one day, don’t panic! It would likely take a lot of pineapple to cause harm from one large snack session. Want more treat ideas? Try blackberries and grapes; they love the variety! Don’t forget about high-protein treats, too!

A whole pineapple laying on its side on a wooden cutting board on a wooden background

Is raw, cooked, frozen, dried, or canned pineapple best?

Great question! Fresh/raw is always great and what I feed to my chickens when I have some on hand. Frozen would be a great summer treat to cool your flock down and aid in hydration on those blistering days. I would avoid dried and canned pineapple, though, as the sugar content is too high.

Can chickens eat pineapple skin and crown?

If you give the pineapple skin to your flock, they might try to eat it, but it’s not very tasty. The tough skin may also be too much roughage for their digestive tract. Your best option is throwing it in the compost bin, or lay the slices cut side up so that your chickens can pick off any soft fleshjust be sure to remove the skins as soon as the soft flesh is gone.

When it comes to the prickly crowns, that’s definitely a hard pass. They are much too tough for them to eat or digest. Your chickens probably won’t even attempt to eat them, anyway. Into the compost pile they go!

The crown has been sliced off of a pineapple and laid on its side next to it. Both are sitting on a wooden cutting board.

Can chickens eat pineapple cores?

The pineapple cores are in that grey area – they are definitely tougher than apple cores. A little bit might be fine if you want to chop it up into tiny pieces, but there’s still a lot of fiber and roughage in there that may not agree with their digestive tract.

Personally, I trim off any softer spots for the ladies and compost the main core.

Do Chickens Like to Eat Pineapple?

They sure do!!! I almost forgot how much they love it. Typically, we stick with locally grown produce on our homestead and it’s pretty rare to find a locally grown pineapple in Minnesota! But, occasionally, it is nice to enjoy some tasty pineapple; it was a fun treat to share some pineapple tidbits with my flock. They devoured it!

What is the Best Way to Feed Pineapple to Chickens?

Pineapple is pretty fibrous (unlike bananas, which chickens can devour on their own), so it’s best to chop it up for them before bringing it out to the coop. You can see how big of pieces I provided for my flock below, but I’d say 1/4″ cubes should be sufficient. 

Once the pieces are chopped, place them on a plate, dish, or cutting board and lay it on the ground for the ladies to eat off of. Pineapple is pretty juicy and wet, so it’s best not to put it directly on the floor of the coop where there’s dust, dirt, poop, and who knows what else. Only set out enough for them to finish in one sitting.

A wooden cutting board has cut up small pieces of pineapple on it and chickens are eating it.

The Health Benefits of Pineapple for Chickens

Pineapple (in moderation) is a delicious, nutritious snack to give to your chickens! It is loaded with fiber, vitamin C, thiamine, and vitamin B6. Plus, its high water content is good for hydration and bromelain boosts their health. A great snack for those hot summer days!

Fiber

A cup of chopped pineapple provides 2.3 g of fiber, which is an important component for chicken gut health. Chickens have a diverse microbiome (like us!) that hosts over 900 unique strains of microorganisms that thrive off of consistent fiber intake.

Fiber can even reduce ammonia emissions, which is pretty neat! That’s because fiber aids in the digestion process, reducing the amount of undigested protein fermenting into harmful ammonia. High ammonia levels can pose a serious health hazard for your flock, and even for you.

Bromelain

Pineapple is an excellent source of bromelain, which is a group of proteolytic enzymes. Bromelain has anti-swelling, anti-cancer, and anti-bacterial properties; pretty neat!

  • A 2019 study in broiler chickens showed that bromelain improved their ability to digest their feed and increased villus height (the absorptive “fingers” that line the intestine). It even reduced E. coli populations (the bad stuff) and increased Lactobacillus (the good stuff)!
  • A 2024 study found that bromelain was protective against necrotic enteritis.

Vitamins and minerals

Pineapple is a great source of a few vitamins – vitamin C, thiamine, and vitamin B6. Let’s break them down regarding the health of your chickens!

  • Vitamin C: Improves their stress response, and disease resistance and combats free radical damage. It also improves their laying rate and overall fertility!
  • Thiamine: Essential for proper functioning of the energy metabolic cycle. Deficiency can lead to polyneuritic syndrome and death.
  • Vitamin B6: Essential in protein metabolism. Deficiency can lead to poor appetite, weight loss, hyperexcitability or lethargy, and decreased egg laying and fertility.

Large chunks and small pieces of pineapple on a wooden cutting board on top of a marble background

Hydration

Pineapple is one of the BEST fruits out there for hydration. Out of a 165 g serving, 142 grams are water! That’s even higher than grapes and even apples.  Therefore, pineapple can be a wonderful, hydrating treat for your flock during those hot summer days. On the other hand, too much can result in diarrhea, which can be dehydrating. Balance is key!

Nutritional breakdown of pineapple

Want more detail? Here’s what 1 cup of pineapple chunks provides according to USDA FoodData Central. Of course, don’t feed each of your chickens an entire cup, but I like to look at food in portions that we are familiar with. 

A chart showing the nutritional content of 1 cup of pineapple

What Foods are Toxic to Chickens?

Thankfully, chickens aren’t very picky when it comes to people’s food, but there are a few things that should never be eaten by chickens. For a complete list with explanations, check out my comprehensive guide Don’t Feed These Foods to Your Chickens!

  • 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

You might also want to limit their intake of strong-flavored foods. These flavors can end up in their eggs, which can be a little off-putting!

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Fish

Other Chicken Articles You’ll Love:

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.

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*Information in this article was referenced from personal experience and/or from my favorite chicken books The Chicken Health HandbookStorey’s Guide to Raising Chickens unless otherwise noted.

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