Who would refuse a sweet and delicious strawberry? Personally, if I find a plate of strawberries, I will not miss the opportunity to enjoy it! It is really a delicious fruit that adults and children love, let alone the cute Silkie chicken who is eager to eat any food different from his usual feed.
I would like to tell you that Slikie will not take much time to devour the strawberries placed in front of them! Strawberries are also beneficial for silkie chickens, but there is some important information that you must know so as not to harm your silkies .
As it should not be left in vain without knowing all the aspects that result from offering strawberries or any other food to your chickens. Let’s get into the topic directly to make it clear.
Can Silkie Chickens Eat Strawberries?
Yes, Silkie chickens can eat strawberries, you will find that they love and enjoy strawberries very much, due to their sweet taste because they contain a high percentage of sugar.
Strawberries are also useful for Silkie chickens as they contain many minerals and vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin B9, but only strawberry fruit is safe for chickens. The tops, leaves, and stems should not be fed to chickens because they contain hydrogen cyanide which is a toxic substance to chickens.
Let’s go through the topic step by step. First, we will learn about the benefits of strawberries for silkie chickens, and then we will discuss some considerations that must be taken into account when feeding strawberries to silkies so that they are safe and not harmful to them.
Benefits Of Strawberries For Silkie Chicken
Here are the top benefits or the reasons why you should feed strawberries to your silkie chicken:
High Levels Of Antioxidants
Strawberries are rich in several antioxidants Known As Polyphenols. Antioxidants are known for their ability to reduce oxidative stress. The cells in the bodies of chickens and humans as well constantly fight oxidative stress present in the environment. Oxidative stress causes cell aging and many diseases.
Antioxidants also neutralize free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules that damage cells and cause disease. Therefore, strawberry is a gentle health-promoting food for your flock of Silkie chicken.
Rich In Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that promotes overall health, as it increases the immune system’s ability to ward off pathogens, and because strawberries contain a high percentage of vitamin C that is close to oranges, they will be a good nutritional supplement to support the health of your silkie chickens.
Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
Vitamin B9 is essential for DNA repair, and the growth of body cells, and red blood cells. Therefore, it is an important component of promoting healthy tissue growth.
Strawberries are also a rich source of minerals such as potassium and manganese, which are essential for improving chicken’s metabolism. It also contains calcium, which promotes bone health and improves the quality of eggs.
A High Percentage Of Water
The content of strawberries is mostly water, as water constitutes about 90% of the content of strawberries, so strawberries are a hydrating food that helps moisturize the body of silkie chickens and get them a large amount of water, especially in hot weather. Where strawberries are considered a snack that refreshes and nourishes chickens.
As we mentioned, strawberries contain many nutrients that are beneficial for silkies chickens, but it remains safe and beneficial if you provide them in moderation, as excessive feeding to chickens exposes them to serious health problems.
What Is The Appropriate Rate To Feed Strawberries To Silkie Chickens?
You should feed strawberries to your Silkie chicken only once to twice a week and in moderate quantities, as a side dish alongside the main meal from their own fodder. As their feed is the one that contains the nutrients that chickens need and is designed to suit their bodies in terms of digestion, excretion, and other vital functions.
In order to resolve this confusion, keep in mind this rule, the basic food for silkie chickens must be from the feed, so that the percentage of feed is 90% of their diet, and fruits and other foods are only 10% of their food. As chickens’ bodies are not designed to handle the large amounts of fruits that we humans eat.
What Are The Most Important Tips When Serving Strawberries To Your Chickens?
Here some precautions that must be taken into account before feeding strawberries to your silkie chicken:
Choose The Healthy Strawberry
You should choose healthy strawberries that are not spoiled or moldy just as you choose them for yourself. It may seem exaggerated to some but it is important. Silkie chickens are harmed by moldy strawberries and rotten fruits in general, as mold spores, if eaten by chickens, cause disease and death of chickens. Even small amounts of mold can cause digestive upset and loss of appetite.
Washing Strawberries Very Well
Strawberries should be washed thoroughly to remove any residual pesticides, as strawberries are among the most frequently sprayed fruits with pesticides, which can cause serious problems for chickens.
If it is available for you to buy organic strawberries, it will be a better choice for silkie chicken. Some may wonder and say that this is too much interest because they are just chickens, but this is not accurate thinking.
Silkie chicken is considered a container for what you want to eat from it later, what the silkies eats will come to you in the end, whether in the form of eggs or meat.
You probably know that chicken farms are doing their best to double the production of chicken, leaving no way for that but doing it even if it is sometimes unhealthy.
As for you, you raise some chickens in your home in order to feed your family healthy food, so you should be keen on healthy options for your chickens whenever it is available to you.
Removal Of Tops, Leaves, And Parts Of The Stems
The tops and any leaves or parts of the stems must also be removed, as they contain toxic hydrogen cyanide that leads to silkie chicken death.
Hydrogen cyanide is a poisonous gas released by plants as a means of defense to deter insects. It is toxic to humans, not only to chickens, even it is used to kill humans in chemical wars!
Although the strawberry plant contains a small percentage of hydrogen cyanide gas, estimated at only 6 parts per million, it is still a threat to chickens due to their small bodies and the sensitivity of their respiratory and digestive systems.
The danger of hydrogen cyanide is that it prevents oxygen from reaching the cells of the body, which leads to their death!
The Risks Of Feeding Chickens More Strawberries
Just like any other fruit, strawberries carries some risks to silkie chicken. Here are some of them:
Huge Amounts Of Sugar
Chicken bodies are not prepared to handle high levels of sugar, as birds are by nature insulin resistant and their bodies cannot get rid of excess blood sugar.
Silkies have a stronger ability to regulate glucose than other breeds. However, strawberries contain a very high percentage of sugar that can lead to hyperglycemia in chickens. Which causes some health complications such as high blood pressure, acid crops, diabetes, infections, weight gain, and liver problems.
Exposure To Harmful Chemicals
Non-organic strawberries contain huge amounts of pesticides that still remain after washing. And that’s due to the lot
Pesticides used during strawberry cultivation. Strawberries rank first in exposure to pesticides. A study of strawberry samples showed that strawberries were exposed to an average of 7.8 different pesticides per sample of strawberries, compared to 2.2 pesticides per sample of other products!
Therefore, care must be taken to provide small amounts of strawberries to the chicken, or to use organic strawberries.