Like many delicious treats, mangoes have an upside and a downside. The upside is that tropical fruits are irresistibly tasty and packed with an array of vitamins and minerals. The downside is they contain high amounts of sugar and very little protein. This leaves many poultry owners wondering if it is safe for chickens to eat mango.
Chickens can eat mango, but fruit should never be more than 10% of their overall diet. Mangoes can be offered raw or as frozen slices. They can also consume the skin if it is washed to remove pesticides. Mango should be provided in moderation as it is a sugary fruit that can cause diarrhea.
If you want to add a bit of tropical variety to your chickens’ menu this summer, go right ahead. They love the sweet, juicy taste of mango just as much as humans, but there are a few details to remember.
Can Chickens Eat Mango?
Delicious, sweet, tropical mangoes are a tempting delicacy for everyone, and they can become a highly anticipated treat for your chicken flock. Chickens adore sweet fruit, and adding mangoes to their fruit offering is an excellent way of providing additional vitamins to their diet.
Mangoes are indigenous to regions of southern Asia, but this popular fruit is now widely cultivated in frost-free areas throughout the world. There are hundreds of mango cultivars, so not all fruits look exactly the same. They can be red, orange, green, or yellow.
No matter what variety of mangoes you have, your chickens will love them. All parts of the mango fruit, including the skin, are safe for chickens to consume. However, your chickens should never be fed the leaves if you have a mango tree. Mango leaves contain the compound mangiferin, which isn’t recommended as animal feed.
The best way to feed mangoes to poultry is in its fresh, mouthwateringly delicious form. Most chicken owners prefer to peel the sticky fruits, and your birds will enjoy pecking off chunks of the fibrous treat.
It is essential to remember that any fruit, including mangoes, should only form a small percentage of a chicken’s overall diet. Although they are able to eat a wide assortment of foods, the bulk of their diet should be in a dry form.
Fruits like mango should only be provided as an occasional treat in addition to their staple chicken feed and never as a feed on its own. Too much sugary, fiber-loaded, watery fruit can quickly result in gastrointestinal issues. So, keep mangoes for an occasional treat for your chickens, and save the rest for yourself.
Nutritional Benefits For Chickens To Eat Mango
Chickens love mangoes, and it isn’t only because of the delicious, sweet taste. Mangoes contain an array of vitamins that can be highly beneficial to the birds’ health, and they won’t waste any time tucking in if offered the tropical treat.
Fresh mangoes are one of the richest fruit sources of Vitamin C, which can be immensely beneficial to chickens. Studies have shown that adding Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) to feed helps poultry cope better with heat stress and has a positive effect on egg laying. During hot weather, providing your hens with a few ripe mangoes may be just what they need to beat the heat.
The table below gives a complete overview of the nutritional benefits of mangoes for chickens:
|Amount per 1 Cup
|Benefits to chickens
|Carbs provide chickens with the energy that they need. Most of the food intake should consist of carbohydrates.
|That may not sound like a lot, but one mango contains enough Vitamin C to provide 100% of a human’s daily recommended intake.
Vitamin C can give chickens the boost they need to cope during heat waves and boosts their immunity to fight against respiratory conditions.
|Mango is virtually fat-free.
|Unlike high-protein snacks like pecans, mango is relatively low in protein. Protein is responsible for growth and fast healing.
|Every bit of calcium counts for laying hens, as they need it to form strong shells.
|Although mangoes are loaded with goodness, they also contain two powerful antioxidants that specifically support good eye health.
|Various other beneficial elements, including Vit A, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium Sodium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese
The sweet taste of mango is because of its high sugar content, which is one of the main reasons this fruit should only be offered to chickens in small amounts. Each 100g serving of raw mango contains 23 grams of sugar. Considering that the juicy fruits are 81% water, too much syrupy mango can quickly result in a very messy chicken coop.
Can Chickens Eat Mango Flesh?
Mango flesh is the most ideal part of mangoes for humans and poultry. Even if given a whole washed mango with the skin on, chickens will make short work of the tough outer peel to get their beaks into the rich, delicious inside.
Because mango flesh can be fibrous, some people prefer to peel it, cut it free from the seed, and dice it into tiny pieces before offering it to their chickens. This is also an excellent way to serve it if the flock has a strong pecking order, as you can spread it out for all the birds.
Whole peeled mangoes are sticky and pick up a lot of dirt if they are placed directly on a dusty coop floor. Try placing them on the lawn or in a shallow plastic basin to prevent them from getting coated with grime as the chickens enthusiastically tear at the fibrous ball of delicious sweetness.
Can Chickens Eat Mango Skin?
If you are fortunate enough to live in an area with a prolific supply of mouthwatering mangoes, you may wonder if you need to peel the fruits before serving them to your flock. Although many people do, it is not necessary if you are letting the chickens enjoy whole ripe fruits.
Unless there is pesticide on the mango skin, they don’t contain anything harmful to chickens. Some sources indicate that mangoes should be peeled to prevent chickens from ingesting the skin irritant urushiol. That is the same chemical compound found in poison ivy, but peeling them for that reason is entirely unnecessary.
Birds are not affected by urushiol and can even consume poison ivy directly. Plants containing the irritant are often considered the salad bar to wildlife since they are not affected by the compound in the same way as humans. So long as you don’t kiss your chicken on the beak while it is eating mango skins, everyone will be okay!
Although mango skin is notoriously bitter, rolling a few ripe fruits out to your flock would make for an entertaining game. They would need to peck through the tough skin to get the delicious, sweet flesh inside. You will be sure to find a clean mango seed when you return to the scene later.
Can Chickens Eat Mango Peels?
If you keep a kitchen scraps bucket that goes outside to your coop, you may be wondering if it is worth adding mango peels. Mangoes have a thin, leathery covering that is easy to strip off ripe fruit.
Mango peels can be added to your scraps bucket, and it won’t do any harm if a few of your chickens peck at them out of curiosity. According to WebMD, mango skins are packed with antioxidants, but they are bitter, and besides the taste, their texture makes them difficult to eat.
So, although chickens can eat mango skins, they may not. Adding it to your scraps bucket won’t receive the same enthusiastic welcome as sweet, fleshy mango fruit.
Like mango skin, when including mango peels in your flock’s kitchen scraps, ensure the fruit wasn’t sprayed with harmful pesticides. If you are unsure, it is better to designate the mango peels directly to the compost pile.
Can Chickens Eat Mango Scraps?
Chickens can eat any part of mango fruit, including the skin. However, they may avoid the skin if offered without the flesh since it has a bitter taste and is difficult to tear apart.
There is no harm in offering chickens mango scraps. If they don’t eat them, removing all bits and pieces from the coop at the end of the day is essential. Mangoes have a distinctive, sweet, pungent smell that will attract unwanted bugs and critters.
The seed is too big and hard for chickens to eat, so either remove it before putting it in the coop or be ready to collect it later. Although chickens are unlikely to show much enthusiasm for a scraps bucket that only contains thin mango peels, if there is any fleshy fruit left among the scraps, they will eagerly find them.
Can Small Chicks Eat Mango?
When chicks are with their mother hen out foraging, they will undoubtedly be getting all sorts of ‘treats’ on a daily basis. Whatever mom hen eats, the little ones eagerly tuck into as well, including mangoes if they find them.
If you are raising young chicks, feeding them low-protein, sugary treats like mango is not recommended until they are at least six weeks old. Mangoes are extremely low in protein, which is what they need to grow, and if they eat too much, the high sugar and water content can easily upset their delicate gastrointestinal balance.
How Can I Preserve Mangoes?
There are plenty of ways to preserve mangoes if you find yourself in the fortunate position of having a record harvest of this delicious fruit. In addition to being delicious, it is also highly versatile and can be used for everything from smoothies to mango salsa.
Since it is only recommended to feed it to your chickens a few times a week, the best way to store fresh mangoes is to freeze them. They can be frozen whole or in slices. Frozen mango slices make delightful tropical ice pops for chickens on hot days.
Other ways to preserve mangoes include:
- Making them into jam
- Dehydrating the mangoes in the oven or food dehydrator
- Canning them
Chickens thrive on a diet that includes an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables. Mangoes contain many beneficial nutrients, and the sweet, juicy flesh will be enthusiastically received by the flock. The high sugar content means that mango should be offered in moderation, although it is an ideal, juicy Vitamin C-rich option that can help reduce heat stress in the flock during hot weather.