At some point or another – most homesteaders and chicken parents usually ask the following questions.
Can chickens eat banana peels? And is it safe for chickens to eat banana peels?
Maybe you’re trying to figure out a way to lighten the cost of chicken feed – or you’ve recently noticed that your hungry flock eats nonstop!
Either way – you may be thinking about feeding your chickens excess banana peels – or you already have – but you’re not sure if banana peels are safe for your chickens to eat?
If so – then read this article!
We’re about to discuss whether or not banana peels are safe for your chickens to eat – plus a handful of tips for chicken parents and homesteaders alike.
Continue reading if you go bananas over chickens!
Because If You’re Homesteading Anywhere Close to The Equator, You Probably Have a Lot of These!
And If You’re Homesteading Anywhere, You Probably Have a Lot of These!
At this point – you may be wondering:
Chickens + Banana Peels = Good Idea? Or, Not?
Or, to put it differently – if you’re not going to use ten thousand banana peels for compost, can you feed them to the chickens?
Here’s our honest two cents!
Do Chickens Eat Bananas?
Well, if you finish your banana, walk outside, and throw the peel at the chickens, this is what happens:
But let’s be honest – chickens snatching up bananas like hotcakes isn’t that much of a surprise. Chickens will eat anything!
What you’re probably wondering isn’t so much can chickens eat banana peels? – as much as – are banana peels at all good or beneficial for chickens?
In other words – do bananas contain anything nutritious that the chickens might use?
Also – is throwing the chickens your banana peels (think throwing food to the dogs) a wise way to get rid of them while feeding your animals simultaneously?
Let’s discuss more of these topics – at length!
Are Banana Peels at All Healthy?
Just because the chickens will eat banana peels, that doesn’t mean that they should eat them. At the place where I’m staying (a small village in Kenya,) the chickens will eat just about anything. I’ve seen them go for bits of plastic and the like!
So I looked up – Are banana peels healthy or good for chickens?
A resounding YES! Not only are bananas edible for chickens, but they’re nutritious and full of good things, like fiber, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, B6, and B12 – nutrients that your chickens need!
A Word of Caution
That said, there are some things you should be aware of before tossing your ten or twelve chickens the peels from an entire mgomba wa ndizi. While a banana peel or two might be good for the birds, you should also consider the following banana peel variables!
How Much Are You Giving Them?
Anything good, taken in excess, can become a poison. Take yummy things like sugarcane juice – too much of that may contribute to diabetes. And it’s true of bananas as well.
However, it’s not the urban myth that too many bananas will cause an overdose in potassium – your chickens would have to eat twenty bananas a day (each!) for it to hurt them. And that’s the fruit too, not just the peel!
Instead, too many bananas can do things like give your chickens the runs, or fatten them up rather excessively. For these reasons, it’s best not to throw your chickens all your banana peels – especially if you’re an avid banana-eater like me and could go through all the bananas pictured above on your own in a month or so!
Are Bananas Organic?
If you’re growing your own, you hopefully don’t have to worry about the organic nature of your bananas! Unless you’re spraying your garden with pesticides, in which case I’d say stop gardening right now!
Instead, look up permaculture on Google and see why pesticides are a terrible idea. So – let’s assume if you grow bananas yourself, you grow them organically.
What if you’re buying bananas? Here’s where it matters. True, they aren’t part of the “dirty dozen.” You may think, why buy organic?
But bananas are one of the most heavily sprayed crops! Many times, bananas grow in poorer tropical countries where there’s no government oversight!
The thinking is very short-term. The rationale might seem like the following. “If spraying the heck out of the field gives me a higher yield today, who cares what effect it’ll have on my farm in the future?” – don’t encourage this behavior, I beg you!
Maybe you’ve told yourself that buying organic bananas isn’t worth paying twenty-nine cents apiece at Trader Joe’s instead of nineteen.
Because you peel the bananas, right?
Well, that’s pretty flawed thinking if you’re feeding your chickens the peels. Because that is where the pesticide gathers – it won’t be healthy for the chickens!
And, if you eat the chickens or their eggs, it won’t be good for you! (I sure wouldn’t want those eggs!)
Read More – 44+ Epic Chicken Coop Plans! For Free!
Lastly – It’s Not “Can,” But “Will!”
The question, in the end, isn’t so much can chickens eat banana peels? The real question – is will my chickens eat banana peels?!
Some chickens will gobble banana peels up like a kid let loose at a candy store. Other chickens are pickier and turn up their beaks, ruffle their feathers, and snub your offer! It depends on the bird.
Even though packed with nutritional goodies, let’s be honest with one another – banana peels don’t taste all that good!
You’ve probably never tried eating one. However, I did (for the sake of this article!), and let me tell you, they’re a bit sour and leave a sense in your mouth like you’re chewing on cotton. And they’re hard to digest – so some chickens won’t even try.
A good strategy is to prepare your banana peels! You can get your banana peels ready for your chickens by boiling them and cutting them into small pieces.
Or, you can toss your banana peels into the blender mixed with other treats. Blending your bananas will make them more palatable – without ruining too much of their goodness.
But, there are downsides to either preparation method. You will lose something either way!
Here’s what I mean.
You may lose vitamins when boiling your banana peels. Or, you could eliminate fiber if you use the NutriBullet.
However, either banana peel preparation method is likely worth the effort if it’s the only way your chickens will eat them!
Can Chickens Eat Banana Peels? Here’s Our Final Answer
The final answer is that everything depends on your birds. Hungry flocks might eagerly consume your pile of banana peels – while pickier backyard flocks may let them idle away.
In any case – the take-away is that yes – banana peels are edible! They also come with nutrition galore. However, you may have to do some homesteading sorcery to get your chickens to eat them.
What about you?
Do your backyard chickens eat anything you give them? Or are they picky like some of the chooks we’ve seen over the years?
Or – maybe you have tips to help entice chickens to eat banana peels?
Let us know in the comments below? We love to hear your thoughts and experiences!
And thanks for reading!
Read More – 7 Little-Known Benefits of Blackstar Chickens!
PS: – Read About the Effects of Banana Peel Meal on Chickens
Want to learn more about banana peels and chickens – from a scientific perspective?
I found an interesting study published by the Journal of Veterinary Science & Animal Husbandry regarding the efficiency of feeding banana peels to chickens.
The experiment studied if banana peel meal is an efficient meal supplement (or replacement) for broiler chickens.
The study concluded that replacing up to 10% of the chicken’s feed with treated banana peel meal had no adverse effect on growth.
The study also concludes that replacing up to 10% of the feed with banana peel meal can save money on chicken feed.
As you know – feeding your chickens is typically one of the most expensive tasks when raising chickens!
Thanks again for reading!