Chickens can eat all kinds of fruit, including many of the same fruits that people eat regularly. In fact, it seems that some of our chickens’ most favorite fruits are tropical ones.
This makes a certain amount of sense since our modern chickens’ wild ancestor is the red jungle fowl that originated in southern Asia.
It stands to reason that these birds would have had access to tropical fruits. Anyway, today we’re talking about jackfruit, and potentially feeding them to our chickens.
Can chickens eat jackfruit, and is it safe?
Yes, jackfruits are safe for chickens, though the tough, thick, and coarsely textured outer skin is much too tough for them and practically inedible. Jackfruit has a solid nutritional profile of multiple vitamins and minerals that they need.
Jackfruit has been steadily gaining popularity in North America and is appearing in more grocery stores throughout the nation.
If you want to give your chickens a truly novel fruit to try, and one that is still healthy for them, jackfruit can be a good option.
I’ll tell you all the important stuff you should know about feeding jackfruit to your flock below…
What Benefits Does Jackfruit Have for Chickens?
Jackfruit is fairly nutritious, although it doesn’t have a stellar nutritional profile compared to other fruits. However, the micronutrient profile contains several things that chickens need.
The vitamins and minerals present in jackfruit are especially good for improving their bodies’ ability to heal, skeletal growth and feathering, with the latter being particularly important to help chickens recover and re-feather after injury or just during the yearly molt.
Jackfruit also has proven benefits for the circulatory system, particularly as it concerns the production of new red blood cells and the oxygenation of the bloodstream.
Jackfruit can also help to improve overall cellular function and balance a chicken’s metabolism and electrolytes, both important benefits during hot weather or periods of stress.
Many of the vitamins in jackfruit are also known immune system boosters and can help chickens stay healthy or fight off disease.
Jackfruit Nutritional Info
Jackfruit has a fairly impressive amount of vitamins and minerals, though not quite as strong as some other fruits.
At any rate, it is definitely a worthwhile if limited addition to the diet of your chickens.
Looking at the vitamins, we see that most of the B complex ones are here with vitamin B6 being particularly abundant and lesser but still respectable amounts of thiamine, folate, niacin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid.
We have a little bit of vitamin A and beta carotene along with vitamin E, and a good shot of vitamin C.
The mineral content is not quite as impressive as the vitamins, but there are still many that chickens need though they will have to look elsewhere to get more of them.
Potassium is present and fairly abundant along with magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc. Jackfruit is also notably very low in sodium, so that’s good…
As you might expect, jackfruit is quite sweet and will provide plenty of carbohydrates for chickens to give them a good burst of energy. It also has a little bit of protein and only a marginal amount of fat.
Is Jackfruit Safe for Chickens Raw?
Yes, raw jackfruit is safe for chickens and offers them the most nutritional benefit. Ideally, you should split or peel the fruit to help chickens get past the tough skin.
Once that is done, you can either just cut and slice up the flesh or even give them the entire fruit intact and let them peck away at it.
Are Jackfruit Seeds Safe for Chickens?
Yes, jackfruit seeds are totally safe and edible. Like many fruits, the seeds of the jackfruit are simply another form of nutrition.
In this case, that means they provide protein, carbs and a bit of fat as well as trace amounts of minerals.
Is Jackfruit Skin Safe for Chickens?
Not really. Jackfruit skin is not toxic, but it is thick, tough, flexible, and also has a pebbled texture that makes it very difficult for chickens to eat, and even harder for them to digest.
It’s not worth the effort and you are better off just peeling it and tossing it out.
Can You Cook Jackfruit to Give to Chickens?
Yes, you can, though there is rarely any good reason to do so. Jackfruit is known for its unique, dense meat-like texture, but once the skin is removed or the fruit is opened up, it is of little issue for chickens.
Their beaks can cut through the flesh just fine. You can cook jackfruit to tenderize it for picky birds, but do know that this will reduce the nutritional value a bit.
Is Jackfruit Still Safe for Chicks?
Yes, but only very sparingly and only once they have grown up a bit. Jackfruit is healthy, but very moist and pretty sweet, two things that are not great for chicks.
In addition, the flesh can be a bit tough, and difficult for them to swallow, especially when they are so small. Wait until they’re at least 6-8 weeks old before introducing jackfruit as a treat, and only give them a tiny bit to try.
How Frequently Can Jackfruit be Fed to Chickens?
Overall, Jackfruit is a great addition to the diet of your chickens, providing them with an abundance of vitamins and minerals along with plenty of carbohydrates for energy.
It also has proven benefits for their immune systems and general health, as well as helping to improve circulation throughout their bodies. All good things!
But jackfruit is still not a staple for chickens and should only be given occasionally, usually no more than once or twice a week in small amounts.
This is because it does have lots of calories that can contribute to weight gain if overfed, and too much sugar, even fructose, can cause issues…
So the key is moderation here, as with all fruits you give your flock.
What’s the Best Way to Serve Jackfruit to Your Flock?
Jackfruit is usually served best by peeling or splitting the fruit, removing the sections of flesh, and then chopping them or separating them into chunks.
This makes it much easier for chickens to peck at and swallow since the tough skin won’t be a problem anymore and they won’t be dealing with large chunks.
You can also leave the fruit intact, and let them peck away at it, or mash up some jackfruit to mix with other dry foods.
Try to Only Feed Jackfruit to Chickens if it is Pesticide-Free
One thing to be aware of with jackfruit applies to all of our other modern produce. Any jackfruit you buy is likely to have been exposed to a range of pesticides that can be harmful to poultry.
So if you are going to feed jackfruit to your chickens, try to make sure it is organic and pesticide-free.
That way, you won’t be exposing their bodies and systems to potentially dangerous toxins which can entail serious health issues down the line.
The very best option you have is growing your own, but these are rare plants in North America!
Jackfruit Is Safe, But Only Safe By Itself: No People Food!
As mentioned throughout this article, jackfruit is safe, but it is only safe by itself, as-is. Jackfruit is, though, used in all kinds of dishes both sweet and savory, and as good as these things might be almost all of them contain ingredients that your chickens should not consume.
Garlic, onions, peppers, and anything else that includes heavy oil, butter, salt, sugar or other seasonings should be avoided when feeding jackfruit to your birds.
Any of the above can make your chickens terribly sick or even kill them!
Don’t Leave Jackfruit Scraps Around the Run or Coop
One last tip concerning jackfruit and your chickens: don’t leave the scraps lying around the coop or run, as this can attract pests and predators.
Lots of critters will be drawn to the unique but alluring smell of jackfruit, and then they might stick around to cause trouble for your birds.
Instead of letting this happen, try to pick up all the leftover scraps and bits to throw them away.
Tim is a farm boy with vast experience on homesteads, and with survival and prepping. He lives a self-reliant lifestyle along with his aging mother in a quiet and very conservative little town in Ohio. He teaches folks about security, prepping and self-sufficiency not just through his witty writing, but also in person.
Find out more about Tim and the rest of the crew here.