Can Chickens Eat Cherries? 6 Fantastic Benefits

Written By Jill Taylor

Most chicken owners know that their feathered friends love to eat a variety of things, but can chickens eat cherries? It turns out that cherries are great for chickens in moderation and provide lots of essential nutrients.

They are packed with vitamins A and C, calcium, and fiber. The vitamins and minerals in cherries can help keep chickens healthy and strong. However, it is important to remember that these delicious fruits contain sugar, so chickens should be given cherries in moderation.

Let’s look at why it is safe for chickens to enjoy the sweet taste of cherries.

can chickens eat cherries

Can chickens eat cherries?

Chickens can benefit from eating cherries because they contain vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, and fiber, supporting a healthy diet.

Cherries also have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce joint stiffness and other joint issues in older chickens. The sweet flavor also makes them an enjoyable treat for your flock.

The pits of cherries contain small amounts of cyanide, which can be toxic to animals if consumed in large amounts. However, a chicken would have to eat a lot of cherry pits for it to do any real harm. Chickens are smart and usually avoid eating the pits if given the option.

Additionally, it is important not to overfeed cherries as they are high in sugar and should only be given as an occasional treat.


The benefits of eating cherries for chickens

Cherries are packed with vitamins and minerals that give your flock various health benefits. Here are five reasons you should consider adding cherries to your chicken diet.

Improved Digestive System Health

Cherries contain dietary fiber and probiotics, which support healthy digestion in your chickens. The dietary fiber helps move food through the digestive tract more easily, while the probiotics help keep the gut flora balanced. This means less discomfort and improved overall digestive health.

Reduction of Stress

Cherries are loaded with antioxidants, which can help reduce stress levels in chickens. These compounds help fight off damaging free radicals, which can cause oxidative damage over time. By reducing stress levels, your chickens will be healthier and happier overall.

Increased Egg Production

The high vitamin C content in cherries helps boost egg production in laying hens, allowing them to produce more eggs regularly. Plus, the added nutrients from the cherries also help create larger and healthier eggs.

Improved Immune System Functionality

The antioxidants in cherries also help boost immune system functionality by fighting off harmful bacteria that could cause illness or disease in your flock. This means fewer trips to the vet for antibiotics and other treatments down the line.

Better Feather Condition

The richness of vitamins found in cherries helps improve skin and feather condition in chickens, giving them a glossy sheen and a healthy appearance overall. Eating cherries can also help keep mites away as they don’t like the taste of vitamin C-rich foods.

Things to watch out for when feeding cherries to chickens


If you’re thinking about feeding cherries to your chickens, there are a few things you need to know before doing so. Read on for helpful information about what to watch out for when feeding your feathered friends cherries.


Ensure that any cherries you feed your chickens are organic and pesticide-free. Pesticides can be toxic to animals, so it’s best to stay away from non-organic produce when feeding your chickens.

Stomach Upset

Another issue to remember is that cherries are acidic fruits, which can cause stomach upset if fed in excess or without caution. To avoid this, only feed small amounts of cherries at once and make sure that you are monitoring how your chicken reacts.

If you notice any signs of indigestion or distress after eating cherries, discontinue feeding them immediately.

Grit Requirements

Finally, it is important to remember that cherries do not provide enough nutrition for chickens, so they should not be offered as a main diet staple. Instead, consider offering them as an occasional treat or supplementing with grit so that the birds can better digest and absorb the nutrients from the fruit.

This will help ensure your chickens get all the nutrients they need for good health.

How often should chickens eat cherries?

Chickens can benefit greatly from an occasional cherry, as they are naturally high in antioxidants and various vitamins. That said, it is important to remember that cherries should not make up the majority of a chicken’s diet.

Experts recommend that no more than 10% of a chicken’s nutritional intake consists of fruits and vegetables – a single cherry (or two) on an infrequent basis should suffice in providing essential nutrition while giving your pet a delicious treat.

How to prepare cherries for feeding to chickens

baby chick

Before you give your chickens cherries, you should know a few things about preparing them for consumption. Read on to learn how to prepare cherries for feeding your chickens.

Wash First

Before feeding any food to your chickens, you must wash it thoroughly. This is especially true with cherries since they’re often sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals during growing. Ensure you use cold water, and don’t forget to remove the stems.

Pitting vs. Whole Cherries

Once you’ve washed the cherries, you can decide whether or not to pit them before feeding them to your chickens. If you decide to leave the pits in, be aware that cherry pits contain a small amount of toxins which can be harmful if ingested in large quantities.

That said, most likely your chickens won’t eat the pits anyway and will enjoy the sweet taste of the cherry without any problems. If in doubt, however, it’s best to remove the pits first.

Remove Uneaten Pieces

Cherries can be messy treats for your chickens, and pieces may be left behind after they finish eating one. Be sure to monitor their eating habits and remove any uneaten pieces from their enclosure after they have finished eating so they don’t choke on them or get sick from eating spoiled pieces later.

Can baby chickens eat cherries?

Baby chickens can eat cherries, though removing the pits before feeding them to your chicks is best. It is also important to be mindful of the sugar content of cherries, as baby chickens can have a sensitive digestive system and do not require as much sugar in their diet as adult chickens.

If you are ever in doubt, ask your local veterinarian or poultry expert for guidance on what types of fruits and vegetables are safe for your baby chicks to consume.

What other fruits can chickens eat?

fresh peaches

While cherries might be the go-to fruit for many chicken owners, there are plenty of other delicious options to give your feathered friends. Let’s explore some more fun fruits that chickens love besides cherries.


Peaches have a sweet and juicy flavor that chickens love. Plus, peaches are packed full of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. So not only do chickens enjoy the taste, but the nutrition benefits are a bonus.

Make sure to cut the peach into small pieces so your chickens can easily eat them.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Peaches? 5 Important Benefits


Mango is another great fruit option for your chickens. It’s full of nutrients like vitamins A and C and fiber, which helps promote healthy digestion in your birds. Plus, it has a sweet and tangy flavor that chickens find irresistible.

As with any fruit you offer your chickens, cut it into small pieces for them to eat easily.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Mango? 5 Amazing Benefits


Plums have a mild sweetness that many chickens find irresistible. They’re also packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and potassium that help keep your birds healthy and energized.

Be careful when cutting plums up – they can be quite slippery, which makes them difficult to handle.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Plums? 5 Excellent Benefits


Coconuts offer a unique flavor experience for your birds and many nutrition benefits, including iron and zinc, which help support their immune systems. To feed coconuts to your flock, you’ll need to crack open the shell first – use caution because coconut shells can be sharp.

Once you open the coconut, you can give it directly to your hens or cut it into smaller pieces, depending on what is easier for you.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Coconut? 5 Awesome Benefits


Another great option for feeding your flock is apricots. These sweet little fruits are packed with nutrients like beta-carotene and vitamin A, which help keep your hens healthy and strong.

Cut up an apricot into small pieces before giving it to your flock – making it easier for them to eat.

Read More: Can Chickens Eat Apricots? 4 Surprising Benefits

Can chickens eat cherries – final thoughts

It is safe for chickens to eat cherries as long as you keep their consumption to only an occasional treat. Not only does this tasty fruit contain lots of beneficial vitamins and minerals, but your feathered friends will certainly enjoy the sweet flavor.

So give them a handful of cherries now and then – just make sure you don’t overdo it.

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