Can Chickens Eat Oranges? What You Need to Know

Can Chickens Eat Oranges

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Fumipets

Can Chickens Eat Oranges? What You Need to Know


The question of whether chickens can eat oranges is a common one among poultry keepers. This article explores the suitability of oranges as a treat for chickens, shedding light on their nutritional value and how to safely incorporate this fruit into their diet.

Can Chickens Eat Oranges?

Giving your hens food scraps to eat is not only a cost-effective way to live, but it also provides them with a change of pace from their monotonous chicken feed. Given that you are reading this, you most likely just have one question right now: can oranges be added to the pile of “scraps for chickens”? It varies. While some sites claim it’s OK, some claim it’s not. In any case, it’s unlikely that your hens will be curious about them.

Let’s learn more!

Chickens Just Don’t Love Citrus

Oranges aren’t strictly terrible for hens (although the RSPCA Australia website advises against eating), but you’ll probably discover that they’d prefer not to eat them. When anything new is placed into their chicken coop, it will pique their attention, leading them to approach it, nip at it a few times, and then most likely leave disappointed.

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Oranges, which are high in vitamin C, could be good for your backyard hens’ health. However, vitamin C is not a required nutrient since hens manufacture plenty of it on their own.

As a result, there’s no need to make the bird consume the orange crumbs against its will. They should be alright if they eat everything else!

Oranges should be sliced into tiny pieces and combined with the rest of the hens’ food if you decide to feed them. Start off with a little amount of experimentation and watch your hens. It’s best to start with a little amount at first and build up from there if your hens truly don’t like the flavor of oranges because if they do, they could stop eating their meal completely.

What About Orange Peels?

Certain peels, such as avocado peels, should never be given to hens. Orange peels, however, are suitable for hens. Your hens won’t likely like the peels either, just as they won’t enjoy the oranges itself.

It’s possible that you’ve heard that oranges and orange peels are harmful to hens because some people believe that the acid in oranges may disturb a chicken’s digestive tract and disrupt the balance of healthy and bad bacteria.

Although there is another group of self-described chicken nutritional experts who believe acid is beneficial for eliminating harmful germs, this acid idea is not entirely supported by the evidence.

Oranges and orange peels may at least be entertaining playthings for your hens. According to some, if you place oranges or orange peels in your chicken coop, the birds will kick the items about until you take them out.

What Fruits Can Chickens Eat?

Knowing how hens and oranges interact today may pique your interest in other fruits that chickens may safely consume.

In general, avocado peels and pits are the only fruit-related items you should not give your hens. Other fruits, including bananas, berries, melons, apples, and many more, have beautiful flesh as well. Rancid or rotting fruit is one kind of fruit you shouldn’t give your hens since it could make them ill.

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What Are Chickens’ Favorite Food?

Chickens like eating your leftover food from meals, as well as the scraps you obtain from peeling or slicing fruits and vegetables. Here are a few alternatives that hens like, are healthy for them, and won’t break the wallet if you want to offer them a special treat:







Cottage Cheese


Just make sure it’s fresh, not rotten, and, if necessary, fully cooked.

Foods That Are Toxic for Chickens

Make sure the items you are giving your hens other than store-bought chicken pellets or grain are not harmful before you provide them.

Here is a short list of prohibited items for your chickens:

Nightshade foods (tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants)

Super salty foods


Sugary foods


Dry rice

Dry beans

Raw eggs

Avacado skins and pits

Pits from pit fruits and apple seeds

To keep them healthy and happy, don’t forget to only serve them foods that are fresh and free of pesticides and herbicides.

Questions & Answers:



Can chickens eat oranges, and are they a healthy treat for them?

Chickens can indeed eat oranges in moderation. Oranges provide essential vitamins and can be a nutritious treat for your flock.


How should I prepare oranges for chickens to consume?

To feed chickens oranges, slice them into small, manageable pieces. Avoid feeding them the seeds, as they can be harmful.


What are the nutritional benefits of feeding chickens oranges?

Oranges are a good source of vitamin C, which can boost chickens’ immune systems. They also provide hydration due to their high water content.


Can chickens eat orange peels, or should I remove them?

Chickens can eat the orange peels, but some may not be fond of the bitter taste. Removing the peels is optional, and it won’t harm your chickens.


Is it possible to overfeed chickens oranges, and are there any potential drawbacks?

While oranges are a healthy treat, they should be given in moderation. Excessive fruit consumption can lead to weight gain in chickens, so it’s important to balance their diet with other foods.

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