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Can Chickens Eat Oranges (And Orange Peels?)

can chickens eat oranges

Can I Give Oranges To Chickens?

In short, the answer is yes. Chickens can eat oranges. As a matter of fact, the general rule of thumb you can use is, “If it’s safe for you to eat, then it’s safe for your chickens to eat.”

However, there are a few hard “no’s” that you should never allow your chickens to eat, such as chocolate or uncooked beans as well as plants in the nightshade family. But for the most part, most anything is ok for chickens to eat when given in moderation.

What’s Safe For Chickens To Eat

There’s a lot of conflicting information out there when it comes to what is safe and what is not safe for your chickens to eat. Many backyard chicken owners love to use chickens for recycling food (myself included).

Any table scraps or discards from meal preparation can be placed in a bowl and used to feed your girls. In return, you get back wonderful and tasty eggs and great fertilizer for your garden and plants.

chicken pecking at food on the ground

Are Oranges Safe For Chickens To Eat?

But can chickens eat oranges? Will feeding oranges to your chickens put them in any kind of danger? As I mentioned earlier, it’s completely safe to feed oranges to your chickens. Now whether or not your chickens will eat oranges is a whole other story.

Keep reading to learn the nutritional benefits of feeding oranges to your chickens.

Nutritional Benefits of Feeding Oranges To Chickens

Pay attention to your girls the next time you take out a bucket of table scraps. If the bucket happens to contain a few old oranges or orange peels, you’ll probably notice that your chickens go nuts for everything in that bucket except for the oranges.

It’s interesting how chickens will devour some scraps while completely ignoring others. If oranges are safe for chickens to eat, why won’t they.

Well, some chickens do…and some don’t. And kudos to you if your chickens are eating the oranges because there are some definite nutritional benefits to them consuming them.

In addition to the high levels of beneficial vitamin C, according to, “Citrus fruit rind and pulp can lower the bacteria content in the GI tract of poultry and livestock in a natural and beneficial way. We know that citrus juices and peels are a great source of vitamin C.”

Can Chickens Eat Orange Peels?

can chickens eat orange peels

Yes. Chickens can eat orange peels. But again, you’ll probably find that most chickens won’t eat the peel. But many chicken owners, myself included, still recommend adding the orange peels to the scrap bucket. Why? Because it gives bored chickens something to do!

Chickens find it difficult to eat orange peels because they are just too tough to eat. However, if your chickens are bored then giving them peels will give them something to play with and keep their minds occupied. Orange peels are safe and won’t cause harm to your chickens.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve got oranges or orange peels in your bucket of table scraps, go ahead and throw them in to your chickens with the rest of the scraps. Your chickens might eat them, or they might not.

Either way, oranges are completely safe for them in the event that they do decide to peck at them here and there.

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