Mangoes have often been called the king of fruits, or at least they are called the king of fruits in the countries where they usually grow!
These delicious, delectable tropical fruits are sweet and satisfying, and also contain a good complement of vitamins. We know people love them, but can chickens eat mangoes?
Yes, chickens can eat mangoes, although the hard stones and tough skins are generally indigestible by them. Mangoes are a sweet and refreshing treat for chickens, especially on hot days, and will help support good health thanks to abundant vitamins.
You can give your domestic chickens a taste of exotic, faraway lands if you give them mangoes.
But before you split these sizable stone fruits open, you need to know how much you can give them and how often.
Keep reading to learn more and other considerations for giving mangoes to your chickens.
Nutritional Profile of Mangoes
Mangoes are large and impressive Stone fruits, packed full of sugar, as informed by their delicious taste. There are also dense and fibrous and are approximately 83% water by weight.
But more importantly for our chickens, mangoes also have a quality assortment of vitamins in most cultivars.
I have lots of vitamin C, ample amounts of folate, and a good selection of vitamin A, various B vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
Surprisingly enough they also have a decent amount of minerals, with copper being present in abundance along with magnesium, manganese, potassium, and phosphorus. They also have a little bit of calcium, zinc, and selenium.
Health Benefits of Mangoes for Chickens
They might taste like junk food, but mangoes are anything but! Chickens don’t really need vitamin C, since they can make it themselves, but a little extra doesn’t hurt.
Folate is important for healthy cell growth, and vitamin A is essential for good vision, immunity, and keeping skin and feathers healthy.
B vitamins are all important for different aspects of metabolism, and vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage. Meanwhile, vitamin K is important for blood clotting.
Even though the mineral complement of mangoes does not measure up to the vitamins, it is nothing to write off.
Magnesium is needed for energy production, manganese is another important antioxidant mineral, potassium is critical for proper muscle function and electrolyte balance, and phosphorus is necessary for strong bones.
Zinc is used for a healthy immune system, and calcium, now as ever, is vital for strong bones and especially critical for laying hens, where it contributes to egg production rate and strong shells.
Can Chickens Eat Mangoes Raw?
Yes, your chickens can eat mangoes raw and this is the preferred way to serve them if you want to maximize nutritional benefits.
Can Chickens Eat Mango Skins?
Chickens can eat mango skins, but there are a couple of things you should know first. Right out of the gate, most chickens seem to detest mango skins and will not eat them under any conditions.
Larger birds won’t struggle much to get through the skin with their beaks, however, to get at that sweet flesh inside.
Also, mango skins are suspected to contain compounds related to urushiol, the same substance that gives poison ivy it’s debilitating, blistering power.
It has exhibited this same effect on people that come into contact with the skin or worse, attempt to eat it.
It is not thought that it has the same effect on birds, including chickens, and further complicates matters most mango cultivars don’t seem to exhibit this at all but comprehensive research is lacking.
If you have any doubt peel the mangoes before giving the flesh to the chickens and then discard the skins.
Can Chickens Eat Mango Stones?
No, chickens cannot eat mango stones. These stones are massive, dense, and difficult to break down and are simply too much of a challenge for even the most determined chicken.
Luckily enough, pretty much every chicken seems to ignore them after finishing with the flesh, so you can discard the stone if you peel the mango or throw it out after they are done with it.
Can Chickens Eat Mangoes Cooked?
Yes, chickens May safely eat cooked mangoes although, as mentioned, this is not the preferred way to serve mangoes to chickens because it reduces the nutritional value of the fruit. No danger is involved, but the chickens simply won’t get as much out of it.
Never Feed Mango to Chickens that Has Been Prepared with Harmful Ingredients
When considering the cooking of mangoes or mangoes that have been prepared as an ingredient in other dishes, you must remember to never serve mangoes or said dishes to your chickens if they contain ingredients that are harmful to them.
When mangoes are prepared as chutneys, desserts, preserves, and other delicacies they might contain salt, sugar, spices, oils, and other things that are bad for your birds.
No matter how delicious these things are for people, chickens definitely don’t need them so don’t give them any mangoes prepared in any way that might be bad for them.
Beware of Pesticides on Grocery-bought Mangoes
Mangoes are one of the most popular fruits in the world and are becoming an increasing fixture in domestic grocery stores.
Like all domestic produce, mangoes are heavily treated with pesticides in order to ensure they make it to market intact and unblemished.
These pesticides compose a substantial health risk to chickens, especially over time due to incremental dosage.
Therefore you must put in the effort to thoroughly wash any store-bought mangoes to remove these pesticides, or lacking that, discard the skins entirely.
Organic mangoes are a great option for reducing or eliminating the pesticide load from these tasty, tropical fruits but they are difficult to find stateside.
How Often Can Chickens Have Mangoes?
Mangoes are super delicious, no doubt about it, and also nutritious, but despite this, your chickens should have them as an occasional treat or supplement to their diet.
Up front, juicy, sweet foods have a tendency to cause problems for chickens we need to subsist primarily on dry, hard food.
Sour crops and other digestive problems are likely if you allow your chickens to overindulge, and at any rate these highly caloric fruits are likely to cause weight gain when you overfeed them to your chickens.
Consider this general rule of thumb when giving mangoes to your flock. Only 10% of their calorie intake should be made up of fresh and wholesome produce or other foods that they can have alongside their chicken feed.
Mangoes should make up only a portion of that 10%, so at best you should be giving mangoes to your flock once or twice a week at most.
Preparing Mango for Your Flock
The best way to prepare fresh mangoes for your flock is to peel the fruit, cut the flesh into cubes and then set it out for them to enjoy in a bowl or on a tray.
Mangoes are so juicy and sticky that they are almost resinous and they will quickly attract dust and debris that will make them less appealing to your birds.
One way to really thrill your flock on a hot day is to give them frozen mango slices they can pick at as they thaw. Compared to cooking, freezing does not impact the nutritional profile of the mangoes very much.
Can Baby Chicks Have Mangoes, Too?
Chicks can have mangoes once they reach about 6 weeks of age, but you’ve got to be very cautious with the proportions because they can’t handle the sugar that well.
Chicks are also particularly vulnerable to crop impaction, and the fibrous, sticky mangoes might be just the thing to cause them problems.
Remember, chicks should be eating mostly chick feed, not fruit, no matter how healthy it is.
Be Sure you Clean Up after giving Your Chickens Mangoes
Most chicken owners already know they need to pick up the scraps and leftovers after they have treated their birds, but mangoes in particular can cause trouble if you don’t.
Mangoes are so sticky, so sweet and so appealing that they will attract pests and other animals from far and wide, including ones that can make major trouble for your chickens.
Rats, mice, raccoons and the like made directly attack your chickens, kill chicks or steal eggs. Insects will be after the mangoes, also, and you don’t want them infesting your coop or run.
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.