Can Chickens Eat Watermelon? Safe Treat For The Summers?

Summer days can get pretty hot, specifically in June and July. The same goes for chickens as well, they can feel the heat too. To tackle the heat, watermelon would work just fine. But, can chickens eat watermelon?

“The answer to this is a BIG YES! Your chickens love to eat watermelon.  They are rich in nutrients and chickens absolutely love the taste of watermelon. But, just like any other fruit, you need to feed them in moderation.”

Chickens can eat watermelon as long as they are fed in a safe amount. Not only will it provide your chickens the nutrients they need, but it will also keep them hydrated and cool. Continue reading to find out more.

Chickens Eating Watermelon – Can It Be A Reward?

Watermelon can be greatly rewarding for your chickens. They are absolutely delicious and filled with just the right ingredients for your chickens.

Watermelons are sweet and delicious. They contain a whopping 92% of water. Since watermelons are rich in water content, they will keep your chickens hydrated on a hot summer day.

But, that’s not all. There are many other benefits your chickens can receive. Before we get into the benefits, allow us to answer some queries that chicken owners have in mind when feeding watermelon to chickens.

1) Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Flesh?

In short, “YES! Your chickens can safely eat watermelon flesh.” Watermelon flesh is safe as long as it is ripe and not unripe. If you’re not sure what a ripe watermelon looks like, you should look at its flesh.

Chickens can safely eat watermelon flesh

If it is red, you are in luck. You just found a ripe watermelon. Yes, it is as simple as that.

Feeding unripe watermelons (with white flesh) has lower nutritional benefits for your chickens. They essentially have lower levers of beta-carotene and other vital nutrients.

This is why you should always feed your chickens ripe watermelons. In addition, you should feed only a small amount of watermelon flesh to your pet chickens.

This will allow your pet to safely receive its benefits and stay cool on a hot summer day.

2) How Many Watermelons Can You Feed Your Chickens?

Chickens love eating watermelon so you always have to make sure your entire flock has enough of it.

A flock of 7 to 10 chickens requires one small watermelon. It will be more than enough for your chickens and allow each and every chicken in your flock to benefit from it.

For a flock of 11 to 15 chickens, a medium-sized watermelon would suffice. Similarly, for a flock of 15 to 20 chickens, you can feed them two small-sized watermelons.

3) Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Rind?

In short, “YES! Your chickens love to eat watermelon rind.” Just like the flesh part, your chickens can eat the rind part as well. They contain many nutrients that can be beneficial to your chicken’s health.

Chickens love to eat watermelon rind

These include numerous minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C. In addition to these, they also contain:

FiberFolateNiacinPantothenic acid

As you can see from the list above, watermelons are indeed rich in essential nutrients. Feeding watermelons to your chickens will allow them to boost their overall health.

This also indicates that your chickens will lay better, and healthier eggs.

4) Can Chickens Eat Watermelon Seeds?

Can chickens eat watermelon seeds? “Yes, they can.” Is it recommended? “Yes, for adult chickens.”

Chickens can eat watermelon seeds, as long as your chickens are fully grown (adult chickens). Adult chickens will love to have a go at them and will not stop at anything.

They can safely digest it. In fact, digesting seeds is no biggie for adult chickens, thanks to their digestive system.

It’s the baby chickens that cannot have watermelon seeds. Baby chicks should never be fed watermelon seeds. They have a sensitive digestive system and when they eat watermelon seeds, they will end up being sick.

Baby chicks are also prone to choke on them. For this very reason, you should avoid feeding them watermelon seeds at all. They can eat the flesh and rind part, and they are more than enough for your chickens.

5) Can Chickens Eat the Watermelon Plant?

In short, “YES! Your chickens can safely eat watermelon plants.” They will work their way through the leaves of the watermelon plant and only stop when they are done eating it.

Leaves and vines of watermelon are perfectly safe for chickens

If you are keeping your chickens in the backyard and growing watermelons too, you should not be worried. The leaves and vines are perfectly safe for your pet birds.

However, this is only true if you have never sprayed your watermelon plants with pesticides and other chemicals. Watermelon plants are often sprayed with chemicals and pesticides to protect them from pest attacks.

If you have sprayed them as well, you should avoid feeding them watermelon leaves and vines. They are not safe for your chicken’s health and will put your chickens in severe discomfort if they consume them.

In addition to this, you should always wash your watermelons prior to feeding them to your chickens.

6) What To Consider When Feeding Your Chickens Watermelon Plant?

If you feed your chickens the entire watermelon plant and the flesh part at the same time, guess how your chickens will react. They will simply ignore the leaves and vines.

Instead, they will jump at the flesh part.

Due to this, if you intend on feeding your chicken’s watermelon leaves and vines (as long as they are free from pesticides), make sure you serve them individually. Otherwise, they will simply ignore the green leaves and vines.

7) Why Is Watermelon Considered A Healthy Treat For Your Chickens?

Watermelon is considered a healthy treat for two reasons.

  1. They are filled with essential nutrients.
  2. They are filled with water (Up to 92% of a watermelon is water)

Due to this, they are considered a healthy treat for your chickens. Now, you might have noticed that I used the word “Treat” in the above sentences.

Watermelons should only be fed as treat to your chicken and that’s all.

They are rich in minerals, vitamins, including, Vitamin A, B6, C, and numerous antioxidants. Both the rind and the flesh parts are filled with these nutrients.

Watermelons are rich in minerals, vitamins, including, Vitamin A, B6, C, and numerous antioxidants

Feeding them as part of a perfectly balanced diet will allow your chickens to stay healthy and active. Not only this, but the quality of eggs they lay will also improve.

8) How Do You Choose A Watermelon For Your Chickens?

As mentioned earlier, ripe watermelon is the only type of watermelon that you should feed your chickens. But, how do you choose one?

For starters, you can head over to your local farm or get one from a nearby store. But, there are a few things that you need to consider when buying a watermelon.

Here’s what to look for in a cut watermelon.

  1. Make sure the watermelon you choose is ripe and not unripe. Pick one that has a deep pink-colored flesh.
  2. Make sure there is no physical damage to the watermelon.
  3. Avoid choosing a watermelon that has white streaks all over it.
  4. A ripe watermelon has a white or a dark and deep color. Make sure the watermelon you choose has such seeds prior to purchasing one for your chickens.

Here’s what to look for in an uncut watermelon.

  1. Similar to the cut watermelon, make sure the uncut watermelon is ripe as well.
  2. Since a watermelon’s water content increases as it ripens, the ripe ones usually have the most water in them.
  3. Make sure the watermelon you choose is heavy. The heavier the watermelon, the better
  4. A heavy watermelon also hints at the watermelon is ripe.
  5. Touch the rind part and make sure it is smooth. Ripe watermelons have an overall smooth rind.
  6. Lift the watermelon and check the place where it was laying down or resting. If it is green or white, you should avoid purchasing it. It indicates that the watermelon is unripe and not safe for consumption.

9) How To Serve Watermelon To Your Chickens?

Watermelon can be a nice addition to your chicken’s balanced diet. This is specifically true for a hot summer day since your chicken flock will stay hydrated.

Here’s how you can feed a watermelon to your chickens.

  1. Wash the watermelon thoroughly to get rid of any pesticide or chemical residue that may be lingering on the fruit. Feeding pesticidal infected fruit to your pet chickens will put them in severe discomfort.
  2. After washing it, store it in a cool place prior to serving it to your chicken flock. This will further help your chickens on a hot summer day.
  3. Once it is cooled, cut it into slices. Make sure the slices are not too big and ensure every chicken in your flock gets its share.
  4. Avoid removing the skin of the watermelon. The same goes for seeds as well, unless your chickens are babies and not an adult.

Nutritional Facts Of Watermelon

Watermelon is full of essential nutrients and antioxidants. There is nothing that states otherwise. It is of significant importance to the well-being of your chickens.

When fed in the hot season, your chickens can get significant benefits from the water content in watermelons. In addition to this, the vitamin content in watermelons will also keep your chicken healthy and lively.

Following are the nutritional content of watermelon (per 100 grams of  serving):

Phosphorus – 11 mgPotassium – 112 mgSodium – 1 mgTotal lipid (fat) – 0.15 gCarbs – 7.55 g
Dietary fiber – 0.4 gSugars – 6.2 gEnergy – 30 kcalProtein – 0.61 gMagnesium – 10 mg
Calcium – 7 mgIron – 0.24 mgVitamin C – 8.1 mgVitamin B-6 – 0.045 mgVitamin A – 28 µg
Lutein – 8 µgZeaxanthin – 8 µgVitamin E – 0.05 mgVitamin K – 0.1 µgFolate – 3 µg
Lycopene – 4532 µg

4 Benefits Of Feeding Your Chickens Watermelon

Watermelons are undoubtedly rich in nutrients that can significantly benefit your chickens. Here’s how they can improve your chicken’s health and most importantly, their day in the summers.

1) Watermelon Helps Keep Your Chickens Cool On A Hot Summer Day:

As mentioned earlier, the biggest advantage apart from the nutritional benefits of watermelons, your chickens will stay cool.

Chickens do not sweat

Fun fact – Your chickens do not sweat. Since they do not sweat, they need other ways to cool themselves down.

For this very reason, they rely on foods like watermelons due to their high water content. If you have noticed your chickens opening their wings, you should know that it is their way to cool themselves. When they open their wings and then close them, they are essentially trapping air.

In addition to this, they also try burying themselves in the soil. But this does not seem comfortable, at least to us. To help keep your chickens cool, you need to feed them cold watermelons.

2) Improves Your Chicken’s Overall Health:

Watermelons are packed with essential nutrients. Just like us, humans benefit from them, animals like chickens can benefit from them as well.

Watermelons are rich in fibers. It can keep your chicken’s digestive system running and allows them to digest food better and quicker. In addition to this, your chickens will also lay healthier and better eggs.

3) Rehydrates Your Chickens On A Hot Day:

Chickens can get dehydrated very quickly in hot conditions. Due to this, they stay in severe discomfort and it may even take a toll on their health.

To prevent any of this from happening, you can provide them with fresh and clean water. In addition to this, you also need to feed them watery foods like watermelon to rehydrate them.

They are composed of a whopping 92% of water and are filled with many essential nutrients. So, feeding them watermelon will not only rehydrate them but also provide them access to numerous vitamins and antioxidants.

4) Feeding Them Watermelon Can Uplift Their Mood:

Yes, you read correctly. Chickens too have different moods. They feel happy and sad just like us. When a chicken is in a bad mood, you should expect the quality of its egg production to drop.

Not only the quality but the number of eggs they lay may also drop. This is why many pet owners encourage feeding their chicken’s watermelons.

Feed them fresh and cool slices of watermelon to give their moods a boost. It will not only improve the moods of your chickens but also allow them to stay relaxed and away from any stress they may have.

5 Things to Remember When Feeding Watermelon To Chickens

Watermelons are undoubtedly rich in nutrients that can significantly benefit your chickens. Here’s how they can improve your chicken’s health and most importantly, their day in the summers. 

Watermelons are a fun treat for your chicken flock. But, that does not necessarily mean you can just throw them a slice of watermelon every time you feel like giving them a treat.

Here are some specifics you need to keep in mind when feeding watermelon and chickens.

1) Watermelon Should Always Be Considered A Treat:

With feeding new foods to your pets, quantity is what matters the most. The same goes for watermelons as well. Always feed your chickens watermelon as a treat only.

Chickens tend to get bored of their foods which is why feeding them watermelon on a routine basis should be avoided.

2) Wash The Watermelon Thoroughly Every Time You Intend To Serve Them:

Farm produce is often sprayed with pesticides. The primary reason behind doing this is to protect the delicious fruit and produce from any pest attacks they may be exposed to.

Wash watermelon before feeding to chickens

When feeding melons to your flock, you need to wash them thoroughly. This will allow you to remove the pesticidal residue and any dirt that may be present on the fruit. Doing this will make them perfectly safe for your chickens.

3) Always Make Sure You Feed Them Slices Of Watermelon, Never As A Whole:

Your chickens do not have teeth. They cannot simply bite down the rind as a whole and work their way towards the flesh. Feeding them watermelon as a whole is simply a big No-go.

Prior to feeding your chickens watermelon, always make sure you cut it into small or medium-size slices. This will allow your chickens to consume it safely and quickly.

Besides, your chickens will fight over it if they fear they won’t get their share. To avoid this, it is always recommended to feed them slices of watermelons to ensure every chicken in your flock gets his or her fair share.

4) Remove The Hard Skin Part:

As mentioned earlier, your chickens do not have teeth. They will have a hard time eating the hard skin part of the watermelon. Always remove the hard part of the rind prior to feeding it to your chickens.

Doing this will also prevent any risks of your chickens choking on them.

5) Feed Only Fresh And Ripe Watermelon:

Watermelons are good as long as they are fresh and ripe.

Feeding a fresh and ripe watermelon to your chickens will allow them to receive the benefits better and rehydrate themselves efficiently.

You should also avoid feeding them watermelon with mold. This is strictly not recommended and will make your pet chicken sick, which we certainly do not want.

11 Healthy Alternatives Of Watermelon For Your Chickens:

Here are some other foods that your chicken will love to have a go at. These are entirely safe for your chickens as long as you feed them in moderation and never as part of their main diet.

  1. Strawberries
  2. Bananas
  3. Grapes
  4. Celery
  5. Broccoli
  6. Carrots
  7. Apples (sliced ​​or chopped without their seeds)
  8. Raspberry
  9. Blueberries
  10. Pineapple
  11. Cherry

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Can Chickens Eat Rotten Watermelon?

In short, No! They should never be fed rotten or moldy foods. It will take a toll on your chicken flock’s health and also affect the quality and quantity of the eggs they lay.

Just like humans should not eat rotten foods, chickens too cannot eat rotten foods. Always feed them fresh watermelon and when you do, make sure you wash them and cut them into slices.

2) Can Baby Chicks Eat Watermelon?

For starters, baby chicks will love to have a go at watermelons. So, YES they can eat watermelon. But do not let their love for watermelons distract you. They can only eat it in moderation due to their digestive system being sensitive.

Feed only flesh part to chickens

But make sure you feed them the flesh part only. They cannot eat the rind or the seeds of watermelon so it is best to avoid them.


Can chickens eat watermelon? Sure, they can. They will love to have a go at the luscious fruit and enjoy its sweet taste. Feeding watermelon to your chickens will also allow them to hydrate on a hot summer day.

But, make sure you do not let this distract you from the fact that you should not feed them watermelon every single day. What you can do is feed them on consecutive days or 2 to 3 times a week.

In addition, when you feed a watermelon to your chickens, make sure you wash it thoroughly. Cut it into small or medium slices so your chickens can eat it with ease.

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