Can Chickens Eat Mango? (Yes! But be aware!)
Let’s face it. Chickens will gobble up almost anything you give them, especially sweet-tasting fruits like melons, strawberries, or mangoes.
But are mangoes good for them? Can you share the leftovers of your mango, such as skin and pit? Can chickens eat a whole mango? Let’s find out!
- Can chickens eat mango?
- Nutritional benefits of mangoes
- Risks of feeding mango to chickens
- Can Chickens eat mango peels?
- Can chickens eat mango seeds?
Can Chickens eat mango?
Yes, chickens can eat mango in moderation. Limit to 50g mango per day (0.11lbs). Mangoes contain antioxidants, vitamins C, E, A, and minerals like calcium and potassium. However, one mango contains up to 50 grams of sugar. Too much mango increases the risk of ‘Sour Crop‘ and blood sugar spikes.
It’s best not to overfeed them with mango treats to avoid any health issues. The 50g recommendation is based on the daily feed requirements of an 11 pounds adult egg-laying Leghorn.
Here is what 50 grams of mango looks like on a scale:
Nutritional benefits of mangoes
Mangoes contain several micronutrients that help a chicken’s body to be healthier and happier.
The following table lists the essential ingredients in mango for chickens. The Daily Values (DV) are approximations based on an adult egg-laying Leghorn.
|Whole Mango (336g)||Amount||% DV Laying Hen|
|Calories||202 kcal||~ 66%|
|Sugar||46 g||~ 150%|
|Calcium||37 mg||~ 1%|
|Vitamin C||122 mg||~ 100%|
|Vitamin E||3.02 mg||~ 15%|
|Vitamin A||3360IU||~ 40%|
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Let’s review the most important benefits of juicy, ripe mango.
Antioxidants are known for their anti-inflammatory abilities and are found in several fruits, including mangoes. The main purpose of antioxidants is to combat free radicals, which damage body cells. Over a dozen antioxidants are found in one mango, so no wonder mangoes are considered a health boost!
Processed foods don’t contain antioxidants, so feeding your chickens fresh mangoes as an occasional snack is a far better choice. Blueberries, apples, grapes, and pomegranates are also high in antioxidants and safe for chickens.
Vitamins and minerals
Mangoes are high in vitamins C, E, and A, which help avoid general health issues and boost immunity. Vitamin C helps to keep the bones strong. Vitamin A is essential for healthy skin and cell development. Vitamin E supports your blood, skin, and brain health.
Food high in minerals and vitamins will boost your chicken’s immune system. It helps to keep them disease free and prevents infections.
Minerals found in mangoes are potassium, calcium, zinc, selenium, and magnesium.
Risks of feeding mango to chickens
Most of us were raised with the idea that fruit is the ultimate good, no matter what kind of fruit. What’s good for us must be suitable for our chickens, no?
Not always. Eating mango has many health benefits, but any fruit comes with high amounts of sugar. Let’s see.
The sweet signature taste of mangoes makes them incredibly popular. The sweetness comes from sugar, as one mango can contain up to 50 grams. These sugars are sucrose, glucose, and fructose. All of them cause a rapid spike in blood sugar. That’s why people with diabetes need to watch out for mangoes.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Chickens don’t handle high sugar levels well. Although they don’t develop diabetes easily, they are naturally insulin-resistant, and their body doesn’t pull the excess sugar out of the bloodstream.
Chickens are energetic and always on the move, so they naturally keep their blood sugar levels high. It can be dangerous to feed them plenty of fruits high in fast sugar, such as mangoes. Their blood sugars will spike, and chickens can develop hyperglycemia with elevated sugar levels in their blood.
Hyperglycemia causes high blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, liver problems, and many other diseases.
The insulin resistance in chickens varies per breed. Silkies have a stronger ability to regulate glucose than broiler chickens.
Another problem with high sugar levels in chicken feed is that sugar can disrupt the bacteria in the chicken’s crop. This disruption of the microflora can result in the rapid growth of Candida yeasts, a common fungus.
Overgrowth can ultimately lead to Sour Crop, a common Candida-yeast infection that can be fatal for the chicken when left untreated.
Can Chickens eat mango peels?
Yes, you can feed chickens leftover mango peels, but only in moderation, as mango is high in sugar. Chickens peck the juicy mango flesh out of the leftovers until only the skin is left. Feeding them with mango peels is safer than providing pure flesh, as it prevents overeating.
Wash the mango before feeding it to your hens to prevent them from eating pesticide residue on the mango peel.
Can chickens eat mango seeds?
Chickens can eat the juicy flesh of the mango seed, but they can not eat the stone inside. The stone pit contains a cyanide compound, a toxic chemical. Usually, chickens can’t break through the hard outer shell but never feed the seed if it’s overly ripe or when there is mold on it.
It’s generally safe to give a leftover mango seed to your hens. They will eat the juicy flesh of the seed, probably not the seed itself, as a ripe mango seed tastes bitter.
According to research, chickens can taste bitter flavors which comes in handy to prevent them from eating poisonous plants or berries. So they won’t eat a mango pit, just the fleshy parts around it.
Be wary of fresh mango seeds, as they are much softer and less bitter and can even be eaten by humans. When feeding an unripe mango seed to your chickens, they’ll probably gobble it up completely.
Mango as a Feed Ingredient for Poultry
Mangoes are a popular food, but 20-60% of the fruit is wasted because it has such a big seed. The leftovers have very limited industrial use. On top of that, countries in Asia and the Pacific region have an inadequate supply of maize for poultry feed.
That’s why nations with high mango production, like India, are looking to use mango leftovers as an alternative for poultry feed.
Mango as Maize Substitute for Poultry
There are two ways to apply mango in poultry feed:
- as sugar syrup to replace the carbohydrates of maize
- ground, processed mango kernels as a substitute for maize
The mango seed kernel contains 60-80% of carbohydrates, has a good amino acid profile, and is a remarkable source of nutritional bioactive phytochemicals. However, the seeds also contain cyanide compounds, which are pure poison. Mango seed kernels also contain other anti-nutritional factors such as tannins, phytate, oxalate, and saponins.
To get mango seed kernels ready for poultry feed, they must be thermally and chemically processed to remove the poison.
Studies indicate small substitutions of mango kernel in the chicken’s diet are possible and do not affect did not affect the performance of chicks and broilers. An Ethiopian study in 2022 reports that replacing 15% of broiler feed with mango seed kernel has no overall detrimental effect when treated for anti-nutritional factors.
However, larger quantities have adverse effects. The risk remains that the de-oiled mango seed kernel meal still contains toxic cyanogenetic glucosides.
Chickens can eat mango if you limit their feed intake to 50 grams of mango per day per chicken (0.11lbs). They can eat mango as an occasional treat and love it. It’s also safe to feed chickens with leftover mango peels.
However, mangoes are high in sugar, so it isn’t healthy anymore when given frequently. Chickens don’t handle high sugar levels very well, which can cause Sour Crop, hyperglycemia, and increases the risk of many other diseases.
The stone in the mango seed contains toxic cyanide compounds. Keep an eye on them when they are playing around with mango seeds.
If you want to learn more about chicken feed, please consult our ‘Chicken Food Page‘ to go and see every specific food article we address. Including all articles on what chickens can and can not eat. Or go to our listicle food summary on ‘The Classroom‘.
Other Tropical Fruit Reads:
Can chickens eat:
- Watermelon – discusses watermelon flesh, rind, and seeds
- Bananas – learn about the health benefits for chickens
- Oranges – the benefits and risks of feeding oranges to your flock
- Strawberries – power food for humans, but what about chickens?
- Grapes – the pros and cons of feeding grapes to chickens