Can Chickens Eat Watermelon? Yes. Watermelon Soup with Mint Hits the Spot

Learn How to Keep Chickens Cool in Extreme Heat

can-chickens-eat-watermelon

Can chickens eat watermelon? Yes. They love it! You can feed it to them directly by cutting open the melon and letting them feast. Or you can get fancy. Cooling Watermelon Soup with Mint is one of my favorite hydrating summertime treats for my flock.

While many chicken keepers worry about their chickens being too cold in the winter, what they should really be concerned about is their chickens overheating in the summer. Chickens don’t sweat like humans do. They expel heat from their bodies through their skin and especially through their comb. This is why the Mediterranean breeds of chickens such as the Leghorn, Andalusian, Penedesenca, and Minorca have extremely large combs.

Believe it or not, chickens are most comfortable in temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees or so and when the mercury starts to rise, they will begin to show clear signs of heat stress. When the temperatures rise above 80 degrees you will notice your chickens begin to hold their wings out from their bodies. This is to allow cool air to pass under their wings and allow body heat to escape. They will begin panting. This is another way chickens stay cool. It’s similar to dogs.

In the warm months, there are several things you can do to help alleviate heat stress. Providing lots of shady areas, a well-ventilated coop and cool, fresh water are essential. Chickens don’t like to drink warm water, so adding some ice cubes to the waterers or frozen water bottles will help to keep the water cool longer. I like to set out shallow tubs of water for my chickens. I’ve found they like to stand in the tubs and they like to dunk their heads into the water to cool and wet their combs. Interestingly, their combs essentially act as radiators, giving off excess body heat.

While knowing how to keep chickens cool in extreme heat involves techniques like providing shade and ice water, I like to take it one step further and make watermelon soup for my chickens. Before you ask yourself, can chickens eat watermelon, I can assure you that watermelon is one of my girls’ favorite treats. They are perfectly happy if I just cut a melon in half and let them have at it – they’ll eat the flesh, seeds and even the rind!  In fact, the entire watermelon plant is edible for your chickens, so once you’ve harvested your crop, let them eat the stalks and leaves as well.

can-chickens-eat-watermelon

Watermelon is a food with an extremely high water content, so watermelon soup provides beneficial fluids on a hot day, and I try to give my chickens as much watermelon as I can during a heat wave. While the peppermint plant has many benefits, it has natural cooling properties (Think how cool your mouth feels after using mint mouthwash, toothpaste or chewing mint gum!), has a calming effect, and it also aids digestion.

Cooling Watermelon Soup with Mint

Ingredients:

One watermelon of any size halved and insides scooped out
Handful of ice cubes
Handful of fresh mint, plus more for garnish

Using a blender or food processor, puree the watermelon flesh, seeds, ice and mint until smooth. Pour the soup evenly into each watermelon half. Garnish with additional mint leaves.

Serve the watermelon soup on a hot day in a shady spot. If your chickens are like mine, they will finish off the watermelon soup and then eat right down to the green rind.  If you leave the rind for them, they’ll usually eat that too! If not, I like to keep filling the empty rind with ice water for them to drink.

Keeping your chickens cool in the summer is extremely critical. If you do notice signs of heat exhaustion in a flock member (a hen lying on the ground, extremely labored breathing, eyes closed, very pale comb and wattles, lethargy, etc.), immediately get her somewhere cool and soak her feet and legs in a tub of cool water to bring her body temperature down.  You don’t want to submerge the whole body – wetting a chicken’s feathers renders her unable to regulate her body temperature herself. Give her cool water to drink and some electrolytes, plain Pedialyte or even Gatorade in a pinch, for added nutrients to replace what she has lost. And even if you aren’t interested in taking the time to make my Cooling Watermelon Soup with Mint, offering your chickens chilled watermelon slices in the summer will be greatly appreciated.

can-chickens-eat-watermelon

When you started raising chickens, did you wonder can chickens eat watermelon? Do you feed your chickens watermelon in the summer, in hot weather? Let us know in the comments below.

200-fed-logo-with-signature

can-chickens-eat-watermelon

Anchor
Comments
  • YES!!! They absolutly love the cold watermelon! My family simetimes teases me for the extra love I give our chickens! They deserve it too❤️

    Reply
  • Our girls are now four months old, two Wyandottes and a Cochin. We have lots of shade in the yard, so even on warm days they have no problem finding somewhere to chill out of the sun. I started offering them melon about a month ago, and found they love watermelon best of all (cantaloupe and honeydew, not so much). Now, I keep a watermelon in the fridge all the time and cut off chunks for them during the warm part of the day. We haven’t yet hit the real heat for our area, though yesterday topped off at 90°F. I will give the soup a try. I bet they’ll love it.

    Reply
  • I always share my watermelon with my flock, and what little is left of the rind (if any) goes to the goats, who also love the whole melon!

    Reply
  • Thanx for the “cool” chicken advice with watermelon. What about goats? Can they benefit the same way with watermelons. Mine are suffering with the heat, too. And goats HATE water sprinkled on them! Any advice?? Thanx so much, JanPatterson

    Reply
  • My ten hens love watermelon. Here in Texas, when summer temps top 90 degrees most days, we often provide plastic containers refilled with frozen water. Lain in the girls’ water saucers or right smack on the ground in their pens, they’ll stand in the water to cool off and occasionally lie on the sides of ice-filled 1/2 gallon milk jugs.

    Reply
  • Linda W.

    Cut your watermelon in half lenthwise if possible. Scoop out the center, mush it up and refrigerate. Then freeze the watermelon shell. Pour the mush into the frozen shell. It will keep it very cold for several hours. I did not know about the mint. I’ll try adding it.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Credit Card Identification Number

This number is recorded as an additional security precaution.

americanexpress

American Express

4 digit, non-embossed number printed above your account number on the front of your card.
visa

Visa

3-digit, non-embossed number printed on the signature panel on the of the card immediately following the card account number.
mastercard

MasterCard

3-digit, non-embossed number printed on the signature panel on the back of the card.

×
Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

×

Send this to a friend

Shared with you:

Can Chickens Eat Watermelon? Yes. Watermelon Soup with Mint Hits the Spot

https://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/feed-health/can-chickens-eat-watermelon/