Can Chickens Eat Walnuts? A Guide to Feeding Walnuts to Chickens

All people enjoy having walnuts. Chickens, on the other hand, are crazy for walnuts. You can feed the chickens walnuts since they are high in protein, low in cholesterol, & high in fiber. 

Do you know the best method to provide walnuts to your chickens? Why should you include walnuts in the chicken’s diet?  Everything you needed to know about giving walnuts to the chickens is right here. 

Yes, Chickens can eat Walnuts. Edible walnuts are the fruit of the walnut tree, which thrives in milder climes. These nuts develop on lengthy stalks that extend from the tree’s main body and several branches. The nuts are protected by a tough shell with such a green exterior that becomes brown when it becomes fully mature. 

It’s worth noting that not all walnuts get this green exterior; some have a skin that is brown whenever it’s ripe instead. The omega-3 fats, enzymes, as well as other nutrients found in them are of the highest quality. They are also rich in polyunsaturated fats. 

Effects of Black Walnuts –

The chemical Juglone, found in black walnuts, has the potential to be hazardous to neighboring plant life. Plants’ ability to breathe is hindered by juglone, which can include tomatoes & potatoes.

It’s possible that this consequence, among others, could cause the leaves to turn a sickly yellow, the plant to stop growing, and eventually to die. 

It’s possible that juglone is hazardous to animals other than pigs. That being said, your apprehension about feeding black walnuts to the birds is not recommended. Black walnuts, thankfully, do not pose a threat to hens. 

Reasons Why the Walnuts are Poisonous to Chickens –

Walnuts have received a lot of negative press for being harmful to chickens and other pets and animals. However, scientific investigation has revealed that walnuts are not as they seem. 

It is not true that walnuts are intrinsically harmful to chickens. However, they become polluted by fungi such as Alternaria, Penicillium, & Aspergillus if they fall to the ground & sit there for days. 

Moldy walnuts can be deadly to chickens and other animals. Moldy walnuts, for example, may spread aspergillosis among chickens. Mildewed walnuts can be extremely unpleasant, at the very least.

Can Chickens Eat Walnuts

Nutritional Benefits of Walnuts –

Nutrient-rich walnuts are good for laying hens. Walnuts are a nutritious treat for chickens since they contain protein, fiber, fat, mineral, antioxidants, & vitamins. 

  • Protein 

About 15% of a serving of walnuts provides protein, which is about the same as the daily need for hens. This means that walnuts can supplement chicken feed by providing a decent amount of protein, but they should not be used as a replacement for feed. Make sure your chickens aren’t getting more than 10% of their diet from walnuts. It’s important to only offer them walnuts occasionally, though; once a week must be fine. 

  • Fat 

With a fat content of about 65%, walnuts are an excellent source of fuel for poultry. As the winter months approach, you can begin giving your chickens regular treats of walnuts. They can bulk up and store more energy regarding the upcoming winter this way. 

Even though hens may benefit from fat, it’s important to keep in mind that enough fat can be hazardous. Chickens can easily gain too much weight if fed walnuts on a regular basis. Chickens who have gained too much weight usually have health problems. 

  • Fiber 

Nuts contain about 6.7% fiber, and walnuts are no exception. Fortunately, a healthy intestinal system is a key factor in raising happy and productive chickens. In this way, walnuts can improve the overall health of your chickens’ digestive system. 

You May Also Read: How Do You Make Healthy Chicken Feed?

The Benefits of Including Walnuts in a Chicken’s Diet –

Walnuts are the bird’s nut of choice. This implies that poultry will readily accept a diet of walnuts. Different kinds of nuts, such as pistachios or pine nuts, may not appeal to them as much. The prevention of obesity and the diseases associated with it, such as diabetes & heart disease, can extend to the chickens if you offer them walnuts. 

Feeding your hens walnuts not only gives them the protein they require for healthy growth and development, but it also helps them keep a healthy weight. Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts will help your chicken’s immune system. 

Last but not least, sprinkling the flock with additional walnuts every once in a while will make them more active and alert, resulting in greater productivity around the yard. 

When Should You Give My Chickens Walnuts –

Your chickens’ dietary requirements for walnuts will differ based on the size of the beaks and crops. A chicken’s beak is a good place to check to see if it’s full because that’s where the meal travels down from the mouth. 

The recommended starting dose of walnuts for birds is one ounce (28 grams), and this should be gradually increased over time. If they seem to be enjoying it, feel free to increase their serving size. 

In order to maximize nutritional absorption, walnuts are best fed to hens in the morning, after they’ve had an hour and a half to get the digestive systems going. 

If you want to supplement your chickens’ regular diet with walnuts, you should do so only if you have already removed any other fresh items. They will happily eat the walnuts as much as there is nothing else to eat. 

Advantages of Walnuts – 

One of the advantages of using walnuts in your chickens’ diet is the following: 

  • The skin and feathers of hens benefit from walnuts.
  • Due to their superior strength, chickens would be better equipped to protect themselves from predators. 
  • Walnuts, when added to a person’s diet, can boost their protein intake. 
  • They’re rich in calcium, and vitamin A, as well as other nutrients that aid in preventive care. 
  • Walnuts’ high levels of antioxidants & omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to egg health. These are a vital part of a chicken’s diet.


Can Chickens Eat Walnut Shells?

Walnut shells are toxic to chickens. Most hens can’t consume walnuts because their beaks are too small to crack the shells. However, if you break them down into smaller pieces, these sharp edges could pierce the chickens. 

Do Chickens love Walnut Leaves?

Certainly, Yes. The leaves of the walnut tree are a healthy and delicious treat for your chickens. Some of the minerals found in abundance in walnut leaves are calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, & zinc. 

The protein & vitamin A in the leaves are essential to the well-being of your chickens. 

If you feed the chickens any of the leaves, though, they will ignore them. The hens won’t even bother to eat them because they don’t taste good. 

Do Chickens Eat Old Walnuts?

It’s okay to feed chickens walnuts, but only offer them freshly cracked ones. If you feed your chickens stale walnuts, they may become harmful. 


For some reason, walnuts are a favorite among chickens. Indeed, they make a healthy complement to your chickens’ diet. Walnuts’ antioxidants & fiber are both beneficial to digestive health, and the former has been linked to cancer prevention. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a healthy egg’s development, and walnuts are a fantastic source of them.

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