Food Scraps for Chickens

Inside: Chickens love food scraps! Saving food scraps for chickens is not only a great way to feed them for less, but they'll enjoy getting a treat.

A great way to reduce your kitchen waste is to compost your food scraps. But you can also feed them to your chickens. Chickens love food scraps! Saving food scraps for chickens is not only a great way to feed them for less, but they'll enjoy getting a treat.

chicken eating kitchen scraps

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Food Scraps for Chickens

Chickens are omnivores and will happily eat most kitchen scraps, including fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells, and even meat. Not only will this reduce your waste, but it will also provide your chickens with extra nutrients.

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Plus, you'll get fresh eggs in return! If you're interested in reducing your waste and getting fresh eggs, read on for everything you need to know about feeding food scraps to chickens. Remember, there are things you should not feed to your chickens!

I like to think of scraps for my chickens as treats. This is not to replace their feed, it is additional food for them. It's best to give these kinds of extras to your flock in the afternoon to not prevent them from eating their feed.

chicken compost

What Age Can Chickens Eat Scraps?

You should wait until your chickens reach 3-4 months of age before allowing them to enjoy kitchen scraps. Chicks have very specific nutritional needs during their first few months of growth, and offering too many treats can lead to an imbalance in their diet

What Food Scraps Are Bad for Chickens?

Don't forget to think about what you are feeding to your birds before you feed it to them. You don't want to give them chocolate, anything too salty, or green potato skins.

There are actually quite a few things that you should not give your chickens because they are toxic to them. What NOT to feed your chickens is a great list of things not to feed them to make sure your chickens stay healthy.

One thing to remember is chickens, like some other animals, often won't eat things that they think will poison them. My birds will not touch potato skins the odd time that one has made its way into the snack pile (or carrots, but my chickens are weird).

chickens eat kitchen scraps

Can Chickens Eat Bread Scraps?

Yes, chickens can eat bread scraps. Now for the same reason that they say not to feed bread to ducks, chickens aren't getting anything nutrient-wise from bread. You don't want to make it their meal.

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Can Chickens Eat Meat?

The bugs, rodents, and worms that chickens will eat while free-ranging are in effect raw meat. So yes, chickens can eat raw meat. 

Give your flock the carcass from your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey and they'll strip it bare. Just like it's a great source of protein for you, it is for them as well.

Make sure the meat is fresh and showing no signs of rotting and remove it from the run if it's not been eaten by roosting time. Otherwise, you are inviting rodents and predators.

feeding chickens scraps

We don't have a lot of food scraps that go to our birds. We are careful with the amount of food we cook to prevent waste. During the summer they get a ton of weeds from the garden, from the yard, and fresh fruit scraps.

During the winter when the grocery store has reduced salads, I'll buy a bag here and there for them just be they are spoiled.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Is it OK to feed chickens table scraps? Table and kitchen scraps can be a terrific addition to the diets of your chickens. Being omnivores, they will eat just about anything; however, care must be taken on just what (and how much) is given in the way of scraps.

    What scraps can I feed chickens? The scraps can be raw or cooked. Your birds will happily gobble up all kinds of fruits and vegetables, including berries, apples, and greens, as well as bread and rice.

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