Chickens will eat just about anything. You will find that they have their own taste as we do, and some won’t eat something. For instance, my chickens won’t touch carrots. But overall, there isn’t a lot on the what not to feed chickens list.
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What Not to Feed Chickens
Sharing your kitchen scraps and leftovers with your flock is a great way to vary their diet, especially when winter has killed the grass and bugs they would forage upon.
They love seeds, grains, greens, grass, vegetables, fruits, nuts, kitchen scraps, manure from other animals, worms, herbs, and bugs.
All of those foods are chicken food. You can save money and get more nutrition from your eggs by feeding your chickens various food sources.
Chickens do have some brains. If you think about chickens in the wild they would have to know what’s good for them and what’s not. Otherwise, they would all be dead due to eating a poisonous plant or berry. Chickens (and animals in general) don’t often like the foods/plants that are poisonous or bad for them and they keep away.
What NOT to Feed Your Chickens
- Avocadoes (mainly the pit and peel)
- Chocolate or Candy
- Green Potato Skins
- Dry Beans
- Junk Food
- Moldy or Rotten Foods
- High Salt Foods
- Raw Rice or Beans
- Spinach or Rhubarb Leaves
- Tomatoes & Eggplant
- Raw Eggs – they could develop a taste for them and start eggs the eggs you wish to collect
One thing I see often listed on the do not feed list is apple seeds. When we first started giving our chickens scraps we were careful not to give them apple seeds but that didn’t last long. We have not lost a chicken on our homestead.
There is the possibility that they do not eat the seeds, but I don’t watch them close enough to notice that, our birds get all apple cores from the kids eating apples, or from myself or my mother-in-law baking with apples, they love them!
Ashley is a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, turned homesteader, living in Canada. I have been homeschooling for years and love it. Now my children and I get to learn about and help others homeschool and be able to provide for their families and teach our children about where their food comes from.