What nasty things do chickens eat?

Answered by Robert Flynn

Chickens are quite curious creatures and will eat just about anything they come across. However, there are certain things that you should definitely avoid feeding them. Here are seven things that can be harmful to chickens if consumed:

1. Avocadoes: While the flesh of avocadoes is generally safe for chickens to eat, the pit and peel contain a toxin called persin, which can be harmful to them. It’s best to avoid feeding them any part of the avocado except the flesh.

2. Chocolate or Candy: Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to chickens. It can cause symptoms like rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and even death. Similarly, candy or any sugary treats should be avoided as they can lead to obesity and other health issues in chickens.

3. Citrus: Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits contain high levels of citric acid, which can cause digestive upset and potentially lead to a lack of calcium absorption in chickens. It’s best to steer clear of feeding them citrus fruits.

4. Green Potato Skins: Potatoes themselves are fine for chickens to eat, but the green parts of the plant and the skins contain solanine, a toxic compound. It’s important to remove any green parts or skin from potatoes before feeding them to your chickens.

5. Dry Beans: Uncooked or undercooked beans contain a toxin called lectin, which can be harmful to chickens. It’s best to avoid feeding them any type of dry beans, such as kidney beans or navy beans.

6. Junk Food: Just like humans, chickens should avoid junk food. Processed snacks, chips, and other high-fat, high-salt foods can lead to obesity, heart problems, and other health issues in chickens. Stick to a balanced diet of grains, vegetables, and protein for your feathered friends.

7. Moldy or Rotten Food: Chickens should never be fed moldy or rotten food. Mold can produce toxins that can be harmful or even fatal to chickens. Always ensure that the food you provide is fresh and free from any signs of spoilage.

It’s important to note that chickens have different dietary needs at different stages of their lives. Consult with a veterinarian or poultry nutritionist to ensure that you are providing them with a well-balanced and appropriate diet.

While chickens are known to be quite adventurous eaters, there are certain things you should avoid feeding them. Avocadoes (especially the pit and peel), chocolate, citrus fruits, green potato skins, dry beans, junk food, and moldy or rotten food should all be avoided. By providing your chickens with a healthy and balanced diet, you can help ensure their overall well-being and longevity.