What Not to Feed Your Chickens?

Chickens will practically eat anything that is why they are known as the tiny food-munching machines. However, it is very crucial to know what is not good for them. Some foods will not do much good to them while others may make the sick especially when they consume a large amount. But keep in mind that only a few are lethal.

Don’t have any idea what not to feed your chickens? If so, then this is post is for you. Here, you will see the list of foods that you shouldn’t give to your chickens to keep them healthy and happy at the same time.

11 Foods That Your Chickens Shouldn’t Eat

1. Raw and Dried Beans

Chickens shouldn’t be fed with either raw or dried beans. In the actual fact, dried beans are acknowledged to bring severe illness and caused death for hens or chickens.

In addition to that, kidney beans as well as not properly cooked beans are potentially fatal for chickens. Such foods consist of a toxin that is lethal to your chickens.

Nevertheless, the illness will take place after your chicken eats 3 or 4 beans and progress quickly. That is why, when you accidentally fed you hens with beans unluckily you can’t do anything to save them.

2. Avocado

Some parts of avocadoes particularly the pits and skins shouldn’t be eaten by your chickens. Chickens, on the other hand, are prone to Persin, the toxin carried by avocadoes.

When chickens consumed large amounts of persin, there is a possibility that they will suffer from heart problems. They will also have a hard time breathing which may cause sudden death.

3. Rhubarb Leaves

This food is actually toxic to animals as well as humans. Rhubarb leaves have oxalic acid that may lead to a soft-shelled chicken egg. Thus avoiding this food is very important.

4. Green Potatoes

This food contains a toxic substance known as solanine. However, it is good enough to feed your chickens cooked and regular potatoes. But you need to avoid green potatoes in big quantities.

5. Chocolate

As we all know chocolates are harmful to mammals most especially to cats and dogs. But, are you aware that chocolates are also lethal for chickens? In the actual fact, chickens shouldn’t eat chocolates.

Chocolates contain caffeine and theobromine that aren’t safe for chickens. Actually, dark chocolates are more dangerous since they contain more theobromine.

The main reason why you should not feed your chickens with chocolates is that they are identified to cause a heart problem in birds that may range from irregular heartbeats to cardiac arrest. Death will also happen very rapidly, usually within twenty-four hours of consuming chocolates.

6. Moldy Foods

Similar to humans, your chickens should not also eat foods that are moldy. Don’t attempt to feed your flocks with food that has signs of molds. In addition to that, it is likewise crucial to ensure that your chickens’ food is not damp, as a matter of fact, it’s one of the ways where molds and their poisons thrive.

Bear in mind that moldy foods can kill, though there are some types of molds that are safe to consume. But to make sure that your chickens are safe it is best not to feed them any food with molds.

7. Onions

This food consists of thiosulphate – it is a contaminant the damages RBC or red blood cells. Having that said, excessive amounts may possibly cause anemia or jaundice in your chickens and worst, taste.  On the other hand, some claim that this food will taint the eggs’ taste.

8. Junk Food

As we all know, junk foods are not healthy and may cause illnesses to humans. The same goes for your chickens. Do not feed your chickens with junk foods and even highly processed foods because they are not good for them.

9. Uncooked Rice

Similar to raw beans, uncooked rice is not good for chickens as well, but if it is cooked, you are allowed to feed them.

10. Dangerous Plants

By nature, chickens are hunting creatures. Naturally, they tend to avoid harmful as well as toxic plants while roaming around their yards. That is why you should avoid planting harmful plants in your yards because they cause death to chickens.

But unfortunately, there are some dangerous plants that naturally grow in yards. As a matter of fact, consuming large amounts of such plants may become lethal to your chickens. There are also plants that cause intestinal damage, sores, and irritation.

In general, chickens eat bitter tasting weeds, plants, and flowers rarely. You should also keep your flocks away from blue-green algae since they are harmful to chickens.

Other Weeds and Plants That Are Harmful To Chickens:

  • Potato Sprouts
  • Ivy Species
  • Meadow Buttercup
  • Ragwort
  • Clovers
  • Oleander
  • Irises
  • Daffodils
  • Azaleas

11. Pesticides and Garbage

If possible always keep your backyard tidy. Moreover, don’t allow your chickens to access your garbage. Always remember that hungry chickens may possibly slip-up for foods and eat metal, rubber, and pieces of plastics which may cause severe health issues.

On the other hand, avoid using herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides in the areas near your chickens to prevent them from ingesting bugs, plants, or crops which have been contaminated with such substances.

Other Food to Avoid When Feeding Your Chickens

  • Green tomatoes
  • Butter
  • Citrus
  • Fried Foods
  • Anything salty
  • Ice cream
  • Soda
  • Pastries
  • Uncooked pasta
  • Mushrooms
  • Alcohol
  • Candy
  • Frozen Yogurt


Serving your chickens with a diverse diet will supply them with various nutrients for optimum health and aid with seasonal problems such as cold and heat.

However, having an idea of what not to feed your chickens is actually as crucial as identifying what to offer them.

After reading this content, of course, you’ve got a clearer idea regarding what not to feed your chickens. Make sure to keep the above-mentioned foods in your mind at all times and be cautious about feeding your hens.

More importantly, take good care of them so that you will be able to enjoy fresh chicken eggs in your table.

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