5 Foods Chickens Cannot Eat

Filed in The Basics by on 29th May 2017 0 Comments

Being able to get rid of UN-used food and kitchen scraps is one of the reason I absolutely love to keep chickens, before I had them I would just toss the food in the bin which to me is a complete waste. Chickens will eat absolutely anything but contrary to popular belief they cannot eat “everything”, I have compiled a list of 5 things that should never be given to chickens.

  • Dried or raw beans

Personally I myself keep away from eating dried and raw beans of all kinds, as there has been deaths in humans let alone chickens. Dried beans create a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin which is fatal to chickens. If they eat them, after consuming just 2-3 they will become seriously ill and would die within the hour and there is nothing you can do about it, it would be the same as a human consuming cyanide poison.

– Cook them

If you do have dried beans and want to feed them to chickens you can soak them in water for at least 12 hours and then rapidly boil them for 10-15 minutes, once cooked you can feed feed them to your hens or add them into your recipes for consuming.

  • Mold is a no no

A rule of thumb I tend to use is, if it smells bad and looks bad then do not feed it to the chickens, if I wont consume it then neither will they. Of course some molds are good and we do eat certain types of cheeses and mold does product Penicillin, but some molds which grow on fruits especially are toxic to chickens the same as they would be to us.

5 foods chickens cannot eat

It’s not possible to detect which mold is safe for consumption so the best thing to do would be to toss it in the bin. Equally important is making sure your flocks feed does not come into contact with rain or other water supply, we all know what happens when food comes into contact with water, it is a feeding frenzy for mold. To stop that from happening you can buy one of these feeders:

  • The Avocado

Avocado is a strange one since many on the Internet tell you to never give your chickens avocado and avoid at all costs, yet this is not true. Avocado is an amazing source of vitamins and minerals that will supply your flock with nutrition and good fatty acids, on the other hand it contains a toxin called persin. In large doses, persin can give your chickens heart problems leading to a quick death – less than 48 hours.

Persin is carried mainly in the skin and the stone of the avocado, so if you would still like to feed them to your flock make sure you give them the flesh only and in serious moderation.

  • Green Potatoes/Tomatoes

When Sunday comes around, there is nothing more satisfying I like than to give my birds the leftovers and watch them peck away at the scraps. With green potatoes we are getting back into that “If it looks bad….” territory since I myself would not eat green potatoes so why would they? Not only this, green potatoes and tomatoes contain yet more toxins that are a killer to your flock.

5 things you cannot feed chickens

The toxins will not come out by boiling the potatoes either, so it’s best just to toss them in the bin or even better, the compost bin!

As with Avocado, green tomatoes can be fed to chickens but in great moderation as they do still contain a killer toxin – so be very careful.

  • Chocolate

I would of though this to be an obvious one, I always think of what chickens in the wild would eat, they cannot get hold of chocolate, so why feed it them now?

Theobromine and caffeine are found in chocolate and those chemicals are very toxin to chickens and will cause them heart problems, though I suppose if a little few drops fell on the floor and they pecked at it there is no need to worry as it wont do them much harm. Just stick to my rule of thumb – if nature does not create it, do not feed it to them.


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