Chicken Treats- What Chickens Can Eat
Please do not count on chickens knowing what is bad for them. We will start off with a list
 of Things to Never feed your hens:
Earthworms- Chickens may find and eat them themselves, however eating earthworms may cause Gapeworm, so please do not dig them up and feed them to your chickens!
Citrus Fruit- Chickens may not be given any type of citrus.
Candy, Caffeine, Chocolate, Anything Salty, Sugary or Moldy- These are bad for their digestive systems and can even kill them
Other Foods to Avoid: Avocados, Dairy, Onions

Chickens need a lot of protein and calcium to lay eggs, and the food we supply ensures  they get all that they require. Even still, it is fun to spoil our pets and watch them eat treats. As a general rule, treats can make up no more than 10% of a chicken's overall diet and should be fed to them in the afternoon, after they have had time to fill up on their balanced organic layer feed! The exception to the 10% rule is "green treats" such as kale, dandelion greens, parsley, swiss chard, berries and bugs (aka anything they would find in a 
free-range environment), which they can have an unlimited amount of!  
Chickens have different likes and dislikes, so they might not eat everything you give them, however all of the items listed below are worth a try. 
Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts
Broccoli & Cauliflower
Pasta or Macaroni
Meat Scraps
Meal Worms
Lettuce or Kale
Flowers and Weeds
Crickets (alive)
General Opinions
Raw and Applesauce
​Only feed your chickens that which is still considered edible by humans- no spoiled, moldy, oily, salty etc food!
Seedless only! For chicks, cut them in half- it makes it easier for them to swallow.
Bulgar, Flax, Niger, Wheatberries, etc.
Pears, Peaches, Cherries! Anything that is not citrus!
Make sure they have not been treated with pesticides, such as florist flowers might be. 
 Cooked only
​Cooked only

These can be bought at pet supply stores
​On the cob, canned, raw or cooked
including Cottage Cheese
Cheerios, Corn Flakes, etc.
Raw or Cooked
Whole Head
Raw or Cooked
All kinds- good use for stale bread rolls
Any and every kind- Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Boysenberry, etc!
Greens also
Well cooked only- Never Dry
Without the peel
Raw or Cooked
Apple seeds contain cyanide- not in sufficient quantities to harm but should still be avoided 

A favorite treat but not much nutrition. It's fun to watch them eat it. 
Cooked is nutritionally better. Great treat on a cold winter day!
Both seeds and flesh make great treats
In moderation- a good source of protein
One of their favorite treats and a great source of protein
A big treat depending on how much other greens they have access to

Marigolds, Pansies, Violets, Dandelion flowers and leaves, herbs, etc.

​Leaves are toxic
Let the cucumbers mature for yummy seeds and flesh
Great treat! Provides protein and its fun to watch the chickens catch them

Feed in moderation- this is fatty, but a good source of protein and calcium
​Avoid highly sugared cereals!
They also enjoy the greens
Hang a whole cabbage from their coop ceiling in the winter, so they have greens and entertainment. 
You can tuck this into a suet feeder and they will peck at it all day!
This should only be given on rare occasions as food starches need to be kept in moderation. 
​Chickens love all types of berries- A cause of many entertaining chicken keep-away games!

Also green beans
High in potassium. A great treat
Okay to feed, but not a favorite. It may also taint the taste of eggs.
​Any leafy greens, spinach collards, chickweed included
​Plain or flavored in limited amounts
​Served Cold- can keep chickens cool and hydrated during hot summer days!
​Cooked or Ripe only
​With or without shell is fine. Other great seeds include flax, millet and safflower.

Wheat and Oat Sprouts are great
Chicken Scratch is cracked corn with grains such as wheat, oats and rye mixed in. 
Cooked Only

​Raw or Cooked
​Cooked only. Avoid the green parts of peels! Can also eat yams.
​Air Popped Popcorn without butter or salt

​Peas and Pea Tendrils and Flowers
​Cooked spaghetti, etc.
​Raw or cooked
​Nothing too fatty. Hamburger meat, turkey, lamb and pork etc.

Peppers- Bell
Sunflower Seeds 
Summer or Winter Squash
Potatoes/ Sweet Potatoes

Seeds are a big treat!

Starchy- not much nutrition
Both seeds and flesh are a nutritious treat.

Pilaf mixes are okay too. Plain white rice has little nutrition. 
Treat during cold weather, not a complete meal! Toss on ground to give them something to do. 
Good for greens in mid-winter. 
Yellow Squash not a huge favorite but okay to feed. 
A good treat that helps hens lay eggs and grow healthy feathers. 
​Green Tomatoes and vines should be avoided
Not a huge favorite
Seeds and Flesh are both okay to feed
A big favorite and good for their digestive systems- Plain is much better!

Available at pet supply stores or on the internet
Cantelope, etc.
This list was created using the Backyard Chicken Forum and enhanced with information from Lisa Steele's book "Fresh Eggs Daily" (which we highly recommend)!
- Chicken Treats -

Click the .pdf above for a printable 
version to hang on your refrigerator! 
Idea courtesy of our friends at 
Click above for a printable 
version to hang on your refrigerator! 
Idea courtesy of Amy at 
Read reviews and buy on!
Chickens need fresh water!
Click to view on
Chicken Feeder 
Holds 20 Lbs.