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
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.
These can be bought at pet supply stores
On the cob, canned, raw or cooked
Cheerios, Corn Flakes, etc.
All kinds- good use for stale bread rolls
Any and every kind- Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Boysenberry, etc!
Well cooked only- Never Dry
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.
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!
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!
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. Avoid the green parts of peels! Can also eat yams.
Air Popped Popcorn without butter or salt
Peas and Pea Tendrils and Flowers
Nothing too fatty. Hamburger meat, turkey, lamb and pork etc.
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
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
Click the .pdf above for a printable
version to hang on your refrigerator!
Click above for a printable
version to hang on your refrigerator!
Read reviews and buy on Amazon.com!
Chickens need fresh water!
Click to view on Amazon.com
Holds 20 Lbs.