What Not to Feed Chickens?

If you are looking information about what not to feed chickens, then you are in the right place. Here in this guide, we are going to discuss more information about what not to feed chickens.

It’s essential to be aware of what not to feed chickens. Feeding chickens with the wrong foods can be harmful to their health, leading to digestive problems, nutritional deficiencies, and other health issues.

Feeding high quality nutritious feed to your chickens always ensure good health and high production from them. And well balanced feeding is the main factor to be successful in chicken farming business. Nutritious feed also helps the chicken to keep them free from various types of diseases.

What Not to Feed Chickens

There are some foods available that are not suitable for chicken’s health. As a chicken farmer you have to be conscious about those foods and you should not feed those to your chickens. Here we will discuss what not to feed chickens to ensure that they stay healthy and happy.


Avocado flesh, skin, and pit contain persin, a toxin that can be lethal to chickens. It can cause respiratory distress, heart failure, and even death in extreme cases.


Chocolate contains theobromine, a chemical that can be toxic to chickens. It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. Chocolate should be avoided at all costs.


Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes contain citric acid, which can interfere with a chicken’s digestion. Feeding them too much citrus can cause diarrhea, digestive problems, and nutrient deficiencies.

Dry Beans

Raw and uncooked beans contain a protein called lectin, which can be toxic to chickens. Lectin can cause digestive problems and interfere with nutrient absorption, leading to malnourishment.

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Green Potatoes and Tomatoes

Green potatoes and tomatoes contain solanine, a toxin that can cause digestive problems, lethargy, and even death in severe cases. Make sure to avoid feeding chickens any green parts of these vegetables.

Processed Food

Chickens require a balanced diet to maintain their health, and processed foods like chips, crackers, and cookies do not provide the nutrients they need. These foods are also high in salt and sugar, which can cause dehydration and other health problems.

Moldy or Spoiled Food

Moldy or spoiled food can contain harmful bacteria, which can cause food poisoning and other health problems. Chickens should only be fed fresh, clean, and healthy food.


Medication for humans or other animals should never be given to chickens without consulting a veterinarian. Some medications can be toxic to chickens, and improper dosage can lead to health problems and even death.

Harmful Plants

Chickens are foraging creatures by nature. Naturally they avoid toxic and dangerous plants while browsing in their yards. But it is better to avoid some dangerous plant species in the yard. Because some plants are very dangerous and can causes death to your chickens.

There are numerous plants that grow naturally in the yard. Ingesting large enough quantities of those plants can become deadly to your chickens and some plants cause sores, irritation or intestinal damage.

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Generally chickens rarely eat bitter tasting plants, flowers or weeds. Some common species of plants and weeds that are dangerous for your chickens are clovers, ragwort, rhubarb, meadow buttercup, potato sprouts, some ivy species and almost all houseplants and flowers that are considered toxic to animals like azaleas, daffodils, irises and oleander.

Keep your chickens from blue green algae because this is also very dangerous for chickens.

Garbage, Pesticides and Poisons

Always try to keep your yard clean. And never let your chickens to access the garbage, inorganic debris etc. Because a hungry chicken can mistake for foods and ingest rubber, bits of plastic, metal etc. that can causes serious health problems.

Avoid using pesticides, poisons, insecticides or herbicides in the crop field near the chicken coop for preventing your chickens from eating plants, crops or bugs that have been contaminated with these substances.

Strongly Aromatic Foods

Avoid feeding your chickens highly odiferous food products like garlic, onion and such other member of this family. Especially if you are raising chickens for eggs then please avoid feeding this types of odiferous foods to your chicken.

Scent of those foods and plants can wind up in the eggs of your chickens and a little change in taste can happen.

Some Human Foods

Some human food and food wastes can be toxic to your chickens. You can feed them table scraps as they are voracious foragers. But never serve them spoiled or moldy foods and a large amount f raw meats.

Never feed your chickens boiled or fried eggs. Because some of your chickens may begin raiding their own coop once they get the taste of eggs. Hahaha!

Best Chicken Feeding Tips

You have learned something about what not to feed chickens. It’s also essential to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet. Providing your chickens with a healthy and balanced diet is essential for their health and wellbeing.

Make sure to provide high-quality chicken feed, clean water, treats in moderation, grit, a balanced diet, clean feeders and waterers, and supplements as needed. With proper nutrition, your chickens will be happy, healthy, and productive. Here are some chicken feeding tips to help you provide your flock with the best possible nutrition.

Provide High-Quality Chicken Feed

Chickens require a high-quality, nutritionally balanced diet to thrive. There are many different types of chicken feed available, including layer feed, broiler feed, and starter feed. Each type of feed is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of chickens at different stages of their lives.

Layer feed is designed for chickens that are laying eggs, and it contains a higher level of calcium to support eggshell formation. Broiler feed is formulated for chickens that are raised for meat, and it contains higher levels of protein to support growth and development. Starter feed is designed for young chicks and contains the essential nutrients they need to get off to a healthy start.

Provide Clean Water

Chickens need access to clean, fresh water at all times. Water is essential for digestion, egg production, and overall health. Make sure to provide a clean water source, and change the water regularly to prevent bacterial growth and contamination.

Provide Treats in Moderation

While chickens require a balanced diet of feed and water, treats can be a fun and healthy addition to their diet. Treats like fruits, vegetables, and mealworms can provide extra nutrition and keep your chickens entertained. However, it’s important to provide treats in moderation. Too many treats can lead to obesity and nutritional deficiencies.

Offer Grit

Chickens don’t have teeth, so they need grit to help them grind their food in their gizzards. Grit is small stones that chickens swallow, and it helps break down their food. You can purchase commercial grit or provide your own, such as crushed oyster shells or small stones.

Provide a Balanced Diet

In addition to high-quality chicken feed, chickens also need a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrients. This can include fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens, carrots, and berries. It’s also important to provide a source of protein, such as mealworms or scrambled eggs.

Keep Feeders and Waterers Clean

Chickens can be messy eaters, and their feeders and waterers can quickly become dirty and contaminated. It’s essential to clean feeders and waterers regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria and other harmful pathogens.

Supplement with Vitamins and Minerals

If you’re raising chickens in an area with poor soil quality, or if you’re feeding them a diet that lacks certain nutrients, you may need to supplement their diet with vitamins and minerals. This can include supplements like calcium or vitamin D.


Feeding chickens the wrong foods can be detrimental to their health. It’s important to provide them with a balanced diet, consisting of high-quality chicken feed and fresh, clean water. Avoid feeding them avocado, chocolate, citrus, dry beans, green potatoes and tomatoes, processed foods, moldy or spoiled food, and medication without consulting a veterinarian. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your chickens stay healthy and happy.

However, you probably have got a clear idea about what not to feed chickens. Always keep in mind these and be careful about feeding your chickens. If possible, remove all types of harmful things from your yard to avoid risks. And always take good care of your chickens and enjoy fresh eggs and meat on your table.

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