What Foods can be Fed to Pet Chickens

Mark Gordon BrownStarred Page By Mark Gordon Brown, 7th Apr 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/1o2942jw/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Chickens

Anyone who keeps pet chickens can save a bit on feed, and can get rid of some kitchen, and garden, waste, by feeding certain left over people foods to their birds.

Table Scraps for Chickens

Keep in mind that able scraps are not the same as left overs. Table scraps are the bits of food that nobody would consider eating, burnt fat, mold, rotten food. Table scraps should generally not be fed to chickens, with one exception; egg shells.
Egg shells should be crushed and will provide calcium for your birds. Chickens can even eat freshly broken (not rotten) eggs. I would drop it on the ground for them rather than having them peck it open.

Feeding Left Overs and Garden Waste to Chickens

As for left overs, there are many that can be given to chickens. Chickens love fruits, especially bananas and strawberries. Potatoes, and potato skins, can be fed to chickens, but only if cooked, and not green. They will enjoy tomatoes, squash, and melon. If they have never had treats before they may need them chopped up at first to the foods smell interesting, such as slicing a strawberry in half before offering it.

If you have a crab apple tree, and do not use the crab apples, chop them in half and offer a few to your hens every day. This is much better than letting them to go waste.

Other left overs that can be fed to chickens (unless spoiled, moldy, or rotten) are pasta, unsalted cooked meat, dairy products, cooked rice, cobs of corn, and bread.

Garden greens that would normally be wasted, such as the tops of carrots, bean stalks and pea plants, can also be fed to chickens, but NOT things like rhubarb leaves, potato, or tomato, plant leaves.

Warnings and Concerns for Feeding Chickens

Chickens like cabbage, however it, and its relatives, such as broccoli, can cause stomach upset so should be fed in small amounts.

Strong tasting foods, such as onions, can change the taste of the eggs. Spicy foods will also change the taste of the eggs. You should avoid things with caffeine, and food coloring. Foods that are fattening and unhealthy for people, will also be unhealthy for chickens.

Never Feed your chickens chocolate, or any uncooked vegetables that they could choke on.

Limit the amount of people food to be sure the hens are eating the proper diet and are not filling up on fruit rather than protein. Uneaten people food should be removed within 30 minutes. For this reason it may be easier to feed treats by putting them into a plastic container, and removing the container after 15 minutes, rather than trying to pick up any fruit, and so on, off the ground.

More Chicken Pages

Chickens are Better Pets than Dogs

Keeping Pet Chickens

What Breeds of Chickens are Best as Pets

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This article has been republished to Full of Knowledge.

Tags

Chicken, Chickens, Eggs, Food, Foods, Fruit, Hen, Hens, Human, Meat, People, Pet, Pets, Safe, Snacks, Treats, Vegetables

Meet the author

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
Raised in Michigan, I have a son who recently joined the Military. I am living in Canada with my wife where we have a hobby farm.

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
7th Apr 2011 (#)

Quite an interesting read Mark. I haven't raised chickens since I was knee-high to a grasshopper growing up on my uncles farms. One of my neighbors up here on the mountain had about one hundred chickens. He sells their eggs to the rest of us and to several of the convenience stores in the area.

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author avatar foxpete88
7th Apr 2011 (#)

interesting article and thanks.-

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
7th Apr 2011 (#)

Speaking of grasshoppers, Jerry, chickens love those too, and I guess in some parts of the world - they are people food. We keep hens in the summer and sell the eggs cheap because we want to promote free range eggs over cruel battery hen ones.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
7th Apr 2011 (#)

Very good read Mark, thank you. Are those Orpington-Buff hens?

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author avatar Songbird B
7th Apr 2011 (#)

Informative article, Mark, and congrats on Star Page too...Thank you for sharing..

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author avatar Retired
7th Apr 2011 (#)

I'm not a big chicken fan. Excellent and informative article, though Thanks!

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author avatar Rathnashikamani
8th Apr 2011 (#)

Informatory and instructive.
Thanks Mark.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
8th Apr 2011 (#)

to Tranquilpen... I beleive they are ISA Browns or Red Sussex, we bought them at auction but the breed was not marked on the box.
We keep hens for eggs, we dont eat them.

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author avatar Aileen Tecson
8th Apr 2011 (#)

very helpful to those who love farming and raising poultry animals..

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author avatar Diane Ziomek
8th Apr 2011 (#)

This is good information to know...I am planning on getting some chickens this year, hopefully within the next month or so. I can't wait for fresh eggs!

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author avatar christopheranton
8th Apr 2011 (#)

It would be nice to have
some chickens.
Thanks for that reminder of more innocent days.

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author avatar joan marie
8th Apr 2011 (#)

I learned something today. Chickens eat egg shells. Kinda seems odd, but in this world there is so much we don't know. It's a good site to learn things.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
8th Apr 2011 (#)

Not only do chickens eat egg shells, but if you drop a raw egg.. they will eat that too - with a passion.

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author avatar Carol
8th Apr 2011 (#)

Fullof interesting information as usual. Many thanks Mark

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author avatar sicktowrite
10th Apr 2011 (#)

nice keep it up.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
10th Apr 2011 (#)

A very interesting article, thank you!

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author avatar Greenfaol
11th Apr 2011 (#)

Great read, mark. i didn't know they ate egg shell, a little weird, a bit like women eating placenta, i imagine :D
My aunt used to keep hens and she let them feed on seaweed, down by the shore. they had the tastiest eggs, the richest orange yolk you ever saw. Really lovely :D

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author avatar Denise O
14th Apr 2011 (#)

I like most had no idea they could eat all this stuff. Great all around and I just love your Hens. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar vpaulose
20th Apr 2011 (#)

Thank you Mark for your good information. Please tell me if there is any site for free grammar check.

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author avatar Stable
22nd Apr 2011 (#)

We're toying with the idea of getting some chickens and this was one of the questions my wife raised. So very timely, thanks!

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author avatar Denise O
24th Apr 2011 (#)

I hope you and yours have had a wonderful Easter my friend.:)

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author avatar vpaulose
25th Apr 2011 (#)

Thank you Mark for your appreciation.

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author avatar Twomoon
10th Oct 2011 (#)

Thank you, as my husband and I are looking for some acreage to live green off of and one of the purchases includes some goats and chickens! Helpful information

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author avatar Backyard hens
29th Jan 2013 (#)

My hens love cabbage - I have had to net my cabbages to stop then munching their way through the rows! They give us great eggs and fun to watch them too.

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author avatar Tenanesh aNTONI
6th Feb 2013 (#)

I have got much knowledge about hens and thank you

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