Most chickens are not picky eaters and will be thrilled if you offer them anything on this list. Thank you for reading! My chickens eat elderberries with no ill effects, although these are said to be toxic. Your email address will not be published. Chicken-Safe Floral Plants They’re not always the smartest of birds. Pasta should be fed in moderation as it contains nearly no nutritional value. And this might surprise you also! As you can see, the list of foods that chickens can eat is pretty epic! It should be unsalted and unbuttered. Low fences are also an idea – you can get rolls of green, sturdy chicken wire which is 90cm high – hens can’t really fly over this. Your hens will dig up newly planted seedlings unless you protect them, Your hens will make craters in areas of bare earth, Your hens will find their way through gaps in fences and holes in netting to get to juicy, green vegetables. They don’t tend to eat daisies or dandelion flowers. Chickens are natural foragers, so trying new foods is inevitable. If birds free-range or have treat access, start by feeding their complete feed in the morning before they go out exploring. I can sympathise with you Susanna as we are overrrun with the stuff too - on the plus side we do eat it (although it is an acquired taste - best wilted with fried bacon & onions). It is a good idea to keep poisons out of the area so chickens do not eat a poisoned mouse, leading to the bird being poisoned, Feed in moderation as chickens cannot digest milk. You can also print the list and hang it on your fridge for quick, easy access. You can incorporate it into their feed as well, either fresh or dry, and like I said, it is one of the best herbs for chickens to eat because it does have antibacterial properties, so your hens will derive some benefit from it that way too. Sharing your kitchen scraps and leftovers with your flock is a great way to vary their diet, especially when winter has killed the grasses and bugs they usually forage upon. Banana peels are safe to eat, though they usually ignore it. What treats are toxic or dangerous to your birds? Think back to the Second World War when many families grew their own veg and kept their own chickens successfully. Most evergreen shrubs and bushes, especially prickly ones, are unlikely to be eaten. In many ways, chickens are like humans. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. I believe they have the sense to know whether it’s good for them or bad. Dock leaves get eaten as a last resort, and my hens don’t go for yarrow but some hens may eat it. Chickens cannot eat onions as they may flavor eggs in smaller quantities. They contain a cyanide-inducing glycoside. Copyright © 2020 Heritage Acres Market LLC, Raw amaranth contains growth depressing antinutrients, Typically chickens won’t eat ants. Periwinkle Chickens can eat cucumbers and cucumber peels. They can also be cooked, like spinach, with a little butter. Crickets: Yes. You will need to protect some of your vegetables if your hens are free ranging. Dock leaves get eaten as a last resort, and my hens don’t go for yarrow but some hens may eat it. The seeds, stems, leaves and roots of the Black Elder are all poisonous to humans. I add landscape elements for us to enjoy, but if the chickens eat some of them, I don’t get worked up about it. But, as robust as chickens are, there are still a few things chickens cannot eat. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/chicken-treat-chart-the-best-treats-for-backyard-chickens.47738/, https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/are-grass-clippings-bad-for-your-chickens.760044/, http://www.merckvetmanual.com/toxicology/food-hazards/avocado, http://www2.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/Nutrition-Amaranth.html, http://www.dummies.com/home-garden/hobby-farming/raising-chickens/plants-that-are-poisonous-to-chickens/, http://www.oldfashionedfamilies.com/things-you-should-and-should-not-feed-chickens/, http://www.hobbyfarms.com/feeding-chicken-scraps-to-chickens/, https://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/poultry/feed-health/what-is-coconut-oil-good-for-chickens/, https://www.backyardchickencoops.com.au/herbs-for-hen-health-ginger, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20075283/, http://articles.extension.org/pages/67473/feeding-quinoa-to-poultry, http://articles.extension.org/pages/65717/seaweed-in-poultry-diets, http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/cyanide-poisoning, https://www.petmd.com/bird/slideshows/8-foods-are-toxic-birds. Apparently the leaves are best when young and tender, before the plant has flowered. First you must plan where you are going to grow your vegetables and how you will protect seedlings and young plants from your hens. The time of year is also important – they are less likely to eat your all your plants in late spring and summer when there is plenty of greenery to choose from. ground in the run, or bind them to the netting. We knew given sufficient land, chickens can survive mostly on forage and scraps. Excellent water additive for immune support, Obviously, this is not meant to be a primary food source. The more land they have to free range, the more likely they are to feast on weeds, wild herbs and grass; it follows, therefore, that they are less likely to eat your precious plants, flowers and cultivated herbs. Good for probiotics, Contains Persin, which leads to myocardial necrosis (death of the heart tissue) in poultry, Poisonous to most pets, also contains caffeine, Some sources say no as citrus can inhibit calcium absorption leading to soft eggshells, others say that citrus is ok to feed birds, Caffeine is not good for chickens and can cause, Contains hemagglutinin (causes blood clots), Contains Solanine (kills red blood cells and causes heart failure), Contains oxalic acid (causes liver damage), Contains cyanide (prevents blood cells from delivering oxygen to tissue), Potential to swell in the digestive system, causing blockages, Potentially toxic since they are unidentified. Download a beautiful 15 page printable version of this Ultimate List and save it to your computer for future reference! On the whole, hens will eat anything that tastes similar to grass. Instead, use a dedicated “treat” feeder or hang the treats from the ceiling of … Some hens eat thyme and chives, but mine don’t. No, chickens should not eat anything with caffeine. Use caution with longer cuttings, as they could lead to crop impaction, Avoid fat, only feed cooked scraps, and only in moderation, Can flavor eggs in smaller quantities. I would say to feed little to none, as they will consume at least some in their feed &/or nearly anything you feed them. Marie Viljoen August 2, 2017. What can chickens eat? Unfortunately, they won’t eat bindweed, plantain, moss, ground elder, mallow or anything that is too bitter and will probably only eat nettles if there is nothing else on offer. You can clean up what they won’t eat … The following likes and dislikes are based on my own experiences: To a large extent, what hens will eat in your garden depends on how much access to grassy areas they have. Bread should be fed in moderation as it contains nearly no nutritional value, Yes! When it comes to chickens, flies are a double-edged sword. I grow herbs, vegetables, fruit and flowers in my garden alongside my hens.Vegetable-growing works well with hens. There are always exceptions to what hens will and won’t eat – like us, different hens have different eating preferences. Thank you for the comment, Curtis! Most people are surprised to see how chickens can eat almost all of the kitchen scraps that we collect for them – and how much they seem to love them! In larger amounts, could cause anemia. If you have any questions, comments, or additions, please comment below! We just keep picking it & feeding what we don't eat to the pigs & chickens. Your hens will be a useful addition to the garden – they are very good at breaking up the soil after you have dug over your vegetable garden in the winter; they forage for pests such as slugs, snails and woodlice and produce droppings, an excellent fertiliser. On the positive side, chickens love to eat flies and absolutely adore fly larvae. It can be tempting to take a pale of leftovers out to your coop and dump everything right into their feed dish. The shade-loving perennial I call ground elder is also known as bishop’s weed, goutweed, and snow-on-the-mountain, among others. They can be added to salads and soup. All I have to do is slice an apple in half and set it on top of my compost pile. Yes! You can intersperse this layer throughout the entire chicken garden. 12. The elder berries may ame as the thrushes, but that will not do is better not to overdo. Some say it’s ok, others say it will interfere with calcium absorption and cause soft eggshells, Feed in moderation, chickens cannot process large quantities of dairy, Only feed cooked eggs, so they don’t start eating their own eggs, Much debate on whether raw eggplant is safe for chickens, as it is in the nightshade family. For example ivy, laurel, box and conifers shouldn’t get devoured. Beautiful Aegopodium podagraria, native to Eurasia but invasive in the United States, has a flock of common names. Logged skeltonsuperstud. If you keep your hens enclosed and let them out to free range every so often, they will eat anything that’s green including vegetables, herbs, weeds, beech hedges, some of your flowers and they will dig up anything newly planted! We respect your privacy. Ours ignore bindweed, ground elder and nettles. Be sure no pesticides were used on any colony. In larger amounts, can cause anemia, Excellent for immune health & as a water additive, Only washed or cooked, as raw contains saponins unpalatable to poultry, Chickens naturally eat rodents. When I returned home I did a little more investigation on the internet and discovered that ground elder is … And if you’d like to save this list for later, you’ll find a form below to have a printable version of this list sent straight to your inbox (or save it to your computer to reduce paper usage!). All kinds of greens can be planted such as lettuce, mustard, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. The following are some of the more common ornamental plants potentially toxic, yet unlikely that chickens would freely eat these. Can chickens eat that? Strong smelling herbs such as rosemary, mint, marjoram, sage, lemon balm and feverfew, are not attractive. A growing number of chicken keepers are even starting to raise black soldier fly larvae to feed their flocks and improve the decomposition processes in their compost bins. Welcome to my blog. Now every now and then, you’ll run into the exception. When chickens eat something poisonous, it’s usually because someone unintentionally fed them something poisonous or underfed them while they were confined and exposed to something poisonous. Besides those picky eaters, there isn’t much a chicken won’t eat. Instead of cutting down trees, confine chickens to acorn-free areas. Black soldier fly larvae are a popular chicken treat. Climbing beans should be fine once established as they won’t be able to reach most of the beans, although you need to protect seedlings, maybe with small cloches. Chickens are susceptible to salt poisoning: ” Chickens can tolerate up to 0.25% salt in drinking water but are susceptible to salt poisoning when water intake is restricted. Flowers that chickens will tuck into include marigolds (the petals will make their yolks even yellower); pansies, violets, border pinks and sweet peas – I would be surprised if any of these lasted for long! Prevention is far easier than cure. Some annuals can be over-wintered as perennials in warmer climates. Chickens can eat a lot of different food items– don’t forget they are omnivores, so they love both meat and veggies. Unsubscribe at anytime. One word of caution though – when you feed your chickens treats, make sure you feed them off the ground. My chickens love them! If you have a small garden you will have to clean up chicken poo off paths and patios! Netting is an option, or building a vegetable cage. Saying goodbye to Marigold, our favorite Buff Orpington ever. Your email address will not be published. There are three different types of poison in common use: Chickens enjoy eating edibles from this layer of the garden immensely. Some of the things that should not be fed to chickens includes amaranth, avocado, butter, chocolate, citrus, caffiene (including coffee grounds), dry beans eggplant leaves, and more. Note: If you don’t see the email in your inbox, please check your junk folder or search your mailbox for Hello@heritageacresmarket.com, Navigate to A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W-Z. To send a link to this page you must be logged in. I am planting comfrey for feed and to dry leaves in bundles for winter treats. Nothing goes to waste as you can always feed surplus vegetables to the chickens. If in doubt, keep potentially harmful plants away from your birds. You can also add lavender to cleaners to give them a calming scent your hens will appreciate. They need to eat it off the living plant though, you can't pick … It was years before I could eat popcorn again because I unconsciously associated it with illness,” said ornithologist Bernstein. Cooked is safe for chickens, Cooked only, to prevent encouraging egg eating, In small quantities. Out of 27 chicks I lost zero. My hens love following me around when I am digging the vegetable garden and are practically under my fork as I turn the soil and they grab the worms. Learn how your comment data is processed. Surplus courgettes and marrows will prove popular if you cut them in half as hens rather like the seeds and flesh. We also believed the common “wisdom”: without feeding a complete and balanced chicken feed formulated for layers, hens can’t sustain high rates of laying and their health is likely to suffer. Unfortunately, they won’t eat bindweed, plantain, moss, ground elder, mallow or anything that is too bitter and will probably only eat nettles if there is nothing else on offer. If the carcass is found by the chickens they will peck at it and possibly eat it- they can become very ill or simply die themselves. There are hundreds of foods that you can feed to your chickens and some that you absolutely want to avoid. Spinach, chard, kale, broccoli, cabbage, turnip tops and lettuce (except for the spicy oriental leaves) will be popular; beetroot leaves are particularly relished, and my hens also eat beetroot and love Jerusalem artichokes which I let them nibble on when I have a surplus in the winter months. Perennial geraniums, hollyhocks, nasturtiums and their seeds, busy lizzies, lobelias, primroses and hostas may all disappear. I’m sorry to keep adding recommendations but I also just put some webworms in a five gallon bucket and the worms made a silk web all the way to the top of the bucket before crawling out and right into the beaks of my chickens. Remember that scratch grains should be viewed as a treat and not be mixed with the complete feed.