Can Chickens eat Anything?

Can Chickens eat Anything?

Chickens are omnivores and have varied diets. Chickens eat nuts, fruits, vegetables, meat, and small animals. However, can chickens eat Anything? Unfortunately, there are many things that chickens cannot eat. In this article, we will discuss what chickens can and cannot eat.

What can Chickens Eat?

Chickens are natural foragers, so they will inevitably try new foods. Usually, chickens will avoid food items that are harmful or bad for them. When it comes to foraging, there is a long list of plants that chickens adore.

Dark leafy greens are beneficial for chickens and result in richer yolks. Chard, turnip greens, Kale, and lettuce are good food options for chickens. You can also give the chickens fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, and watermelon. Let’s break down different food items which chickens can eat: 


Now that you know the answer to this: Can chickens eat Anything? Is bread safe for them? Bread is safe for chickens, who love eating several types of baked goods.


Broccoli has a high fiber content and benefits birds such as chickens. Broccoli also has a high content of antioxidants, which protects chickens from different illnesses.

Cabbage Leaves

While cabbage leaves do consist of thyroxine, a small quantity of cabbage leaves is safe for chickens. 


Chickens can eat all parts of the Cantaloupe fruit, such as its seeds, flesh, and rind.

Carrot Tops

Chickens can eat carrot tops and carrots, which are a great source of nutrition for chickens.


While cauliflower is safe for chickens, it consists of goitrogenic agents, which can cause immune deficiency and avian goiter.

What Chickens cannot eat?

You should always avoid feeding chickens food that can cause off-flavor in eggs. Onions and garlic are the two main culprits that can impact the egg’s flavor. Here are some food items that you should never feed to chickens:

Avocado Skins and Pits

These are poisonous for chickens as they contain persin, a toxin. 

Read More: Can Chickens eat Avocado?

Dried or Undercooked Beans

Dried or undercooked are typically dangerous for chickens because they contain hemagglutinin, a compound that can cause problems in the chicken’s digestive system.


Rhubarb consists of Anthraquinones, which have a laxative effect. If Rhubarb gets too cold and is damaged, it can have a lot of Oxalic acid, which can be harmful to chickens. 

Salty, Rotten, or Moldy Foods

These foods can be toxic for chickens and lead to wet feces.


You should never give your chickens chocolates, as they contain stimulants such as theobromine and caffeine. Too many of these stimulants can cause breathing issues in chickens, making them hyper. Lastly, too much chocolate can make chickens unhealthy.

Cat Food

While there are some cat food varieties that chickens can eat, most are not safe for them. Most commercial cat food varieties have additives and preservatives that can harm chickens.

What is the perfect Chicken Diet?

So, what is the ideal diet for chickens? Well, that depends on you. If you have free-ranging chickens, you can give them table scraps and commercial feed. While chickens love to eat many foods, giving them a balanced diet is best. 

To give the chickens some variety, you can feed them corn, wheat berries, and oat groats. You can supplement the diet with oyster shell grit to maintain beak health. 


This article answers an important question: Can chickens eat Anything? Chickens cannot eat everything, and we have listed a handful of food items chickens can and cannot eat. You should also ensure your chickens have a balanced diet of protein and calcium.

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