The importance of keeping your flock healthy - a guide on how to keep your chickens healthy

By FluffTheDuck · Apr 13, 2019 · ·
  1. FluffTheDuck
    Now, you see, lots of people like me, when they started out were beginners. And this is totally fine! Some have been told “your chickens can eat whatever you can eat”. That’s half true. In this article we will discuss the following:

    • 1- What to give to chickens and what not to give-- source from

    • 2- Diseases, injuries and how to prevent and cure them

    • 3- Keeping diseases from reaching you from your chickens

    • 4- How to keep their eggs clean and healthy looking

    • 5- Ways to cull chickens

    • 6- Aggressive roosters and how to make them behave

    • 7- First aid kit and how to make it— this subject is made by @casportpony.

    • 8- Nesting box ideas

    • 9- Feeder and waterer ideas

    All of the above is written by me. If it’s not I will mention it and give FULL CREDIT— all of the above I am going to make into smaller articles, too. For example: “Diseases, injuries and how to prevent and cure them” is mentioned as a subject on this article. After this article is made, I will make “Diseases, injuries and how to prevent and cure them” into an article alone— this will be the same for all of the subjects.


    What to give chickens is an important part of raising backyard chickens. This is where lots of people mess up— thinking that they can eat something that is not good for them and can make them sick and die.

    Food Yes/No Special considerations
    See- Citrus
    Grass cuttings Yes Don’t feed grass clippings with any weed killer, pesticides or fertilizers applied. Use caution with longer cuttings, as they could lead to crop impaction
    Green beans Yes
    Green peppers Yes
    See- Citrus
    Starter Kit and save $$ by raising your own
    Meat scraps Yes Avoid fat, only feed cooked scraps, and only in moderation
    Mice Yes See- Rodents
    Minnows Yes
    Mushrooms, store-bought Yes
    See- Citrus
    Orange peels Maybe? See- Citrus
    Oregano Yes Excellent for immune health & as a water additive
    Papaya Yes
    Pasta Yes Feed in moderation, as it contains nearly no nutritional value
    Peaches Yes Remove pit
    Peanut Butter Yes
    Peanuts Yes
    Pears Yes
    Peas Yes
    Pecans Yes Only shelled and unsalted
    Pepper seed Yes
    Peppers Yes
    Pickles Yes Limit due to salt
    Pineapple Yes
    Plum Yes Remove pit
    Pomegranate Yes
    Popcorn, popped Yes Unsalted, unbuttered only
    Popcorn, unpopped Yes
    Porridge Yes
    Potato, cooked or mashed Yes
    Potato, peel No Contains Solanine
    Potato, raw No Contains Solanine
    Potato, sprouted No Contains Solanine
    Pumpkin Yes
    Pumpkin, Seeds Yes
    Quinoa Yes Only washed or cooked, as raw contains saponins unpalatable to poultry
    Radishes, and greens Yes
    Raisins Yes
    Raspberries Yes
    Raw chicken No Risk of salmonella
    Rhubarb No Contains some oxalic acid
    Rhubarb, leaf NO! Highly toxic contains oxalic acid
    Rice Yes Cooked only
    Rice, brown Yes Cooked only
    Rice, cooked Yes
    Rice, uncooked No
    Rodents Yes Chickens naturally eat rodents. 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
    Scrambled Eggs Yes
    Seaweed Yes
    Shrimp, meat, and shell Yes
    Snails Yes Can carry gapeworm
    Spinach Yes
    Squash Yes
    Strawberries Yes
    String beans Yes
    Sunflower Seeds Yes Great for molting birds
    Sweet Potato Yes
    Raisins Yes
    Tomato, ripe fruit Yes
    Tomato, leaf or green fruit No Contains Solanine

    Turkey Carcass Yes Cooked only
    Walnuts Yes Only shelled and unsalted
    Watermelon Yes
    Watermelon, rind Yes
    Wheat Yes
    Wheat Berries Yes
    Xylitol No
    Yam Yes
    Yogurt Yes Feed in moderation as chickens cannot digest milk. Good for probiotics
    Zucchini Yes
    What NOT to feed chickens
    Alcohol, Alcohol is not good for chickens
    Amaranth, raw Raw amaranth contains growth depressing antinutrients
    Avocado Contains Persin, which leads to myocardial necrosis (death of the heart tissue) in poultry
    Butter, Butter is too fatty for chickens
    Chocolate Poisonous to most pets, also contains caffeine
    Citrus Some sources say no as citrus can inhibit calcium absorption leading to soft eggshells, others say that citrus is ok to feed birds
    Coffee or tea Caffeine is not good for chickens and can cause
    Dry beans Contains hemagglutinin (causes blood clots)
    Eggplant/pepper leaves Contains Solanine (kills red blood cells and causes heart failure)
    Fried Food Too fatty for chickens
    Maggots Risk of botulism
    Onions Can flavor eggs in smaller quantities. In larger amounts, can cause anemia
    Raw chicken Risk of salmonella
    Raw Eggs Could encourage egg eating by the flock
    Rhubarb Contains oxalic acid (causes liver damage)
    Stone Fruit pit, apple seeds Contains cyanide (prevents blood cells from delivering oxygen to tissue)
    Tomato leaves/green fruit Contains Solanine (kills red blood cells and causes heart failure)
    Uncooked Potato Contains Solanine (kills red blood cells and causes heart failure)
    Uncooked rice Potential to swell in the digestive system, causing blockages
    Wild mushrooms Potentially toxic since they are unidentified. Human edible mushrooms are ok
    Xylitol, Xylitol is not good for any pet, including dogs, cats, and birds

    If you're feeding any of this bad stuff mentioned above, immediately stop.

    Share This Article

    About Author

    Hi! I love animals! I have horses, ducks, rabbits, cows, chickens, dogs, cats, hamsters, fish, and much more animals! I know quite a bit about ducks, but I know a lot about chickens! Now, if you want to, go ahead and read my article!

Recent User Reviews

  1. CCUK
    "A great start"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed May 14, 2019 at 6:22 AM
    A fairly comprehensive list! It will be nice to see the whole and finished article.
  2. MROO
    "GREAT Start for what looks to be a great BOOK!"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Apr 14, 2019
    I'm definitely going to follow this one. It has all the markings of a very informative "find it all in one place" sort of article. Good Luck!
    FluffTheDuck likes this.
    1. FluffTheDuck
      Thanks a lot! I'm still working on it, I'm sure you know. Expecting for it to be done by May.
      I appreciate you rating!


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. FluffTheDuck
    Not done yet!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: