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

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.
About author
Hi! I love ducks! I was born in Texas and my parents moved to AL when I was around 5 yrs old. Now I have ducks, dogs, chickens, fish, goats, cats (stray haha) and myself!

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The article covers on of the sections in the introduction. Either the introduction should be edited or the other sections added to the article.

The information of feeding chickens is very good
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A fairly comprehensive list! It will be nice to see the whole and finished article.
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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!
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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!

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