No onions for Chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by aephilli, May 16, 2011.

  1. aephilli

    aephilli Hatching

    May 9, 2011
    I've heard don't feed onions to chickens, but how about a loaf of bread that had 2 tablespoons of dried onion flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder baked in? I'm sure they would love to peck a hanging loaf of hard french bread, but don't want to harm them.
    Any opinions?
    Last edited: May 16, 2011

  2. SallyF

    SallyF Songster

    Jul 5, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    I've fed things with onions in them to chickens with no ill effects (casseroles, stews, other leftovers, etc.). Sounds like a fairly minimal amount and personally, I would choose not to worry about it. Just my opinion.
  3. nanawendy

    nanawendy Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Bellingham Wa
    I don't worry about it if it is cooked and small amount. I never give it when it's raw.
  4. Buff-Island-Australorp

    Buff-Island-Australorp Songster

    Apr 1, 2011
    Bixby, OK
    I found my Buff O trying to tear apart some onion stalks I had cut off and were laying in my compost pile. It must not have been too overwhelmingly good because the others weren't running to her when she discovered them. She gave up fairly quickly. The other day, I pulled a red onion from my garden, and pretty much destroyed it while trying to pull it from the ground. I threw it in the chickens directions, and they all had a big "I dare you...I double dare you....I triple dog dare you" pow wow. They agreed upon leaving it alone. [​IMG]
  5. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Plants in the Allium family (onions of all types, garlics, leeks, etc) can be problematic in many species of domestic animal from chickens to dogs.
    I have done a lot of research into how toxic they are raw, cooked, and dried and there is a lot of information out there. It appears that it doesn't matter if the onion/garlic is raw, cooked, or dehydrated according to one paper, however another article that I read indicated that birds have a somewhat lower susceptibility to problems with these foods. The danger from consumption is primarily anemia due to the rupture of red blood cells.

    Do people feed cooked onion and garlic with no problems? Certainly, all the time. Do people occasionally have problems with it in their animals? Yes. The risk assessment is your judgment to make!

    Here is an article especially relating to birds:

    And a more in depth paper in respect to cats and dogs:

  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    My vet has told me that onions and garlic are listed as bad for birds because it's bad for cats and dogs. But birds aren't cats or dogs and not all the same things are toxic to both. The first article linked above illustrates this. Much is said about it's toxicity to furry creatures but no one seems to know, after all this time, if they really are toxic to feathered critters or not.

    I asked the vet about it because my cockatiel just loves raw onion and garlic and she has never experienced any problems from eating them. I figure if a tiny bird like that doesn't have problems with it, there's not much chance of it hurting my chickens.
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  7. Marshchick

    Marshchick In the Brooder

    May 16, 2011
    Marshfield, MA
    Very good to know! I would have given them onions if I hadn't seen this. Love this forum!
  8. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Quote:Very much agreed. I hoped I could share as much fact as possible and let folks decide for themselves. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by