Question about things they CANNOT eat

Clairenh

Songster
Jul 13, 2018
72
193
106
Manchester New Hampshire
Hi all,
We are getting our first chickens (3 Red Sex Link pullets) this Saturday. We plan to give them our food scraps. I have read a ton of stuff on here, and from that I know a few things NOT to give them: coffee grounds, green potato peels, avocado.

Here is my question - can I give them the following things that grow in our yard and/or are common scraps in our house:
Kitchen scraps:
- Jalapeno pepper ends/stems and seeds
- Cilantro stems
- Raspberries/blueberries/blackberries that are a bit old - a little white mold and or mushy
- white and yellow onion ends, peels, etc.
- mushroom stem bases (the dirty parts)
- food leftovers that I wouldn't eat, but don't have science experiment-type mold growing yet...

Yard stuff:
- Kousa dogwood berries - we have a tree that drops tons of these. They are edible (inside part is pretty yummy) but I read that the gritty skin irritates the stomachs of dogs. Anyone know if chickens are ok with these?
- Mint - we have a ton of it everywhere and we plan to let them free range our enclosed yard when we are around.
- Magnolia flowers - the run and coop are going to be right near a large magnolia tree

I am hoping they are smart enough not to eat anything, or too much of anything, to get sick.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,044
18,364
867
St. Louis, MO
They don't eat stems unless they are starving. Keep in mind that they don't have hands or teeth. So things need to be very tender so they can pull off pieces. Hard things like stems can't be bitten to bite size pieces.
Hard things like carrots or broccoli need to be diced into bite size pieces. They will need grit as well so they can digest things.
Stay away from onions.
They should get fresh fruits and vegetables. Nothing old mushy and moldy. You could poison them.
I don't feed mushrooms, fungi can be a problem.
If they are getting a complete poultry feed and they find something in the yard they like, that shouldn't be a problem.
If they aren't getting a complete poultry feed, they may be hungry enough to eat things they shouldn't.

It sounds like you are looking for a goat or a pig and not chickens.
 
Last edited:

Chick-N-Fun

Almy Acres Farm
Premium member
5 Years
Jun 26, 2014
10,147
67,526
1,297
Corning, NY
Hello and welcome to BYC!
Another food to avoid is citrus.
Just as a heads up, although chickens love scraps and treats, please try to limit them to occasionally, as they require formulated protein feed. I suggest feeding your flock with Grower or Flock Raiser, offering oyster shell for your layers at about 17-18 weeks of age. Even though they enjoy being spoiled, you risk health issues if their treat intake takes place of their feed.
Good luck!
 

SueT

Crossing the Road
Premium member
May 27, 2015
7,339
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777
SW MO
Foods other than chicken feed will dilute the nutrition needed for proper growth and egg production, so it's wise to limit scraps and other treats. I wait until the end of the day, after they have eaten most of their feed before giving anything else.
 

Clairenh

Songster
Jul 13, 2018
72
193
106
Manchester New Hampshire
Thank you all! I will be sure to chop up all the stuff we give them, and leave out the onions. Jalapenos? I guess they will find out once they try one. As far as old-ish berries - my BF will eat these, but I don't :)

We plan to have a feeder full of "Layer Feed" for them at all times, but want to also incorporate our composting stuff in with their range area. We typically save all this stuff in one of those under the sink compost bins, then go dump it in the corner of the yard when it is all black mushy stuff. We just want to know what things can go right to the chickens instead of getting turned into mush. Also, when the chickens are ranging around our yard, they will come across the compost area. There are only two of us, but we eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and I don't throw any of that stuff in the trash.
 

Clairenh

Songster
Jul 13, 2018
72
193
106
Manchester New Hampshire

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Premium member
Mar 11, 2017
7,028
17,535
612
South Park, Colorado, USA
Thank you, I read that a couple of weeks ago, but didn't see jalapenos or kousa berries on it, hence the post :) Also the photo at the top of that post shows big pieces of broccoli and kale in a suet feeder. So I guess that person didn't chop the veggies?
I never chop things... I just let them peck it apart.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,044
18,364
867
St. Louis, MO
It depends on what it is. If I threw a carrot on the ground, it would lay there forever, but if I dice it, they'll eat it.
Hot peppers are ok. I just figured they wouldn't eat the stems. Basically, anything we should eat, they can eat. We don't eat stems.
Leftovers can go to them immediately after the meal, not after they are moldy.
They can't have layer feed till they're mature.
 
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