Why won't my chickens eat food scraps?


8 Years
Feb 16, 2011
I have feed my chickens chopped up pieces of carrots, leaves of weeds and plants, chopped up pieces of noodles, etc. But it seems that the only things my 5 week chickens eat is grass and their store bought feed. I have supplied them "grit" in the form of small stones from the road/sidewalk. I thought that chickens could eat practically everything? So what can they actually eat? Oh, and another question, I've heard that chickens can eat yogurt, how do you feed them it?


9 Years
Mar 20, 2010
Northern Kentucky
It just takes time for them to get used to something new. Our first chicks last year took forever,now they eat anything they can catch! As for yogurt, set a bowl of it in front of them and once they get used to it STAND BACK cause it will be flying everywhere!



10 Years
Jul 24, 2010
Beautiful Lake County
Don't work too hard at feeding them. Noodle are fine whole, they might even like bigger better. Most kitchen scraps I just dump over my railing and they are quickly gone. No chopping or anything. It is funny to watch them come running when they hear the plop. Sometimes I tear up the bread just so that they can each find their own piece. Yougurt and stuff like oatmeal I give them in an old pie tin and they scoop it up.

Not sure about the grit. I don't give any because mine free range almost every day. But it might not be the right size. Can you just buy a bag and compare and maybe get fill gravel of about the same size at the lumber yard to save money.

Also, how old are they? My babies (2-8 weeks) don't show any interest in people food yet, they just want crumble.


9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
I feed my newbies, 6 weeks old, rice, grapes, celery, lettuce, apples etc...they are slow to take to it, they prefer the starter feed still ( I mix a bit of water with it and they devour it)

My old roos, ate EVERYTHING but carrots....even cleared away the turkey we put out while we ate Thanksgiving dinner...that was odd to see! These new ones are a bit slower taking to scraps, but they will pick up and catch on eventually!

off-grid hen

Mar 1, 2011
Upstate NY
My 5-week old chicks like dandelions (whole flower and greens) that I rip up with my fingers. They also like ripped up carrot peels. I peeled a mango and cut the rest of the fruit off the nut for my son, and put the big nut with somefruit still on it in the coop and the chicks picked it dry. All that was left that afternoon was the pit with the hairy fibers on it, haha! I catch ants and earthworms for them, they love it. Broccoli leaves ripped up. Thin cucumber slices. I make sure they have free choice chick grit at all times.

They wouldn't touch the apple peel I put in there, or the pineapple. I guess you'll just have to try small amounts to see what they like. If it's something new, mine will examine it for a few minutes before pecking at it. When I return later it's usually devoured if they like it. Maybe they aren't wild about the shape of your scraps?


8 Years
Jan 30, 2011
Western montana
there young, mine did not either at that age. give them time and let them grow on the starter foods. mine now eat lots of things, but still not lettuce,kale and some fruits. time and patience. there food is already complete any ways. Today we are doing oatmeal, just trying it. yesterday was a fruit, sunflower seed medly, they hated it loo, it was expensive and they snubbed it. but I put it away for later. mine are around 11 to 12 weeks old. time and they wil eat lots more things.


In the Brooder
May 19, 2017
I think mine are just spoiled! They will not touch spinach, kale, or any type of lettuce. They love quick oats, bread, and grapes. They snub at cucumbers and zucchini. Wont eat peppers. I have quit throwing stuff to them cause I end up cleaning it up later!


Mar 4, 2017
San De Cristo Range - Colorado Rockies
It's best at that age that they eat primarily their crumbles. They won't really start digging into new things until they're quite a bit older. I wouldn't worry about it as long as their eating the crumbles.

Yogurt is high in lactose and IMO not really healthy for chickens due to their inability to digest lactose. There are better options like poultry probiotics, fermented feed, apple cider vinegar or even kefir (lactose is consumed by the kefir grains).

EDITED: Oh shoot, this is an old thread.


In the Brooder
Apr 12, 2017
My chickens wouldn't eat any scraps I gave them either ....at first. Now, at 17 weeks, they go to town on corn cobs, the tops of strawberries, the ends of green beans, and yesterday bananas. I was thinking the same as you a while back, like ..I thought chickens ate EVERYTHING? I would put a piece of something in their coop, and they would jump, like they were afraid of it! Now, it's fun watching them eat treats!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom