Table Scraps You Shouldn’t Feed Your Chickens


One of the questions I get asked pretty often is if it’s okay to feed certain foods to chickens. Well, if you’ve been raising chickens for any length of time, you’ve probably learned that they are pretty smart. For the most part, chickens know what they can and cannot eat. And, they definitely have their favorites!

One of the best parts of raising chickens is that almost nothing goes to waste. They love scraps from the kitchen. However, there are a few items that shouldn’t go out to your flock. I’ve compiled a short list for you below with items you shouldn’t feed your chickens. Now, please keep in mind that some people feed their chickens food from the “do not eat” list and say their chickens are just fine. For me, I’d rather air on the side of caution and stay away from these foods because I know they’re not good for them. So, without further ado, here are a few things to stay away from when you’re heading out to the coop to treat your chickens.

Plants/Foods Chickens Shouldn’t Eat

  • Citrus fruits
  • Dried rice or beans
  • Apple seeds
  • Avocado skin or pit
  • Candy and chocolate
  • Onion
  • Raw eggs
  • Raw potatoes, green potatoes and potato peels
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Excess salty foods

Overall, if you stay away from these foods, your flock will pretty much go wild over anything else. A couple favorite treats in our coop are watermelon, cabbage, lettuce, flax seed, or leftover spaghetti!

Our chickens are like family to us, so we really want to take care in making sure their diet is a healthy one. Remember, treats should never replace their balanced diet of chicken feed. They should be what they’re called…a treat. Ensuring your flock has a healthy diet will ensure they lay amazing eggs and live a healthy life.

–The Wing Lady

Published by Annie

Annie Wing is the author of Strong Animals Chicken 101 blog. She is a busy mom with 3 active kids. Annie and her family reside on an acreage in the Redwood River Valley in Minnesota. She enjoys gardening and her absolute favorite pastime is doting on her 28 chickens!