What Not to Feed Chickens (What can’t chickens eat?)

It’s neither too complicated to feed your chicken properly. They’re very friendly to surrounding the playground, backyard, and garden in your home, and eat everything they found there. 

Although, you don’t exactly feed your chicken the selected items. But, there are a few ingredients that can harm your chicken’s health. Even some of the items carry a poison that may cause death within a few minutes. The exact quantity or the safe ingredients might be considered in the chicken’s health diet.

Here, we’re trying to give you every single piece of information that will help you to ensure what to give them or not! So, why too late? Let’s look forward to what to feed chickens.

What Can’t Chicken Eat (List)

 First, check the items that can harm your chicken’s health and should ignore from the diet list- 

  • Avocadoes
  • Dried or raw beans
  • Rotten or Mouldy food
  • Green potatoes /leaves
  • Onions
  • Citrus
  • Alcohol
  • Anything salty or surgery
  • Rhubarb and Rhubarb Leaves
  • Chocolate
  • Junk or processed food

Now, let’s take a look at what foods are poisonous to chickens and what happens if you’re thinking of adding these items to their diet list.

1. Avocadoes

Avocados are a kind of fruit that you can’t recognize as poisoned, but some parts are full of toxins that might harm your chicken’s health and death. Here, the avocadoes, stones, bark, and leaves carry the toxin named “person.” 

Whether the flesh of an avocado tree is free from any toxic but is it safe to feed your chicken? We advise you to neglect the avocados from your chicken’s diet list. 

  • The “person” is a kind of toxin that can harm your chicken. A large quantity of skin avocados can cause a chicken’s respiratory problem. 
  • Again, a small dose of avocado’s toxic part can result in death within a few minutes.
  • If you’ve already given avocados and are sure of what they’re eating, then call a professional vet. Again, if you do not ensure, then any worry. Chicken are conscious about their health and don’t eat any poisonous food that causes any injury or harm to their health.

2. Dried or raw beans

Beans- the regular items that we use for our cooking foods and also feed to our chicken. Although the cooked beans are safe enough for both humans and chickens, the dried or raw beans are completely risky to the chicken’s health. So, make sure your beans are soaked in cold water for at least 5 hours before cooking.

  • Beans contain the toxic name “phytohaemagglutinin.” More than two or three dried beans can be the reason for the chicken’s death. The death takes only within 1 hour.
  • If the chicken eats the dried bean without a cook, then there’s no option to save his life again. So, ignoring this item is preferable to taking the risk

3. Rotten or Mouldy food

The rotten or moldy food is suitable for the dustbin, not for the chickens. A small amount of mold shouldn’t even be given to them. 

As some of the molds are better, but there’s completely no difference in finding good or bad molds. So, every kitchen left out is not good enough for the chicken’s eat list. Mind it!

  • Molds are toxic and might be harmful to a chicken’s health.
  • The molds “aflatoxin” growing up on nuts, apples, and corn help create living cancer in the body of both humans and birds.

4. Green potatoes/ leaves

Potato skin is safe for both humans and birds. Potato skin contains solanine (Up to 30%-80%). Fresh potato contains not so much solanine as that’s safe for chicken. 

The green potato skin (chlorophyll) contains a higher concentration of solanine which is harmful to chickens. Here, the green potato skin, leaves, stem, and shoot must be avoided for the chicken eat list.

  • The high amount of solanine can cause diarrhea, and heart failure and destroy the red blood cells.
  • To prevent the green skin of potatoes,  keep them in. And if the potato already contains solanine, then throw it out.

5. Onion

Onion is safe for chickens. Onion helps your chicken for growth and provides nutrition as well. But, in a small quantity, this is usually safe. A few small pieces are considered to give them. Again, please don’t give them onions too often in a week. If your chicken eats many of the pieces, it becomes risky.

As onions have a strong taste and smell, the chicken is sometimes ignored by the onions to eat. So, first, see the objection, then choose to throw it out. Please don’t feed them anything which they don’t want to eat.

  • If a chicken eats so many onions, then there is a possibility of causing ” Hemolytic anemia.” This can make your chicken very weak.
  • You can get your chicken vaccinated against this virus.

6. Citrus

Usually, Citrus fruits mean lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, pomelo, and limes, as citrus food is highly acidic and contains Vitamin C and sugar. It’s absolutely safe for chicken but in a small quantity.  

Most of the chickens don’t like to eat citrus food. So, it’s not necessary to feed them as they reject it.

  • Here, no diseases are found from eating citrus food in my research. But, it quite seems poor egg production, obesity, and feather plucking for having a high quantity of citrus food.
  • You can be ensured by giving a small amount of citrus to your loving birds. Just don’t give them a high quantity of fruits; that’s enough.

7. Chocolate

So, can chicken eat chocolate?  It’s completely no means no. Even not a small amount is also recommended to feed them. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which are poisonous to your chicken and also your pet.

  • Chocolate contains toxic caffeine and theobromine which can raise blood pressure, attack the cardiac, and be the reason for diarrhea in your hens.
  • Sometimes, it seems to hens vomit only for the high amount of caffeine in chocolate.
  • If your chicken already eats the chocolate, then It’s quite tough to handle the situation. Just call a vet as soon as possible.

8. Junk or Processed Food

Junk foods are toxic to every animal in the plant. Even for humans & plants, these foods are not healthy. Anyway, you should not try to feed them junk food.

People Also Ask About What Can’t Chicken Eat

What types of food should you not give chickens and why?

Moldy, rotten foods are generally not okay for chickens. Food that is highly acidic, sugary, or salty should be removed from the diet chart list. This can cause injury to chicken as well as typical death by some of the ingredients. For a specific food list, the article is already discussed.

What vegetables are bad for chickens?

As per research, we can recommend ignoring the nightshade family vegetables from the chicken’s diet list. When it comes to what is poisonous to chickens, we suggest avoiding tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant leaves. The green skin contains a high quantity of solanine that is poisonous to chickens’ health.

Is Cracked corn good for chickens?

Fine, cracked corn is typically good for chicken in a small amount. There’s no risk if you have given them in a small dose. But, too much quantity can cause obesity in your chickens. 

Can chickens eat tomatoes?

Absolutely. Chicken can eat tomatoes. But, make sure there’s no mold developing on the tomatoes. And also, the tomato leaves are considered toxic.

Do chickens eat apples?

Of course, chicken eats an apple, and that’s also safe. Again, Apple seeds have a little toxic name, “cyanide,” but it can’t hamper your chicken at a major issue. 


There you have the details list on “What can’t chicken eat ?” As we already see in the discussion, very few foods are quite poisonous to chicken’s health.  

With a high quantity, there’s the possibility of risk as well as typical death. So, make sure what you should give to your chicken. Next, if you face any terrible situation, call on a vet as soon as possible 

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