Fresh Food List for Chickens

Apples Raw and applesauce Apple seeds contain cyanide, butnot in sufficient quantities to kill.
Asparagus Raw or cooked Okay to feed, but not a favorite.
Bananas Without the peel High in potassium, a good treat.
Beans Well-cooked only, never dry Also, greenbeans.
Beets Greens also.  
Berries All kinds A treat, especially strawberries.
Breads All kinds – good use for stale bread or rolls Feed starches in moderation.
Broccoli & Cauliflower . Tuck into a suet cage and they will pick at it all day.
Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts Whole head – Hang a whole cabbage from their coop ceiling in winter so they have something to play with and greens to eat.
Carrots Raw and cooked They like carrot foliage too.
Catfood * (see bottom of page) Wet and dry Feed in strict moderation, perhaps only during moulting * (see bottom of page)
Cereal Cheerios, etc. Avoid highly sugared cereal such as Cocopuffs, etc.
Cheese Including cottage cheese Feed in moderation, fatty but a good source of protein and calcium
Cooked Chicken .
Corn On cob and canned, raw and cooked  
Crickets (alive) Can be bought at bait or pet-supply stores. Great treat – provides protein and it’s fun to watch the chickens catch them.
Cucumbers   Let mature for yummy seeds and flesh.
Eggs Hardcooked and scrambled are a good source of protein, and a favorite treat. Feed cooked eggs only because you don’t want your chickens to start eating their own raw eggs.
Eggplant .  
Fish / Seafood Cooked only.  
Flowers Make sure they haven’t been treated with pesticides, such as florist flowers might be. Marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, etc.
Fruit Pears, peaches, cherries, apples  
Grains Bulgar, flax, niger, wheatberries,etc.  
Grapes Seedless only.For chicks, cutting them in half makes it easier for them to swallow. Great fun – the cause of many entertaining “chicken keepaway” games.
 Grits Cooked  
“Leftovers” Only feed your chickens that which is still considered edible by humans, don’t feed anything spoiled, moldy, oily, salty or unidentifiable.  
Lettuce / Kale Any leafy greens, spinach collards, chickweed included. A big treat, depending on how much other greenery they have access to.
Mealworms(see photo after the chart)   A huge(!) favorite treat, probably the most foolproof treat on the books.
Meat scraps of any kind. Not too fatty. In moderation, a good source of protein
Melon Cantaloupe, etc. Both seeds and flesh are good chicken treats.
Oatmeal Raw or cooked Cooked is nutritionally better.
Pasta / Macaroni Cooked spaghetti, etc. A favorite treat, fun to watch them eat it, but not much nutrition.
Peas Peas and pea tendrils and flowers  
Peppers (bell) .  
Pomegranates Raw Seeds are a big treat.
Popcorn Popped, no butter, no salt.  
Potatos / Sweet Potatos/Yams Cooked only – avoid green parts of peels! Starchy, not much nutrition
Pumpkins / Winter Squash Raw or cooked Both seeds and flesh are a nutritious treat.
Raisins .  
Rice Cooked only Pilaf mixes are okay too, plain white rice has little nutrition.
Scratch Scratch is cracked corn with grains (such as wheat, oats and rye) mixed in. Scratch is a treat for cold weather, not a complete feed. Toss it on the ground and let them scratch for it for something to do. Never feed scratch during hot weather because it raises the chickens’ body temperature.
 Sprouts Wheat and oat sprouts are great!  Good for greens in mid-winter.
Summer Squash Yellow squash and zucchini Yellow squash not a huge favorite, but okay to feed.
Sunflower Seeds Sunflower seeds with the shell still on is fine to feed, as well as with the shell off. A good treat, helps hens lay eggs and grow healthy feathers.
Tomatos Raw and cooked.  
Turnips Cooked. Not a huge favorite
Watermelon Served cold, it can keep chickens cool and hydrated during hot summers. Seeds and flesh are both okay to feed.
Yogurt Plain or flavored A big favorite and good for their digestive systems. Plain is better.

Source: Backyardchickens

Page created by:Buff Hooligans

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About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm. Raises laying hens.
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3 Responses to Fresh Food List for Chickens

  1. Pingback: What NOT to Feed Chickens | TBN Ranch

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