Top 122 Chicken Treats List: What Can Chickens Eat and What Not?

Are you searching for the best chicken treats for your backyard flocks? Here you will get a list of “What can chickens eat and what not.”

Every chicken farmer loves his chickens. Like dogs, quails, and other animals, chickens also like treats. Giving treats to chickens makes a friendly relationship with your flock.

A backyard chicken eats lots of unnecessary things that you have never thought about in your life. But if you want to give specific treats to your chickens, this guide will help you a lot.

This guide lists the best chicken snacks that your flock will love to eat as a treat.

Remember that these are chicken treats, not their daily feed. So, giving these treats may increase or decrease their body fat. 

So, start reading the chicken treats list to understand what chickens can eat and cannot.

Top 122 Chicken Treats List: What Can Chickens Eat and What Not?

Here is the list top 122 treats for chickens:

Yogurt

Yes, chickens can eat yogurt. You can give them occasionally. It helps in digestion by killing intestinal bacteria. Add nothing to the yogurt; give it to them raw.

Sunflower seeds

Yes, sunflower seeds are great chicken treats for your flocks. They are highly nutritious and contain fat. They will keep chickens healthy if given occasionally or in a balanced form.

Chickens

Yes, chickens can eat well-cooked and soft-fried chicken meat. You can give them cooked chicken meat; they will eat the skin, soft tissue, and fat and leave the bones.

But don’t give them chicken over 1 week old because it may cause salmonella infection, which is a very high antibiotic resistance strain.

Garlic

Yes, you can give garlic to chickens. It is good and bad. The excellent thing is that it acts as a chicken wormer. Still, the dreadful thing is that giving excessive garlic to chickens may kill the gut bacteria that cause various intestinal problems.

Uncooked Rice

Yes, chickens like to eat uncooked rice. But if you break them into 2 or 3 pieces, they should eat. Chicks also like small raw rice pieces.

Carrots

Yes, chickens can eat carrots. But carrots are hard, so they will eat them easily if you cook them.

Banana

Yes, bananas are a good chicken treat for your chickens as they are rich in vitamins, potassium, and minerals. But give them occasionally because it contains a high sugar content that is not good for them. 

Dried beans

No, never try to give beans as a treat to your chicken. Eating 3-4 beans can cause death and serious illness in your chicken. 

Onions

No, don’t feed raw onions to your chickens, as they contain toxic substances like thiosulfate, which decreases RBCs (red blood cells) in chickens, which may lead to death in chickens.

Celery leaves

Yes, chickens can eat celery leaves and whole plants. It is a healthy chicken treat for your chooks. If you cut them into minor pieces, they will eat them completely.

Cooked rice

Cooked rice is a good chicken treat for your chickens. If you have left cooked rice in your kitchen, give it to your flocks. They don’t have any side effects. Chicken eats white, brown, and all other types of rice happily.

Broccoli

Yes, chickens can eat broccoli. They are high in vitamins and low in fat. You can give them raw or cooked broccoli.

Raw Potatoes

Yes, raw potatoes can be eaten by chickens as a treat. But do not give up when it has green spots. It contains a poisonous substance called solanine.

Green beans

Yes, but try to give cooked green beans. Most of the chickens like to eat green beans when they are hanging on the plant.

But mistakenly, they eat dried ones, which causes death in chickens. So, keep your bean plants away from the chickens’ backyard.

Bell peppers (Capsicum)

Yes, chickens can eat yellow, green, and red bell peppers. They love the skin and seeds of bell peppers. 

Shrimp

Yes, chickens love to eat shrimp. Shrimp is rich in protein. Chickens easily eat small shrimp found in ponds. But big shrimp have hard shells that are hard to eat. So, if you crush dried shrimp, they will eat them all, but remember not to give salted shrimp.

Boiled Potatoes

Yes, they love to eat boiled potatoes, but as we have already explained, don’t give them green-skinned potatoes, as they are poisonous. But avoid giving potatoes daily because it is less nutritious.

Apples

Yes, chickens can eat apples. They will be happy to have them. But apples have very low nutritional values. If you give leftover apples to your chicken occasionally as a treat, then it is OK. But giving them daily is like throwing your cash in the dustbin.

Kiwi fruit

Yes, chickens can eat kiwi fruit. But some chicken breeds like it, and some do not. It contains some bad components, like high sugar content, and good vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. So, give them as little as possible.

Cabbage

Yes, you can feed cabbage to your chickens. They are green vegetables that are nutritious for chickens. But cabbage has lots of big layers. Cut them up and give them to your flocks.

Peanuts

No, peanuts contain trypsin, which is bad for some small animals like squirrels and birds. But we didn’t find any confirmed reports on whether or not chickens can eat peanuts. So, don’t feed peanuts to your chicken.

Blueberries

Yes, you can feed blueberries as a great chicken treat. Flocks love to eat them. They are high in nutrients, but it changes the poop color to purple or black.

Raspberries

Yes, chickens can eat raspberries. Most of the berries are nutritious for them. You can give raspberries as a good chicken treat.

Bread

Yes, you can give bread to your chickens. But always give fresh bread. It should not be moldy because it may harm your chook’s health.

Mulberries

Yes, chickens can eat mulberry, but my chickens don’t like it. Obviously, it’s a great nutritious chicken treat for your chickens, but only when they like to eat it.

Blackcurrants

No, it is not nutritious food for chickens. Lots of people give them treats, and they don’t, but a few chicken farmers do not recommend it for chickens. So, it’s better not to feed this fruit. 

Elderberries

Yes, you can treat elderberries to your chickens. Chickens love to hang up on their branches and eat them on the plant before they are ripe. So, it is an amazing, lovely chicken treat for backyard chickens.

Watermelon

Yes, chickens can eat watermelons. Most of the hatcheries pack chicks with small watermelon flesh pieces for eating. It avoids dehydration in the hot season. So, it’s a great chicken treat for your poultry flocks.

Spinach

Yes, chicken can eat spinach. But give it as little as possible. Spinach contains lots of vitamins and minerals. It also contains oxalic acid, which may cause serious illness in laying hens because oxalic acid reduces calcium absorption.

Nuts

Yes, chickens can eat nuts. Giving them nuts occasionally as a treat is good. Some chickens like them; some do not.

Pineapple

Yes, pineapple is a pleasant chicken treat if given in moderation. But it has very little nutritional value for chickens.

However, it boosts immunity in chickens to fight infections. Some chickens don’t like its smell, so it may make an unpleasant smell in your coops.

Peanut Butter

Yes, you can feed them peanut butter, but in moderation. It is rich in fat and protein, which may add extra body weight to chickens, which is not good for them. But chickens love it.

Almonds

Yes, you can give almonds to chickens, but in crushed, powdered form. It should be given as a treat occasionally, not as a daily diet. Almonds contain salicylates, which may be toxic if given in extensive amounts.

Cantaloupe Seeds

Yes, your chickens can eat cantaloupe seeds. They have no side effects.

Beets

Yes, chickens like to eat both green stalks and beets themselves. You can give them raw or cooked. It will change their poop color to red or purple, but there is nothing to worry about.

Plums

Yes, you can give plums to your flocks as a treat. But remember, do not give plum seeds because they may contain cyanide traces. In so many forums, we found people saying if plums have pits, remove them.

Pomegranate

Yes, chickens love to eat pomegranates. In summer, they love peaking the juicy part and eating the seeds. Pomegranates are a nutritious treat for poultry flocks.

Tomatoes

Yes, chickens can eat tomatoes as a treat. But keep tomato leaves away from them. It contains solanine, which is toxic to them.

Squash

Yes, you can feed them squash. Squash comes in lots of variety and is hard on the outer side. Cut them into two pieces. They can also eat squash seeds. Squash is a healthy chicken treat for them.

Avocado

Keep them away from your chickens. The pits and skins of avocados contain persin, poisonous to chickens. Chickens can eat only the flesh parts of an avocado.

Citrus fruits

Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, pomelos, and limes are citrus fruits. Yes, you can give them citrus fruits in moderation. All citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Excessive vitamin C in chickens may cause feather pecking disease.

Ham

Yes, you can give ham to chickens as a treat. Give it often because it has a high salt content, which is not good for chicken. But it is not fatal for your chickens.

Cherries

Yes, chickens can eat fresh cherries. They are nutritious for flocks. Give it only occasionally because cherries may disturb the digestive system of chickens.

Asparagus

Yes, you can feed asparagus to your chicken flocks, but give them fresh ones. But research has found that it may change the taste of chicken eggs. So, avoid giving them to your flocks if you have an egg business.

Flaxseed

Yes, your flocks will love to eat flax seeds. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Don’t give high amounts of flax seeds to your hens because it changes the flavor of eggs.

Peas

Yes, you can give fresh green peas to chickens. Peas are healthy treats for chickens. They love peaking and eating them. Don’t give dried and refrigerated peas.

Lettuce

Yes, chickens can eat lettuce. They are good for their health. My chickens love to eat lettuce. I keep it in my hand and give them treats. They fight to peck it. Don’t give icebergs or head lettuce.

Uncooked Oatmeal

Yes, you can give them raw oatmeal. Chickens love them as treats. You can also give cooked oatmeal, which may be messy and sticky.

Cilantro

Yes, chickens can eat cilantro plants. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Junk food

No, leftover food like vegetable curries and processed foods contains high amounts of salt, which is bad for chicken health.

Corn

Yes, chickens can eat corn. Most of the chicken feed comes with a high quantity of corn. So, it is a healthy diet for them but with other foods.

Spaghetti Squash

Yes, you can treat your chickens with spaghetti squash. They are delicious for flocks. Also, feeding them spaghetti squash provides you with good-tasting eggs. You can give them raw and cooked ones.

Oranges

Yes, chickens can eat oranges. These are the best treats for flocks if given frozen in summer. But give them less because it may cause feather pecking problems if given in excessive quantity.

Moldy or Rotten Food

No, it is not good. Rotten food may contain infectious viruses or bacteria that may cause sickness in your flocks.

Lemons

Yes, you can give them lemons as well. This is also a citrus fruit. So, it’s the same as oranges. If your flock likes to eat lemons, you can feed them.

Banana peel

Yes, you can give banana peels to your chickens, but I am not sure if they will like it. Most of the flocks don’t like banana peels; they only eat the fruit part inside.

Fish

Yes, you can feed them fish. My chickens are crazy about eating fish and fish guts.

Okra or Lady Finger

Yes, you can give okra to chickens. But most of the chickens only like okra seeds, not the flesh part. So, if your flocks like them, let them eat.

Cantaloupe fruit

Yes, you can feed cantaloupe fruit to your chickens. Just cut them into two pieces. These are like watermelons, acting as a rehydration treat in the summer.

Cucumber

Yes, chickens love to eat cucumbers. Cucumbers are rich in liquid, so in summer, it’s a great treat for your chooks.

Maggots and Flies

Yes, chickens eat most of the insects and bugs. So, eating maggots is safe for your chickens.

Popcorn

Yes, you can give your flock popcorn as a treat. But remember to make them unsalted and popped. 

Butter

No, you should not give butter to your chickens. It has the maximum amount of fat, which may cause ill health to your flocks.

Chocolate

No, chickens can’t eat chocolate. These are very dangerous for some animals. Some dark chocolates contain theobromine, which can be fatal to chickens. So, don’t give them to your girls.

Chia Seeds

Yes, your chickens can eat chia seeds. They have lots of nutritional value, both for humans and chickens.

Chia seeds contain a high content of omega-3 fatty acids and protein. Just spread them on the chicken coop floor, and they will go crazy eating them. It’s a great chicken treat.

Raisins

Raisins are one of the best chicken treats. They are rich in protein and make delicious treats for your chicken flocks. Do not give more than 10 gm per chicken to avoid overfeeding. 

Walnuts

Yes, chickens can eat walnuts. There is no research showing walnuts are poisonous to chickens. Lots of chicken farmers give walnuts to their chickens, and they love them to eat.

Cheese

Yes, your chickens can eat cheese, but in moderation. You can give them occasionally because they have a high amount of fat.

Hot chilies or Hot Peppers

Yes, chicken eats many hot chilies and peppers. They love to eat them without the feeling of heat.

Coffee grounds

No, never give your chickens coffee grounds. It may cause ill health to your chicken if given more. Some coffee ground mixtures with tea and chocolate contain methylxanthines, which are bad for chicken flocks.

Mangoes

Yes, chickens can eat mangoes. Mangoes are rich in vitamins A, B5, B6, C, E, K, and they are nutritious antioxidants for chickens. It also contains 14-15% sugar, which is OK if given in moderation.

Pickles

Yes, you can give them pickles, but I am afraid they will eat them. In other ways, pickles contain salt and oil, which is not good, but they can be eaten if given occasionally.

Peaches

Yes, chickens can eat peaches, but not their pits. The pit inside it is harmful to both humans and chickens. Inside peach pits is a nut-like husk containing amygdalin, which is degraded into hydrogen cyanide in the stomach.

Zucchini (Courgette)

Yes, you can give zucchini as a chicken treat to your flocks. They are called “natural chicken dewormers” and do not cause any harmful effects on chickens.

Watermelon seeds

Yes. Chickens love to eat watermelon seeds and flesh. We have already mentioned watermelon as a treatable benefit in this post.

Radish

Yes, chickens can eat both radish and radish-green leaves. You don’t need to chop them; they will chop themselves by pecking them.

Eggplant (Brinjal)

Yes, chickens can eat raw or cooked eggplant or brinjal. But the leaves, flowers, and green parts of the plant contain solanine, which is toxic to them.

Snap peas

Yes, snap peas can be a treat for chickens. They are also called sugar peas. So, give them occasionally; chickens will love them.

Cauliflower

Yes, you can give cauliflower stems, leaves, and white parts raw or cooked. Some chickens like them; some do not. But it’s a healthy diet for your chicken coops.

Pears

Yes, chickens can eat pears. They are very nutritious as they contain vitamins and minerals. You can give them once a week with their regular diet.

Figs

Yes, you can feed figs to your chicken flocks. But it’s up to your chickens if they would like to eat it. 

Grapes

Yes, you can give grapes to chickens. But as we have already explained, sugary and citrus fruits are not good for a daily diet. So, if you give it occasionally, it’s a great chicken treat.

Persimmons (Sharon fruit)

Yes, chickens can eat persimmons. They are highly citrus, so give them to your chickens in moderation because excessive intake may cause feather-pecking problems in flocks.

Sprouts

Yes, chickens can eat different types of sprouts. You can make sprouts from cereals, oats, beans, etc.

Dog food

Yes, chickens can eat dog food. But some dog foods are hard, so if you boil them, they will love to eat them. Dog food has a lot of protein, vitamins, and minerals, but you can try giving them to your flock occasionally.

Cheerios

Yes, chickens can eat Cheerios and other breakfast cereals like oats occasionally. Crush them in powder form so it will ease pecking for chickens.

Lentils

Yes, chickens can eat lentils, but some contain anti-nutrients such as phytic acid and tannins. So, you must sprout them before treating them to your flocks.

Chocolate cake

No, avoid giving chocolate cake to your chicken. As mentioned, chocolate may cause health issues in chickens, so avoiding chocolate products is better. Also, the cake depends on how much chocolate is used to make that cake.

Poop

Yes, chickens eat poop if they find some non-digested food like plants. They mainly eat the feces of herbivores like humans, rabbits, mice, goats, sheep, etc.

Pecans

Yes, chickens can have pecans, but in cooked form. They must not be moldy and unsalted.

Marshmallows

No, avoid giving marshmallows to your chicken flocks. It is total sugar, which is not good for your chickens’ health. 

Quinoa

Yes, you can give quinoa to your chickens. It is a grain crop. You can give them raw or cooked. But my chicken likes cooked quinoa more.

Olives

Yes, chickens can eat ripe and unripe olives, but only in their raw form. They are nutritious for both humans and chickens. Don’t give preserved, salted, and brine-dipped olives.

Sweet Potatoes

Yes, you can give sweet potatoes as a chicken treat. They don’t contain solanine, so eating for your flocks is safe.

Kale

Yes, chickens can eat kale. It contains a high amount of Vitamin-A, which fulfills the requirements of flocks in winter. They are green and give nutrients like broccoli.

Corn Husk

Yes, you can give corn husk to your chickens, but I am afraid they will eat or not. Most of backyard chickens love to move around and eat a variety of delicious insects and stuff in nature.

If you keep your chickens inside a shed and don’t let them go outside, they may like to eat corn husks. But most of the chickens don’t like to eat them.

Tuna Fish

Yes, chickens love to have them. As we have already told you, chickens go crazy when given fish, and tuna is a fish, so they will fight to eat them.

Papaya

Yes, I give papaya as a chicken treat to my chicken flocks every week. They love to eat them but didn’t see any issue. Some of them also eat papaya seeds. Some research shows that they prevent worm infestation.

Pinto Beans

Yes, chickens can eat pinto beans, but like other beans, they must be well-cooked.

Sesame seeds

Yes, the chicken goes nuts eating sesame seeds. They contain high nutritional value, like fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Because of their small size, chicken flocks love to peck them.

Coconut

Yes, it’s a great chicken treat. Just cut the coconut into two pieces, and you will see how they love to peck the flesh part of the coconut.

Grass

Yes, chickens can eat grass, but it depends on their surroundings. Most chickens living inside a shed and are not allowed to roam outside eat almost everything to fill their nutritional values. But most backyard chickens ignore the grass.

Rhubarb

No, chickens can’t eat rhubarb. It contains oxalic acid or oxalates, which may cause jaundice, tremors, and increased salivation in flocks. Keep your chickens away from rhubarb plants.

Meat

Yes, chickens can eat meat. Chickens eat almost every type of meat, like pork, goat, sheep, etc. Flocks also eat mice, lizards, frogs, snakes, and insects.

Cinnamon

Yes, chickens can have cinnamon. They are good for their health because they have antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-diabetic properties. Most chicken feed manufacturers add cinnamon to flock feed for better health.

Cat food

Yes, chickens love cat food as a treat. They contain protein, fish, and meat-like supplements, which are also good for chicken health.

Soybean

Yes, chickens can eat soybeans. Most chicken feed manufacturers add a high amount of soybeans to chicken feed, especially in broiler chicken feeds. It contains a high amount of protein, good for poultry but given in moderation.

Wild bird seeds

Yes, you can give them occasionally as a treat, but not as a daily diet for backyard chickens. Wild bird foods are totally different from chicken feed because chickens lay eggs many times a year, but wild birds lay eggs very rarely a year.

Moldy bread

No, never give moldy food to your chicken. Moldy bread or food may cause serious illness to your flocks. Also, leftover foods should be given in moderation if they are not moldy.

Jalapeno

Yes, chicken loves jalapenos as a treat. Chickens can’t taste capsaicin, an active ingredient of these chilies or hot peppers. So they don’t cause any harm to your chooks.

Honey

Honey is a great chicken treat for flocks, mainly when facing bacterial or viral infections. Honey is the first choice of most veterinarians because it has antibacterial properties and helps relieve respiratory tract infections.

Leeks

Yes, chickens can eat leeks. They look like onions and contain sulfuric content, which will help their bodies repel pests like lice, mites, and worms. If you spread leeks on the floor, chickens love pecking at them.

Strawberry

Yes, chickens love to eat strawberries. You can also give leftover half-eaten strawberries to them, but give them occasionally because of their sweetness. Otherwise, they are safe.

Pumpkin seeds

Yes, chickens can eat all pumpkin parts except the upper hard shell. Just cut the upper part of the pumpkin or cut it into pieces. Your flocks will be happy to eat pumpkin seeds, guts, flesh, everything.

Mushrooms

Yes, chickens love to eat mushrooms, but give them cooked only. They are easy to digest when cooked. Always give us mushrooms we eat, like paddy or straw mushrooms, button mushrooms, etc. 

Cranberries

Yes, you can give cranberries to your flocks. You can buy them from a store, but remember they must be sulfite free.

Nectarines

Yes, nectarines are safe for chickens but remember to throw away the inner pit. Pits may be fatal to your flocks.

Parsley and Coriander

Yes, chickens love parsley and coriander. These herbs are good for your chicken’s health, as they are rich in vitamins. If you have parsley, they will peck it all.

Basil

Yes, chickens can eat basil. Basils are safe for chickens and keep your flocks’ intestines and respiratory systems healthy. But giving it to hens may change the taste of the eggs.

Alfalfa

Yes, they are a great source of protein and help them in winter. Chickens love to peck them.

Brussels Sprouts

Yes, Brussels sprouts are a great treat for chicken flocks. They also have high protein content, like other sprouts.

Table Scraps

Yes, you can feed table scraps to your chicken, but you must know what type of table scraps you should give. Also, it must not be an alternative to a daily diet because table scraps contain very little nutrition compared to regular chicken feed.

Conclusion

So, above is the chicken treat list of what chickens can eat and what they cannot. We have tried to add most of the items you are thinking of in this article.

If you want to know more about giving treats to chickens, feel free to comment below. We will be happy to answer and add that item to this list.

I hope you liked this guide to the top chicken treats. Thanks for reading.

Bijaya Kumar
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2 thoughts on “Top 122 Chicken Treats List: What Can Chickens Eat and What Not?”

  1. My five new chicks are about ready for the next stage. They are about 8 weeks old and have been living inside the coop area exposed to the outside pen by a small screen door. So they will soon be leaving the coop and going outside in their own section of the yard to begin orientation to my single older (geriatric!) hen in the larger section of the pen. I understand they need to still be fed their starter food but can they enjoy some of these treats listed above? Or should they just remain on the chick food?
    Thank you so much!
    p.s. I have mulitple “barn cats” that roam everywhere on the property which includes touring through the chicken yard and through the coop to the rest of the building. The older hen is “their friend”. Should I have any concerns about the new chicks getting used to them? I don’t want anyone to get hurt…
    Ramona

    Reply
    • Hi Ramona, thanks for writing here. I hope you are well.

      8 Weeks old chicks should not be kept inside all the day if you have free-range space for their foraging. Free ranging provides them lots of learning like eating bugs, green grass, and lots of other natural stuffs.

      Yes, you can give them a few of the treats mentioned here.

      Another thing, barn cats can be an issue because I have seen in my backyard that barn cats attack my chicks and eat most of them. So, I recommend you to keep the chicks in a closed run, where they can forage and eat feed and treats. You can’t sit and save your chicks because if you release them, they will be free-range to far places.

      I hope this will help you.

      Regards,

      Bijaya

      Reply

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