Ultimate list of 9 foods to avoid in chicken feed

When raising broilers, laying hens and roosters, the question often arises as to whether there are any poisonous foods for these animals. 

Chickens are omnivores, so they can eat most of the food they find in the coop. But there are 9 foods that should absolutely not be eaten, as they are highly toxic to their body. Let’s see together what they are in this list.

Using oils in poultry feed  - Franco

1. Chocolate

This food, besides being harmful for our 4-legged friends, is also harmful for poultry. 

Chocolate contains two toxic elements: theobromine and caffeine. They are also found in some beverages such as tea or coffee. The darker the chocolate, the more theobromine it contains and the more dangerous it is.

cioccolato velenoso per le galline

2. Dairy

Chickens don’t have the same digestive power as us humans when it comes to dairy products. If a chicken drinks a lot of milk, it will eventually get diarrhea and get sick. Diarrhea is very dangerous as it causes the animal to become dehydrated.

3. All that is moldy

Although there are some molds that are not dangerous for poultry, it is very difficult to recognize them. So be very careful when feeding food scraps to your hens, as there may be some moldy remains.

4. Raw beans

You need to be very careful with this food as it can be capable of killing chickens within hours if it is ingested. In fact, dried beans contain a naturally occurring pesticide that can cause your poultry to die. Some say that cooked beans are safe for chickens, and this may be true, but better safe than sorry.

5. Avocado

It may seem strange to feed avocados to poultry. But sometimes it is leftover in our tasty salads and it is forgotten that it is a harmful food for chickens. Both the fruit and the plant of Avocado are toxic to these birds, but also to most species of birds. 

Avocados contain the toxin persin which causes heart dysfunction and death of the bird within 48 hours.

6. Unripe peppers and tomatoes

These fruits, when not yet ripe contain Solanine, which can damage various organs in chickens if ingested in modest amounts. However, if they are eaten ripe, these fruits are absolutely not dangerous for poultry.

7. Rhubarb

Absolutely avoid the ingestion of rhubarb and its leaves by your hens. They contain a toxin called oxalic acid. The effects of this substance are corrosive to the mouth and intestinal tract, with the possibility of hemorrhage, convulsions, and kidney colic.

Rabarbaro velenoso per i polli e le galline - Franco

8. Onions

Onions contain thiosulfate, which can kill red blood cells and cause anemia in chickens. Other plants in this family (allium) include shallots and chives.

Garlic is also part of the allium family, but it is safe for chickens to consume because it contains much less thiosulfate than other plants in this family.

9. Raw potatoes

Similar to what was said about tomatoes, chickens can eat ripe, cooked potatoes. However, green-skinned or raw potatoes are toxic to chickens because they contain high levels of solanine.

Alessandro Azzolin
Alessandro Azzolin
Digital marketing intern, with interests in different cultures. My priority is the preservation of ecosystems.
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