Chickens are not fussy creatures, they will eat almost anything and everything! So how do we keep these eager eaters healthy and maintain a well-rounded diet?
Well we start with a good foundation, a good quality poultry pellet! This should constitute the majority of their diet, it’s important to keep the pellets dry and in a vermin proof container.
To mix up their diet and provide extra nutrients and enjoyment we’ve provided a list of safe foods to add to your chickens’ pellet diet.
Safe to be given DAILY:
Grain: Foods such as wheat or corn can be scattered around in the coop/garden to promote scratching and augment their diet.
Fruits: Unspoiled fruits such as banana, apples, pears, well pretty much any fruit although it’s worth noting that citrus fruits may not be eaten. As chickens also love to get the peels it’s important t remember to wash the fruits thoroughly to remove any residual pesticides.
Vegetables: Like the fruit, vegetables can be damaged or soft but shouldn’t be mouldy! Again, they love the peels so wash thoroughly before “serving” Any dark leafy greens are perfect, Bok Choy, Silverbeet, spinach, cabbage, etc. Peels as stated are popular, but they also love the scooped-out insides of pumpkin and squash. Potatoes are also eagerly received, however it’s important to offer only cooked peels and potatoes, remove any sprouts and green peelings then microwave for approximately 5 minutes.
Safe to be given OCCASIONALLY:
Spaghetti, Pasta and Rice: These items can be offered to chickens occasionally but must be cooked and unspoiled.
Rolled Oats and Seeds: Sunflower seeds and rolled oats are a great occasional treat.
Beans and Legumes: These can be given to your chickens occasionally.
Foods to AVOID:
Citrus Fruits: can be offered, but spoil quickly! They MUST be removed when mouldy!
The main things to be aware of when figuring out what is safe to feed your chickens are:
- Unspoiled food, not rotten or mouldy
- Wash and cook food when necessary
- DON’T give HIGH SALT foods
- DON’T give HIGH FAT foods
- DON’T give HIGH SUGAR foods
- If you’re not sure seek Veterinary advice
Make sure clean, fresh water is always available for drinking. Ensure there is access to compost, mulch, leaf litter, etc to promote insects and scratching. And always REMOVE MOULDY OR SPOILED food!