Order now for Free Mainland UK Delivery — Worth up to £50!

Chickens Should Avoid These Foods

This entry was posted on 30 October 2020 in Keeping Chickens.

The problem with chickens is they will eat anything, but certain foods can be dangerous for a chicken to consume, even fatal. So take a look at some examples of foods that should be avoided.

Dried or Raw Beans

Your chickens must never eat dried or raw beans. Dried beans can be the cause of very serious illness, and even death, for a human, but for a chicken, they are always fatal. Kidney beans are the worst culprit, but it is important to understand that any beans that have not been properly cooked have the potential to be lethal for a chicken. This is because beans contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin, something that is always fatal to poultry. An illness will be triggered after a chicken has consumed as little as 3 beans, progressing rapidly, and killing the chicken in as short a space of time as 1 hour. Once the chicken has eaten the beans, there is nothing you can do to save it.

Mouldy Foods

This might seem like an obvious one, but it is worth highlighting all the same. Moulds that have grown on soft fruits produce toxins, so they should not be given to your flocks. Yes, some moulds are good – penicillin was developed from a mould, for instance, but it is not possible to judge which moulds are good and bad, so it is not a risk worth bringing into your chicken coops.

Parts of an Avocado

Chickens are susceptible to a toxin which is carried by an avocado called ‘persin’. If birds were to consume foods containing persin in large doses, they will have heart problems, which would be followed by difficulty breathing. Death can occur in less than 48 hours.
However, persin mostly exists in the skin and stone of the avocado, whereas the flesh has lower levels of persin. It still contains some persin because that substance is fat-soluble and leaches into the flesh from the stone.

Green Tomatoes and Green Potatoes

The toxins found in green potatoes and green tomatoes are called solanin and chaconine – both of which are found in the peel, the flesh and the sprouts. These toxins are called solanin and chaconine, which are found in the peel, the flesh and sprouts of a vegetable.
Note that solanin is not altered by cooking, so if you boiled the potatoes, they still would not be suitable for your chickens.


Chocolate can cause heart problems for birds, such as an irregular heartbeat and even a cardiac arrest. Death can happen very quickly, within 24 hours of eating the chocolate.

Junk Food

You’ll also want to make sure your chickens don’t eat junk foods of any kind. Processed food will not do the chickens any good; these foodstuffs are filled with artificial flavourings and preservatives that would provide no nutritional value to your chickens. Instead, provide them with a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet.
We hope you now know which foods chickens should avoid! If you would like to find out more about Chicken Coops and Houses, then we are the right guys to call! Get in contact today on 01273 978 487 or visit our contact page for more details.