Table Scraps for Chickens

Chickens love treats of any form, not just ones purchased! They are omnivores meaning they will eat just about anything. Their diets should consist of 90% feed and only 10% being treats or table scraps. Feeding your chickens table scraps is a great way to use up extra produce and food that you know will go to waste if not used. When feeding table scraps, there are things that should be avoided or fed in moderation. See our lists below for safe, occasional, and unsafe table scraps for your flock.

Chickens eating watermelon

Safe Table Scraps:

  • Fruits
    • Blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, melons, blackberries & bananas
    • Remove seeds or pits first: apples, peaches, apricots & cherries
  • Leafy Greens
    • Kale, cabbage, spinach, beet greens, mustard greens, collards, lettuce, & carrot tops
  • Vegetables
    • Peas, corn, ripe tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, & pumpkins
    • If cooked: sweet potatoes, zucchini & potatoes
  • Cooked brown or wild rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Plain unsalted popcorn
  • Dog or cat food

Occasional Table Scraps: (these are high in carbs & fat)

  • Pizza
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Citrus
  • Dairy products
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fish

Unsafe Table Scraps:

  • High sugar processed foods such as donuts
  • Tomato leaves or green tomatoes
  • Eggplant or pepper leaves
  • Raw or uncooked beans
  • Coffee beans or grounds
  • Salty foods such as chips
  • Rhubarb or its leaves
  • Chocolate
  • Moldy or rotten produce
  • Avocado

Feeding leafy greens

Table scraps should be fed to your flock later in the day after you know they have consumed their daily feed. Feeding scraps before feed will cause them to fill up on scraps and not eat the most nutritional part of their diet. Feeding more scraps than around 10% of their diet can cause obesity and will likely lower their egg production. Chicks younger than 4 months of age should not be fed table scraps as their diet needs to consist of 100% feed for the proper nutrition. We hope this list helps you determine what scraps in your home can be fed to your flock and which ones you should avoid.