chicken question (what shouldn't they eat?) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

well,, I had to switch the nest boxes, to the larger sizes,, as soon as I did,, the ladies rushed in and laid me 2 eggs, that was last night, nothing this morning,, but, IM not complaining. Is there anything that shouldnt be fed to chickens? Meaning table scraps,, leftovers, ect,,,, IM not worried about the outdoor growing stuff,, by the times thats here, most of these should be gone. (SOUP) thanks,,

-- stan (, October 28, 2001


Response to chicken question

Hi Stan, I feed my girls every scrap from the house that I come across. I have found, however, that I end up picking up banana peels and anything with a tough rind, watermelon, muskmelon, squash, etc. They eat the inside but leave the outside.

-- Anna in Iowa (, October 28, 2001.

Response to chicken question

Really? My girls will fight over a bananna peel like it was a sale at filenes basement!! And they LOVE all rinds.

Why do you pick up the leavings? I leave everything out there because it decomposes and attracts worms and beetles which the chickens eat (thereby supplementing their protein intake). I've heard that some people put their compost pile in the chicken coop for that reason!

I read (here that is) that you shouldn't give them the old tomato plants from your garden that you are pulling out at the end of the season (or things from that plant family, I don't know what they are). But as I go out there each day I grab a handful of turnip greens or some long weeds and throw them out there for free along with all my scraps. I let them pick the (cooked) chicken off the bones.

-- Ann Markson (, October 28, 2001.

Response to chicken question

Yep, my chickens will eat just about anything, too! And they, too, love banana peels! I'd been throwing them away until my 4 year old daughter told me not to, that the chickens liked them. I thought she was just being 4, but then she showed me - tossed one out the door, and the hens went nuts for it! (Man, I hate it when my kids are smarter than I am!) :-)

As for the tomato plants, they are in the nightshade family, so maybe there's something in the plants that isn't good for them. I know my birds sure do love the tomatoes, but they've never touched the plants themselves.

They love it when I'm butchering rabbits, because I toss them (and the dog and the cats) all the bits we don't eat ourselves. They eat the kidneys and the heart & lungs. The cats usually get the entrails, and the dog gets the stomach. The kittens wrestle and fight over the feet and tail. Still haven't found anything that will eat the head yet. I know lots of people feed them to their dogs, but my dog won't touch 'em. Maybe the hogs? I'll have to try them next time.

Anyway - with all these critters around, not much goes to waste around here! Just throw whatever you don't eat to your chickens, and they should clean it right up for you!

-- Cheryl in KS (, October 28, 2001.

I've always been told not to give them potato peels, or potatoes. I'm not sure why....maybe someone else knows?

-- Tracey in Alabama (, October 28, 2001.

Raw potatoe contains solanine, a cyanide type poison that cooking neutralizes, so that's why no potatoe peelings, etc.

Chickens can safely eat just about anything else, they don't like onion and garlic however.

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (, October 28, 2001.

these have been eating onions all weekend,, just about have them all gone

-- stan (, October 28, 2001.

Now you people have made me mad at my girls......why won't they eat banana peels here :) The reason I pick up the rinds is I've slipped on then and fallen on my .... too many times.

I've fed potato peelings to chickens for years, I think it's baby chicks you need to keep them away from. I gave raw carrots to 2 baby peacocks to peck at in their box and both died. Learned a lesson there.

My chickens also eat onions but I don't know about tomato plants. They sure like to scratch through the gardens, which include tomato plants, in the fall.

-- Anna in Iowa (, October 28, 2001.

My husband's favorite saying when I clean out my fridge and pull the cover off a leftover dish is "I'm not gonna eat it...let's give it to the chickens! They'll eat anything!" And I have found that they'll at least TRY anything!!

-- Marcia (, October 28, 2001.

I was told that onions and Garlic may cause the eggs to taste a little off. I was surprised to hear about bananna peels and shall try them today. I was also surprised at chickens eating meat. I do tell my chickenless friends that chickens are almost as good as pigs for garbage disposal. Mashed potatoes are their favorite here and they love tomatoes that have started to go bad.


-- Steve Carder (, October 29, 2001.

I butchered chickens with a friend of mine this year and the chickens ate the chickens. I suppose if you'll eat your relatives, you'll eat anything (although I had one sister-in-law who I thought butchering was too good for!). Mine all come running when they see the compost bucket. (Amazing...I've created a Pavlovian response in chickens with a peanutbutter bucket!)

-- Sheryl in Me (, October 31, 2001.

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