Chickens and Choclate : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Will it hurt my chickens to feed them choclate chip cookies. I recently bought a shopping cart full from the local day old breed store. they are out of date but we have ate and froze and gave away all we could, dont want to waste anything. two carts 1 of bread and one of cookies cost me $5.35 cheep animal feed. thanks

-- jack sweeney (, April 14, 2002


I feed mine everything.

-- westbrook (, April 14, 2002.

We were able to buy 'not for human consumption' baked goods, they were all still fresh just the wrappers had been torn. Not only do chickens love the stuff, rabbits seem to love the powdered sugar donuts best and the geese liked the cream filled chocolate cupcakes. We still gave them their regular feed so they would continue laying and so they didn't get a vitamin/protein deficiency but when they had the choice they went after the baked goods first, so it ended up costing us much less for feed.

-- Kathy (, April 14, 2002.

Hi Jack! This will probably be a useless post to you as I can't speak with any knowledge 'bout Chickens. However just my 2 cents worth. Just because a critter likes something doesn't mean it is good for them. What do you think your liver and kidneys and other organs would be like on a diet heavy in junk food? I realize that many people do pick up junk to feed to livestock and the only time I could state with certainty that there was a downside to this was tasting the difference between garbage fed pigs and grain fed. We purchased a garbage fed pig, dressed out, and I'll never do it again! Threw it all away! These pigs were fed leftover milk from dairy, day old pastries, bread etc. Tasted terrible, but maybe it is just what a person gets used to. Also, chocolate is a poison to some critters, Canines, Raccoon Family etc. Doesn't mean it would be the same for chickens of course. I'd never feed this junk food to my ducks, or anything I wanted to eat. No thanks! LQ

-- Little Quacker (, April 14, 2002.

Oh come on LQ_ it doesn't sound like this will be a regular diet. It won't hurt them to feed them a windfall once in a while.

-- Gayle in KY (, April 14, 2002.

Jack, My chickens eat everything I eat. . . . I have a "slop" bucket beneath the kitchen sink - all left overs go in it. When I clean out the frig - all goes in the bucket. Left over milk, juice/pop left in bottles and cans, coffee, you name it. Nothing goes down the sink or disposer. If I'm raising a pig, most of it goes in the trough, with some to the chickens, otherwise the chickens get it all.

Every summer a neighbor who runs a produce stand gives me all his old produce. It went to the pigs and chickens, and sometimes when there were boxes and boxes of sweet corn. . . .I would pull my truck into the pasture field and the cows would come running, and they would eat the corn from my hand ( They preferred me to pull the husks down first - spoiled cows). My horned bull would lay his huge old buffalo- like head on my tailgate, roll his big soft eyes at me and BEG!

There was a local thrift store for Wonder bread, and until late last summer I could fill up the entire back of my full size pick-up with old donuts, bread, cakes, cookies for $3-7 dollars depending on who was checking me out. The pigs, chickens, and even the dogs fought over those powdered donuts! One of my dogs was especially fond of Twinkies. LOL.

My pig tasted pretty darn good. Must have been the bushels and bushels of sweet corn tucked in amongst the donuts and twinkies.

-- Judy (, April 14, 2002.

Don't know Gayle, Piggin' out( LOL ) is never good for any of us! :) I guess I am cautious about stuff like this because I've been a Vet Tech all my working life. It's the sorry results that occur from this kind of thing that always come to the DOC. Doesn't mean it would cause problems every time or whether you could even tell if the chickens had a tummy ache. :) I suppose I like using common sense and don't like changing the diets on critters suddenly. Maybe I err to far on the side of caution. Wouldn't be surprised. LOL LQ

-- Little Quacker (, April 14, 2002.

I agree with you, Little Quacker. Many folks on this List use their critters as garbage dumps. I only feed the feed produced for each critter, whether poultry, cattle, equine, swine, etc. Could be why I've never had a sick chook and most of the large livestock have never been ill. You get what you give; therefore I don't feed crap to my critters. It winds up costing you more in the long run when you try to save pennies. My opinion!

-- ~Rogo (, April 15, 2002.

Hens (and roosters) will eat just about anything. FREE RANGE hens will take as much as they want and need of anything easy, then go pick up the rest of what they need while they're freely ranging. Their instincts are pretty good that way. If they've got a lot of easy carbohydrates, then they'll need to work less hard on the weeds - they'll just hunt bugs and worms and easy greens.

-- Don Armstrong (, April 15, 2002.

I agree with LQ. I for one wouldn't consider giving my chickens chocolate, espcially in large quantity and all of the sudden. I don't even give them old food with lots of mold on it. But that's just what I do.

-- c.d. (, April 15, 2002.

LQ- I didn't mean to step on your toes. My animals and my children are on a USUALLY healthy diet, but once in a while I give them a treat. I wouldn't recommend going overboard, but I just don't believe a little, now and then, would hurt a thing. Moderation in all things.

-- Gayle in KY (, April 15, 2002.

Like Judy, I also keep a kitchen "slop" bucket under my sink. EVERYTHING goes into it except for bones ad coffee grounds! Even "multi-colored" old food from the fridge :-)!! I always keep a full feeder of chicken pellets in my coop so when I dump my kitchen bucket for my chickens they don't stuff themselves...they just pick and choose. We also raise two pigs a year and I'll divide the kitchen bucket between the pigs and the chickens. They all seem to stay happy, healthy and boy...they sure taste good!!

-- Marcia (, April 15, 2002.

Well, one shouldn't feed moldy foods of any type to poultry as they are particularly susceptible to mold produced mycotoxins. Only some of which will immediately kill or noticeably sicken your birds, others do nasty things to their reproductive abilities or are just passed on back to you in their eggs.

Quacker makes a good point as well about not making sudden radical changes in the diets of your livestock. Animals are creatures of habit and if you want to have the least amount of upset make any changes to their diets gradually.

Now, having said all of that, for those of us who keep chickens as practical livestock and not pets or show birds it's only good sense to supplement their normal rations with whatever extra feed that comes to hand. I've never fed mine chocolate chipe cookies but if I found myself with a windfall of them I wouldn't hesitate to feed them to my birds. I wouldn't give them a lot per bird per day and I'd for sure make sure they had their normal feed freely available but the cookies fed in moderation aren't going to hurt them any.

My birds get all of our stale (NOT moldy) bread and bakery goods, veggie trimmings and quite a lot of the table scraps (they have to share those with the dog) in addition to whatever damaged or excess fruits and veggies that we produce.

Feed is typically the single greatest expense in keeping livestock so anything one can do to lessen that expense is for the better providing you don't end up damaging their usefulness to you by giving them too much of whatever.


-- Alan (, April 16, 2002.

Ok guys ( and gals) I'm laughing about this thread. Have none of you ever heard the old put down, " Why don't you go pick S_ _ T with the chickens?"

My chickens range free over the entire farm. ( Just wish I could train them to stay off the porches). I have cows, donkeys, horses, and goats.

Guess what is out there gobbling up bits and pieces of the manure piles before they are scratched and spread? Yep! That's right. Da chickens. I wouldn't worry about the chocolate or the slop.

-- Judy (, April 16, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ