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Surprising Foods to Avoid Feeding Backyard Chickens

By Tom Seest

What Can’t Backyard Chickens Eat?

At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.

If you’re looking to add backyard chickens to your home, there are a few things you should avoid. These include cockroaches, taro, avocado and rhubarb. Hopefully, these suggestions will help you keep your chickens healthy and happy.

What Can't Backyard Chickens Eat?

What Can’t Backyard Chickens Eat?

Can Cockroaches Be Kept Away from Backyard Chickens?

Cockroaches are a common pest and can be harmful to human health. They can contaminate food, carry disease organisms and even cause allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. Cockroaches are often found in dark, moist areas. You can also find them on many household objects. They can spread disease through their droppings and can be a health hazard, especially for young children. In addition, their feces and spit can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation.
If you want to prevent roaches from infesting your backyard chickens, you should make sure that their coop and environment are clean. You can do this by dumping out the food and bedding at night and changing the bedding on a weekly basis. Another natural way to prevent roaches is to sprinkle the floor of your chicken coop with diatomaceous earth. Make sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth. Diatomite cuts through roach exoskeletons, killing them.
If cockroaches do infest your backyard chickens‘ area, you can use bait stations. These come in refillable containers and are best placed in corners where roaches are most likely to congregate. Unlike traps, bait stations attract roaches to the bait.

Can Cockroaches Be Kept Away from Backyard Chickens?

Can Cockroaches Be Kept Away from Backyard Chickens?

Can Taro be Safe for Backyard Chickens?

When it comes to feeding taro to your backyard chickens, be sure to do a little research first. Taro leaves are high in oxalates, which can be harmful in high doses. In addition, taro leaves should be cooked before feeding. A good ratio is about 10 percent taro to 90 percent regular feed. You can also give your chickens taro leaves as treats.
While taro is relatively easy to grow, it must be cooked before it can be eaten. The roots, in particular, have a high sodium content and can’t be mashed easily. If you don’t plan on eating taro straight from the plant, you can freeze it and store it for up to a year. The plant itself is relatively disease-free, but it is susceptible to pests and disease.
If you grow taro in a container, be sure to keep it well-watered. This is because the roots can suffer from root rot if they’re overwatered. Also, remember that taro plants can be vulnerable to nematicides, which are harmful to the plant’s soil, and beneficial to nematodes.

Can Taro be Safe for Backyard Chickens?

Can Taro be Safe for Backyard Chickens?

Can Backyard Chickens Eat Avocado?

The avocado is considered to be a superfood, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it for your backyard chickens. Chickens can tolerate a small portion, up to one-quarter, of avocado per day. As long as you remove the pit and skin, avocado is fine to feed your flock. If you have a large flock of chickens, you can even give them two avocados, flesh only. Just make sure you don’t overfeed them.
Although avocado doesn’t pose immediate danger to chickens, it can lead to long-term health issues in your chickens. Avocado contains a toxin called persin, which can severely suppress your chicken’s immune system. Even if your chicken only eats the flesh of the avocado, the toxin in the skin can be harmful to your birds.
In addition to the toxins found in avocados, chickens are also allergic to avocado flesh. The skin and pit are not edible to chickens, so it’s important to keep them away from the fruit. Avocados are also high in calories and fat, and your chickens can gain weight if you feed them the flesh.

Can Backyard Chickens Eat Avocado?

Can Backyard Chickens Eat Avocado?

Can Rhubarb Be Safe for Backyard Chickens?

Avoiding rhubarb for backyard poultry is a simple way to protect your flock. While it is safe to feed your chickens most vegetables, it is best to avoid strongly scented herbs and vegetables. Unlike dogs, chickens can’t distinguish between healthy foods and unhealthy ones, and they may fall victim to a poisonous food trap. But rhubarb isn’t completely off-limits. If you want your flock to be healthy, you can include some herbs and vegetables in their diet. Rhubarb is safe to feed to your chickens when it has no leaves. The leaves and stalks are poisonous to chickens, and the chickens can develop diarrhea, hemorrhage, and even jaundice.
The leaves and stalks of rhubarb are toxic to chickens, but the rest of the plant is perfectly safe to feed. The fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and contains a unique combination of compounds. Although the stalks and leaves are safe to feed to chickens, the roots are toxic.
If your chicken eats rhubarb, the leaves contain anthraquinones, a substance that inhibits water absorption in the chicken’s digestive system. This can lead to diarrhea, and it can reduce the concentration of calcium in eggs. However, if you cannot avoid giving your chickens rhubarb, you can supplement their diet with other sources of calcium.

Can Rhubarb Be Safe for Backyard Chickens?

Can Rhubarb Be Safe for Backyard Chickens?

What Foods Contain Solanine for Backyard Chickens?

It is a good idea to avoid giving your backyard chickens tomatoes and potatoes, as they are in the nightshade family and contain solanine, a toxic alkaloid. Avocados are also poisonous to chickens, so make sure to peel them before giving them to your chickens. Solanine affects chickens‘ nervous system and gastrointestinal tract, resulting in respiratory distress and sometimes death. Solanine is also found in several ornamental plants and edible plants that belong to the nightshade family.
Many common plants and ornamental plants are toxic to chickens, but not all of them are. Avocado skin and pits contain persin, which is highly toxic for chickens. Other foods and plants chickens shouldn’t eat include coffee, salt, sugar, and uncooked beans. Green potato skins contain solanine and should also be avoided.
A good rule of thumb for backyard chickens is to provide high-quality food, plenty of free-range space, and a wide variety of safe plants. If you see signs of poisoning, take your chicken to the vet as soon as possible. They can help you to identify the exact cause of the problem and recommend an appropriate treatment.

What Foods Contain Solanine for Backyard Chickens?

What Foods Contain Solanine for Backyard Chickens?

Kumquats: Are They Safe for Backyard Chickens?

When choosing fruits and vegetables to raise for your chickens, you may want to avoid kumquats because they can be infected with a variety of diseases. Some of these diseases include scabs, greasy spots, algal leaf spots, fruit rot, stem and root disease, and spider mites. Kumquats are commonly grown in California and Florida. They are high in vitamin C and fiber, and have been shown to support weight loss.
Although kumquats are not toxic to chickens, they are not edible for them. They should only be eaten whole. Kumquats turn orange before they’re fully ripe, so it is best to leave them on the tree until they reach the right ripeness. When they reach ripeness, they are best eaten raw or cooked. You can also preserve them for a few days if you’d like. If you’re considering growing kumquats in your backyard, remember to pick them up at the right time.
Kumquats are small, round, and orange fruits with a sweet, sour, slightly acidic pulp. Kumquats have four different varieties. The Nagami variety is the most common, and is a dark orange, oval shape. The Meiwa variety is slightly larger, with a sweeter pulp. Marumi kumquats are smaller, but rounder, and have a thick yellow-orange rind.

Kumquats: Are They Safe for Backyard Chickens?

Kumquats: Are They Safe for Backyard Chickens?

Can Citrus Fruits be Safe for Backyard Chickens?

Despite the name, citrus fruit is a bad food for chickens. Citrus fruits are acidic and can upset a chicken’s digestive system. This can lead to gastrointestinal problems and diarrhea. In addition, chickens shouldn’t eat the seeds and rind. But, don’t worry, citrus fruit is not completely off-limits for backyard chickens.
Citrus fruits are safe for chickens in small amounts. They provide needed nutrients but chickens are not particularly interested in them. Additionally, citrus can interfere with calcium absorption. Calcium is required for the formation of eggs and preserves the eggshell’s sturdiness. Citrus can also alter the taste and color of eggs.
While oranges are not toxic for backyard chickens, they can cause excessive feather plucking and slow egg laying. They contain citric acid and vitamin C. If you want to avoid the problem, just cut back on the amount. However, it is still worth considering oranges as a healthy treat for your chickens.
The seeds and husk of plums are toxic to chickens. Moreover, they are high in sugars and may cause gastric upset. You should also avoid giving your chickens any type of food that is past its expiration date or has a high risk of being moldy. Besides these foods, chickens can also enjoy cooked vegetables and fruits. In addition to a commercial diet, chickens can also enjoy table scraps.

Can Citrus Fruits be Safe for Backyard Chickens?

Can Citrus Fruits be Safe for Backyard Chickens?

Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.

 


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