What Can Chickens Eat From the Garden?

What Garden Vegetables, Herbs, Grains, & Fruits Can Chickens Eat?

There are many garden vegetables, herbs, grains, and fruits that are safe for consumption and provide nutrition for your flock. These include:

  • Acorn squash (can also eat the skin & seeds)
  • Amaranth (must be cooked or extruded)
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus (may change the flavor of eggs)
  • Basil
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Beans
  • Beet (can also eat the leaves)
  • Bell pepper
  • Broccoli (in moderation)
  • Brussels sprouts (in moderation)
  • Cabbage (in moderation)
  • Cantaloupe (can also eat the seeds)
  • Capsaicin
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Chia seed
  • Chili
  • Chives
  • Cilantro
  • Collard greens
  • Corn (can also eat the corn husks, which are the green leaves on a cob of corn)
  • Cucumbers (can also eat the peel)
  • Edamame (must be cooked)
  • Eggplant (they can’t eat the stem or leaves)
  • Flax seed
  • Garlic (in moderation)
  • Ginger
  • Green beans
  • Green peppers
  • Honeydew
  • Kale
  • Kidney beans (must be cooked)
  • Lettuce
  • Oats
  • Okra
  • Onions (in moderation)
  • Oregano
  • Peanuts
  • Peas
  • Peppers (can also eat the seeds)
  • Potatoes (must be peeled and cooked)
  • Pumpkin (can also eat the seeds)
  • Quinoa (must be washed and cooked)
  • Radishes (can also eat the greens)
  • Rice (must be cooked)
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • String beans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomato (must be ripe)
  • Watermelon (can also eat the rind, which is the green skin)
  • Wheat
  • Wheat berries
  • Yams
  • Zucchini

Not only do these provide nutrients but they offer variety which helps keep chickens content and happy!

What Can Chickens Not Eat From the Garden?

When considering what garden food to feed your chickens, it is important to note that some food should be avoided.

The vegetables, herbs, grains, and fruits below contain toxins or antinutrients that significantly impact the health and well-being of your birds:

  • Amaranth (raw)
  • Avocado
  • Beans (dry/uncooked)
  • Edamame (raw)
  • Eggplant stems or leaves
  • Kidney beans (raw)
  • Pepper leaves
  • Potatoes (uncooked)
  • Potato peels or sprouts
  • Quinoa (raw)
  • Rhubarb (includes leaves)
  • Rice (uncooked)
  • Tomato (unripe/green)
  • Tomato leaves
Conclusion: What Is the Best Thing To Feed Backyard Chickens?

Giving chickens high-quality chicken feed is an excellent way to provide them with a healthy, balanced diet.

However, feeding chickens garden vegetables can also help keep them healthy in other ways. In addition to providing essential vitamins and minerals, garden vegetables can feed a chicken’s curiosity.

But keep in mind that, if you decide to give your chickens garden vegetables, you’ll want to ensure that the vegetables are fresh and free of harmful bacteria or pesticides before giving them to your birds.

You’ll also want to make sure you only feed appropriate amounts of produce so that it does not cause digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting. Also, treats should only make up 10% (or less) of a chicken’s diet so that it doesn’t overwhelm their regular diet.