Can Chickens Eat Potatoes ? 

We all love to feed our friendly pet chicken with all the scraps from the kitchen, and there always seems to be a lot of vegetable scraps such as potatoes, beans, carrots, and all sorts of greens and colorful stuff.  And that is excellent food scraps to feed chickens to give them a balanced healthy diet, and to give them some excitement when pecking around for food during the day.

But you might be surprised to find that not everything is good for them, and when one of those warnings is about potatoes, that might set off some alarm bells!

Can Chickens Eat Potatoes safely ?

White Plymouth Rock Baby Can chickens eat potatoes

Yes – there is a warning about feeding chickens potatoes, but luckily, most of the potato scraps that you have been feeding to the chickens are perfectly okay.

The thing to look out for is green skin on the potato, as that contains some toxic chemicals that are dangerous for chickens. Theses green skin potatoes are not particularly healthy for anyone, even for us to eat, but fortunately, the chemical is broken down by the cooking process, so it is not too much of a problem for us.  However, if we were to feed chickens a large amount of potato peelings with a greenish tinge, that could be a problem for chickens, because we rarely tend to cook the chicken scraps.

Can Chickens Eat Potatoes Scraps?

So there are a couple of options.

  • simply avoid green skinned potatoes altogether just to be on the safe side
  • cook the potato scraps before feeding to the chickens.

We recommend the former solution to be safe, because cooking chicken scraps is a bit unnecessary, and may not completely get rid of the harmful chemical, so best just to avoid the problem. If you come across potatoes with a greenish color in the skin, simply dispose of the peels rather than risk making the chickens sick.

Having warned about green skinned potatoes, there is no need to worry about any of the other common green vegetables, as the chickens need a variety of greens and colored vegetables. One exception to this rule is avocado.  The skins, the seed, and even the leaves can be toxic for chickens, so please be aware to avoid putting avocado scraps in the chicken food!

How much Potato Can I Feed My Chickens?

Now don’t worry if a few potentially harmful scraps have sneaked into the chicken food!   There is no need to worry if a couple of  green potato peels  or a small piece of avocado may have sneaked past . It won’t kill your chickens  in small amounts, so long as you make sure to vary the diet and limit any exposure in the future.  Just to reassure everyone, ordinary potato scraps are delicious and healthy for chickens to eat, and they absolutely love to peck through normal kitchen scraps.  Consequently,  you can feel free to  treat  your chickens  with potato  scraps  from time to time.  Just try to vary their diet where possible,  and feed them nearly anything in moderation,  to keep your chickens healthy.

Can Chickens Eat Sweet Potatoes?

So what about sweet potato peelings?  Generally speaking, chickens love sweet potato as much if not more than ordinary potato, which is fortunate, because sweet potato does contain any of the poisonous chemical that cause problems for chickens.  It is perfectly safe to feed your chickens with all parts of the sweet potato, including skins, pulp and they will love it either cooked or raw!

Are Potatoes  Healthy for chickens ?

Despite the warnings in the earlier part of this report, it is important to summarize that ordinary kitchen scraps and vegetables are generally very healthy for backyard chickens as it helps to provide them with a varied diet, and makes sure that they receive a variety of different vitamins and minerals from their food.  Chickens need to digest their food properly as they have no teeth with which to chop and mash their food.  This is where kitchen scraps come in useful, as they are generally delivered in bite sized pieces, and contain a wide variety of different types of food, as well as bacteria.  Chickens rely on a healthy load of bacteria in their crop and in their gut to aid in the digestion process, so the more variety in their food the better.

Keep those kitchen scraps coming!

So this is why it is important to be alert to some of the dangerous food scraps for chickens.  Pretty much everything else you give them will be swallowed as quickly as possible, so there is no hope of stopping them from consuming something that is bad for them.

Feed them lots of healthy chicken feed from the local produce supplier, and top their diet up with lots of garden scraps and kitchen scraps and enjoy healthy chickens for years to come!

 

 

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