List of FORBIDDEN Foods for Chickens

Asked February 18, 2015, 9:08 AM EST

As a backyard chicken keeper of 12 hens one of my joys is to give them treats when I get home from work before I let them out to "free" range for an hour or so. After I had one of my girls get sick and die, I started to think about what I was feeding them and to my horror I had given them AVOCADO. I have several avocado trees as I also have a small fruit tree farm, and who would have thought they could be SO bad for hens! Is there a possibility that there could be a list posted that contains FORBIDDEN foods for chickens? That way people can avoid them when giving treats. From now on I keep an eye on my avocadoes and take care to pick up any when fallen on the ground and I also no longer compost them as the girls love the compost pile. Thank you so much for all the great info on your web site!

Brevard County Florida

1 Response

Although it is very popular to let chickens 'free range' in the yard, this practice can have serious negative results. Chickens will pick on just about anything. Many ornamentals have some degree of toxicity, that is one reason they have been selected as ornamentals. Some of these toxic Orientals include: rhododendron, philodendron, sago palm, azalea, any of the loral’s, avocado, tomatoes, oleander, crotalaria, chinese tallow, china berry, caster bean, bladder pod, jimsonweed, rosary pea, sickle pod, poinsettia, sesban, milkweed, coffee senna, and sesbania. Often the seeds to these plants contain the highest toxin but in some cases like the tomato the plant leaf is the most troublesome.