These 4 Summer season Meals Are Poisonous To Chickens


In the case of kitchen scraps, nothing beats chickens! These voracious omnivores will devour any leftovers coming out of your fridge, desk or prep counter. I maintain a coated crock on my kitchen counter, which shortly fills with vegetable peels, corn cobs, undesirable rice and different tidbits destined for the rooster run.

Judging by my household’s finicky palates, I need to concede that my flock’s tastebuds are much more adventurous, even with all of our summer time grilling and celebrations. Simply because chickens can eat every little thing, nevertheless, doesn’t imply they need to. These 4 summer time favourite meals are poisonous and probably lethal for chickens.  


Contemporary spinach salads are a summer-meal staple, tossed with every little thing from sliced eggs and chopped  walnuts to crunchy pepitas and juicy strawberries. Whereas these toppings are completely protected for chickens, the spinach itself isn’t.

Spinach leaves include oxalic acid, which binds with calcium, blocking its absorption into the physique. This may be catastrophic for laying hens, resulting in soft-shelled or no-shelled eggs, egg binding and skeletal points. Also called oxalates, oxalic acid may also trigger kidney stones and renal failure.

How a lot spinach is an excessive amount of? The reply varies, since no two birds are alike and flock house owners outline “sparsely” in a different way. Proponents of feeding chickens spinach level out that small quantities are helpful to birds, resulting from all of the dietary positives supplied by this leafy inexperienced … vitamins and nutritional vitamins which are already absolutely supplied by rooster feed.

The most secure possibility in your flock is to not supply spinach in any respect and, as an alternative, present safer greens comparable to dandelion leaves and beet greens, each of that are plentiful throughout the summer time. For me, poisonous meals are greatest refrained from chickens altogether! 

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Entire potatoes, wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked amidst charcoal briquettes, had been a part of each household cookout throughout my childhood. My sons, for some motive, dislike baked potatoes however adore potato salad and hand-cut fries, each of that are important elements of our summer time eating menus.

The sheer variety of potatoes I peel to feed our household of six would flooring you … and presumably earn me honorary citizenship in Idaho.

Throughout prep, I be certain that to rigorously collect all my potato peels and punctiliously eliminate them within the trash. As a lot as I dislike including biomass to the native landfill, I additionally perceive that potato peels are laden with the alkaloid solanine, a toxin frequent to vegetation within the nightshade household.   

Results of solanine ingestion by chickens embrace diarrhea, dizziness, arrhythmia, paralysis and loss of life. Even buts of inexperienced potato flesh include sufficient solanine to hazard your chickens. As a result of my birds free vary—and to keep away from probably poisoning wildlife—my uncooked potato peels by no means get composted. Nevertheless, absolutely cooked potatoes—and their peels—might be safely ingested by chickens.  

So keep in mind: cooked potatoes are high-quality, however uncooked potatoes are one of many poisonous meals it’s essential to not give chickens.


Avocados and summer time go hand in hand. I fondly recall plucking ripe avocados from my grandmother’s bushes once I was a baby. My Uncle George and I might sit on the low wall surrounding the backyard, eagerly diving into these scrumptious home-grown treats with our spoons.

Every so often, the avocados I picked had been nowhere close to ripe. My uncle would amuse himself by hurling these into the rubbish bin. Every so often, my grandmother would scold him, telling him we may all the time simply set the unripe fruit on the wall to ripen for just a few days. My uncle’s expression would develop severe and he’d reply, “You understand we will’t.”

I by no means understood his mysterious phrases and solemn expression till years later, once I realized that not even a half ounce of avocado flesh was sufficient to fatally poison a parakeet.  It’s not simply the avocado flesh: the pores and skin, the pit, even the leaves all include the toxin persin, which may trigger labored respiration, myocardial necrosis (heart-tissue loss of life) and loss of life inside hours of ingestion.  

Take pleasure in including avocados to your summer time salads and tacos however toss all leftovers, skins, pits and leaves within the trash. So far as meals poisonous to chickens go, this is likely one of the actually huge ones!  

Stone Fruit 

Peaches, nectarines and cherries abound throughout the summer time months. My husband Jae and I like going to our native farmers’ market to refill on these contemporary summer time fruits, which we eat as snacks, as dessert and as elements in mild, healthful entrees.

Our birds adore these contemporary fruits as nicely and, when our enthusiasm causes us to purchase extra fruit than we will truly eat, we share them with our chickens … however not earlier than we take away the pits.

All members of the Prunus genus—which incorporates chokecherries, almonds, apricots, cherries, nectarines and peaches—include pits excessive in amygdalin. Amygdalin converts into the toxin cyanide when digested. Chickens poisoned by cyanide sometimes die with 15 to half-hour of ingesting the poison, which prevents cells from absorbing and utilizing oxygen, inflicting irreversible mobile injury and loss of life.

Share your summer time fruits along with your flock, so long as you first put the pits of their place: safely within the rubbish can.    


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