Treats for your chickens

Treat Types for your chickens

General Opinions


Raw and applesauce

Apple seeds contain cyanide, but not in sufficient quantities to kill.


Raw or cooked

Okay to feed, but not a favorite.


Without the peel

High in potassium, a good treat.


Well-cooked only, never dry

Also, greenbeans.


Greens also.



All kinds

A treat, especially strawberries.


All kinds - good use for stale bread or rolls

Feed starches in moderation.

Broccoli & Cauliflower


Tuck into a suet cage and they will pick at it all day.

Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts

Whole head -

Hang a whole cabbage from their coop ceiling in winter so they have something to play with and greens to eat.


Raw and cooked

They like carrot foliage too.

Catfood * (see bottom of page)

Wet and dry

Feed in strict moderation, perhaps only during moulting * (see bottom of page)


Cheerios, etc.

Avoid highly sugared cereal such as Cocopuffs, etc.


Including cottage cheese

Feed in moderation, fatty but a good source of protein and calcium

Cooked Chicken


They may like it and it won’t kill them, but it just seems so….. ummm………… wrong.


On cob and canned, raw and cooked


Crickets (alive)

Can be bought at bait or pet-supply stores.

Great treat – provides protein and it’s fun to watch the chickens catch them.


Let mature for yummy seeds and flesh.


Hardcooked and scrambled are a good source of protein, and a favorite treat.

Feed cooked eggs only because you don’t want your chickens to start eating their own raw eggs.




Fish / Seafood

Cooked only.


Make sure they haven't been treated with pesticides, such as florist flowers might be.

Marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, etc.


Pears, peaches, cherries, apples


Bulgar, flax, niger, wheatberries,etc.


For chicks, cutting them in half makes it easier for them to swallow.

Great fun - the cause of many entertaining "chicken keepaway" games.




Only feed your chickens that which is still considered edible by humans, don't feed anything spoiled, moldy, oily, salty or unidentifiable.

Lettuce / Kale

Any leafy greens, spinach collards, chickweed included.

A big treat, depending on how much other greenery they have access to.


(see photo after the chart)

Available at pet supply stores or on the internet, although shipping is expensive!

A huge(!) favorite treat, probably the most foolproof treat on the books.

Meat scraps of any kind.

Not too fatty.

In moderation, a good source of protein


Cantelope, etc.

Both seeds and flesh are good chicken treats.


Raw or cooked

Cooked is nutritionally better.

Pasta / Macaroni

Cooked spaghetti, etc.A favorite treat, fun to watch them eat it, but not much nutrition.


Peas and pea tendrils and flowers, put peas in ice cube trays filled with water. chickens will peck at the Peas trying to get them r


Peppers (bell)



Seeds are a big treat.


Popped, no butter, no salt.

Potatos / Sweet Potatos/Yams

Cooked only - avoid green parts of peels!

Starchy, not much nutrition

Pumpkins / Winter Squash

Raw or cooked

Both seeds and flesh are a nutritious treat.




Cooked only

Pilaf mixes are okay too, plain white rice has little nutrition.


Scratch is cracked corn with grains (such as wheat, oats and rye) mixed in.

Scratch is a treat for cold weather, not a complete feed. Toss it on the ground and let them scratch for it for something to do.


Wheat and oat sprouts are great!

Good for greens in mid-winter.

Summer Squash

Yellow squash and zucchini

Yellow squash not a huge favorite, but okay to feed.

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds with the shell still on is fine to feed, as well as with the shell off.

A good treat, helps hens lay eggs and grow healthy feathers.


Raw and cooked.

Turnips Cooked. Not a huge favorite

Watermelon Served cold, it can keep chickens cool and hydrated during hot summers.

Seeds and flesh are both okay to feed.


Plain or flavored- A big favorite and good for their digestive systems. Plain is better.

Sunny Side Up Ranch- Treats for your chickens