As much as we love feeding our chooks our food scraps, we need to be careful as not everything that’s good for us is good for them! Some of the main culprits are below.
Potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant are part of the nightshade family meaning all parts of the plant contain a substance called solanine.
Do not feed your chickens eggplant leaves, the actual eggplant is fine. Green tomatoes, raw potato, and their leaves are also a no-no. Solanine is a natural pesticide and neurotoxin which can lead to respiratory distress, convulsions, neurological damage, diarrhea, or paralysis and can even be fatal in large enough amounts. Cooked potato is ok in small quantities.
Uncooked beans are TOXIC due to the Phytohaemagglutinin in them – cooked beans are fine. Never feed your chickens uncooked rice, or pasta, or lentils. These will swell in their stomachs and cause serious digestive problems.
Do not feed your chooks anything that has gone mouldy or rotten. Also, be careful their feed has not become mouldy over time. Feeding mouldy food can produce mycotoxins which are harmful to chickens. Some toxins can be lethal, whilst others depress immunity and reduce appetite, exposing the flock to the effects of other diseases.
Chocolate contains Theobromine, which is toxic to birds and many other pets. This is also found in tea, coffee, and some colas. Chocolate could cause heart problems in birds which can range from an irregular heartbeat to full cardiac arrest.