Can Chickens Eat Potatoes?

They belong to two completely separate families, and because of that, the simple question “Can I feed potatoes to my chickens ?” doesn’t have a simple answer.

While this toxin isn’t well-absorbed by humans or animals, it can build up in the body, and livestock deaths have been attributed to ingesting raw (or green) white potatoes and/or leaves. Those with compromised immune systems will often be affected by lesser amounts of a toxin than a perfectly healthy individual, who generally can eat potatoes without any problem.

Very few foods will kill a chicken – or any living being – right on the spot, but toxins accumulate and do invisible damage and also affect each individual differently, so why take a chance? Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are members of the morning glory family and all parts of the plant – leaves, stems, vines, flowers, peels and flesh (cooked or raw) – are perfectly safe to feed your chickens. This way, I can feed the chickens all the sweet potato peelings, scraps and leftovers without worry.

Interesting to note | Yams, while looking and tasting very similar to sweet potatoes, aren’t actually related to them at all, instead being part of the lily family, but are also safe to feed to your chickens.

Are potatoes bad for chickens?

The answer is yes ! Raw potatoes, both white and sweet potatoes, are healthy for chickens, The only exception is green potatoes as they contain solanine which is toxic to chickens.

Can you give raw potatoes to chickens?

Processed foods – It’s healthier for your chickens to eat leftovers from a home cooked meal than leftover pizza or scraps from a TV dinner. Raw potato peels – Potatoes are members of the Nightshade family (Solanaceae). … They do not contain solanine and are safe to feed to your chickens.

Most of the time, you can ask yourself if chickens can eat something and say yes in confidence. However, when you begin to ask yourself: can chickens eat raw potatoes, hesitate because it can be lethal! Lets start with a general overview of what not to feed your chickens and why followed by a little bit about solanine and finally what you can do with the raw potatoes and your chickens.

Chickens prefer to eat things that are soft and can be torn by their beaks. Luckily, theres no hope of your chickens eating either the skin or pit because theyre too hard.

In small quantities, its fine if you need to throw out some leftovers, but dont add it to their diet. Sweet potatoes are a member of the morning glory family and the whole plant can be eaten by chickens. Now, about the peels or raw potatoes in general, its a myth that a small quantity will kill your birds.

When a potato is green, it generally means dont eat it, because its making solanine.

Feeding chickens table scraps and organic food is one way to supplement their diet. Human diet, however, is different from that of chickens, so you should consider what is safe for their consumption. One common question that chicken owners ask is: Can chickens eat raw potatoes?

Chickens are omnivores which means they will eat both meat and plants. Offer them worms, bugs, vegetables, and greens and for sure, they will eat all of it.

Continue reading as we will share with you all you need to know to answer the question: Can chickens eat raw potatoes? Learning about these tubers will also help you understand why chickens can eat raw potatoes and cases where they cant. Though safe to eat in general, this species has toxic chemicals that are bad not only to chickens but to humans as well.

If you notice green parts of white potatoes, discard them right away as these show signs of poisonous chemicals. You should also throw away leaves, plants, and flowers as they can bring the same harmful effect. As part of the morning glory family, the entire sweet potato plant is safe for human consumption and for chickens too.

If you see the raw potatoes turning green, do not feed them to your chickens and dispose of them. As natural foragers, chickens will ignore these poisonous parts but it is best to prevent them from eating these. As mentioned earlier, chickens can eat raw potatoes except for the green ones.

Being part of the nightshade family, potatoes have chemicals that are toxic in nature. What this means is that solanine acts as the plants natural line of defense against fungi and pests. This chemical can be found in different parts of the plant such as the leaves, stems, and even tubers.

Watch out for peels, leaves, and eyes of the potatoes as these usually have a high concentration of solanine. What happens when chickens eat raw potatoes with solanine? Common health problems that arise due to solanine ingestion are the following:

diarrhea convulsions paralysis neurological problems respiratory issues While solanine is toxic, fatal health problems usually occur when chickens take in large amounts of green potatoes. Still, it is best to avoid feeding your chickens green potatoes to prevent untoward incidents from happening.

If you do decide to just remove the toxic parts, you can do so by cutting off the green peels. Studies show, though, that cooking, even in high heat, has only minimal effect on solanine levels. Aside from being natural food, they are a source of carbohydrates, potassium, and vitamin C.

While raw potatoes are a healthy choice to feed your chickens, it is best to give them in moderation only. Chickens can eat raw potatoes as treats and supplementary food to their regular diet. Therefore, they do not give your flock the nutrition they need for optimum growth and development.

Instead of letting your chickens eat raw potatoes as their main diet, mix it up and try different kinds of food that will give them proper and balanced nutrition. As said earlier, chickens can eat raw potatoes as an add-on to their existing diet. Preparing raw potatoes for feeding to your chickens is important to help them consume easier.

This is why chicken owners should make food easier for them to get and eat. For raw potatoes, you can slice them into tiny cubed pieces that your flock can easily peck on. If chickens can eat raw potatoes as treats, what should you feed your flock as the main diet?

It is critical that you know the nutrition your chickens need for you to supply them with the right diet. Regardless of climate, the recommended main diet for chickens is layer feed which can come in pellet or crumble form. Though commercially made, these feeds are packed with nutrients and specially formulated for poultry.

Corn raw, cooked, or dried Fruits there are few exceptions; recommended are apples, melons, and berries Grains rice, wheat Vegetables cooked or raw; recommended are carrots, lettuce, cabbage, squash Herbs recommended are thyme, rosemary, oregano Meat cooked and cut into tiny pieces

Can chickens eat mashed potatoes? Believe it or not, too much of any food can upset the delicate balance in the chickens digestive tract. Being Omnivores means that technically, chickens can eat anything they want to eat. Their diet in the wild would consist of varied plants, bugs, dead animals, and live rodents. However, they have some of the choice taken away from them when we keep them in coops and runs.

During a recent episode of viral information on social media, a discussion was going on about whether or not chickens can have dairy foods without consequences. Feeding a large bowl of yogurt might not kill your chickens or lead to toxicity but it probably will cause some digestive upset.

Too much citrus and vitamin C, can lead to weaker egg shells because it interferes with Calcium absorption . However, toxins eaten on a regular basis or in such an amount that buildup occurs over time, will die or become sick. We are just beginning to realize that plastic packaging, chemical dyes, and other contaminants can cause problems with kidneys, nervous system, and the heart.

Meal worms and dehydrated grubs are tasty treats that normally dont lead to problems. Offering too much of any food besides layer feed, free range grasses and bugs, can lead to stomach upset. During a recent episode of viral information on social media, a discussion was going on about whether or not chickens can have dairy foods without consequences.

Feeding a large bowl of yogurt might not kill your chickens or lead to toxicity but it probably will cause some digestive upset. Too much citrus and vitamin C, can lead to weaker egg shells because it interferes with Calcium absorption . However, toxins eaten on a regular basis or in such an amount that buildup occurs over time, will die or become sick.

We are just beginning to realize that plastic packaging, chemical dyes, and other contaminants can cause problems with kidneys, nervous system, and the heart. Meal worms and dehydrated grubs are tasty treats that normally dont lead to problems.

Can Chickens Eat Potatoes?

Did you know that despite sharing a name and often being prepared in similar ways, white potatoes and sweet potatoes aren’t actually even related?They belong to two completely separate families, and because of that, the simple question “Can I feed potatoes to my chickens ?” doesn’t have a simple answer.

Raw green potato peels

NEVER eat or feed your chickens green potatoes. They contain a dangerous chemical called solanine I will mention later. Not only are green potatoes too hard for your chickens to pick at, but they will kill them. So, don’t feed this to them.

High-sodium foods

You shouldn’t eat high-salt foods and neither should your chickens. However, it’s more dangerous in chickens who have smaller kidneys and can easily undergo salt poisoning. This is pretty easy to avoid with chickens: simply avoid feeding them junk food or salty leftovers.

Citrus foods

Not only do chickens generally hate eating citrus foods. They aren’t very good for them. They have dangerous components that will kill them or make them sick with too much consumption. Plus, citrus foods typically have thick, leathery peels that chickens just won’t eat.n-fact, because of the peel, most livestock won’t eat citrus foods.

Dried or undercooked beans

Again, if you won’t eat it, your chickens won’t. When’s the last time you chowed down on a bowl of dried beans? Chickens prefer to eat things that are soft and can be torn by their beaks. Plus, these beans aren’t easily digested in this form. On top of all of that, raw or dry beans have hemaglutin which can kill birds.

Avocado Skin and Pit

First of all, avocados are very fatty fruits. This is bad for egg and meat production. To add to that, the skin and pit are toxic in large quantities. Luckily, there’s no hope of your chickens eating either the skin or pit because they’re too hard.

Raw eggs

This would be weird. Cannibalism is not good for their health.

Candy, Chocolate, Sugar

Highly processed and sweetened foods are not good for your chickens ever. In small quantities, it’s fine if you need to throw out some leftovers, but don’t add it to their diet. This is terrible for egg and meat production and their health in general.

Solanine and Green Potatoes

Chickens love a variety of vegetables, but they’re either raw lettuce or cooked vegetables. To start, draw the distinction between white and sweet potatoes because they are very different.Humans would have to eat four and a half pounds of green potatoes in one sitting to have any of the neurological effects, but a chicken is much smaller, so it would take a smaller amount to cause an effect. However, have faith in your chickens in their ability to avoid these plants. They know not to eat them.

Are raw potatoes bad for chickens?

Generally speaking, potatoes are not bad for chickens. In fact, potatoes are a healthy treat you can give your flock that they will surely enjoy.Chickens are omnivores which means they will eat both meat and plants. Offer them worms, bugs, vegetables, and greens and for sure, they will eat all of it. Among the foods that chickens can eat are raw potatoes.However, you should bear in mind that not everything humans consume should be consumed by chickens too. Aside from feeding your chicken different foods in moderation, you should also be knowledgeable on the kinds of food that are safe to eat.For example, raw potatoes are okay for chickens, yet there are exemptions such as parts of raw potatoes that may be toxic for them.Continue reading as we will share with you all you need to know to answer the question: Can chickens eat raw potatoes?

Potatoes vs. sweet potatoes

Before we explain further the answer to this commonly asked question, let’s first distinguish potatoes from sweet potatoes.Some people confuse potatoes with sweet potatoes. Though they carry the same name, there are distinctions that set them apart. The main difference being the plant family they belong to.Learning about these tubers will also help you understand why chickens can eat raw potatoes and cases where they can’t.

Potatoes

Potatoes, also referred to as white potatoes, belong to the nightshade familyIf you notice green parts of white potatoes, discard them right away as these show signs of poisonous chemicals. You should also throw away leaves, plants, and flowers as they can bring the same harmful effect.

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes do not possess toxic substances found in the green areas of white potatoes. As part of theAside from their species, potatoes and sweet potatoes also differ in appearance and nutrition, among others.

Can chickens eat raw potatoes?

Now that we have clarified the difference between potatoes and sweet potatoes, we can answer the question that many chicken enthusiasts ask: Can chickens eat raw potatoes?The straight-up answer is yes, chickens can eat raw potatoes. Raw potatoes and sweet potatoes are both safe for chicken consumption. The only time raw potatoes should not be fed to chickens is when the potatoes are turning green and when there is the presence of mold due to poor storage.For raw white potatoes, you can feed chickens the potatoes. Other parts such as leaves should be scrapped right away to avoid toxication. If you see the raw potatoes turning green, do not feed them to your chickens and dispose of them. As natural foragers, chickens will ignore these poisonous parts but it is best to prevent them from eating these.On the other hand, all of the parts of sweet potatoes can be given to chickens. Aside from the sweet potatoes, the flock will also enjoy munching on the stems, vines, and leaves of sweet potatoes.

What makes raw potatoes dangerous to chickens?

As mentioned earlier, chickens can eat raw potatoes except for the green ones. What is in green potatoes that are dangerous to chickens?Being part of the nightshade family, potatoes have chemicals that are toxic in nature. One of these harmful chemicals isSolanine has innate fungicidal and pesticide properties. What this means is that solanine acts as the plant’s natural line of defense against fungi and pests.This chemical can be found in different parts of the plant such as the leaves, stems, and even tubers. Watch out for peels, leaves, and eyes of the potatoes as these usually have a high concentration of solanine.

Getting rid of solanine

What happens when chickens eat raw potatoes with solanine? Ingestion of solanine can cause several health issues.Common health problems that arise due to solanine ingestion are the following:The effect of solanine differs on a case-to-case basis depending on the amount taken. While solanine is toxic, fatal health problems usually occur when chickens take in large amounts of green potatoes.Still, it is best to avoid feeding your chickens green potatoes to prevent untoward incidents from happening.

Nutritional content of potatoes

Potatoes are healthy and good for chickens especially when fresh. Aside from being natural food, they are a source of carbohydrates, potassium, and vitamin C.As starchy food, potatoes will give your chickens the energy they need. On top of that, they also have fiber, protein, and vitamin B6.Sweet potatoes also carry similar nutrients and minerals. Compared to white potatoes, they have higher vitamin A content.

How often can chickens eat raw potatoes?

While raw potatoes are a healthy choice to feed your chickens, it is best to give them in moderation only.Chickens can eat raw potatoes as treats and supplementary food to their regular diet. However, they are not as packed in nutrients compared to other foods. Therefore, they do not give your flock the nutrition they need for optimum growth and development.Instead of letting your chickens eat raw potatoes as their main diet, mix it up and try different kinds of food that will give them proper and balanced nutrition.

Preparing raw potatoes for chicken feeding

As said earlier, chickens can eat raw potatoes as an add-on to their existing diet. Preparing raw potatoes for feeding to your chickens is important to help them consume easier.One thing to note is that chickens don’t have teeth. This being said, they are unable to chew their food, unlike other animals. They use their beaks to pick up food and swallow the food right away.This is why chicken owners should make food easier for them to get and eat. For raw potatoes, you can slice them into tiny cubed pieces that your flock can easily peck on. This will cut them the hassle of pecking from a bigger piece.

Chicken nutrition: what you should know

If chickens can eat raw potatoes as treats, what should you feed your flock as the main diet? It is critical that you know the nutrition your chickens need for you to supply them with the right diet.

Food chickens can eat

In a nutshell, here are the nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that your chicken needs:

Most Chickens Don’t Like Citrus Fruit

There are differing opinions on feeding citrus. There isn’t any definite evidence that it is harmful. Too much citrus and vitamin C, can lead to weaker egg shells because it interferes with Calcium absorption . I am not too worried about this because mine reject citrus fruit anyway. I have heard this from many other chicken owners.

Meat Scraps

Being omnivores, chickens can handle eating meat protein. Have you seen the excitement when they catch a field mouse? Even a snake is a delicious form of meat. So feeding them the carcass from a roasted chicken, if you aren’t making bone stock, is fine. Fried or fatty meat should be avoided and anything cooked in a heavy sauce could lead to diarrhea.

Legumes and Beans

Fully cooked beans can be fed to the chickens. Raw beans of all kinds contain hemaglutin which is a natural insecticide and toxic. The cooking or sprouting of beans or dried beans destroys the chemical and then the beans are safe to feed to the chickens. So your leftover green beans and other legumes from dinner are perfectly fine to give as a treat.

Toxin Build Up in Chickens

I know many will read this and argue that they or their grandparents always fed the chickens green tomatoes, or onions, or any number of things, and no chickens died. And they would be correct. Very few toxins will kill people or animals immediately. However, toxins eaten on a regular basis or in such an amount that buildup occurs over time, will die or become sick. You may not tie it back to the potato peels you fed to the chickens three times a week. Or the free ranging in the garden where they had access to pepper plant leaves and potato vines.It’s the same with people. Toxins in our food build up in our bodies over time. We are just beginning to realize that plastic packaging, chemical dyes, and other contaminants can cause problems with kidneys, nervous system, and the heart. The liver is a prime candidate for toxin build up leading to disease too. Our poultry and livestock are no different. They can eat many different foods that we share with them. It doesn’t mean it is without risk or without an effect further down the road.

What to do

My final point to answer the question “can chickens eat…?” is this. As our grandmothers said, everything in moderation. In the past, few farmers kept a large flock of chickens over the winter. The best layers might have been kept but most were processed for food so they didn’t have to be fed through the winter when free ranging food was scarce. Not keeping hens past a year or two probably didn’t show the toxicity symptoms that might show up in older hens. This is your flock. You get to make the decisions. Remember that not every bad decision will have an immediate consequence. Also, not everything you do is not going to endanger the life of your chicken.Feeding a good quality layer feed, supplemented with safe foraging and free ranging, and delicious safe treats from your kitchen will help you keep a healthy flock. Meal worms and dehydrated grubs are tasty treats that normally don’t lead to problems. Remember that the answer to “can chickens eat” this food is, only in moderation.Can chickens eat mashed potatoes? Believe it or not, too much of any food can upset the delicate balance in the chicken’s digestive tract. Being Omnivores means that technically, chickens can eat anything they want to eat. Their diet in the wild would consist of varied plants, bugs, dead animals, and live rodents. However, they have some of the choice taken away from them when we keep them in coops and runs.Faced with a delicious plate of mashed potatoes, next to the regular dish of layer feed, the chicken is going to binge eat those potatoes! In the wild, they wouldn’t have this handed to them in such a great quantity. And there’s the key to the question, can chickens eat mashed potatoes. They can, but everything should be offered in moderation. Offering too much of any food besides layer feed, free range grasses and bugs, can lead to stomach upset.

Most Chickens Don’t Like Citrus Fruit

There are differing opinions on feeding citrus. There isn’t any definite evidence that it is harmful. Too much citrus and vitamin C, can lead to weaker egg shells because it interferes with Calcium absorption . I am not too worried about this because mine reject citrus fruit anyway. I have heard this from many other chicken owners.

Meat Scraps

Being omnivores, chickens can handle eating meat protein. Have you seen the excitement when they catch a field mouse? Even a snake is a delicious form of meat. So feeding them the carcass from a roasted chicken, if you aren’t making bone stock, is fine. Fried or fatty meat should be avoided and anything cooked in a heavy sauce could lead to diarrhea.

Legumes and Beans

Fully cooked beans can be fed to the chickens. Raw beans of all kinds contain hemaglutin which is a natural insecticide and toxic. The cooking or sprouting of beans or dried beans destroys the chemical and then the beans are safe to feed to the chickens. So your leftover green beans and other legumes from dinner are perfectly fine to give as a treat.

Toxin Build Up in Chickens

I know many will read this and argue that they or their grandparents always fed the chickens green tomatoes, or onions, or any number of things, and no chickens died. And they would be correct. Very few toxins will kill people or animals immediately. However, toxins eaten on a regular basis or in such an amount that buildup occurs over time, will die or become sick. You may not tie it back to the potato peels you fed to the chickens three times a week. Or the free ranging in the garden where they had access to pepper plant leaves and potato vines.It’s the same with people. Toxins in our food build up in our bodies over time. We are just beginning to realize that plastic packaging, chemical dyes, and other contaminants can cause problems with kidneys, nervous system, and the heart. The liver is a prime candidate for toxin build up leading to disease too. Our poultry and livestock are no different. They can eat many different foods that we share with them. It doesn’t mean it is without risk or without an effect further down the road.