There is so much fun in feeding chickens. These feathered friends are not picky eaters and will munch on almost anything even chicken. So, can chickens eat bell peppers?
Bell peppers pose no threat to the health of your chickens. They are safe for your chickens to eat because they are loaded with Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
If you have a bumper harvest and wondering where to take those extra bell peppers, worry no more. Chickens love them and will happily dine on them.
With this in mind, let’s get deeper and find out more on chickens and bell peppers. How much do they need and how often can you feed them?
Do chickens eat bell peppers?
Yes! All bell peppers are good for chickens to eat. You may think that there is a big difference between green, yellow and red bell peppers.
The only difference is that green bell peppers are not ripe and contains fewer nutrients. Yellow and orange bell peppers have now begun to ripen and are sweet.
When they turn yellow, the nutrients in them are much higher than in green bell peppers. Finally, the red ones.
Red bell peppers are very sweet and are packed with more nutrients more than the green and yellow ones.
However, all the three types are safe and feel free to share some with your white hen breeds instead of throwing them away.
How much bell pepper do chickens need?
All treats should be fed sparingly and in moderation to chickens. Bell peppers are treats and this rule does not exempt them.
Do not do away with the chickens main diet of layer feeds for your Red sexlinks hens because you found out that they are enjoying bell peppers pretty well.
Treats should never make up more than 10% of the chickens diet. Furthermore, not all chickens will eat bell peppers especially if it is the first time.
Individual birds have different tastes and preferences. While some may like them, some will not dare eat them at all.
Bell peppers are only meant to supplement their diet with extra nutrients. Feed once in a while especially on a hot summer day.
Are bell peppers healthy for chickens to eat?
As I earlier said, bell peppers are packed with a host of vitamins, minerals and some powerful antioxidants that are good for your chickens health and well-being.
To understand what I am trying to tell you, study the table below. A small bell pepper weighing 74g contains the following nutrients:
Vitamin B6 0.215mg
Vitamin A 2320Iu
Vitamin E 1.17mg
Vitamin K 3.63ug
As you can see from the table above, bell peppers are some of the best treats for chickens. However, it is good that you feed chicken treats that you are sure where they were grown.
Some farmers heavily rely on pesticides and other farm chemicals to control insect pests. Such vegetable treats are very dangerous and may lead to serious health issues when ingested.
How to serve bell pepper to chickens?
Bell peppers do not require any special preparation. They can be fed directly whole to your birds and chickens will happily peck on them.
You can either choose to chop them into small pieces just in case you think that your Hamburg bantams cannot peck them with ease.
Hanging a whole bell pepper head is also another excellent way to feed this treat to chickens. Chickens can have a green pepper to keep them busy pecking before dusk.
Bell peppers can be used as a way to entice chickens to return to their pallet coops on time to roost. This way, it becomes easier to tame notorious hens that fly and roost on tree branches.
Cooked bell peppers are good for chickens to eat. If you have some leftovers, do not mind sharing some with your flock. But do not forget that salty, spicy and oily foods are not good for chickens.
What of the bell pepper leaves and stems?
Although uncooked bell peppers are good for chickens to eat, the entire plant is not safe at all. Bell peppers are members of the night shade family just like tomatoes.
Night shades contain a harmful chemical compound in them called solanine which can cause serious health issues when ingested.
The leaves, stems and the flowers should never be fed to chickens at all. It is good not to let chickens in the vegetable garden where capsicum plants are.
Chickens are excellent foragers and love plants meaning that they will not spare your bell pepper plants. Because they do not know what is bad for them, it is wise to keep them out of danger.
Can baby chickens eat bell peppers?
It is good if your baby chicks stick to their main diet of chick starter feeds. These feeds are well formulated and contain high protein content for proper growth.
Chicks do not need treats. These foods do not have all the nutrients they need. In addition to that, their digestive systems are fragile and not well developed to digest things like tough bell peppers.
These little chickens can also choke easily on large-sized foods like peppers. Their tiny beaks cannot tear off a bell pepper for swallowing.
What other types of peppers are good for chickens?
There are several known types of peppers. A majority of them are good for chickens to eat because they help aid their immune systems.
So, what are these other peppers chickens can eat?
Black Pepper– Can chickens eat black pepper? Yes! Black pepper is certainly on the list of foods that chickens can safely consume.
Since chickens are susceptible to respiratory diseases, black pepper is very good because it will help improve their respiratory immune response.
Poblano pepper– Can chickens eat poblano pepper? The answer is yes! Chickens can be fed on poblano peppers in moderation as a treat. They are laden with good nutrients that will boost their health.
Jalapeno pepper– Can chickens eat jalapeno peppers? Yes! Although jalapeno peppers are hot and contain that spicy flavor, they are good and are were meant to be bird food.
Cayenne pepper– Can chickens eat cayenne pepper? Yes! Cayenne can be added in chicken’s food in small amounts to help keep rats, rodents and other vermin away.
Many years ago, this type of pepper was fed to chickens in winter months to help keep their bodies warm.
What can chickens not eat?
Although most of the foods we eat are good for chickens, some pose a health risk and should not be fed to your flock at all.
Junk foods are very unhealthy to chickens just as they are to you. These foods are mainly over processed, or contain too much oil in them.
When consumed in large quantities, junk foods will make your chickens obese and overweight. Obese chickens are prone to joint, respiratory and back problems.
These birds also get too heavy and can no longer run for safety when predators like chicken bears, possums and chicken eagles strike.
Too much sugar is converted into fat. This fat is stored under the body tissues and muscles making these birds heavy and overweight.
Chickens do not require iodized salt that you put in your food. These critters have their own salt mixed with those commercial feeds you buy for them.
Too much salt can damage their kidneys leading to death or some serious illness. If you have leftover rice or other foods with too much salt, you better not feed them to your grey hens.
Raw beans are not good for chickens to eat and can be a recipe for ill health. These beans especially black kidney beans contain a toxic chemical called hemaglutinin that is poisonous when ingested.
However, cooked beans and green beans are good for chickens to eat. Cooking kills this toxic chemical rendering them safe.
Caffeine is good for you but not your chickens. These feathered friends do not need to stimulate their brains and feel high. Avoid it by all means and keep your chickens safe.
Night shade family
Plants that belong to the night shade family contain solanine. These plants include potato, eggplant, bell peppers and tomato.
Do not let your chickens eat them at all. They can be very toxic when ingested and cause death or a serious health issue.
Fruit pits and seeds
Pits of fruits like plum and cherries are dangerous and deadly. In addition to this, avoid seeds of grapes and peaches because these seeds and pits contain toxic chemical called cyanide.
However, not all seeds are bad because some like watermelon are good and healthy for your flock.
Simply because chickens are omnivores, does not mean that they can eat raw meat. Although chickens can eat small snakes, lizards and rodents, meat is not part of their diet.
Raw meat can cause salmonella poisoning resulting from the salmonella bacteria. This can be a recipe for ill health or even death.
Bad and moldy food
There are some people who have a reputation of throwing bad and moldy foods to chickens. This is very wrong and what you cannot eat, do not feed it to your red roosters.
Bad food can cause food poisoning and even death when eaten. Avoid moldy grains and feeds stored in dump conditions.
These may contain a toxic chemical substance called aflatoxin which has been known to kill thousands of people and animals when consumed.
Can chickens ear bell peppers? Final thoughts
Bell peppers pose no threat to the health of your chickens. These vegetables are good but need to be fed sparingly and in moderation.
They are packed with useful nutrients that are good for the health of your chickens. However, avoid the bell pepper plant itself since it is very toxic.
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