Although chickens are not picky eaters, there are foods and treats that pose a health hazard. It is common for us to hurl our leftovers to our hens and so, the question, can chickens eat chocolate?
Not everything that chickens eat is food. Some things are poisonous and can lead to ill health and even death.
Certain foods are only good for us and they can also be bad to us too when eaten in large quantities for example sugar and salt.
Can chickens eat chocolate? Let’s roll together and find out what is there between chickens and chocolate.
Do chickens like chocolate?
Chocolate is a bad type of food to feed chickens. It should not be tossed to your girls even in moderation.
According to this source, chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine which are toxic elements. These elements are also found in some drinks like coffee, tea and colas.
The darker the chocolate is the more theobromine it contains and therefore the more toxic it is to your chickens.
In this case, this is not the right treat to let your chickens dare eat at any case. Leftover chocolate cake I therefore ruled out as a treat for your flock.
What type of chocolate is good for chickens?
There is no type of chocolate that is good for your red bantam roosters. Some people think that chocolate cereal is good but it is not.
Do not let chickens even taste anything with chocolate even if it is chocolate chips. Just like green potatoes and members of the nightshade family, chocolate is a bad treat.
Chocolate and chickens is a no. This popular human food is not only bad for chickens but for other pets like cats and dogs.
If it can harm and kill dogs, do you think your hens will resist it?
Chickens will eat and peck at almost anything. They will even dare challenge a fellow chicken they see on the mirror but for chocolate it is a NO.
Some people might be fooled that white chocolate is safe for chickens but it is not. It still contains theobromine, fates and sugars all which are not good for your girls.
What are the dangers of feeding chocolate to chickens?
Chocolate helps to stimulate human brain and bring a feeling of relaxation. However, the case is different and their brains do not need any form of stimulation.
So, do not feed those chocolate chip cookies or chocolate cupcakes. Why?
A seizure is a burst of uncontrolled electrical activity between brain cells that causes temporary abnormalities in muscle tone movements.
Too much caffeine and theobromine can lead to seizures and even death to your chickens. Therefore there is no need to let chickens eat chocolate when there are other good chicken treats like pumpkin, oranges and pineapple.
Diarrhea is very serious and can be fatal to chickens. When chickens are faced with this problem, they lose too much water from their bodies and risk dehydration.
When chickens ingest chocolate chip pancakes, their bodies will react to the foreign theobromine which has entered them.
Instead of exposing chickens to the danger of dehydration, feed them healthy foods like fermented foods, dried mealworms and Indian corn.
3 Heart problems
The element theobromine present in chocolate will damage and kill red blood cells. When the red cells in the chicken’s blood are destroyed, oxygen becomes insufficient in the heart and other body tissues.
This can lead to heart failure or even cardiac arrest leading to the death of your hens. Do not let chickens eat or even taste chocolate.
4 Kidney failure
Unlike our kidneys that help filter out wastes and urine from the blood, Chickens do not excrete liquid waste.
Therefore, their kidneys do not filter out excess salts and other toxics from the body. Feeding chocolate to them will cause their kidneys serious problems and even failure.
What other foods can’t chickens eat?
Apart from chocolate, there are other foods that are dangerous for chickens. Feeding these foods can lead to ill health, low production and even death.
These foods include:
Raw beans are not just bad for chickens but for humans too. To be precise, kidney beans are known to cause serious health damage and even death.
Uncooked beans contain a toxic chemical known as phytohaemagglutinin. When this chemical is ingested, chickens will show signs of illness and die within an hour.
However, cooked beans and green beans are good and pose no threat. To kill and completely destroy this chemical, soak the beans for at least 5 hours and then cook by boiling before feeding to your roosters.
Cherry pits are another harmful treats for chickens. However, cherry flesh and skin is good and tasty for chickens.
Pits of cherries, avocado seed, grape seeds and seeds of peaches contain toxic chemical cyanide. When ingested, cyanide can cause death or other health related issues.
Uncooked meat is a No to your chickens. It can cause salmonella poisoning to your hens which can lead to ill health.
However well-cooked meat can be served to your chickens as a treat. But for chickens to eat meat, it should have no fats, salt and other preservatives in it.
Green potatoes have solanine a toxic chemical when eaten. Potato peels; eyes and plants too contain this chemical and are not good for chickens.
However, cooked peeled potatoes are good and can be fed to your flock. But they should be fed in moderation just like other treats like popcorn.
Can chickens eat chocolate final thoughts
Chickens should not eat chocolate and you should keep it away from them. Even a tiny piece of it will lead to death because it has theobromine and caffeine which is toxic to your birds.
Do not feed anything with chocolate to chickens like chocolate brownies and muffins. These too contain theobromine which is not good.