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Can Chickens Eat Peppers

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People give leftover foods and other odd table scraps to their chickens. You should not blame them because chicken feed can be expensive and they are simply looking for cheaper alternatives. For example, some may feed peppers to their chickens.

Can chickens eat peppers?

Chickens can eat pepper fruits and seeds. Pepper seeds are rich in protein while the fruits are loaded with various minerals and vitamins.

brown chicken on grass

However, chickens should not eat pepper leaves, stems, flowers, and other parts of pepper plants.

Why should chickens not eat some parts of pepper plants aside from the fruits and seeds? What other fruits and seeds can chickens eat? Continue reading.

Can You Feed Your Chickens with Peppers?

It is surprising that chickens can eat peppers, and actually, chickens love peppers (especially the seeds). Peppers are loaded with a lot of nutrients for your chickens. Just like other fruits, though, you should give pepper fruits to your chickens as treats instead of regular meals.

With the pepper plant, there are parts that you can feed your chickens, while there are others that you must prevent your chickens from eating.

Parts of Peppers You Can Feed Your Chickens with

While chickens can eat peppers, they cannot eat every part of pepper plants. Here are the parts of pepper plants that you can feed your chickens with:

  • Ripe Pepper Fruits: Ripe pepper fruits are completely safe for chickens. Peppers contain a lot of vitamins and minerals for your chickens. You should give pepper to chickens as treats.
  • Pepper Seeds: The seeds of peppers contain up to 19% protein. This means that your chickens enjoy a protein-rich treat when you give them pepper seeds.

Chickens can eat the fruits and seeds of the peppers. What about the other parts of pepper plants? Can chickens eat them? Continue reading.

red bellpepper

Parts of Peppers Chickens Should Not Eat

Even though chickens can eat the seeds and fruits of peppers, there are some parts of pepper plants that they should not eat. Parts of pepper plants that chickens should not eat are:

  • Leaves: The leaves and other parts of pepper plants are loaded with a phytotoxin called solanine. Solanine is found in plants in the nightshade family. Solanine can make your chickens sick or even kill them if a lot of it is consumed.
  • Stem and Branches: The stems and branches of peppers also contain solanine. Aside from having traces of solanine, the stems and branches of pepper plants are made of fiber. Dietary fiber (or cellulose) is not digestible by chickens, so your chickens will have slow growth and get sick when they eat the stems and branches of peppers.
  • Flowers: Just like every other part of pepper plants (aside from the fruits and seeds), the flowers of pepper plants contain traces of solanine.

Remember that your chickens should only eat the fruits and seeds of pepper plants. Also, make sure that you are giving your chickens ripe pepper fruits (instead of green ones) as every green part of pepper plants contains solanine.

Other Fruits (and Seeds) Chickens Can Eat

Aside from the fruits and seeds of peppers, you can feed other fruits (with their seeds) to your chickens. Here are examples of fruits that chickens can eat:

1. Watermelon

half and sliced watermelon

Watermelon fruits are rich in water, vitamins, and minerals. You should give watermelon treats to your chickens especially when the temperature is hot. Chickens can also eat watermelon seeds and rinds. Watermelon seeds are rich in proteins, so your chickens can eat as many watermelon seeds as they can find.

2. Papaya

Do you love papayas? So do chickens. Chickens can eat both papaya fruits and papaya seeds.

Even the peels of papayas are edible for chickens. Make sure that the fruit is properly washed to prevent your chickens from consuming pesticides (if present).

3. Apple (without seeds)

Chickens can eat apples. Apples are sweet and nutritious for chickens.

You should, however, not allow your chickens from eating apple seeds as the seeds of apples are loaded with a toxin called amygdalin. Amygdalin can harm your chickens if they eat too many apple seeds.

When giving apples to your chickens, make sure that the fruits are washed (free from insecticides) and diced so that you can remove the seeds.

4. Banana

banana on wooden table

Chickens love their bananas. Bananas have a lot of minerals that your chickens need. If you are thinking of a delicious and healthy treat for your chickens, you must think of bananas. Make sure that the bananas are ripe.

5. Grape

Grapes are excellent sources of water and nutrients for your chickens. Give grapes to your chickens when the temperature is hot. You should give grapes to chickens as occasional treats and not regular meals as grapes do not contain enough protein and they are rich in sugars. Don’t worry about the seeds as chickens love them too.

Which fruit will you give to your chickens?

Related Questions and Answers

Got any questions? Here are some answers:

1. How Can Chickens Eat Raw Pepper without Getting Hurt?

fresh and dried chilis

The reason can be found in the taste receptors of chickens. Chickens can taste bitter, sour, salty, and other kinds of foods, but cannot taste spicy foods. This means that even though pepper (and other spicy foods) taste hot in your mouth, chickens can eat them without getting hurt.

Whether it is bell peppers or black peppers, chickens can eat the fruits and seeds. No matter how hot or spicy a pepper variety is, chickens can eat it.

So long as you are giving ripe pepper fruits and seeds to your chickens (and not pepper leaves and other plant parts), your chickens are safe.

2. Can Chicks Eat Pepper Seeds?

Just like adult chickens, chicks can eat pepper seeds. You can give your chicks pepper seeds and other treats. Make sure that you give your chicks more protein-rich feeds so that they can grow properly.

3. Will Chickens Destroy Your Pepper Plants?

When searching for food, chickens eat different items including earthworms, young plants, and seeds. Your chickens will not destroy your pepper plants. They may go close to pepper plants while searching for insects, but will not destroy the plants.

Chickens do not usually eat the leaves and flowers of peppers. You can grow peppers close to your chicken pen without the fear of your birds destroying the plants.

4. Can Chickens Eat Rotting Peppers?

If you do not store your peppers well, they will rot quickly. Rotting peppers have a lot of bacteria and fungi that can harm your chickens.

Do not allow your chickens to eat rotting peppers. Instead of feeding them to your chickens, pour rotting peppers into the compost bin or dig them in the garden soil.

5. What Should Chickens Not Eat?

raw baby potatoes

Some examples of foods that chickens should not eat are:

  • Raw Potatoes: Raw potatoes are bad for chickens as they are not easily digestible and also contain traces of cyanide. While you can give chickens cooked potatoes, you should give them on;y a little as cooked potatoes are rich in carbohydrates.
  • Fatty or Sugar-Rich Foods: Chickens need protein and not fat. These foods can make your chickens sick, so you want to prevent your chickens from eating them.
  • Raw Beans: Raw beans have a lot of indigestible proteins. You should only give your chickens cooked bean treats that are easily digestible.
  • Leaves and Flowers of Nightshade Plants: Aside from peppers, other plants in the nightshade family include tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. These plants are toxic for chickens, but their fruits and seeds are edible.
  • Other Chickens: Cannibalism is not advised. Do not process chicken meat to make feed for your chickens. Also, make sure that your chickens have enough food and are healthy so that they do not start to peck other chickens.

Don’t feed your chickens with food that can harm them.

I hope that you have found the answer to your questions.

Final Thoughts

Chickens can eat peppers fruits and seeds. You should not allow your chickens to eat the leaves and other parts of pepper plants as they contain solanine. Asides from peppers, chickens can also eat other fruits with their seeds. Make sure that you give your chickens healthy (and natural) treats.