Can Chickens Eat Chocolate?
Here’s a question for all of the chicken owners of the world: can chickens eat chocolate?
It’s a serious inquiry!
After all, if it’s potentially poisonous, illness-inducing, and even lethal for other pets, is it going to hurt your chickens?
Here’s what I discovered after researching the question.
Can Chickens Have Chocolate?
Fact: Chickens will eat just about anything.
This means you have to be careful what you feed them because you can usually count on them eating it, no matter what!
So can chickens have chocolate? In short: no. Absolutely not.
Chocolate falls firmly in the “do not feed this to your chickens” category.
Why Can’t Chickens Eat Chocolate?
Now, when it comes to things you shouldn’t feed your chickens, some things are discouraged for behavioral reasons, such as raw eggs.
Chocolate, on the other hand, is bad for your chickens for a whole other reason. It contains theobromine, which is toxic to birds (and dogs and other pets, too!).
If you feed them chocolate you won’t just be feeding a bad habit. It could actually be life-threatening.
Apart from being bad for their digestive tracts, chocolate can also affect their hearts and quickly lead to heart issues and even cardiac arrest. These consequences usually occur within a day.
Besides, chances are they won’t be able to taste the sweetness of the sugar anyway, so you would simultaneously be wasting one of the tastiest things in your pantry and killing your chicken at the same time.
What Can Chickens Not Eat?
If you’re wondering what else chickens can’t eat, you’re not alone. I found an excellent “what can't chickens eat” list that names the top ten things to avoid.
Some of the classic ones include:
- Avocado skins and pits
- Dry or semi-dry beans
- Apple seeds
Here’s a great video that also breaks down some of the foods to avoid, as well as things that aren’t as big of a deal.
On the other hand, if you’re wondering “what do chickens eat naturally?” or “what makes good chicken food?”, check out our article on What to Feed Your Chickens, or our Ultimate Guide to Chicken Feed to help ensure your flock is well-fed and functioning optimally!
How Much Chocolate Can Chickens Eat?
If you’re wondering how much chocolate chickens can eat – as in, you accidentally gave them some and you want to know what to do about it – it comes down to quantity, although specific amounts are hard to nail down.
In general, you should be able to use your judgement. For example, if you need to know if chickens can eat chocolate cake, or scraps of anything else containing chocolate, a few pecks shouldn’t do them much harm.
On the other hand, if they downed several chocolate chips or half of a chocolate bar, you’re going to want to keep a sharp eye on them.
Unfortunately, there’s not too much you can do after they’ve eaten the chocolate other than removing the source and calling your local veterinarian.
So, Can Chickens Eat Chocolate?
In short, no. Do not feed your chickens chocolate.
It may sound like a great idea based on human experience, but chickens are not humans!
They can die by ingesting chocolate.
However, if your chickens get a little bit of chocolate in their table scraps or by coming across some cake crumbs while they’re free ranging, they will likely be okay. They’re resilient creatures!
If you’ve experienced chickens eating chocolate in the past, share your story with us!
Also, please consider sharing the post so we can help keep as much chocolate away from chickens (and in our own hands) as possible!