If you keep a flock of chickens in your backyard, you must have wondered which fruits and vegetables from your kitchen can you offer them as scraps. After all, you can’t feed them every fruit and vegetable you eat yourself. Many of these contain toxins that are bad for their health and cause serious problems. What about bell peppers? Are they safe?
So, can chickens eat bell peppers? The answer is yes. Chickens can eat ripened bell peppers of all colors, as well as their seeds. Bell peppers are rich in vitamins and antioxidants that provide healthy nutrition to your chickens. However, you should avoid feeding them under-ripe peppers. Steer clear of the leaves and stalks of pepper plants as well, for they contain Solanine, which is toxic to chickens if consumed in excess.
- Do chickens like eating bell peppers?
- Are bell peppers healthy food for your chickens?
- Can chickens eat chili bell peppers?
- Can you feed your chickens bell pepper seeds?
- What about bell pepper leaves?
- What happens if your chickens eat bell pepper leaves, stalks or stems?
- Other vegetables from the nightshade family
- Can chickens eat black pepper?
- What other treats should you offer your chickens?
- What should you never feed your chickens?
Do chickens like eating bell peppers?
You’d be glad to know that all chickens love bell peppers. Many poultry-owners have witnessed their chickens eat bell peppers with surprising enthusiasm.
This is great news for all chicken-owners. Bell peppers are not only nutritious but also cheap and readily available in the market.
Moreover, if you’re interested in gardening, you can even grow your own bell pepper plants. They are easy to grow and produce fruits all year long if tended to properly.
Are bell peppers healthy food for your chickens?
Before we decide whether bell peppers are healthy for your chickens or not, let’s take a look at their nutritional chart:
Serving size: 1 bell pepper (approx. 100 g)
|Vitamin A||157 µg|
|Vitamin B1||0.054 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.085 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.979 mg|
|Vitamin B5||0.317 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.291 mg|
|Vitamin B9||46 µg|
|Vitamin C||127.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.58 mg|
|Vitamin K||4.9 µg|
|Dietary Fibres||2.1 g|
With low calories and high water content, bell pepper both hydrates the chickens and keeps their energy intake in check. They contain low carbohydrates and fats and are rich in multiple vitamins and minerals to promote better health of your chickens.
Thus, we can safely deduce that bell peppers make healthy and nutritious food for chickens.
Can chickens eat chili bell peppers?
Since most of us find chili peppers extremely hot, it is natural to wonder how chickens react to them.
Capsaicin is a compound that lends chilies their heat. Fortunately, chickens are unable to taste capsaicin and are thus, safe from its explosive heat.
Along with their nutritious richness, chili bell peppers have additional benefits for chickens. They are said to stimulate the immunity systems of all sick birds, including chickens.
Can you feed your chickens bell pepper seeds?
Many pet owners tend to remove the seeds from the fruit before feeding it to their chickens. However, in the case of bell peppers, you needn’t bother with it.
Bell pepper seeds are completely harmless to chickens, and can quickly be served along their outer flesh.
What about bell pepper leaves?
While the fruit and seeds of bell pepper are safe and healthy for your chickens, the rest of the plant parts can be lethal to your chickens.
Bell peppers belong to the nightshade family, which is popular for producing Solanine. This compound is toxic to chickens.
Solanine is dominantly present in the stalk, stems, and leaves of the plant. It is also present in the unripe fruits in smaller quantities. This is why you should always go for fully ripened bell peppers when feeding your chickens.
What happens if your chickens eat bell pepper leaves, stalks or stems?
If your chicken consumes Solanine in a small quantity, you can expect vomiting, weakness, lethargy, and diarrhea symptoms.
However, if they consume larger quantities of it, it can poison their insides severely and may lead to illness. In many cases, the excess intake of Solanine leads to the chicken’s death.
Other vegetables from the nightshade family
Bell peppers are not the only plants from the nightshade family. We use many nightshade vegetables in our day-to-day lives. These are:
- Cayenne pepper
Like bell peppers, all these plants contain Solanine as well. Therefore, you should be careful about feeding these to your chickens, or any birds in general.
However, being careful doesn’t mean not feeding them these vegetables at all. Solanine is only present in the stem, stalk, and leaves of these plants, and often in the unripe vegetables themselves.
If the vegetables are fully ripened, they are safe for your chickens. However, you should avoid feeding them green tomatoes altogether.
Can chickens eat black pepper?
Yes, they can. You can feed black peppers to your chickens without worrying since they are completely harmless. You can also use these to add a little flavor to their diet.
Chickens love black pepper and eat them vigorously. Black pepper is also said to improve the lipid blood profile in chickens and enhance their reproductive performance.
Many traditional chicken-keepers also believe that spices like black pepper and ginger keep parasites away. However, there is no scientific proof of it yet.
What other treats should you offer your chickens?
Chickens are generally not known to be fussy about their food. However, when you feed them something they love, their enthusiasm is clearly visible to you.
Following are some treats your chickens are crazy about:
Just as oats are healthy for you, they are healthy for your chickens as well. Chickens love both cooked as well as rolled oats. Moreover, oats also help chickens with their aggression.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that corns are the favorite food of chickens. However, feeding it to your chickens without check may end up fattening them. Therefore, you should only serve them corns as a treat once in a while.
Not only are worms found tasty by the chickens, but they are also rich in protein and improve their eggs’ quality. You should thus, make them a regular in the diet of your chickens.
What should you never feed your chickens?
Caffeine has stimulatory effects that are harmful to chickens. It also has diuretic properties that can lead to dehydration of your chickens.
Salt is also responsible for dehydration in chickens and should be avoided at all costs.
The vegetable of rhubarb is rich in oxalic acid that is poisonous for chickens. Consuming rhubarb can lead to tremors, jaundice, and collapse.
Seeds of apples and other pitted fruits
Apple seeds contain cyanide, which is lethal to chickens. The seeds of other pitted fruits, such as Plum and Cherry, pose the same problem. Remove the seeds of these fruits carefully before feeding them to your chickens.
Due to theobromine, chocolates have stimulatory effects on chickens that can lead to diarrhea, seizures, overheating, etc.
Consuming higher quantities of onion can lead to Heinz Anemia in chickens. In this condition, the chicken body begins to break down red blood cells, leading to a severe decrease in their numbers.
To sum things up, you can feed bell peppers to your chickens regularly and without fear. These nightshade fruits are healthy, nutritious, and popularly liked by your chickens. You don’t even have to get rid of the seeds of bell peppers while feeding them. All you need to take care of is to feed the fully ripened bell peppers and avoid the stalks, stems, and leaves of the plant.