Owning a pet chicken gives you an opportunity of experimenting with their diet and mix it up a bit every now and then. This is because as far as pet animals go, chickens have quite a flexible diet. There aren’t many edibles that pose a threat to their health.
However, when it comes to a chicken’s diet, you have to be more careful about moderation than the variety. As long as you have the quantity under control, you can relax and feed them little treats from your kitchen as well. But does it include fast food such as pizza, burgers, etc. as well? What about French fries?
Can chickens eat French fries? Yes, they can definitely eat French fries. However, French fries are in no way ideal to their diet; neither do they benefit your chickens from a nutritional perspective. Thus, French fries are not something you should consider sharing with them often. Though as long as you feed french fries to your chickens in moderation, they will not affect their health negatively.
Do chickens like eating French fries?
Chickens absolutely love eating all kinds of junk food, and French fries are no exception. The spicy and crunchy taste of the fries appeals to chickens just as it appeals to us.
If you feed your chickens some, you will never see them shying away from them, even though they still had their dinner. But don’t we all love what isn’t healthy for us when it comes to food?
Are French fries healthy for chickens?
Just because chickens like to eat them doesn’t make French fries healthy for them. On the contrary, French fries contains everything that your chicken doesn’t need from a nutritional standpoint. Thus, they are really unhealthy for your chicken and can lead to health issues if fed more frequently.
Why are French fries not healthy for chickens?
French fries are not really unhealthy for chickens if they eat them occasionally. However, when fed regularly, they can be harmful to your chicken’s health. The reason behind French fries being unhealthy for chickens are not much different from what makes them unhealthy for us.
French fries are deep-fried in oil
The dietary needs of chickens do not include oils for a good reason. It is difficult for chickens to digest greasy food, including French fries. Thus, too many fries could lead to digestion problems ranging from mild to severe at times. A regular intake of French fries also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases in chickens.
French fries have a high-fat content
French fries contain trans fats that are dangerous to both humans and chickens alike. The excessive fat builds up around the liver of your chicken, making it soft. The process makes their liver more prone to bleeding. If your chicken is about to lay eggs, they might bleed out to death in the process.
This condition in chickens is known as Fatty Liver Haemorrhagic Syndrome and often leads to their untimely death. The fat from French fries also leads to weight gain and might end up in obesity if fed too often.
French fries contain salt
All of us are aware of the fact that too much salt is not good for us. Likewise, it isn’t healthy for chickens either. Consuming food rich in salt such as French fries on a regular basis can lead to high blood pressure and other health issues in chickens.
French fries have an abundance of carbohydrates
Chickens are animals that depend on proteins for a major portion of their nutritional needs. They don’t have much use of carbohydrates.
Can you feed French fries to baby chickens?
If too many French fries can affect the health of an adult chicken, what does it mean for their babies? Remember, baby chickens have a more fragile system, and feeding them anything out of their regular diet can make them severely ill. You shouldn’t think of feeding them any table scraps, including fries until they are at least 3-4 months old.
Can you feed your chickens home-made French fries?
If you want to feed your chickens French fries as a treat, cooking them yourself is a healthier alternative than buying them from a food joint.
When you make fries yourself, you can keep the oil in check, and avoid adding salt altogether, to make them more suited to your chickens.
While chickens can eat French fries in moderation, what about potatoes?
French fries are processed foods made of potatoes. While eating too many of these fries can lead to health issues in chickens, can they eat their main ingredient raw? It’s better if they don’t.
Potato, along with other vegetables such as eggplant, tomato, etc., belongs to the nightshade family. All the nightshade plants are rich in solanine, a toxic compound that keeps all the insects away from them.
Unfortunately, the solanine is toxic to chickens as well. Even if your chicken consumes it in a small amount, it can lead to gastrointestinal problems. If they happen to intake a large amount, they can suffer from paralysis, fever, and even death.
However, only the green potatoes contain solanine, while the white ones are entirely safe for the chicken’s consumption. Still, to be safe, you can feed them mashed potato, since cooking removes any possible traces of solanine.
The ideal diet for chickens
In addition to the feed that makes up about 80% of their diet, what other nutritious foods can you feed your chickens? There are many foods from your diet that are healthy for your chickens as well. Let’s take a look at some of these.
Veggies: Cabbage, Broccoli, and Cauliflower
Out of all the greens, you can feed your feathered pet, these three cruciferous vegetables are by far the healthiest. They are rich in a number of vitamins and phytochemicals that fight diseases. They have a high level of anti-carcinogens and are rich in calcium that improves the quality of eggs laid by your chicken.
Pitted fruits: Apples and Pears
Apples and Pears are packed with nutrients and contain antioxidants in abundance, which are great for the health of your chickens. All you need to do is to remove the pits and seeds carefully before feeding these to your chickens.
Not only are berries healthy for chickens, but they are absolutely loved by them. Rich in vitamins A, B complex, and C, these fruits are also rich in beta-carotene.
If you buy berries from the market, wash them thoroughly before feeding to your chickens. However, if you have a garden of your own, it is best to plant berry bushes there to give your chickens access to unlimited treats.
Do you like eggs with a deep orange yolk? Well, feeding your chickens carrot might just do the trick. Carrots contain no fat, are rich in vitamin A and contain anti-carcinogenic properties that are responsible for the coloration of the eggs laid by your chickens.
In addition to these, you can also feed your chickens pumpkins, cucumbers, kale, swiss chard, lettuce, beets, etc. In terms of herbs, thyme, cilantro, mint, oregano, and basil are also great for their health.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is rhubarb not safe for my chicken? Rhubarb is rich in oxalic acid, which is toxic to chickens. In addition to that, it also contains anthraquinones, a compound that has a laxative effect on chickens. Thus, you should avoid feeding them to your chickens.
Can chickens eat walnut? Yes, walnuts are safe for chickens to eat.
Can I feed my chicken dandelion? Dandelions are no-fat food for chickens and are packed with nutrients such as potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin A. Thus, you can mix them in the daily diet of your chickens to improve their health.
Conclusion: Can Chickens Eat French Fries?
To sum it up, you can feed French fries to your chickens in moderation to avoid causing any health problems. However, it is best to feed them home-made, unsalted fries, instead of the ones you buy from a food joint.