Can Chickens Eat Chocolate?

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While chickens can eat chocolate, you should NEVER feed any chocolate to them. Chocolate contains theobromine which can lead to severe illness or fatality.

It can be tempting to throw any table scraps you may have to your backyard chickens – after all, they are omnivores and will eat just about anything you place in front of them!

What about that leftover chocolate cake? Or a few stray chocolate chips from those chocolate chip pancakes?

This article will cover everything you need to know about offering chocolate to your chickens, and what happens to chickens after eating chocolate.

Do Chickens Enjoy Eating Chocolate?

Chickens enjoy eating, period. However, chickens lack the ability to taste sweetness. Thus, sweet treats like chocolate will not have the same effect on a chicken’s palette as ours.

It’s best to savor your sweet treats yourself and offer chickens foods that they enjoy and are safe for them to eat such as mealworms, watermelon, and peaches.

Is it Safe for Chickens to Eat Chocolate?

No. Chocolate is not a safe food to include in your chicken’s diet – not even a small amount of chocolate.

chicken, chocolate and x symbol

Chicken owners should always avoid providing chocolate to their flocks. Chocolate contains theobromine which can be deadly to chickens.

What Happens to Chickens that Are Fed Chocolate?

Chickens who have eaten chocolate (especially in large amounts) may suffer indigestion all the way up to cardiac arrest. The effects will vary depending on the amounts of theobromine present in the chocolate they consumed.

See Also:  Can Chickens Eat Mushrooms?

If you feed chocolate to chickens they will be poisoned and their central nervous system will pay the price.

Every type of chocolate is not safe for chickens – cocoa beans, cocoa powder, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate are all harmful. Even white chocolate should not be fed to chickens because it is full of fat and sugar which can lead to obesity.

Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include elevated heart rate, irregular heartbeat, and other heart problems including heart failure. Kidney failure is also imminent if a chicken has eaten a large amount of theobromine.

What Other Foods Are Not Safe for Chickens?

Just as chickens should never eat chocolate, other foods that can prove fatal to chickens are:

  • Dried Beans – contain hemagglutinin which will kill a chicken within an hour of ingestion.
  • Apple Seeds – contain cyanide which can kill chickens.
  • Avocado Skins – contain persin, a toxic substance for chickens.
  • Coffee Grounds – contains caffeine which is toxic to chickens.
  • Green Potato – potato skins contain solanine which is poisonous to chickens.

We have written an extensive guide about other foods chickens should not eat:

A chicken eats whatever you will feed it (for the most part), so only offer them healthy, nutritious foods that are safe. The best thing you can feed your chickens is chicken feed, and supplement up to 10% of their diet with fresh fruits and veggies.

Christina

A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

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