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Treats for Cheeps: Feeding Chickens on the Cheap

Updated on September 12, 2010

Hand Feeding A Chicken

Handing Feeding a Hen Sunflower Seeds
Handing Feeding a Hen Sunflower Seeds

Introduction to Cheap Treats

You have heard of feeding scraps to your dog or cat for a treat?  Well, why not do so with your chickens.  As long as you follow the same caveat you use on your furry friends--that is, human food not being a substitute for the pet's main food--you should be fine. 

Cheap Treats

There are several good reasons to feed your pet or hobby chickens scraps.  First of all, these treats will cost you little or nothing.  Second, these items are going to waste anyway, so you will save on your trash bill.  Third, you are helping the environment by not filling up landfills.  Fourth, it is fun and the chickens will love you for it.  They may even learn to feed from your hands in order to get these choice treats.

Convinced to give it a try?  Well, here are some ideas:

  • Save mealtime leftovers.  You can feed them bread crusts or heels of breads, egg shells, cereal, donuts, muffins, crackers, and leftover fruits from breakfast.  You can also feed them leftover veggies, chips, and cookies.
  • Save garbage.  Besides bread crusts that would normally go in the trash, try feeding your chickens stale or days-old bread, donuts, muffins, crackers, and cookies.  Or do you have wormy, bruised, or damaged fruit and vegetables?  As long as they are not covered in pesticides, they should be good for the chickens to eat too.
  • Save natural feed.  Grass and weed clippings also make good choices for your chickens as long as they are not covered in pesticides.  Or do you hand-remove pesky insects from your garden?  As long as these critters are not covered in insecticides, these can be given to the chickens too.  Finally, if you feed wild birds black sunflower seeds, save some for your chickens--they will love you forever.  Black sunflower seeds are, hands down, our chickens' favorite.


The above list contains just a few suggestions to get you started feeding your chickens cheap treats.  You can try most anything, but if you are not sure, err on the side of caution and research chicken dos and donts online.  In the end, though, feeding these treats to your chickens will be worth it:  to your trash can, to your landfill, and most of all, to your chickens!


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    • Jodi Ralston profile image

      Jodi Ralston 7 years ago from Missouri

      Laura, thanks for taking time to comment. That is what we found out too, chickens love table scraps. And some chickens like certain kinds better than others. We got some that don't like donuts and some that love them.

      Take care and thanks for commenting.


    • writer77 profile image

      writer77 7 years ago from Boston, Ma

      Chickens love table scraps just don't give them moldy old stuff! Laura