We love our peppers. They are perfect toppings for pizza, stuffed with meat and rice, and even as a snack. But if you have a few too many, you might wonder, “Can chickens eat bell peppers?” Wait a moment. Aren’t peppers a part of the nightshade family? Let’s investigate!
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Can Chickens Eat Bell Peppers?
Believe it or not, bell peppers are entirely safe for backyard chickens to eat. But it might not be your flock’s favorite treat. However, if they enjoy them, they are very healthy for them. Let’s look at the top benefits of feeding chickens bell peppers. Once you see all the great benefits of bell peppers, you will wonder why you didn’t try them sooner.
Strong immune systems are reliant on a variety of different antioxidants. They help boost our systems are recover faster from illnesses. And bell peppers have all the antioxidants that keep our bodies feeling great. So imagine what they can do for your chickens?
Bell peppers are known for their high amounts of vitamin A. And if you want happy chickens that lay the most eggs, this vitamin is your go-to. Vitamin A is proven to reduce anxiety, increase immunities, and cure depression. Not to mention your hens need lots of vitamin A to grow and mature. So you will have lots of eggs and happy chickens!
You can’t talk about the importance of health and chickens without mentioning vitamin C. Bell peppers have enough vitamin C to boost the immune system and help your chickens fight off illness. We like to feed foods higher in vitamin C when we’ve isolated one sick chicken. That way, your flock will have the resources to fight off whatever has made the other hen ill.
Another super vitamin is B6. This vitamin is responsible for brain development, nervous system support, immune system, and happiness. So if you want chickens with a great immune system and emotional support, bell peppers are perfect. Not only will your chickens be happy for goodies, but it’s also going to heal your chickens from the inside out.
Our chickens use a lot of water to produce those delicious eggs. And if it’s hot out, your hens need to stay hydrated. What better way to keep your hens hydrated than feeding foods with natural electrolytes like bell peppers? Dice some up and add them to your chicken salads for an extra boost.
Hens need folic acid to produce healthy eggs and viable chicks. So if you want to breed your flock, give them snacks packed with it. Chickens eat bell peppers more willingly if they have a folic acid deficiency. So hand them some chopped bell peppers to see if they go for it.
Like all fruits and vegetables, bell peppers are jam-packed with fiber. So if you have a constipated bird or want to keep up with gut, feed them a few bell peppers. They will be regular again in no time.
And finally, one of the best reasons to feed your flock bell peppers is that they are high in carotenoids. That rule applies specifically to orange and yellow bell peppers. But what does this do for your chickens? Not only does it support good eyesight, but it also gives the egg yolk a rick orange color. Just don’t feed them too many bell peppers. Otherwise, the eggs will start to get a slight pepper flavor to them.
Can Chickens Eat Bell Peppers And Their Seeds?
You might be wondering how to feed bell peppers to your flock. After all, they are still a nightshade plant. So you do have to be careful when feeding them to your chickens. The whole vegetable is safe to eat along with the core and seeds. But your hens need to stay away from all of the green parts.
That means the stem, plants, leaves, and flowers are all toxic to your chickens. These parts of the bell pepper plants contain the substance solanine that all nightshade plants have. Your chickens might have severe diarrhea in small amounts, but it can be fatal in higher concentrations.
Are Green Peppers Good For Chickens?
Red, orange, yellow, bell peppers are all wonderful. But green peppers are ones to stay away from. The truth is that all bell peppers come from the same plant, no matter what color they are. But the redder the pepper, the riper it is.
Green bell peppers are high in solanine, the toxic substance in nightshade plants. If you want the best bell peppers for your flock, the darkest red ones are ideal. And as a little fun fact, they are the sweetest for humans too. So for a treat to share, red bell pepper is perfect for you two.
What Is The Best Way To Feed Bell Peppers?
It doesn’t matter if you have raw bell peppers or cooked. As long as you haven’t seasoned or salted the peppers, your chickens will love it all. You can even hang them up and watch your chickens peck at a fun game. Get creative, and I bet you will find your chicken’s favorite way to eat bell pepper.
How Many Bell Peppers Can A Chicken Have?
Can chickens eat bell peppers as much as they want? While bell pepper might be nutritious, it is still a snack. So you don’t want to feed them too many. A good rule of thumb is no more than 10% of your chicken’s diet should be treats.
The good news is that peppers are super low in calories. If you have chopped peppers, a couple of tablespoons is perfect per chicken. And if you hang a few peppers, three of them for a small flock is enough to keep them busy for hours.
Can Chicken Eat Spicy Food?
Bell peppers aren’t spicy, but they might have you wondering about spicy foods. If you have some leftover chili peppers, you could feed those to your hens too. Even black pepper is ok for chickens to eat. All peppers are nightshade plants. So remember to stay away from the leaves, stems, and flowers. But everything else is ok.
What Happens If You Feed Chickens Hot Peppers?
Unlike humans, chickens and other birds don’t taste hot foods. If you feed the hottest peppers to your flock, they won’t burn with the intensity of a thousand suns. They won’t even break a sweat or need water. So go ahead and feed your cayenne pepper and peppers of all kinds to the hens.
Can Chicks Eat Bell Peppers?
Can chickens eat bell peppers? Sure, but what about chicks? We don’t recommend treats for chicks under four weeks old. This is mainly because your chicks are at a critical time with growth a maturity. Too many treats at this young age could lead to malnutrition and obesity.
Once your chicks are a little older, though, red bell peppers are great for them. They are the ripest and perfect to chop up and use as training treats. A teaspoon of finely chopped ripe peppers is a healthy introduction to goodies.
What Is On The Chickens Do Not Eat List?
As you can see, there are plenty of things that are in a bit of a gray area on safety. We are all told to stay away from nightshade, so many chicken owners steer clear of bell peppers. So what else might have gray areas?
- Avocado- The flesh is fine, but stay away from the pit and skins.
- Raw/dried beans– Cooked beans are ok, but they have to be very tender.
- Salt- All of the salt your chickens need is in their chicken feed. Anything more, and your chickens will get sick.
- Potatoes– These are ok, but stay away from green potatoes.
- Tomatoes– Stay away from the stems, leaves, stocks, and green tomatoes.
- Onions– Will leave eggs with onion taste in smaller quantities
- Citrus fruits– These will deplete your hens of calcium in higher quantities.
And here are a few that are never ok:
- Moldy food
- Fried and processed foods
- Apple seeds
For the most part, if it’s natural and healthy for us, it’s also perfect for them.
Can Chickens Eat Rice?
You might have noticed we didn’t mention rice and pasta on these do-not-eat lists. And that’s because there is a lot to consider before feeding these foods to our chickens. Uncooked pasta and rice are always a no-go. That’s because the starch will expand in your chicken’s stomachs and fill them too quickly.
Another thing to consider is that pasta and rice don’t have a lot of nutritional value. Whole wheat pasta and brown rice are healthier but still not the best. But it’s a great treat to keep your chickens warm in the winter.
So What Do You Think?
Can chickens eat bell peppers? Yes, but not all of them like it. So if you want to give your chickens a taste of something new, bell peppers are the way to go. And since they are so versatile, you can keep trying them in new ways. You might find that your flock prefers one preparation over another.
Below is a Pinterest-friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!