Chickens are another type of bird just like a parakeet, so it makes sense that chickens can also eat parakeet food.
However, being a larger breed that is bred to lay eggs, parakeet food does not have enough nutrients to keep a chicken healthy.
Is It OK For Chickens To Eat Bird Seed?
The short answer is yes, chickens can eat bird seed.
Rather, the question lies in the fact whether bird seeds are good for your chickens or not.
At first glance, bird seed seems like a great addition to a chicken’s diet.
It is filled with nutrients that can satisfy a smaller bird, so possibly a chicken as well.
However, bird seed mixes are normally high in fat and low in vitamins for egg-laying chickens.
These mixes also tend to be low in calcium.
Domestic chickens lay eggs all year round, so it’s important that they get all the nutrients they need in order to lay good eggs.
You can certainly feed a chicken bird seed, but it won’t replace a proper meal.
It can act as a great supplement or snack to tide the chickens over between meals, but it should not be treated as an actual replacement for its diet.
What Kind Of Bird Seed Can Chickens Eat?
The seeds you feed your cockatiels or even wild birds can be fed interchangeably to your chickens.
Of the many different options of seeds out there, here are some of the best types for your chickens:
- Sunflower seeds – these seeds are a hit for any kind of bird, including chickens. Chickens love the taste of sunflower seeds, so they’ll eat them including the shell. However, beware not to feed your chickens any sunflower seeds that are produced for human consumption as the added seasoning is not safe for chickens or other birds.
- Cracked corn – This can be found in pretty much any bird feed mix on the market. Cracked corn is a popular option as birds love to eat them. It contains a lot of carbs, and it can give your chickens a lot of energy. However, keep in mind that cracked corn is not very nutritious, so feed this to your chickens in moderation.
- Safflower seeds – These seeds have a lot of nutrients that chickens need including Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamins E and K. They keep chickens healthy, so this is a great bird seed option to feed your chickens.
What Should You Not Feed Chickens?
Chickens will eat almost anything you give them, so be careful not to feed them something that may potentially be toxic to your beloved birds.
Do your research before feeding them anything new, but here’s a basic list of what to not feed chickens:
- Avocado pits and peels – avocados contain a toxin called persin which is dangerous to birds including chickens. In large doses, persin can cause heart and respiratory problems, which can lead to death. Persin is mostly found in the pit and peel of the avocado, but you should avoid feeding your chicken the flesh of the avocado as well to be on the safe side.
- Chocolate – chocolate is known for being toxic to dogs, but they are toxic to chickens as well. The theobromine and caffeine found in chocolate are dangerous to poultry. It is good to keep in mind that the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. Other foods that contain theobromine and caffeine include coffee, tea, and colas.
- Green potato skins – unripened green potatoes are incredibly toxic to chickens as they contain solanine and chaconine. These substances are found in the peel, flesh, and sprouts, so any part of a green potato is toxic to chickens. However, it is found to feed chickens regular or cooked potatoes.
- Dried beans – It is completely fine to feed chickens cooked beans, but dried beans can make chickens sick and even kill them. Dried beans contain a toxin called phytohemagglutinin, which is fatal to chickens. Even eating a couple of these dried beans can end in rapid death.
Before I wrap up here’s some other interesting articles about what chickens can eat so do check them out!
Chickens need a wide and varied diet in order to have a healthy life and lay healthy eggs.
If you keep birds like parakeets or cockatiels in the house, it might cross your mind to substitute bird seed in lieu of their normal diet.
Although it may seem like a good idea, chickens are much bigger and they need more nutrients in order to lay good eggs.
Bird seed can be a good snack option for chickens, but it shouldn’t fully replace their normal diet.
There are other foods that should be avoided when feeding your chickens.
Always do your research before introducing something new into their stomachs.