Can Chickens Eat Canned Peas and Carrots

Can Chickens Eat Canned Peas and Carrots?



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As you know, I’ve got a small backyard flock of five hens that constantly keep me on my toes.

They’ve definitely taught me a thing or two about just how adventurous chickens can be when it comes to food!

Like the time I accidentally left my tuna sandwich sitting out while I ran to grab something from the shed.

Came back to find Henrietta up on the picnic table, chomping away at the leftover bread and tuna salad! I kid you not, she polished off a good quarter of that sandwich before I shooed her away.

Her sisters even came running when they saw her score such a tasty human snack.

After that incident, I started paying closer attention to what sorts of “people food” my flock showed interest in.

Turns out, they go crazy for just about anything I’m eating! Veggies, fruits, beans, rice – you name it. Don’t get me wrong, their layer feed is still the staple of their diet.

But I’ve realized chickens are far more omnivorous than just eating seed all day.

All this brings me to today’s topic – can chickens eat canned peas and carrots? Are these popular human foods safe and healthy for chickens too?

I did some research into chicken nutrition and have the answers for you.

The short version is: Yes, chickens can eat moderate amounts of canned peas and carrots as an occasional treat.

Both veggies provide beneficial vitamins and minerals. But portion control is key, as too much can lead to digestive trouble.

When feeding chickens, variety and moderation is crucial for their health. Canned veggies shouldn’t replace their main diet, but can add supplemental nutrition.

I’ll explain more about the benefits and risks of canned peas and carrots for chickens shortly. Let’s start with why they enjoy peas and carrots at all!

Why Do Chickens Like Peas and Carrots?

Can Chickens Eat Canned Peas and Carrots

Chickens aren’t just mindless seed-eating machines – they have preferences and tastes like any animal! When given the choice, chickens eagerly consume fresh fruits and vegetables for a few reasons:

  • Taste – chickens react to sweet flavors from sugars and starches
  • Texture – the crisp crunch of many fruits/veggies is appealing
  • Nutrition – fruits/veggies provide key vitamins and minerals
  • Natural foraging – chickens evolved eating diverse plant foods
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Both peas and carrots hit the sweet spot by offering a sweet, pleasing flavor and crunchy texture. Peas are naturally starchy and sweet, while carrots contain natural sugars. That scrumptious taste and crisp bite makes them desirable morsels for chickens.

These veggies also deliver important nutrients, like vitamin A, potassium, protein and more. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A for chickens, which supports eye and skin health.

And peas provide plant-based protein, magnesium for egg production, and bone-building vitamin K. So chickens gain tangible nutritional benefits from these treats.

Finally, produce foraging allows chickens to engage in natural behaviors. Wild junglefowl scratch and peck through vegetable matter all day long searching for seeds, leaves, shoots and insects. Modern chickens retain this urge to forage. So feeding garden veggies lets them exhibit those innate instincts.

Nutritional Pros and Cons of Canned Peas and Carrots for Chickens

Can Chickens Eat Canned Peas and Carrots

Fresh veggies from the farmers market or your own garden are the best option for chickens. But canned peas and carrots can also be fed in moderation.

Here’s a comparison of the nutritional pros and cons:


  • Provide vitamins A, K, potassium, magnesium
  • Extra protein and carbs from peas
  • Convenient and affordable source of produce
  • Softer texture is easier to digest than raw


  • Lower nutrient content vs. fresh vegetables
  • Added sodium from canning process
  • Potential for gassiness if fed too much
  • Risk of digestive upset from sudden diet change

As you can see, the vitamin and mineral content makes canned veggies a decent supplemental feed in small amounts. However, the added sodium and lower nutrient levels make fresh produce a better regular treat. Canned veggies should only be an occasional substitution for the real thing.

Moderating portions is crucial, as too many canned peas or carrots could lead to digestive troubles. The starch in peas may cause gas, while the high vitamin A in carrots poses a toxicity risk if overfed. Introduce any new treat slowly and watch for any reaction.

How Much Canned Peas and Carrots to Feed Chickens

When giving canned peas and carrots as a snack, tiny portions are key.

Can Chickens Eat Canned Peas and Carrots

Here are some feeding guidelines to follow:

  • Limit to 2-3 times per week max
  • Feed no more than 1-2 tbsp per chicken
  • Mix into feed vs. free feeding
  • Remove any leftovers after 30 minutes

For my flock of 5 hens, I’ll add about 1/4 cup of canned veggies into their feed a couple times a week.

This encourages them to eat a balanced meal, rather than fill up on just peas or carrots. Free feeding increases the risk of overconsumption.

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I also limit snack time to 30 minutes or so. Chickens tend to ignore veggies once they get soggy. Retrieving uneaten veggies prevents wastage and rotting. Following these tips will keep your chickens happy and healthy!

The Verdict: Yes, Canned Peas and Carrots Are Safe for Chickens!

So in summary – yes, you can safely feed small amounts of canned peas and carrots to chickens as a supplemental treat. Both provide useful vitamins, minerals, protein and carbs. In moderation, they make a fine addition to a balanced diet.

Just be sure to buy low-sodium veggies and rinse them before feeding. Introduce new treats gradually and watch for any signs of digestive upset. Remove any leftovers within 30 minutes. Follow these tips, and your chickens will enjoy the occasional canned veggie indulgence!

How to Prepare Canned Peas and Carrots for Chickens

Canned veggies require some prep before serving them to chickens. Here are some tips for getting peas and carrots ready for your flock:

  • Drain and rinse – Drain off all liquid from the can, then rinse under fresh water. This removes excess salt, preservatives and water-soluble vitamins that chickens can’t absorb.
  • Mash or chop – Whole peas are a choking hazard for chickens. Use a fork to lightly mash peas to a chunky texture. Chop carrots into bite-sized pieces no longer than 1/4 inch.
  • Avoid added ingredients – Skip canned veggies with added sugars, fats or oils. Stick to plain peas and sliced carrots.
  • Mix with feed – Stir mashed peas and chopped carrots into the flock’s feed ration. This preventsselective feeding and encourages balanced nutrition.

Properly preparing canned veggies takes a just couple minutes but makes a big difference in safety. Draining removes unnecessary sodium, while mashing minimizes choking risk. Mixing into feed balances the meal for optimal nutrition. Follow these steps each time before serving canned treats.

Ideal Frequency for Feeding Canned Peas and Carrots

When giving canned veggies as supplemental feed, how often is ideal? Here are some recommendations:

  • 2-3 times per week at most
  • 1-2 times per week better for adult chickens
  • Every 2-3 days for growing chickens under 20 weeks
  • Always mix with main feed – avoid daily free feeding

Growing juvenile chickens under 20 weeks old have higher vitamin needs, so they can tolerate more frequent treats. For mature adult hens, 1-2 times per week is plenty. Too much can lead to nutritional imbalance, obesity and loose droppings.

I also advise mixing canned veggies into feed rather than free feeding. This prevents chickens filling up only on peas and carrots. It also forces them to ingest some feed first for balanced intake. Follow these frequency guidelines for optimal canned veggie supplementing.

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Potential Concerns with Overfeeding Canned Peas and Carrots

Moderation is always key when supplementing feed. But overdoing canned veggies can cause some specific health issues including:

  • Nutritional imbalance – Too many peas or carrots may lead to vitamin deficiencies or toxicity.
  • Digestive troubles – Excess starchy veggies may cause loose droppings or diarrhea.
  • Obesity – Too many high-calorie treats can lead to overweight chickens.
  • Reduced feed intake – Filling up on veggies may reduce consumption of balanced feed.

That’s why guidelines suggest only occasional, limited portions of canned veggies. Free feeding or overfeeding carrots and peas can have unintended consequences. Monitor your flock’s droppings and body condition when introducing new supplemental feeds. Adjust portions or frequency if any concerns arise.

Other People Foods Chickens Can Eat

Beyond canned veggies, chickens relish many other kitchen scraps and people foods. Here are some additional human foods that chickens love:

  • Fresh produce – Fruits like berries, melons, citrus, apples. Veggies like leafy greens, broccoli, squash, fresh peas.
  • Cooked grains – Small amounts of rice, pasta, oats or barley.
  • Legumes – Cooked beans or peas for extra protein.
  • Baked goods – Limited shredded wheat bread, muffins or cornbread.
  • Dairy – Small amounts of plain yogurt, cheese or cottage cheese.

Of course, variety and moderation remains key. I recommend picking 2-3 different kitchen scraps to offer per day.

This prevents boredom and encourages well-rounded nutrition. Always stay alert for any signs of digestive upset.

FAQs About Feeding Chickens Canned Veggies

Here are answers to some common questions about feeding canned peas and carrots to chickens:

Is it okay if the canned veggies have added salt?

Avoid salt-added veggies when possible. But light salting is okay occasionally – just rinse before feeding.

Can chickens eat veggie blends with peas and carrots?

Yes, mixed veggie blends are fine. Just check ingredients to avoid onions, garlic or other unsafe veggies.

What about corn and green beans – can chickens eat those canned?

Yes, canned corn kernels and green beans also make decent supplemental treats when rinsed and mashed.

Are peas better for chickens than carrots, or vice versa?

Both peas and carrots are safe and provide benefits. For variety, I recommend offering some of each over the course of a week.

Let me know if you have any other questions! I’m always happy help out fellow flock owners.

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