Can Chickens eat rice and is it completely safe for chickens?

Joy Dolcini

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Raising chicken in the backyard is fun and easy. There are no better and healthier alternatives than rice to get high-protein natural eggs and qualitative meats. But always make sure that your chicken eats nutritious foods and stays healthy as much as possible. Rice is one of the remarkable contenders. 

The most basic question that almost every farmer has to face is that can they eat rice? Is it completely safe for chickens? Well, the answer to this venerable question is yes! Every type of rice is completely safe and okay for your chicken.

Chickens love to eat both cooked and raw rice. It covers the lack of protein and calories in the chicken’s body. Undoubtedly, this calorie-rich food is a perfect addition to your chicken’s daily food routines. If you follow some guidelines, then you can feed it to your hens every day without any worries.

Can chickens eat rice?

can chickens eat rice

Strange but true chickens love to eat all types of rice. We have seen since childhood that chickens love to eat rice and our parents let them eat rice regularly. Your poultry feeding regimen needs healthy and nutritious foods.

Affordable! Easy to prepare. In short a perfect daily meal for your chickens. As a farmer, it’s your responsibility to feed healthy and nutritious food to your chickens. Plenty of vitamins and minerals makes it nourishing and wholesome for every animal.

Chickens are fond of grains and seeds. In the case of foods, they are not choosy at all. Almost all poultry keepers know that rice is a beneficial investment for chickens’ health and growth. You just need to consider some aspects before offering rice to them.

Such as is it completely safe for them, how to prepare it, the nutritious level of rice, and which types of rice are perfect for them. Rice has varieties and all types of rice are equally edible and safe.

Whether it’s brown or white, cooked or raw this is the healthiest choice on your chicken diet list. If you still have questions and confusion about the edibility of rice then keep reading further.

Can chickens eat cooked rice?

Can chickens eat cooked rice

Chickens are truly a wonder of nature. Like other pets they love to be pampered and treated by delicious foods. They can have most of the food from your kitchen. Cooked rice is one of them. They especially love cooked rice when they get really hungry.

Texture, taste and size makes it easy to digest for chickens. Every kind and breeds of chicken has its own preference of rice. But most of them like to eat cooked rice. It has a unique flavor of boiling which attracts the chickens most.

Compared to cooked rice, raw rice is a little blunt and distasteful. So, if you have any leftover rice at home, you can easily give it to your backyard chickens instead of throwing it away.

Boiled rice is an excellent source of iron and calcium. It contains calories, carbohydrates, fiber and protein. This is the main reason that rice is the staple food of all animals. Instant rice is one healthy alternative to raw rice and bread for your chickens.

Can chickens eat uncooked rice?

Can chickens eat uncooked rice

Yes! Raw uncooked rice is acceptable and desirable to chickens. Chickens can eat and digest raw rice easily. Few of my farmer friends prefer to feed uncooked rice to their chickens.

The most popular rumor of raw rice is that it will get mixed with water in the chicken’s stomach, increase, and lead to a burning stomach.  The only fault of this theory is the rice needs to be boiled to burst the stomach. 

But no food gets enough time to expand in a chicken’s body because it starts to digest rapidly due to its fast digestion process. Grains are full of proteins and minerals. So it blends and mixes easily with water and stomach acid.

Studies have found that only pigeons and doves can get negative side-effects from eating raw rice. There is no case or negative review of chicken-eating raw rice. 

All types of cereal grains are healthy and easy to digest. Also, you can cultivate rice easily. So if your chickens get into the habit of eating it, you don’t have to bother much. All my chickens love to eat raw rice and I tried to feed raw rice once a day.

What are chickens favorite treats?

It’s very difficult to say, what is your favorite food of chicken? They always eat no matter the time or occasion. But when it comes to a special treat they prefer to eat specific vegetables and fruits. Following a list of plants and foods is very much liked by the chickens.


Dark leafy greens and lettuce are one favorite meals of chickens. Most of the farmers offer lettuce to their flocks as a special treat. Besides this carrots, pumpkins and cucumber are also very nutritious for chicken’s health and growth. Chickens love to eat carrots Swiss chard, squash, and beets in their regular meal.


Just like humans, chickens are also fond of fruits. Fruits play an important role in chicken digestions and bone strengthening. It contains vitamins which are also good for their brain development. But always feed fruits at moderate levels. Watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries are the three most favorite fruits of chicken.


Herbs works like medicine for chickens. You can feed lavender, mint, oregano, and parsley often as a healthy treat. Your chickens will never get sick if you feed them herbs regularly.


Chicken has a very delicate digestion process. Yogurt can boost chickens’ healthy digestive system. Most people think that yogurt cannot be fed daily. But a little amount of yogurt is not harmful to them as they love the taste of yogurt.

What Not To Feed Your Chickens

Chickens eat whatever they get in front of their eyes. Generally, chickens don’t demand any specific food but it’s essential to serve healthy foods and avoid some specific foods to chickens. The following list of food is harmful to a chicken’s well-being.

Green potatoes:

Chickens love to eat potatoes a lot. Normal potatoes are completely fine to serve to the chickens. But green potatoes comprise solanine which is a fatal toxin. The skin of green potatoes can take chickens’ life. You feed sweet potatoes instead of potatoes which is an excellent source of nutrition.                      


Avocado is nutritious for humans and many other pets. But all the parts of avocados are noxious for chickens to eat. The fleshy part of avocados can create a chemical reaction on a chicken’s stomach. Pits and skins of avocados are also fatal for chickens due to their toxic elements. 

Tomato, eggplant leaves, and pepper:

Vegetables are fatal for chickens. Tomatoes, eggplant leaves, and pepper contain solanine. It can create a negative impact on chicken digestion. Though cooked eggplants and tomatoes are okay to feed chickens. But it’s wise to avoid these vegetables even after the cooking process.


Be aware of chocolates. Chocolates are extremely sweet and contain toxic elements. So if you love your chickens never give them chocolates to eat.

Raw eggs:

Egg contains unlimited protein. You would be surprised to know that chicken can eat their own eggs. So, save the eggs as much as you can. You can scramble the eggs if you want to serve raw eggs to chickens.

Onions and garlic:

Onion and garlic are two common vegetables that should not be fed to the chickens. Both the food contains poisonous chemicals and creates a serious side effect on the chicken’s body. This chemical is so deadly that it can cause anemia in chickens. Also, it creates a deadly effect on their eggshells.

Dry or uncooked beans:

Most dangerous food for chicken is uncooked beans. It works like poison for them. It includes Hemaglutin which is one deadliest toxin among all. So skip it every time.

Salty foods:

Excessive salt is deadly for your feathered friends. Yet, a little amount of salt is okay for chickens. But heavily-salted foods are highly avoidable and destructive for chickens.

Dairy products:

Lactose is destructive to the chicken’s stomach. If you think that it is a good source of calcium then you might be mistaken. Because dairy products are made of lactose which can overpower the quality of calcium power in the chicken’s body.

Raw peanuts:

raw peanuts have missed reviews. We all know that it is bad for some animals such as squirrels, pigeons, and some other breed of birds. So, don’t feed peanuts to your chickens unless it’s an emergency.  

Still Have Questions?

Is white rice good for chickens?

Chickens can eat different kinds of foods. White and brown rice is the most common food of chickens. We all might have heard that white rice is harmful for the chicken stomach.

But it’s totally superstitious and a popular rumor among farmers. A little amount of raw white rice is not bad for a chicken’s health.

What foods are toxic to chickens?

Chickens are naturally foody and love to eat a lot. We always want to feed almost every near the edge food to our backyard chickens. Which is absolutely wrong. Major toxic foods of chickens are avocados, nightshades, raw green potatoes, salty foods, onions, raw eggs, apple seeds, sugar and chocolates. Some are so fatal that they can become the cause of a chicken’s death.

Is it safe to feed birds Rice?

So far I researched, I’ve found that rice is one safe meal for birds. So yea it is safe for birds as well as chickens. All the components of rice are tolerable and nutritious for the chicken’s health. Vitamins, minerals, and other plant components of rice are wholesome for bird’s health as well as humans. In-fact feeding rice to the birds is probably the easiest thing on earth.

Can chickens eat cooked rice and beans?

Cooked rice and beans are perfectly harmless for chickens. Also, if I talk about nutrition then both rice and beans are highly nutritive and digestive for chickens. It’s wise to avoid feeding raw and dried beans to chickens. Uncooked rice can be a surprise treat for your flock. So if you want to make a healthy diet lost for your chicken then rice and beans will be the perfect addition. 

Is Bread Bad for chickens?

Bread is one complicated food for chickens. Always maintain moderation while feeding bread to chickens. Chicken face light difficulties in digesting pieces of bread.  Although bread does not cause much harm to chickens, it should be fed less. If you want to make your chickens healthy and chubby then you can feed them bread soaked in milk.

What vegetables are bad for chickens?

I must say vegetables are poisonous to chickens. Veggies have always been a threat for chickens.  Major vegetables that you should avoid are green potatoes, tomatoes, pepper, and eggplant leaves. It contains solanine which is poisonous for chickens and can affect the nervous system of chickens. Pits and skins of avocados are also harmful to chickens.

Can chickens eat carrots?

Yes! Carrots are perfect for chicken digestions and mood swings. Both raw and cooked carrots are meant to add to the chicken’s diet list. The green part of carrots is also high in nutritious goodies. Chickens love to eat chopped carrots. Avoid feeding canned carrots. Because it tastes salty which is unsafe for the chicken’s stomach.

Can chickens eat banana peels?

Banana peels are very nutritious which is what chickens like very much. But mostly chickens avoid eating banana peels due to their sizes. Chickens will find interest in banana peels if you grind them little with a food processor.

Can chickens eat rice cakes?

Chicken can eat rice cakes but it has little amount of nutritious value. Hungry chickens avoid eating this because it can’t satisfy their stomachs. However, chickens enjoy rice cakes as an occasional treat. Rice cakes are a low-calorie food. So never replace it with the essential and nutritious foods of chickens. Rice cakes contain sugar which is not good for chickens.

So the Point is…

Rice is a promising source of proteins and minerals. Doesn’t matter if it’s cooked or raw, a plate of rice is one delicious treat for your chickens. So, Can chickens eat rice? It’s just a curious question, not a matter of concern.

The most popular myth among farmers is that raw rice is harmful to a chicken’s tummy.  Luckily the truth is uncooked rice is that raw rice that causes no harm to a chicken stomach. They can easily swallow it without any pain or issues. You can even feed them long grain, short grain, Spanish rice, or even Mexican rice.

Chickens often need a nourishing balanced food for their health and productivity. Rice is one best option for this. So, stop thinking about the myth you heard and bring some raw and cooked rice for your flock today.

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