Emergency Feed: What to feed chickens if you run out (and can’t buy more)

Chickens rely on high-quality layer feed for their survival. As a pet owner, you will have to ensure that your pet bird has access to quality food. However, you do not need to spend more on the food of your backyard chickens.

Instead, you will have to act smart and focus on healthier options. Even if you do not have enough chicken food, you can give human foods.

In the following, I will discuss what to feed chickens if you run out of feed. 

Your bird can eat a wide variety of foods, unlike other animals. Yes, you can feed your chickens most of the things. They love to have a protein-rich diet. They eat both alive and dead insects. Also, they can have wheat, sunflower, vegetables, and fruits. Besides, you can feed leafy vegetables to your bird. You can give spinach, kale, and lettuce.

In brief, you can have many options for bird food.


How long can chickens live without weed?

If you have newly hatched chicks, they can live for long hours without water and food. Yes, newly hatched chicks can survive on their albumen’s nutrients and moisture for around seventy-two hours. But the young chicks will not have the reserve like the adult ones.

During the growing phase, they will need frequent water to prevent dehydration. Some young chicks can die if you do not offer them water for six hours. Therefore, you will have to ensure that your young chicks have access to enough water. 

When it comes to adult chickens, they can survive for forty-eight hours without water. If the weather is hot, they cannot survive more than eighty hours.

Hence, you will have to consider the weather conditions. Weather can impact these birds adversely like humans. Even if chickens can survive without food for a few to several hours, you should not create such a situation for a pet bird. Chickens need food and water to stay healthy.

If they do not get the required nutrients, protein, and water, they can be prone to infections. Hence, you will have to ensure that your tiny bird has access to high-quality food and water. 


Kitchen scraps: What can chickens eat? And what human food can you feed chickens?

As mentioned earlier, chickens can eat a lot of types of food. You might not need more effort to get food for your flock. If you do not have enough chicken feed, you can consider offering your food.

However, you will have to know what you should give and what you should not. Also, I will suggest you wait for three to four months before introducing any human foods. When it comes to chicks, they need enough protein. Protein will support their growth.

For adult chickens, you can consider different options. You can feed them bread, cooked meat, corn, meat, fruits, grains, oatmeal, peas, and vegetables. However, you will have to avoid mouldy bread.

While offering meats, you will have to cut them into small pieces. Otherwise, meat might cause choking issues. You can offer dried, raw, and cooked corn. All can be helpful for your flock.

You will have many options for fruits. Yes, you can give berries, apples, melons, and grapes. Your bird will enjoy all of them. You can make small pieces for easy feeding. In the grains, you can give wheat, rice, and some other grains.

Besides, you can offer raw and cooked vegetables. Also, you can feed lettuce, cucumbers, chard, cabbage, spinach, squash, tomatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, and potatoes to chickens.

You can feed all the foods mentioned above. However, you will have to avoid a few foods. You cannot offer salt, raw potato peels, processed foods, soft drinks, chocolate, avocado skin, and a few other things to your bird.

If you feed a little salt, it might not hurt the stomach of your bird. But when the amount is more, your chicken might experience stomach issues. Also, processed foods can harm chickens. But you can offer homemade foods to chickens. Homemade foods will not cause much harm.

However, if you give a pizza and frozen microwaved meals, your bird might not feel easy. Hence, you will have to avoid processed foods.

Potatoes are safe for chickens. You can offer cooked and raw potatoes to your flock. However, potatoes belong to the Nightshade family. Therefore, their peels can be harmful. When the peels are green, they contain alkaloid solanine. It is toxic and can harm your pet bird. But you can offer sweet potatoes.

They do not belong to the Nightshade family, and they do not have harmful property. Hence, you can offer them safely to your bird.

In addition to all these, you will have to avoid avocado pits and skins. You might not be aware that both these contain fungicidal and persin toxins. These contents can be fatal to your birds. Apart from that, you will have to avoid spoiled foods. Spoiled foods might have harmful content and can harm your backyard chickens.

Moreover, you need to avoid greasy foods. These foods might cause digestive problems to chickens.

Many pet owners offer meat to their birds. Yes, you can consider feeding meat. But you will have to avoid the raw options. Raw meat might cause harm to your chickens. Hence, it is better to go with safer choices.


Can chickens live on just grass?

Your chickens can eat grass. Yes, it is safe for these birds. Also, grass has many nutrients that can help the chicken to grow and stay healthy. But you will have to ensure that your bird cannot access treated grass. The treated grass will have chemicals, and it can harm your bird beyond your expectation.

Even if chickens can eat grass, they cannot survive on it. You cannot allow your chicken to live only on the grass. The grass is healthy for chickens, but it will not offer all the required nutrients to chickens. It is worth mentioning that chickens are not single stomached.

However, cattle and sheep are single stomached, and they can survive on grass. But chickens will need a nutritionally balanced diet. Hence, you will have to add different types of food to their diet.