Can Chickens Eat Bread?

Chickens can consume multiple types of foods since these birds are omnivorous like other birds. These birds can also eat bread occasionally since bread isn’t toxic to chickens and poultry. Nonetheless, chickens shouldn’t strictly eat bread only. They require a combination of different healthy foods to keep them healthy.

Is Bread Safe for Chickens to Eat?

Yes, bread is safe for chickens and they will happily consume all types of bread. They can eat either white bread or whole bread, or whatever type of bread you provide to your birds. Chickens can also eat stale bread, although it isn’t the safest food for chickens.

Fresh bread is the best food choice for chickens since it doesn’t contain harmful bacteria that can harm your chickens’ guts, exposing them to digestive problems in the long run.

How Much Bread Can Chickens Eat?

While bread is safe for all chicken breeds, it isn’t the healthiest food for chickens. Bread is basically junk food for chickens rather than a nutritious treat. Your chickens should not rely entirely on bread, but a combination of healthy foods. While you can feed chickens with bread, you should moderately introduce bread to your birds.

The amount of bread you provide to your birds depends on the type of bread you want to introduce to your flock. If you’re going to give your chickens white bread, for instance, you should provide each chicken between 2 grams and 3 grams of white bread. Whole bread is more nutritious and satisfying than white bread.

Chickens should consume between 3 and 5 grams of whole bread. Your birds shouldn’t eat more than two grams of stale bread to keep them from experiencing digestion problems in the long run.

What Happens if Chickens Eat Too Much Bread?

Your chickens won’t die after overeating bread. Given the poor nutritional value of bread, bread isn’t the best food option for chickens, especially chicks and other growing chickens. Besides, too much bread isn’t good for chickens. Here is what will most likely happen if your chickens overeat bread.

– Too Much Bread Can Cause Choking

Chickens crave bread like other types of domestic birds, such as ducks. They will eat any bread you introduce to them. Nonetheless, too much bread can choke your birds. Too much whole bread is likely to choke your chickens since whole bread expands once it gets into the chickens’ mouths.

Thus, the bread will get stuck in their throat, especially when the chickens are trying to swallow huge pieces of whole bread. Apart from blocking the throat, whole bread also blocks the chickens’ crop.

The crop is ultimately the primary stage of your chickens’ digestive process. Wet the whole bread first before giving it to your chickens to avoid an instance where your chickens will choke from eating whole bread.

– Too Much Bread can Affect the Digestive System

Too much bread will quickly fill up your chickens’ crop, which is the part that food accumulates once the chickens swallow food. With too much bread in their crops, your chickens will have problems digesting the bread, since the excess bread will cause a catastrophic blockage.

Furthermore, chickens’ gizzards can’t stand too much bread, whether white or whole bread. A chicken’s gizzard can’t effectively break down large amounts of bread, and your chickens will get stomach upsets after overeating bread.

– Too Much Bread Can Cause Deadly Fermentation

All types of breads contain sugar and yeast. Both yeast and sugar ferment in chickens’ crops, raising PH levels in the chickens’ crops. The deadly fermentation in the crop after giving your chickens an excess amount of bread can kill your birds.

– Too Much Bread Can Cause protein Deficit

Bread is junk food for chickens and thus a nutritionally void treat for chickens. Don’t expect your chickens to derive any nutritional value from bread. Chickens, particularly hens and chicks, need high-protein foods for development and egg production.

Although you can occasionally feed your chickens with bread, bread doesn’t have an adequate amount of protein your chickens need in the long run. Feeding your birds with too much protein will make your chickens suffer from protein deficit, halting their growth and egg production over time.

– Too Much Bread Can Result in Poor Eggshell Quality

Besides having low protein content, bread also has low calcium content.  Calcium is essential for egg quality. Too much bread can fill up your hens with excess calories, leaving them with no room to eat and digest calcium-rich foods.

Your chickens will suffer from a calcium deficit if they consume excessive amounts of bread in the long run. A calcium deficit will make your hens lay eggs with a poor-quality eggshell. The overall quality of your chicken eggs will also be poor due to the calcium deficit that occurs when chickens feed on too much bread.

Can Chickens Eat Bread with Mold?

No, chickens shouldn’t consume any food with mold, including bread. Feeding your chickens with bread that has mold can make the birds sick. Moldy bread is stale bread, and stale bread can fill your chickens’ guts with harmful bacteria that expose them to digestive upsets.

Is Bread Safe for Baby Chickens?

No, bread isn’t safe for baby chicks. Bread can choke your baby chicks and fill up their crops, hindering them from effectively digesting the bread. Furthermore, bread lacks the proper nutrition baby chicks require for optimal development.

Is Dough Safe for Chickens?

Chickens may enjoy eating the dough. However, the dough isn’t safe for chickens since it contains too much yeast that can lead to fermentation in their crops, ultimately exposing the birds to digestive problems. Besides being unsafe for chickens like bread, dough lacks adequate nutritional content that chickens of all ages need for optimal development.


Although bread is safe for chickens if your birds eat bread occasionally and in moderation, bread shouldn’t be the first food choice for your birds. Replace bread with more nutritious chicken foods. The best chicken foods should be rich in calcium, vitamins, minerals, protein, and calories.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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