Can Chickens Eat Bird Seed? Avoid Feeding Them Too Much

If you enjoy watching birds in your backyard, you may have birdseed to feed them. If you have backyard chickens, you may wonder if you can feed them birdseed as well.

So, can chickens eat birdseed? Yes, chickens can eat birdseed. It’s best to feed them in moderation since birdseed is usually high in fat and doesn’t have enough vitamins and minerals to meet the dietary needs of the bird. 

Is Bird Seed Safe For Chickens?

Birdseed is safe for your chickens to eat. It doesn’t contain anything harmful that could hurt them.

However, feeding them too much birdseed could be unsafe for them. This is due to the high amount of fat content that’s in the seed.

Feeding them too much birdseed could lead to obesity and heart problems for the chickens.

Therefore, as long as the birdseed is fed to your chickens in moderation, it is safe for them. Also, giving them birdseed to eat is a great way to boost their nutrition.

Is It Healthy For Chickens To Eat Bird Seed?

Birdseed is made up of different seeds and other food. It could include sunflower seeds, thistle, safflower, white millet, cracked corn, peanuts, sorghum, and peanut. All of these combined will be nutritious and healthy for the chickens to eat.

Most of the ingredients used in birdseed are high in protein, fats, and carbohydrates.

As for protein, this nutrient is essential for the overall health of the chickens. They need protein to build and maintain strong muscles. It’s also important for the development of eggs.

When it comes to fats, it’s also important for the chickens. In small amounts, fat is beneficial for the chickens. During the winter, fats help keep them warm.

Avoid giving them too much food that contains fats. When consumed in large amounts, it could lead to obesity, heart problems, and fatty liver.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Bird Seed?

Baby chickens can eat birdseed, but it’s best to wait until they are about 3 weeks old.

When they are under 3 weeks, their digestive system has not developed enough to digest the birdseed. If they eat the seeds, it could cause impaction.

Instead, chicks should be fed starter feed for the first few weeks. The feed is formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet the chick’s dietary needs.

Once baby chickens are about 3 weeks old, you can start to feed them birdseed. Be sure to give them only a small amount at each feeding, since birdseed is high in fat.

Can Chickens Eat Wild Bird Seed?

Wild birdseed is safe for chickens to eat. It’s loaded with nutrition that will benefit your chickens.

However, wild birdseed is also high in fat, so you will want to feed them in moderation. This means a small amount at each feeding, once or twice per week.

How Do You Feed Bird Seed To Your Chickens

When it comes to birdseed, there are several methods by which you can feed them.

The first method is simply to toss the birdseed on the ground. The chickens will start to peck and eat the seeds.

The second method is to mix the birdseed with other food. You can mix it with fruits, vegetables, and chicken feeds. Doing so will help give the chickens a boost in nutrition.

Since birdseed is high in fat, you can sprinkle it on their food to help build their fat reserve in the winter. This will help keep them warm when the weather turns cold.

How Many Bird Seed Should Chickens Eat?

Birdseed should be fed to your chickens in small amounts. While the seed contains a lot of nutrition, it also has a high amount of fat. For chickens, excessive consumption of fats is unhealthy, as it could lead to obesity and heart problems.

For an adult chicken, a couple of birdseed is enough for them to eat. For baby chickens, one or two seeds are plenty for them to enjoy.

How Often Should You Feed Bird Seed To Your Chickens?

You should feed birdseed to your chickens in moderation. Birdseed contains a high amount of fat content, which is unhealthy for them.

Also, it doesn’t have enough vitamins and minerals to meet the nutrition needs of the chickens.

Birdseed and other treats should only make up 10% of their entire diet. The rest should come from commercial feeds. The feeds are formulated with the right amount of nutrition to meet their daily nutrition needs.

Therefore, you should only feed birdseed to your chickens, once or twice per week.

Other Seeds That Chickens Can Eat

Pumpkin Seed

Pumpkin seeds are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals. You can feed them just the seed or along with the entire pumpkin. Adult chickens can eat the pumpkin seeds without any issues. Their crop is well-developed and able to break down the seeds.

As for younger chickens, you’ll need to break the seeds into smaller pieces first. This will prevent them from choking on the seeds and avoid crop impaction.

Sunflower Seed

Sunflower seeds are loaded with nutrition, which is healthy for the chickens to eat. Since the sunflower seed is large, it’s best to avoid feeding any to the baby chickens. For adult chickens, you can toss them on the ground, and. They’ll peck at the seed until it breaks apart.

Watermelon Seed

Watermelon seeds are safe for chickens to eat. Since they don’t have teeth to grind the seeds, they’ll swallow it whole. For adult chickens, they have a crop that is well-developed, so they can digest it without any issues. As for baby chickens, avoid feeding them any watermelon as it could cause them to choke on it and crop impaction. You’ll have to crack the watermelon seed open and give the chicks just the seed inside if you want to feed them any.


Birdseed is safe to feed your chickens, but only in moderation. The birdseed is made up of different seeds, so it contains a high amount of fat. Too much fat in their diet can lead to health problems for the chickens. As long as you give birdseed to your chickens in small amounts at each feeding, once or twice per week, birdseed makes a healthy treat for them.