Can Chickens Eat Potato Skins?


Updated on:

To answer can chickens eat potato skins is Yes. Chickens can have potato peels, but if the peels turn green in the sun, they’re not safe. The green part has a toxin called solanine.

Baby chickens can consume potato peels, but it’s advisable to wait until they are around 3 weeks old. Before this age, their digestive systems may not be fully developed to handle peels properly. During the first 8 weeks, provide them with a starter feed formulated with essential nutrients for optimal growth. Once they reach 3 weeks, introduce boiled and chopped potato peels, ensuring they are in small, digestible pieces. Ensure access to grit as chicks need it to break down peels in their crops.

Pros and Cons of Feeding Potato Peels to Chickens

Here’s a simple table outlining a few pros and cons of feeding potato peels to chickens:

1Rich in Nutrients: Contains vitamins, fiber, iron, potassiumRisk of Solanine: Exposure to sunlight may cause the peel to develop solanine, a harmful toxin
2Dietary Variety: Adds diversity to their dietTexture: Raw potato peels may be tough for chickens to eat
3Immune Support: Vitamin C promotes a strong immune systemModeration: Should be given in moderation to avoid an unbalanced diet
4Digestive Aid: Fiber content can aid in digestionPreparation: Cooking and chopping may be necessary for easier consumption
5Low Cost: Potato peels are often a byproduct and cost-effectiveIndividual Preferences: Some chickens may not find potato peels appealing

A potato is a vegetable that grows underground. It’s a starchy, versatile food that can be cooked in various ways, like boiling, baking, or frying.

Solanine is a natural chemical found in some plants, like potatoes and tomatoes. In high amounts, it can be harmful, so it’s important to avoid eating green or sprouted potatoes, as they may contain more solanine.

Are Potato Skins Good for Chickens?

The question “Can chickens eat potato peels?” might have crossed your mind more than once. The short answer is yes, chickens can indeed munch on potato peels. These kitchen scraps can be a tasty addition to their diet, offering them a variety of nutrients.

Is It Beneficial for Chickens to Consume Potato Peels? Can chickens eat potato skins?

Potato peels boast numerous essential nutrients for chickens, serving as a rich source of fiber, iron, potassium, and vitamins B6 and C. Consequently, incorporating potato peels into your chickens’ diet can contribute to their overall health.

Here are some advantages of including potato peels in your chickens’ meals:

Enhanced Immune System

The high vitamin C content in potato peels supports a robust immune system in chickens. Regular intake of vitamin C-rich foods can reduce the likelihood of chickens falling ill, and if they do get sick, it aids in a speedy recovery.

Improved Digestion: can chickens eat potato skins

With a notable fiber content, potato peels play a role in enhancing digestion for chickens. As fiber is not absorbed by the body, it promotes the smooth passage of food through the digestive tract, preventing constipation and ensuring optimal digestive health for your feathered friends.


Potato peels contain a variety of vitamins that offer numerous health benefits. B-1 (thiamin) supports glucose metabolism and is vital for normal nerve, muscle, and heart function. B-3 (niacin) aids in energy production and hormone synthesis, while B-6 is crucial for metabolism and neurotransmitter production affecting mood. Vitamin C serves as an antioxidant, potentially reducing inflammation and preventing cellular damage, promoting overall resilience and health in chickens.

Cooked Potato Skins: A Safe Bet? Can Chickens eat potato skins?

But what about cooked potato skins? Many of us have the habit of discarding the skins after baking or boiling potatoes. Surprisingly, these cooked potato skins can also be on the menu for your chickens. Just ensure that they are free from additives like excessive salt or seasonings.

From Chips to Peels

Now, what about potato chips? While chickens are known to be curious eaters, it’s best to steer clear of feeding them potato chips. The high salt and fat content, along with additional flavorings, make them an unsuitable treat for your feathered companions.

About Potato Peelings

Potato peelings, when fresh and untreated, can be a nutritious snack for your chickens. However, there’s a catch – exposure to sunlight can turn the peel green, indicating the presence of solanine, a harmful toxin. So, if you’re contemplating sharing potato peelings with your chickens, make sure they haven’t undergone any unfavorable changes.

Raw Potato Skins: Ya or No? can chickens eat potato skins

Raw potato skins fall into the gray area. While chickens can technically eat raw potato skins, it’s essential to be cautious. The solanine can be present in raw potatoes as well, and the concentration might be higher in the skin.

Other Vegetables Suitable for Chickens


Chickens can enjoy broccoli, a vegetable rich in vitamins and low in fat, making it a healthy addition to their diet. While raw broccoli may be tough for them, consider cooking it before offering it to your chickens. Serve either the whole broccoli or cut it into smaller, manageable pieces.

Celery: can chickens eat potato skins

Celery serves as a delightful treat for chickens, providing essential vitamins B2, B6, C, and K, along with a small amount of fiber, calcium, and potassium. Before serving, remove the fibrous strings from the celery to make it more palatable for your feathered companions.


Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, asparagus can be a nutritious addition to your chickens’ diet. Although some chickens may not readily eat asparagus, you can cook it and incorporate it into a salad. Be cautious not to overfeed them, as excessive asparagus consumption can alter the taste of their eggs.

Safe Substitutes for Potato Peels: can chickens eat potato skins

Cooked Rice or Pasta

Opt for plain varieties with no sauces or seasonings, as cooked rice or pasta provides valuable carbohydrates for chickens.

Leafy Greens

Nutrient-rich options like spinach, kale, and lettuce can aid in digestion and contribute to the overall health of your chickens.

Cooked Beans

Ensure beans are thoroughly cooked, as raw beans can be toxic. Properly cooked beans eliminate this risk and offer a nutritious alternative.

Cabbage: can chickens eat potato skins

Hanging a whole cabbage in the coop not only serves as a fun pecking toy but also provides a safe and entertaining treat for chickens.

Winter Squash and Pumpkin

Seeds and flesh from winter squash and pumpkin are both safe and healthy, offering chickens a delightful pecking experience.

Cucumbers and Zucchinis

Low in calories and rich in hydration and nutrients, cucumbers and zucchinis make for a refreshing and healthy addition to your chickens’ diet.


Chickens can enjoy both raw and cooked carrots, including the tops, as a tasty and nutritious treat.


Many herbs such as parsley, oregano, and basil are safe for chickens, promoting better health and adding variety to their diet.


Chickens often relish both the peas and pods, making them a versatile and enjoyable snack that can be given either raw or cooked.


Moderation is key, but whole grains like wheat, barley, and oats can be a healthy inclusion in your chickens’ diet, providing them with essential nutrients.

Final Verdict

Fresh is Best: Opt for fresh potato peels and ensure they haven’t turned green due to exposure to sunlight.

Moderation is Key: Like any treat, potato peels should be given in moderation. Too much of any one food can upset the balance of a chicken’s diet.

Avoid Additives: If you’re sharing cooked potato skins, make sure they are plain and free from excessive salt, oils, or seasonings.

In conclusion, while chickens can enjoy some aspects of the humble potato, it’s essential to be mindful of potential pitfalls. With the right knowledge, you can provide your chickens with a tasty and safe addition to their diet while keeping their health and well-being in check.

Leave a Comment