Curious about the answer to “Can chickens eat French fries?”
Luckily, a well-known chicken expert revealed I happened to know recently broke my long-awaited suspense:
Yes, chickens can eat French fries.
But be careful: being fried potatoes, these yellow treats are high in fat content, which — in excess — can harm your dears!
If you’re hooked to learn more, you’ve come to the right place. Keep scrolling!
- French fries are potatoes, deep fried and saturated in fat.
- French fries are delicious but can be — as in humans — harmful in excess.
- French fries aren’t all bad. They come with their perks and surprises (read on!)
French Fries In a Nutshell
French fries are a tasty snack you can eat either alone or as part of a meal.
Those who opt for this delight will either buy fries from fast-food restaurants or buy them in grocery packages.
You can find french fries in the heart of fast-food restaurants or get them in packages from your favorite grocery stores — fries are everywhere!
But you might ask, “since these goodies are safe for humans, can chickens eat French fries as well?”
Glad you’ve asked. But let me first get this out of the way…
Why Are French Fries Not Healthy For Chickens?
Health expert from Healthline, Marsha McCulloch, MS, RD, has this to say about fries :
“Still, if you frequently eat fries, you may be more likely to develop heart disease risk factors, such as obesity and high blood pressure. “
If you opt for a french fry treat once in a while, there’s no harm to them. But, when you feed these to your chickens too often, they can get ill.
1. French Fries Are Deep-fried in Oil
Most people use vegetable oil as a base to fry their french fries.
The result? Your chickens will struggle to digest such fries. If chickens eat too many fries, it could lead to digestive issues—also, the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases.
2. French Fries Have High-Fat Content
Potatoes already contain a good amount of fat — when cooked with frying oil, the fats double. As a result, French fries contain trans fats, a danger to your chickens.
The excessive fats in their body can harm their organs, particularly the livers, making them more prone to bleeding and even failure.
The hazardous condition known as Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome is the result of too much fat intake and can kill them.
3. French Fries Contain Salt
French fries usually contain a lot of salt. Salt isn’t bad for the chickens, but too much of it can seriously make them sick in various ways:
Chickens that consume too much salt can have high blood pressure, digestive problems, and kidney disease.
4. French Fries Have a Lot of Carbohydrates
Oily ingredients are responsible for loading french fries with carbohydrates.
Since potatoes are starchy vegetables, the French fries will also be.
Surprisingly, carbohydrates aren’t what chickens need in their daily diet, so having too many carbohydrates in the food will make your chickens sick.
The take-home message: feeding chickens too much food containing carbohydrates will make them overweight, hurt their metabolic health, and damage their hearts.
For an excellent visual summary, I’ve included this video on the risks of french fries, all for the price of an interesting watch:
Are There Health Benefits to Feeding Chickens French Fries?
You might think these oily yellowy crisps don’t have nutrition, but think again!
Although many people will term french fries as ‘oily,’ ‘greasy,’ and ‘yucky,’ they’ll rob you of this…
As you may know, potatoes are the mother of all french fries, which have some positives :
1. High in Fiber
Do you know what they say about fiber? That’s right. It’s excellent for digestion! What’s more, fiber can help your chickens lose weight and is suitable for their hearts !
2. Loaded with Vitamin C
Recall the last time you felt sick and how you chucked all those vitamin C tablets and gobbled them up…
You’d be surprised to hear this: French fries, as with potatoes, have some vitamin C, a micronutrient responsible for general wellness and immunity to lots of ugly diseases.
3. Contain Vitamin B6
This essential nutrient, part of the B family of vitamins, breaks down amino acids, part, and parcel of a high-protein diet.
This vitamin is essential for poultry and your chickens, especially those that eat lots of protein.
Now that you’ve uncovered some of the health benefits of french fries, you’ll know that french fries — in moderation, of course — aren’t all bad.
Next, let me divert you with some frequently asked questions…
1. Can Baby Chickens Eat French Fries?
The babies need a lot of nutrition to help them grow strong and healthy, so wait until they are at least a month old before introducing french fries.
2. Can You Feed Chickens Homemade Fries?
The homemade version is a better choice. Why’s that?
Because you can control the ingredients by eliminating all the gremlins – salt, seasonings, additives – and instead provide a healthier alternative.
3. Should You Cook or Bake French Fries?
Bake them if you can!
When cooking the fries, I recommend you bake them instead of frying them. This way, the French fries won’t absorb any oils.
By now, you know that oils can harm your dears.
4. Can Chickens tell the difference between different fries?
Chickens don’t have as many tastebuds as humans do.
So don’t expect them to beg for their favorite treats as humans do. But there’s a good side: you don’t have to spice things up as much.
So, can chickens eat french fries? Yes, but in moderation!
Though a tasty treat, feeding human food to chickens is double-edged: the effect can be disastrous, especially for processed foods like french fries, so be careful.
Instead, focus on healthy foods, healthy treats, and a nutritious, balanced diet such as chicken feeds.
Here’s why: these feeds are nutritious and engineered to give your chickens the best nutrients. So you don’t have to experiment too much — it’s all in there!
Most importantly, do what works. And remember: moderation is key!
So if you have some creative tips, tricks, and a few aces up your sleeve, don’t forget to share these with me.
Until next time…
1. McCulloch M. Sweet Potato vs. French Fries: Nutrition, Calories, and More [Internet]. Healthline. 2019. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sweet-potato-fries-vs-french-fries
2. Ruggeri C. Are Potatoes Healthy? [Internet]. Dr. Axe. 2022 [cited 2023 Jan 5]. Available from: https://draxe.com/nutrition/potato-nutrition/
Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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