Can Chickens Eat Wheat

Regarding the nutritional needs of chickens, providing a balanced and diverse diet is crucial for their health and well-being. With its abundance and availability, Wheat often questions its suitability as a food source for chickens. So, do chickens eat only wheat, anyway? Chickens can eat wheat, yet there are many considerations. Wheat, in its various forms like whole wheat, wheat kernels, flour, bran, or berries, contains essential nutrients to contribute to a chicken’s diet.

It is a rich source of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The high protein content in wheat supports muscle mass development and helps meet the amino acid requirements of chickens. Feeding chickens wheat can be a nutritious addition to their diet, provided it is given in moderation and alongside various grains and nutritious food. Remember, there could be potential sensitivities or allergies to wheat. Some free-range chickens may exhibit skin inflammation or respiratory tract issues if they are sensitive to wheat or gluten.

As with any dietary change, consult chicken experts or veterinarians for guidance. In our guide, you can learn more about wheat for chickens as part of a balanced and varied diet. By the end, you’ll better understand the best grains for chickens and how best to feed chickens wheat along with their favorite treat. (Read Toothpaste For Fowl Pox Guide)

chicken wheat

What is Wheat?

Wheat is a versatile and widely consumed grain that has been a staple food for centuries. It comes in various forms, each offering unique characteristics and nutritional benefits. You might wonder if wheat suits your flock’s diet if you’re a chicken owner. Here you can find the main types of wheat you can use alongside your chicken feed.

Different Forms of Wheat

You’ll find wheat in several oat forms, each with its own processing method and uses. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common forms of wheat for raising chickens:

Do Chickens Eat Wheat Berries:

These are the whole, unprocessed wheat kernels. Wheat berries contain essential nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. While chickens can technically eat wheat berries, they may be challenging to consume because of their gluten content and hard texture.

Will Chickens Eat Wheat Bread:

Wheat bread is made from ground wheat flour mixed with other ingredients. Chickens can eat small amounts of wheat bread as an occasional treat. However, it’s important to avoid feeding them excessively, as bread is high in carbohydrates and may not provide a well-rounded diet.

Can Chickens Eat Wheat Bran:

Wheat or wheat bran is the outer layer of the wheat kernel that is removed during milling. t is a good source of fiber and can be beneficial for chickens, aiding in proper digestion. Adding a small amount of wheat bran to their diet can help promote intestinal health.

Should Chickens Eat Wheat Grass:

Wheatgrass refers to the young shoots of the wheat plant. Chickens can safely consume wheat grass, and it can even provide some additional nutrients. However, offering it in moderation and alongside other balanced foods is essential.

Can Chickens Eat Wheat Flour:

Wheat flour results from grinding wheat kernels into a fine powder. It is commonly used in baking and cooking. While chickens can eat small amounts of wheat flour, it should not be the primary component of their diet. A varied and balanced diet is essential for their overall health.

Is Wheat a Good Food Source for Chickens?

Wheat grain, in its various forms, contains essential nutrients to contribute to a chicken’s diet. It is a rich source of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Here are some key nutritional aspects of wheat grain:


Wheat grain is a valuable protein source for chickens, helps gain muscle mass development, and meets their amino acid requirements. Protein is crucial for growth, feather production, and a complete diet. Lacking here, it may reduce egg production.


Wheat grain feed provides carbohydrates, which serve as an energy source for chickens. Carbohydrates in feed are essential for their daily activities, including foraging, roosting, and egg production.

Vitamins and Minerals:

Wheat multi grain contains various vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for chickens. These include B vitamins essential for energy metabolism and overall health.


Whole grains, including wheat, are high in fiber content. Fiber promotes proper digestion and helps avoid intestinal distress in free-range chickens. While eating wheat or grain offers many nutritional benefits. It’s crucial to note it should not be the sole food source in a chicken’s diet and should make up a nice treat.  (Read Can You Eat A Chicken That Died Of Old Age)

What To Look Out for When Feeding Chickens with Wheat

When incorporating whole-grain chicken feed into your hen’s diet, there are a few essential considerations to remember:

1. Moderation And Variety:

Wheat should be offered in moderation and alongside various other grains and nutritious foods. This ensures chickens receive a well-rounded and complete diet, meeting all their nutritional needs.

2. Potential Sensitivities:

It’s important to observe your chickens for signs of sensitivity or allergies to wheat. Some chickens may experience skin inflammation or respiratory tract issues if they have a sensitivity to wheat or gluten.

3. Professional Guidance:

As with any dietary changes, it’s always a good idea to seek guidance from chicken experts or veterinarians.

4. Balanced Diet:

Remember that wheat should be part of chickens’ balanced and varied diet. Alongside grains, providing them with a source of animal protein, like through specialized poultry diets or feed chickens kitchen scraps, is crucial.

Supplement their diet with essential minerals and vitamins, including calcium from sources like oyster shell, to support egg production and overall health.

5. Fresh Water:

Regardless of their diet, chickens should always access fresh water. Adequate hydration is crucial for their well-being and helps with digestion and nutrient absorption.

bulgur wheat

Can Chickens Eat Bulgur Wheat?

Bulgur wheat is a nutritious grain used for centuries in various culinary traditions. It is made by parboiling, drying, and cracking wheat kernels.

This process gives bulgur wheat a unique texture and a slightly nutty flavor. But can chickens enjoy the benefits of this wholesome grain?

The good news is that chickens can eat wheat grain. It can be a valuable addition to their diet, providing several benefits.

Here are some key points to consider:

Nutritional value:

Bulgur wheat bran has a high nutritional value, including fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Protein source:

Chickens require sufficient protein and amino acids to support growth, feather production, and overall health. Bulgur wheat is higher in protein and amino acids than corn.

Energy boost:

Carbohydrates are an essential energy source for chickens, and bulgur wheat offers a good supply of complex carbohydrates.  (Read Can Chickens Eat Jicama)

Fiber content:

The fiber content in bulgur wheat promotes proper digestion in chickens, aiding nutrient absorption and maintaining a healthy digestive tract.

Note: Hard wheat varieties contain higher protein content, like Durum wheat. Durum wheat is the most common type for human consumption compared to soft wheat.

Soft wheat has a higher starch content than hard wheat varieties.

Should Chickens Only Eat Wheat?

You can feed wheat as part of your chickens’ diet. It’s essential to keep a few considerations in mind:


Feed wheat like any new food. It’s crucial to introduce wheat gradually and in moderation.

Balanced diet:

While wheat provides nutrients, it should not be the sole component of your chickens’ diet. A well-rounded diet for chickens includes various grains, proteins, vegetables, and other healthy foods.


Chickens benefit from a diverse diet with different grains, seeds, and other food sources.

Signs of Sickness or Low Egg Production

If you notice sudden changes in your chickens’ behavior, like sickness or low egg production, evaluating their diet and overall health is essential.

While wheat is safe for chickens, individual birds may have unique sensitivities or dietary requirements.

If you suspect eating wheat alone may cause any issues, consider removing it from their diet and consulting a veterinarian if necessary.

Other Factors Affecting Chicken Behavior

Aggression or pecking tail feathers in chickens may not directly affect their diet.

raw wheat

Can Chickens Eat Raw Wheat?

Raw wheat is unprocessed wheat grains that have undergone no form of cooking or heat treatment. The tough high-fiber wheat hulls can pose difficulties for their digestion.

While chickens can technically eat grains and raw wheat, it is crucial to consider a few important factors before including it in their diet:


Chickens have limited digestive capabilities regarding breaking down tough grains like raw wheat, which can lead to incomplete nutrient absorption.

Nutritional balance:

It is vital to offer a diverse range of grains, proteins, vegetables, and other nutritious foods chickens love, so ensure their nutritional needs are met. (Read Can Chickens Eat Sweet Potato Vines)


Raw wheat grains can dehydrate chickens, as they have low moisture content. Ensuring chickens can always access fresh water when feeding them raw wheat or any other dry grains is crucial.

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