Can Chickens Really Eat Zucchini? Squash the Myths!

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Can chickens eat zucchini? Have you ever felt bad using the chicken feed to fill up your chickens for the billionth time? Ever wanted to treat your chickens to something they might actually enjoy and help your chickens with body temperature control? (1)

Perhaps zucchini might give them something to freshen up their daily lives!

Key Takeaways

  • Yes, you can feed zucchini to chickens as a healthy treat.
  • It contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6.

Let’s take a deeper look into how zucchini could be a healthy snack for chickens, the nature of such nutrient-dense vegetables, and how to turn it into food for chickens!

What Is Zucchini?

Zucchinis are commonly misinterpreted as cucumbers or pickles at first glance. Some even consider them as some family branch of squash.

zucchini slices, can guinea pigs eat zucchini

However, zucchini is its own branch of fruit. Yes, fruit – not vegetable.

While zucchini is used as a vegetable to bring a variety of flavors to dishes, it is actually a branch of fruit. It can be differentiated from cucumbers and squash by its visual qualities and texture.

It is generally warmer to the touch than cucumbers and smoother in texture too. It also has a woody stem at one of its ends, whereas cucumbers have a smooth, round end.

So can chickens eat zucchini? Yes! in fact, zucchini is known to be a fan favorite among chickens everywhere. Just slice open a zucchini in half and let your chickens treat their taste buds to something special.

Its rich bitter-sweet taste leaves chickens hungry for more.

Health Benefits of Zucchini

Much like most fruits and vegetables, zucchini is a great natural source of nutrients. It serves as a great organic and natural dewormer for chickens.

This property stems from the fact that zucchini seeds contain a chemical called cucurbitacin. This chemical helps in the removal of worms inside the chicken’s body. (2)

The cucurbitacin is what causes the bitter taste in zucchini. While having its helpful properties, it should be eaten moderately. An excess of cucurbitacin in your diet causes harmful effects on your chickens.

Zucchini also contains a variety of vitamins and healthy compounds such as Vitamins A, B6, and C, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Calcium, and Carbohydrates. (2)

Zucchini also improves digestion and is generally rich in nutritional water. Zucchini’s large water content and source of vitamins make it a healthy choice of food. Zucchini helps maintain a balanced diet due to its vast surplus of essential vitamins.

Zucchini is generally not considered a popular vegetable as its cucumber counterpart is a lot more commonly found in supermarkets and most people’s backyard gardens.

You might also be wondering what kinds of herbs and veggies are safe to feed your feathered friends. Look no further than our articles on “asparagus for chickens,” “can chickens eat kale stems,” and “can chickens eat oregano.” These resources provide helpful information and tips on feeding your chickens a healthy and varied diet. Check them out today!

Zucchini Contains An Assortment of Vitamins

Zucchini contains vitamins A, B6, and C. Like many organisms, chickens also require these vitamins in healthy amounts to ensure their health. Healthy vitamins ensure a disease-free life.

zucchini, a one of the best treats for guinea pigs

Vitamin A

Chickens need vitamin A as it is essential for maintaining good eyesight and healthy growth. A deficiency in vitamin A causes unfortunate night blindness and xerophthalmia, otherwise known as “dry eye.” (3)

A lack of vitamin A also weakens the immune system. Therefore, chickens that are deficient in vitamin A are prone to getting sick more often.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is useful in accelerating growth and energy production. Its main role is to strengthen the immune system to keep your lovely chickens from succumbing to sickness.

A deficiency in vitamin B6 causes chickens to lose their appetites and, in turn, causes weight loss. A prolonged deficiency may prove to be fatal. It also causes chickens to feel weakness and loss of strength.

Vitamin C

Chickens automatically synthesize vitamin C and usually do not require vitamin C from outside sources. Foods containing high vitamin C should be given to chickens in moderation as an excess of vitamin C can negatively affect calcium absorption. This in turn causes the eggshells of chickens to become softer and malleable.

A lack of vitamin C, however, might be even worse as it may cause “heat stress” which is prevalent in high-temperature climates.

This video shows chickens enthusiastically feeding on two halves of a zucchini.

More Tasty Treats Loved by Chickens

While a high-quality commercial feed takes care of most nutritional needs for your chickens, it is as nutritional as it is bland. Much like humans, chickens also enjoy having a variety of foods at their disposal.

Some of their favorite treats are given below.

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Cooked beans (Raw beans are very poisonous to chickens)
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches (Highly nutritious, but the seeds should be removed as they contain large amounts of cyanide)
  • Cheese
  • Cucumbers
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus (Should be fed to chickens sparingly as it may affect the taste of laid eggs)
  • Blueberries (They possess cancer-preventing chemicals)

Chickens enjoy eating raw zucchini as much as they do cook zucchini. Do remember to give them both to add more variety to their diet.

Feeding Zucchini To Chickens

Zucchini can be prepared in a multitude of different ways. Chickens especially love it when you mix it with other vegetables such as cucumbers and summer squash to make a salad of sorts when you feed them.

The general way of eating zucchini is to cut it in half by dividing it into two. The chickens can use their beaks to eat the inner soft portion and seeds.

It is generally advised to wash the zucchini before serving them to your chickens to remove any bacteria and cucurbitacin content, as it can be generally poisonous and harmful in large quantities.

Remember to only feed your backyard chickens zucchini once every 1-2 weeks so that they don’t face adverse effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can zucchini act as a replacement for water?

fresh zucchinis on a brown bowl: can bearded dragons eat zucchini?

No, while zucchini contains large amounts of nutritious water inside of it, you shouldn’t feed your chickens zucchini in replacement of water since the cucurbitacin content can become extremely poisonous when given in large quantities. Water is irreplaceable for all living organisms.

2. Is zucchini a fruit or vegetable?

Zucchini is most definitely a fruit. Zucchini is a summer squash and belongs to the Cucurbitacin plant family. It is most commonly misinterpreted as a cucumber, but it is very different from one.


So, can chickens eat zucchini? As you might have it, yes, chickens love zucchini and eat it as passionately as one might expect.

No matter how much you might like zucchini, show some restraint and spare some zucchini for your backyard chickens. They’ll love you just as much for it.

zucchini slices on a chopping board


1. Whitbread D. 17 Vegetables Highest in Water [Internet]. myfooddata. My Food Data; 2016. Available from:

2. Quillin P. 8 Impressive Health Reasons to Eat More Zucchini — A Nutrient-Dense Food [Internet]. Food Revolution Network. 2018 [cited 2023 Feb 16]. Available from:

3. Xerophthalmia: Symptoms, Causes, and More [Internet]. Healthline. 2017. Available from:

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

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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