Can Chickens Eat Jalapenos? Is Spicy Food Good for Them?

Chickens can enjoy so many of the same tasty food desires that we enjoy and eat anything you hand them. Unfortunately, this means it can be difficult to tell if they should be eating certain foods or if it is not that great for their diet. If you love eating spicy food, you might be wondering can chickens eat jalapeno peppers?

Can Chickens Eat Jalapenos Peppers?

Chickens can eat jalapenos and other spicy foods, as they are not affected by capsaicin, which is the compound found in peppers that causes the spicy kick. Some people feed their chickens hot peppers as a dewormer or preventive. 

As a responsible chicken owner, it’s vital to know what human foods chickens can and cannot eat. 

After reading this article, you’ll better understand why chickens can eat jalapenos and why some people feed their chicken’s hot pepper or cayenne pepper.

Video of Chickens Eating Jalapeños

Watch this video to see chickens eating a jalapeno and nothing happening. In fact, these birds love it!

Can Jalapenos Taste Jalapeno Peppers?

Interestingly enough, chickens cannot pick up on the spicy factor of the jalapenos or any spicy food.

Chickens lack the receptor to detect capsaicin. Capsaicin is the compound that makes your favorite hot peppers so hot. It is what causes your mouth to burn after eating one.

The chickens cannot sense the same spicy sensation that we get in our mouths after consuming the peppers, making it safe for your chickens to eat. It will not cause them any harm.

Are Jalapenos Healthy for my Chickens?  

Jalapenos are rich in vitamins A, C, and potassium, making them beneficial for humans and chickens. These chili peppers also have potassium and fiber. Jalapenos even contain carotene and folate antioxidants.. 

This fruit also has several other nutrients and vitamins that can be beneficial for your feathered friends.

Jalapeno Nutritional Information

One ounce of raw chopped jalapenos contains:

Dietary Fiber0.8 grams
Sugar1.2 grams
Choline2.1 mg
Vitamin C33.6 mg
Niacin0.363 mg
Vitamin A305.61 IU
Vitamin E1.01 mg
Vitamin K5.2 mcg
Water25.99 g
Iron, Fe0.07 mg
Manganese, MN0.027 mg
Selenium, SE0.1 mcg
Sodium, Na0.85 mg
Copper, Cu0.013 mg


The next time your chickens get into your garden and start pecking at all your peppers, you no longer have to worry if it will affect their health or not because it gives them a good health boost. 

Why People Feed Chickens Jalapenos

Some people give their chickens jalapenos or other chili peppers to help their immune system when they are sick or unwell. 

Below are some of the reasons people feed their chickens spicy peppers.


Several theories say that peppers can also be a natural dewormer option for your chickens—most of these great health benefits that these peppers give come from the capsaicin compound. 

Egg Production

Another theory is that feeding your chickens jalapenos can help your chicken’s egg-laying production, especially if your chicken seems to be having a more challenging time than usual to lay her eggs. 

Giving her some jalapenos might be what she needs to lay her egg. 

Do Chickens Like Jalapenos? 

can chickens eat jalapeno seeds
All parts of the jalapeno are safe for chickens, even the seeds.

Chickens will eat up anything and everything you give them. They do not care what it may be. Not all chickens will eat them, but most of them will.

Just because your chicken is munching down all kinds of food you give them doesn’t mean they don’t have their favorite foods to snack on. 

Chickens do enjoy having jalapeno peppers as a snack. It’s no doubt why it could be one of their favorites since capsaicin is an ingredient in wild bird food. 

It makes sense that they would like compounds in food made for their kind. 

Since the pepper is an excellent source of nutrients for your chickens, they may even enjoy consuming it because it makes them feel good as well as happy inside.  

Next time you have leftover peppers, remember to think of pawning them off to your chicken friends. It will make their day and provide them a nice snack with vitamins and nutrients that they should be consuming. 

How Should I Give my Chicken Jalapenos? 

When serving any treat to your chickens, it is important always to remember that they do not have teeth and will have a hard time consuming any bigger chunks of food. 

It is a good idea to chop up the jalapenos into smaller bites before feeding them to your chickens. 

You want to make sure you do this to prevent your chickens from choking or having to struggle to get it down. 

They can consume the seeds and the stems of the pepper as well without causing them any harm.

If you are not interested in cutting up the peppers into smaller bites you always have the option to cut the pepper or a few in half to leave for your chickens to peck the inside of the peppers and around it. 

This way, they can also quickly get to the seeds for them to enjoy. Do not worry about your chickens eating the seeds; they are alright and healthy for your chickens to eat. 

It’s important to remember the 90/10 rule whenever feeding your chickens any snack. Their snacks should never consume more than 10% of their regular diet.

They always need their regular chicken feed daily along with all snacks you may give them. Never try to replace their regular food with snack food such as jalapenos. 

Giving your chickens these peppers should be an exciting treat for them, not a replacement meal, no matter how healthy the food option may be. 

Jalapenos are good for your chickens to consume regularly as a nice healthy snack. 

If they show no interest in eating them, they shouldn’t be forced to eat them. Instead, feed them other healthy snacks as spinach, kale, sauerkraut, etc they will love.

Are Jalapenos The Only Pepper I Can Feed my Chickens? 

Jalapeno peppers are not just the only pepper that your chicken can have as a daily snack. Your chickens can eat just about any chili pepper. 

It does not matter how hot the pepper is to you and me. Your chicken will still not be able to taste the spice in them no matter how hot of pepper you can name. 

The compound capsaicin that makes the peppers flaming hot can be found in some birdseed. Chickens love eating birdseed, but it’s not the best food to feed them.

It is safe to say you can give your chickens any chili pepper that may be sitting in your fridge right now, and you do not have to worry about causing them any harm. 

Chickens eat many types of chili peppers. If not all of them can eat other kinds of peppers. 

A very common snack that people give to their chickens are bell peppers. Bell peppers are another type of snack containing health benefits for your chickens since they have a significant amount of nutrients. 


Just because chickens can eat hot peppers and can’t taste the capsaicin, doesn’t mean they enjoy eating them. Some chickens will enjoy eating them, while others won’t touch them.

If your chickens don’t mind eating them, consider adding some hot pepper flakes to your chickens feed. Hold off on feeding your chicks hot peppers of any type until they have matured.

Jalapenos are not only one of your chickens’ favorite treats to be given. It can also do wonders to make sure they are receiving the vitamins and nutrients along with other great benefits that your chickens should be getting in their regular diet. 

You no longer have to worry about feeding them these hot peppers or other spicy foods. Jalapeno peppers will not cause any harm to your chicken’s mouth and or overall health at all. 

Do not hesitate to share with your chickens after you just burned your mouth at the dinner table while eating them. 

It may be hard to believe that it will not have the same effect on them but it really won’t cause them to run over to their water to cool their mouths down. 

Chickens can eat almost any kind of pepper even if it is not in the chilli pepper family, although it is very important to check for any poisonous traces such as solanine that can be found in your peppers especially if they are grown yourself.

The last thing you want is for your chicken to ingest something toxic. 

It is always a great idea to make sure that the pepper or any snack you give your chickens is healthy for them and what to look out for in the specific food before serving them. 

Monitor your chickens after giving them any new snack to make sure their bodies respond well to what they are consuming.

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