What Do Roosters Eat?

By Christien Aguinaldo

Roosters have their individual food preferences just like people. Typically, both roosters and hens forage for plants, worms and bugs -- and feed on scratch; such as corn, millet, sunflower seeds and oyster shells, which provide the necessary nutrients. Give a combination of these foods to your rooster to make a wholesome and balanced rooster diet.

Preferred Rooster Food

Roosters love fresh corn, cooked rice, cheese and noodles. Hence, while you dine with your family, you can occasionally feed them these food scraps. Roosters also generally like leafy vegetables, such as greens, lettuce and Russian kale. Feed fatty foods in moderation, but they are important, as roosters get necessary essential oils from them. Moist cantaloupes are welcome during the summer, as they act as a coolant and the enzymes facilitate digestion.

Since roosters like to forage for bugs, plants and worms, you can occasionally dig a hole in your yard and allow it to kick around outdoors to get to them. Many roosters do not favor carrots, celery stalks or foods that are hard or tough to eat.

Foods to Avoid

Avoid feeding excessive meat, as roosters can become aggressive. Though a small cake or pie is advisable occasionally, sugar is not very healthy for roosters. Refrain from feeding sticky foods, such as marshmallows, or hard food chunks, as roosters can choke on them. It is often debated whether cooked potatoes, tomatoes and rhubarb are good for these birds, due to the presence of oxalic acid. Hence, you need to be cautious when feeding these food items. It is best to consult an avian vet to get the correct information.

Water Consumption

Just like humans, roosters often forget to drink water if it is not around them and available. Fill shallow trays with fresh water regularly and place it alongside their feed. Ensure that they consume enough water, especially when the weather is hot. Otherwise, they may get dehydrated. Place as many drinking stations as possible around your backyard; roosters also enjoy drinking water that trickles down from a source.


Roosters are curious about their diet and love to experiment with different foods. Keeping safety concerns in mind, it is advisable to keep your yard free of poisonous plants, thorny bushes and other dangerous objects that the rooster may ingest.