Can Chickens Eat Chicken?

Have you ever thought about feeding your chicken meat from a chicken?

The idea might scare you, and you can’t imagine what might happen. The good news is, in a few minutes you’ll know the exact result. We’ll take a close look at chickens eating chickens, and we’ll see what happens.

Yes, chickens can eat chicken meat. In fact, the meat proves to be really good for them and helps in a lot of ways. You can give them a bone of meat that has some chicken on it, and they’ll peck it clean and love it.

This idea seems a little funky. After getting the taste of chicken meat, why wouldn’t your chickens become insane cannibals and start killing and eating chickens on the farm? The answer is simply that chickens can’t connect the dots.

They can’t correlate the meat they just ate to their brothers and sisters on the farm. Beyond that, chickens are far from predatory animals.

With that being said, you don’t have anything to worry about. Your chickens will enjoy the scraps and go about their life. So let’s learn more about chickens eating chicken.

Quick Navigation

Aren’t Chickens Vegetarians?

This is a strange misconception that a lot of people have. People who are either new or have little exposure to chickens might imagine them as vegetarians. People think they only eat grass and feed, and that’s it.

Chickens are far from vegetarians. Even when they’re eating grass, they’re also pecking and eating bugs and worms in the surrounding ground. Chickens eat anything that even looks like food to them; they have no preferences.

Their digestive tract is perfectly capable of eating meat, and they seem to really enjoy it. There are a lot of benefits to them eating meat. As far as meat goes, chicken is one of the best options.

Chicken Meat to Avoid

There is a small caveat to talk about before moving forward. Certain chicken meat should not be fed to your chickens.

If you had a chicken that died from disease or went green, you can’t feed that meat to your chickens. It will very likely result in death in your chickens because the meat was tainted.

Any chicken meat that has gotten to the level of rot that wouldn’t be safe for human consumption is not safe for chicken consumption. If you don’t eat it, then you shouldn’t give it to your chickens. This also goes for chicken that was in the fridge for a long time.

Also, it’s never safe to feed your chickens raw chicken meat.

In a lot of cases, the chickens will eat it regardless and fall ill. Be careful when it comes to the meat you feed your flock.

Now, let’s move on to the brighter sides of chickens eating chicken.

Avoid Seasoned Chicken

When it comes to chicken meat, you need to avoid seasoned or salted chicken when feeding it to your flock. They can die if they eat too much salt, and there are a number of seasonings that are toxic to your chicken.

No Buttered Chicken

Another type of chicken meat that you should avoid is buttered or oiled chicken. In this case, the extra butter or oil adds a lot of fat to the food. High-fat foods are terrible for chickens in the long run.

Their bodies can’t process fat, and they wind up storing it in their kidneys or livers. From there, they can experience organ failure and die.

The extra fat can also lead to obesity in chickens, which has its own slew of problems. If you’re looking to fatten up your chickens, there are other, healthier options to feed them.

What About the Bones?

Some people might be afraid to feed their flock chicken on the bone. We all know that bones are very hard, and they could be a choking hazard. There’s nothing to worry about in this case, though.

Chickens will not eat the bones. They will peck the meat and leave the bones intact. Not only is it too hard for them to break off a piece, but they also understand that there’s no reason to eat it.

It is perfectly safe to throw a chicken bone to your flock. They will eat the meat and leave the bone.

Does Eating Chickens Turn Them into Cannibals?

Technically eating chicken meat does make the chicken a cannibal, but it won’t change their behavior. There are a lot of reasons why chickens might kill other chickens. In some of the bigger poultry farms, this is a big problem.

Under the right conditions, there are no reasons why a chicken will kill and eat another chicken. Even if that chicken was fed chicken meat every day of their life, they would never seek that meat from the source.

That being said, chickens will eat a chicken if it dies in the flock. It’s a very common occurrence, and you might have witnessed it yourself.

Chickens will eat everything and leave the feathers and bones of the dead chicken. This is true for any dead animal that the flock might encounter. This behavior is not learned through eating chicken meat. It’s a biological response they have – they’re just trying to stay alive.

Benefits of Chicken Meat

There are a lot of great reasons why you should consider feeding your flock some chicken meat. Let’s learn about the biggest reasons.

Reduces Waste

After eating a chicken wing or breast, you’ll notice that there’s a lot of meat left on the bones. It’s hard for us to get that meat, or sometimes we don’t feel like wasting the extra energy.

This leftover meat doesn’t degrade when it’s thrown away. It will eventually rot and be consumed by animals at the landfill. Alternatively, you could throw these bones to your chickens.

Chickens will peck the wing or breast completely clean of meat. Their small beaks give them an advantage for working every nook and cranny on the bone.

It’s Sustainable

An obvious benefit of feeding your chickens chicken is how sustainable the process is. When one of your chickens is butchered and made into food, the scraps can be used to feed the remaining chickens.

With smaller flocks, sustainability is more noticeable. Scraps from a single chicken can feed a lot of chickens.

Of course, you should never substitute meat instead of chicken feed, but it’s a great dish on the side.

Lots of Protein

Protein is one of the most important nutrients that a chicken can consume – especially egg-laying hens.

Protein helps tremendously with egg production. Chicken is really lean meat. Not only does it have a lot of protein, but it also has very low-fat levels. That makes this type of meat ideal for your flock.

How to Serve Chicken Meat

You learned earlier that you should never feed your chickens rotten, raw, or spoiled chicken meat. There is a preferred way to prepare the meat for your chickens.

First and foremost, the chicken has to be fully cooked. Don’t use butter or oil, and avoid seasoning the meat. If you are preparing the meat solely for your chickens, cut it into small chunks. Otherwise, feed your chickens the scraps of meat that are on the bones.

By cutting up the chicken, you’re making sure that your flock doesn’t choke on a big piece. They have a hard time pulling apart meat that isn’t on a bone, so it could be a hazard to them.

A fun way to serve the chicken is to first cook it and cut it into chunks. Affix each piece together on a piece of string. Hang that string near their pen and allow them to graze and peck at it. This is a simple way to supplement meat into their diets and enjoy all the benefits.

How Much Chicken Should I Feed Them?

The amount of chicken you feed them should follow the same rules as any other treat they get. It should never exceed 15% of the daily amount of food they eat.

You should never substitute chicken instead of their daily feed because it will result in a lot of health issues in your chickens.

Their regular feed was designed with the chicken in mind. It is the right size, shape, consistency, and has the right nutrients in it. Chicken meat should never take over your flock’s daily meal.

The problem with feeding your flock too many treats is that they’ll lose interest in their feed. They will stop eating feed altogether and rely on your snack and treats that you give them. Of course, this is a really bad thing to happen because there are negative health implications.

If you ever notice that your flock won’t eat the feed you put out, you should work to establish a better ratio of treats to food. Experts suggest different methods of doing this, but disinterest in feed is a clear sign that your flock is getting too many treats.

Read More about Different Types of Chicken Breeds


Can Chickens Eat Cheese?

There are a lot of foods that are harmful to chickens. You’ll learn all about chickens and their ability to process cheese in this article. This is a crucial step to keep your chicken healthy Read More

Can Chickens Eat Onions?

Owning chickens comes with a lot of questions, especially diet-related questions. Chicken like to feed on leftover table scraps a lot, but it is advisable to feed them with moderation Read More

Can Chickens Eat Peppers?

If you have a flock of chickens in your backyard, it is natural that you worry about the scraps of fruits and vegetables that are safe for their consumption. Read More