Can Chickens Eat Chicken Bones?

By Chicken Pets on
Can Chickens Eat Chicken Bones?

No, chickens should not eat chicken bones. Feeding chickens their own kind raises ethical concerns and poses health risks such as disease transmission and the potential for injury from splintered bones.

Quick Summary

  • Chickens cannot eat chicken bones.
  • It poses health risks and has ethical concerns regarding cannibalism.
  • There are risks of injury from bones and potential disease transmission.
  • There are no recommended feeding guidelines as it is not advised.

Overview of Chicken Bones

Chicken bones are the skeletal structure of chickens, usually left over after the meat has been consumed. They consist primarily of calcium, collagen, and other nutrients beneficial for many animals but are not suitable for chicken consumption.

Benefits and Risks of Chicken Bones for Chickens

While chicken bones contain nutrients like calcium, offering them to chickens is dangerous due to potential choking, intestinal blockage, or injury from sharp edges. Furthermore, the act of chickens consuming their own species can lead to abnormal feeding behavior and disease spread.

Feeding Guidelines

As chickens should not eat chicken bones, there are no feeding guidelines. Instead, focus on providing a balanced diet appropriate for poultry that includes grains, greens, vegetables, and formulated feed.


Healthy alternatives to chicken bones for calcium supplementation include oyster shells or commercially available grit. These are safe for chickens to ingest and support eggshell formation.

Expert Opinions

Poultry nutritionists and veterinarians agree that chickens should not be fed animal bones, especially bones from their own species. This consensus is based on welfare considerations and the risk of disease and physical harm.

Frequently Asked Questions

After reading about whether chickens can eat chicken bones, you might still have a few questions. Below are some common questions answered for further clarification.

Why can’t chickens eat chicken bones if other animals can?

While some animals can safely consume bones, chickens have different digestive systems and behavior patterns that make eating their own species’ bones both dangerous and unethical.

What should I do with leftover chicken bones?

Leftover chicken bones should be disposed of properly and kept out of reach of chickens. Composting or trash disposal are suitable options.

How can I ensure my chickens get enough calcium?

Provide your chickens with a balanced diet that includes layer feed fortified with calcium, crushed oyster shells, or commercial poultry grit to ensure they receive adequate nutrients for bone health and eggshell quality.

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