Can Chickens Eat Chickens?

By Chicken Pets on
Can Chickens Eat Chickens?

Yes, chickens can eat chicken, but it is generally not recommended due to ethical considerations and potential health risks such as disease transmission. Feeding chicken to chickens can also promote undesirable behaviors like cannibalism.

Quick Summary

  • Chickens can eat chicken, but it is not recommended.
  • Feeding chickens with chicken meat poses ethical issues and health risks including disease spread.
  • There are risks of promoting cannibalism and behavioral problems.
  • If chicken meat is to be fed, it should be cooked thoroughly and free from bones and seasoning.

Overview of Chicken as Food

Chicken meat is a high-protein food often consumed by humans. It contains essential amino acids, vitamins such as B6 and B12, and minerals like niacin and phosphorus. Normally considered a valuable part of a balanced diet for people, chicken meat in the context of a chicken’s diet is unconventional and potentially problematic.

Benefits and Risks of Chicken for Chickens

The potential benefit of feeding chicken to chickens lies in its high protein content, which is crucial for their growth and egg production. However, the risks far outweigh any benefits. Feeding chickens with meat from their species can lead to disease spread, including salmonella and other bacterial infections. Encouraging cannibalistic behaviors is a serious welfare concern and can lead to injuries or death within the flock.

Feeding Guidelines

If for some reason chicken meat is to be given to chickens, it should be cooked thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria, and all bones should be removed to prevent choking. It should only be offered in small amounts as a rare treat, not as a regular part of their diet. A varied diet mainly composed of grains, greens, and formulated feed is more appropriate for their health.


There are many healthier and safer alternatives to feeding chicken to chickens. Options include grains, vegetables, fruits, and commercial chicken feeds specifically designed to meet all their nutritional needs without the risks associated with feeding them poultry.

Expert Opinions

Poultry nutritionists and veterinarians typically advise against feeding chicken to chickens. They suggest maintaining a balanced diet using commercially available feeds that are specifically formulated for poultry to ensure that the birds receive all the necessary nutrients for optimal health and egg production.

Frequently Asked Questions

After reading about the topic of chickens consuming chicken, some readers might have additional questions on the matter.

Is it safe for chickens to eat raw chicken?

No, feeding raw chicken to chickens is unsafe due to the high risk of bacterial contamination, including salmonella, which can be harmful to both the chickens and humans.

Can feeding chickens chicken meat affect their egg production?

While protein is important for egg production, feeding chickens chicken meat is not necessary and can lead to health risks and behavioral problems. A balanced diet with adequate protein from safer sources is sufficient for healthy egg production.

Are there any circumstances where feeding chicken to chickens is acceptable?

While technically chickens can consume cooked chicken meat, it is best to avoid this practice altogether. In emergency situations with no alternatives, chicken meat can be offered sparingly, ensuring it is cooked and free of bones and seasonings. However, finding an alternative is strongly advised even in such cases.

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