Can Chickens Eat Feta Cheese?

By Chicken Pets on
Can Chickens Eat Feta Cheese?

Yes, chickens can eat feta cheese in moderation. Feta cheese can be a source of calcium for chickens, but it is also high in fat and salt, which can be harmful in large quantities.

Quick Summary

  • Chickens can eat feta cheese.
  • Feta cheese provides calcium but is high in fat and salt.
  • The key benefit is a supplemental calcium source, the risk is potential for fat and sodium excess.
  • Recommended as an occasional treat in small amounts.

Overview of Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a brined curd white cheese made primarily from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. It is known for its crumbly texture and tangy, salty flavor profile. Feta cheese is rich in nutrients like calcium and phosphorus, but also contains significant amounts of sodium and saturated fats.

Benefits and Risks of Feta Cheese for Chickens

Chickens can benefit from the calcium present in feta cheese, which is essential for bone health and eggshell formation. On the other hand, the high fat and salt content in feta cheese poses a risk of obesity and excessive sodium intake, which can lead to dehydration or kidney issues.

Feeding Guidelines

Feta cheese should be offered sparingly as a treat, not exceeding 1-2 small cubes per chicken every few weeks. It’s essential to ensure fresh water is available when feeding salty foods like feta cheese.


If feta cheese is a concern, chickens can be offered other calcium-rich alternatives like crushed eggshells or specific leafy greens. Dairy is not a necessary part of a chicken’s diet, and moderation is key with any treats.

Expert Opinions

Poultry nutritionists and veterinarians recommend offering a balanced diet to chickens, cautioning against overindulgence in dairy products. Treats like feta should be less than 10% of a chicken’s total diet, focusing instead on high-quality layer feed and a variety of safe, plant-based scraps.

Frequently Asked Questions

After learning about the potential inclusion of feta cheese in a chicken’s diet, several questions may arise. Here are some common inquiries:

How often can I give my chickens feta cheese?

It is best to give feta cheese sparingly, no more than once or twice a month, and in small quantities.

Is there a risk of lactose intolerance in chickens?

While chickens are not lactose intolerant in the same way mammals can be, they do not require dairy and can have difficulty processing large amounts of it. Stick to small amounts of feta cheese if you choose to feed it to them.

Can feta cheese replace a portion of my chickens’ regular diet?

No, feta cheese should not replace any part of a chicken’s primary diet. It should only be an occasional treat in addition to a well-balanced chicken feed.

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