Can chickens eat chicken? Chickens can eat chicken! As long as it is fresh and it is prepared properly, chicken scraps can be a tasty addition to your flock’s food plan.
There are a few instances where you should not feed chicken meat to your backyard chickens, but for the most part, it is very safe and nutritious for chickens to eat.
Is chicken meat healthy for chickens to eat?
Chicken contains several nutrients, including protein, selenium, vitamin B6, and vitamin B3. It is low in saturated fats and it is a lean meat. Your backyard flock can benefit from all the nutrients in chicken, as long as it is fed it in moderation.
Just like for people, chicken is actually very healthy for chickens to eat if it is fresh and free of contaminants. (source) Chickens are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and meat-based foods.
Their bodies are designed to digest meat as effectively as plants. That means that they can derive nutrients as well as sustenance (calories) from both food sources.
Since chicken is nutritious, and chickens can digest meat effectively, chickens can safely eat chicken meat. (source) The idea of feeding chicken to a chicken may seem odd or off-putting, but there is nothing inherently unhealthy about the situation at all.
Do chickens eat other chickens?
Sometimes chickens that live together in a flock will eat another chicken if they are hungry enough, or if a chicken dies. Chickens do not always recognize a dead chicken as a former member of their flock, and they will have no problem eating them in the right situation.
Although it is rare, this is one reason why you should check your coop daily to make sure that none of your chickens have passed away without warning.
It is also a good idea to watch for any chickens that are getting pecked or harassed by other chickens. Occasionally, chickens will peck other chickens, causing wounds and even death in extreme cases.