One of the good things about raising backyard chickens is that they are not too picky about their food. This means you can give them table scraps and leftovers from your dinner last night, beside their normal chicken feed. But can chickens eat meat and raw meat?
Well, that is what we are going to discuss on this page.
Can Chickens Eat Meat?
Yes, chickens can eat meat. They actually love it and nothing to be surprised here. So don’t throw out the meat!
That means that chickens will eat meat if you give them. You probably wouldn’t want to cut it out of from their diet (more about this soon).
Some people believe that chickens should not eat meat, simply because they are birds. But, chickens by nature are not vegetarians, chickens are omnivores after all, right?
Meat is a great source of protein and important nutrients. Protein will help your chickens to grow eggs (it is a vital component during this process), and during the chicken molting process.
During the molting process the chickens need an astonishing amount of protein in their diet so that they can continue to grow feathers and so they, ultimately, can end the molting process as soon as they possibly can.
Feeding your chickens with meat, especially in the winter period, is very important, since there are no bugs and warms outside in that period of the year, for them to find.
Some people are saying, when they are feeding their chickens with meat, especially in the winter months, they have noticed that their feathers are nice and that they lay very good eggs.
How Much Meat Should Your Chickens Eat?
Do bear in mind that you shouldn’t be feeding your chickens that much meat each day. Let say, if you have a flock of 6 chickens, you can give them 2 tablespoons of meat chunks each day.
What you need to do before feeding your chickens with meat is to cut the meat in small chunks. So the chickens can eat that easily.
It is worth noting that there are many commercially available meat based chicken feed. However, if you own a dog or a cat, it is not a problem for chickens to eat dog food or cat food.
As an advice, some supermarkets do get rid of their meat scraps and they allow for people to take those (some may charge you a small fee).
Can Chickens Eat Raw Meat?
Yes, chickens can eat raw meat. They are not vegetarian or vegan, they will love it.
However do bare in mind to check that the meat is not rotted. It is simply because the rotted meat can contain bacteria which can be toxic for your chickens.
As with most things that you are feeding your chickens, you will want to clean up after them the same day. While meat doesn’t rot anywhere near as fast as some vegetables or fruits, it is going to be rotting eventually. You will want to clean it out to ensure that it is not attracting pests!
Chickens should not be raised purely on a vegetarian diet. Some people will do this, but it is very difficult to do. If you are raising chickens on a purely vegetarian diet, then you are going to be struggling to get enough calcium and protein into their diet.
This is something which is going to be incredibly important if you want your chickens to produce eggs, or at least become meat later on. But, you will want to adjust other protein sources accordingly. Too much protein in their diet is not going to be a good thing!