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feeding backyard chickens

Are chickens vegetarian? Should you feed them meat scraps

Growing and caring for backyard chickens is a great experience for pet owners, but one of the most common issues people face when caring for their chickens is their diet—That’s why I want to teach you what they can and cannot eat.

Are chickens vegetarian? Chickens are not vegetarians; they are omnivorous animals, which means they have the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. There are lots of benefits to feeding your chickens meat scraps but caution must be taken with leftover food.

At home, we always have a container in the kitchen where we pour everything that comes out of the food we make, such as potato skins, vegetables, and fruits.

Be careful when feeding scraps from your kitchen, some countries have strict rules and laws like the UK

Be careful when feeding scraps from your kitchen, some countries have strict rules and laws like the UK

Leftovers such as rice, pasta, legumes. Pieces of scraps, meat, bones, etc. 

And the chickens will eat-it all.

women feeding chickens

Can chickens eat meat?

Chickens can eat meat; you just have to make sure that it’s cooked properly and avoid salty meat.

Chickens will also pick marrow out of the broken bones, but the bones must be removed from the coop 24hours later.

They can also eat fish and fish bones, come on when I say they eat everything, that’s it, everything.

And by now, you are probably asking yourself, are these chickens or pigs?

You may also think this type of eating is not beneficial to their health.

Well, let me tell you, contrary to popular belief. This type of eating is essential for a balanced diet.

I’m saying this because I’m sure you’ve seen how chicken sellers want to market vegetarian chickens as a good thing, which is not.

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If chickens only eat vegetables, they will lack nutrients

So make sure your chicken has a good, healthy, and balanced diet.

You can also buy chicken food from a nursery or online our favorite is Kaytee Scratch Plus chicken feed from Amazon, and it is usually not expensive. The bag costs between 10 to 30 dollars, and you will get a month’s worth of food. Of course, this depends on how many chickens you have.

But in general, it’s worth it.

It is important to know that chickens should not be given bread despite being what everyone usually does.

As you know by now they will eat the bread, but this causes the chicken to lay fewer eggs.

Did you know they also eat eggshells?

Eggshell and oyster grit is very good for chickens because it provides them with calcium to make healthier eggs.

But you have to make sure you crush the eggshells properly; you don’t want the chickens to discover that one of their favorite foods is the same eggs they lay because if they do, for next time, they will start by eating their own eggs, true story. Be careful; they are very smart !!!!.

How much do chickens eat?

Chickens will eat throughout the day; as long as there is sunlight, they will eat. Therefore, you should always have food available.

Don’t forget to have clean and fresh water at their disposal.

Food chickens should not eat

Almost any fresh food can be included in the chicken’s diet, but there are some exceptions. Chickens shouldn’t have access to these products because their components include substances that are harmful to them.

An occasional consumption may not have consequences, but we must avoid large quantities:

  • Onion
  • Avocado
  • Citrus
  • Tomato plant, (the fruit can be eaten)
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Dry beans
  • Candy
  • Green Potato Skins
  • Dry Beans
  • Rotten Food

Conclusion: Are chickens vegetarian?

Chickens are omnivorous, and by that, I mean they eat everything, absolutely everything, meat, worms, grass, ants, ticks, mice, bananas, tomatoes, mosquitoes, apples, etc.

There is nothing better that can recycle food waste than having chickens at home. Which I think is very cool.

When feeding chickens is necessary, we take into account that they do not have teeth.

So as you can imagine, any food that you give them will be swallowed, stored in the crop, and mixed with their saliva to digest it.

That’s why it’s important to crush all the food waste properly, especially the bones. Also, remember to give your chicken a proper diet. The food must provide protein for them to develop properly.

It must provide fat and carbohydrates for energy.

It must have vitamins and minerals for the immune system to function.

It’s important to give them calcium and phosphorus so they can lay eggs.

In this sense, the food we buy or make should have a composition that meets all these animals’ needs.

Hutch and Cage.com does not provide veterinary advice. Our aim is to provide the reader with information to enable them to make a good decision when making a purchase or caring for their pet. All content is therefore for informational purposes only. If you're concerned about the health of your pet you should seek medical advice from a vet.