Can Chickens Eat Chicken? A Comprehensive Guide With Feeding Tips

Owning a flock of chickens raises the intriguing & peculiar topic of whether or not the chickens can eat chicken. While it’s common knowledge that chickens will eat just about everything, including their own poop, do they cross the line when it comes to meat? Since we were so intrigued, we wanted to look into this more. We would like to share the results of our research with you today. 

Do chickens have the digestive tract to digest chicken? Chickens have a taste for chicken. The birds will go crazy over any extra cooked chicken meat you have left around the house.

In addition to being fresh and not rotten, it should be chopped into bite-sized pieces for easier handling. As a source of protein, chicken is a great addition to the diet of egg production. Chickens are actually among the least picky eaters you’ll find.

Many chicken owners are well aware of their chickens’ ravenous appetites, which extend even to devouring one of their own. 

Cannibalism –

Cannibalism is a serious behavioral issue that has been observed in poultry. In most cases, prevention is preferable to treatment. 

Chickens often pluck at their feathers, which is an exploratory behavior common to young chickens. When it gets out of hand, though, it can cause serious injuries & even cannibalism.  It’s important to note that meat is not a cannibalization trigger if you’re worried about the chickens eating each other. 

In all likelihood, the reverse is true. If you give your hens meat on a consistent basis, they may be less likely to try to devour each other. To prevent cannibalism from spreading, it is necessary to understand what factors lead to its occurrence. 

Reduce environmental stresses like overcrowding and intense lighting, provide a balanced diet, and keep a close eye on your birds to ensure they are flourishing. One of the numerous reasons people raise chickens as pets is because they are omnivores and can be fed scraps from the kitchen in exchange for fresh, tasty eggs. 

Chickens enjoy poultry pellets but also a wide variety of other foods, including fruit, vegetables, cereals, insects, grass, & even small rodents like mice, which they often catch and devour. 

If you do not feel comfortable feeding your chickens chicken, it is your moral choice. The time will come when you must make a choice.  But doing so is perfectly fine, and may even make your chickens more content & healthy. 

Can Chickens Eat Other Chickens?

It’s true that some chickens eat other chickens. Within the chicken community, there exists a clear social order. There is a literal pecking order in their society. Their natural method of establishing dominance often involves a bloody process of feather-picking amongst the ranks. 

Cannibalism can arise from the mild pecking of feathers and skin. And particularly if the dominant chicken thinks the other one is a threat. Feather pecking frequently results in superficial wounds, but the loss of body parts as well as the creation of deep hollow wounds is distressing.

Especially if it goes on for a while and nobody tries to stop it. Floor-raised hens in industrial, large-scale barns and amid bigger numbers of free-range chickens are more prone to feather pecking & cannibalism. 

A far more established pecking order among the birds makes this less likely to occur than among smaller groups of birds. 

Can Chickens Eat Chicken

You May Also Read: Can Chickens Eat Pears? A Guide to Feeding Pears to Chickens

Benefits of Chickens as a Meat Source –

Chickens are omnivores that can consume & process protein, meaning they can be fed meat. You can eat just about any kind of meat without worrying about getting sick. 

Chickens should never be fed raw, undercooked, or spoiled meat. You must take care not to spread salmonella sickness among your sheep. Don’t give your birds a diet high in processed & salty meats like bacon and ham. 

Chickens are particularly susceptible to saline poisoning (excessive salt), which is very common and can potentially be fatal. It’s important to watch out for the high levels of salt that are commonly found in processed meats. 

Chickens get their protein from insects; they frequently snack on worms as well as other bugs they find when roaming in grassy areas.  Chickens have been known to actively seek out prey such as mice, frogs, & young rats, which they will eat alive or dead. 

Egg-laying hens, in particular, have special protein requirements because of the work they put into each egg they hatch. Chickens get the protein they need from the insects and animal items they eat, although they have plenty of it already. 

Poultry feed is excellent since it is nutritionally balanced, yet it is natural for chickens to desire meat because of the increased protein and also enhanced egg production. 

What to do If Your Chickens Are Malnourished –

We now know that birds need protein, can consume meat, and thus should limit themselves to white meat such as turkey & chicken. But what about feeding the birds chicken? 

  • Chicken must never be fed raw or when spoiled

Chicken that has a rancid odor or turns a muddy color is a sign that bacteria are starting to multiply in it. If you give this to the birds, they will probably get sick. 

  • Fresh, high-quality lean Chicken must be fed first

You should check that it is fully cooked and appropriately diced into bite-sized pieces. Since chickens don’t have teeth, they’ll just gulp it down. To prevent suffocation, check that it is not too thick or too thin. 


Do Chickens Eat Chicken Bones?

Chickens can digest chicken bones, although they typically won’t try. Instead, they’ll try to scavenge what little meat is left on the bones and whatever marrow they can get their hands on.

If you feed the bones to the flock, make sure they are fully cooked and remove any jagged or splintered pieces. Bones left in the coop for more than a day might attract unwanted pests like mice and wasps, as well as predators like hornets.

When Should I Feed My Chickens, and How Often? 

Chickens have a set feeding schedule that repeats itself several times during the day. Make sure they have constant access to food. Maintain their feeders stocked and give them table scraps & snacks frequently throughout the day. 

Do Chickens have an interest in Dead Chickens?

Yes, Chickens can eat dead chickens. Chicken birds have a strong sense of community and will flock together for safety, but they do not practice any form of death rituals as a culture. 

Chickens, like most other birds, will rummage through the remains of a dead chicken, including another chicken. Once they start eating, they won’t stop until just the beak, as well as the feet, remain. 

Chickens are materialistic creatures who just care about themselves and their next meal. Chicken keepers might be shocked to see their hens devour their own comrades once they’ve died, but there’s not much they can do about it. 


Yes, chickens can consume meat; egg layers, in particular, benefit from the protein. The best diet for poultry is a balanced one that includes both animal products and plant-based foods like pellets and table scraps. 

Chickens make fantastic pets since they are hardy, cheap to care for, and can be fed leftovers from the kitchen. In addition, you’ll have access to tasty, fresh eggs throughout the year long.

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