We know chickens love seeds, grains, and insects to feed on. But what about meat? Is it illegal to feed chickens chicken? Will it make them cannibals? let’s find out
Yes, it is illegal to feed chickens chicken. In most states, it is actually a crime to give poultry any type of meat or processed food that is not specifically meant for them. This law exists to prevent the spread of disease and protect both the chickens and humans who consume their eggs.
That isn’t all, and there’s a lot more to it when it comes to learning whether feeding chickens chicken is legal. That is why I have written this in-depth article to enlighten you on some fascinating information that you may not be aware of.
So you should definitely keep on reading to find out more!
Is it Illegal To Feed Chickens Chicken: A Bit More Into Details
As mentioned earlier, it is illegal to feed chickens chicken in most states. The reason for this law is to prevent the spread of disease. Just in case you are still wondering why is it considered illegal then let me answer it in detail.
Feeding chickens and other meat to chickens may seem legal because you can purchase chicken-flavored cat food and turkey-flavored baby food. However, there is a big difference between what is considered “food” for chickens and what is actually nutritious for them.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulations in place that prohibit giving poultry any type of meat or processed food that is not specifically meant for them. These products can contain harmful bacteria that can make chickens sick and potentially infect the people who eat their eggs.
There are restrictions because there have previously been epidemics of illness caused by cross-contamination through animal feed. The ‘mad cow disease epidemic occurred when cattle were fed infected meat products, which then made their way into the human food chain.
What About Kitchen Scrap? Is it Ok to Feed Them?
Ok, so far you’ve learned that feeding chickens meat of their own kind is not legal and there is a reason for that. You might be confused about kitchen scrap then, can you still feed them?
The answer is yes, but there are some things you need to take into consideration. You should not feed them anything that has been in contact with raw meat, as this could potentially transmit bacteria. It is also best to avoid feeding them any dairy products or eggs, as these can upset their delicate digestive systems.
Additionally, you should only feed them small amounts of kitchen scrap as it is not a balanced diet for chickens. They need a diet that consists mostly of grains, seeds, and insects to stay healthy. Now there are people who still feed dairy products such as eggs to their chickens.
For example, while doing research, I stumbled upon the story of Kyla (Former IT at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta), in which she described how she prepare food for her chickens with eggs in it. However, this isn’t a good thing and in fact, there are proper studies conducted by researchers.
Rules on Feeding Kitchen Scraps to Chickens
In some countries, such as the UK, it is even illegal to feed your chickens kitchen scrap, especially in kitchens where meat is prepared. The reason for this law is to protect both chickens and humans from the risk of food poisoning.
Chickens are very susceptible to contracting diseases from contaminated food, which is why it is so important to only give them fresh, clean, and safe-to-eat scraps. If you do choose to feed your chickens kitchen scrap, there are a few rules you need to follow:
- Only give them cooked food that is safe for humans to eat.
- Do not feed them anything that has been in contact with raw meat, as this could transmit bacteria.
- Avoid feeding them any dairy products or eggs, as these can upset their delicate digestive systems.
- Only feed them small amounts of kitchen scrap as it is not a balanced diet for chickens.
- Make sure the food is chopped into small pieces so they can easily eat it.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling any raw chicken meat, to avoid contaminating the food.
- Clean and disinfect any surfaces or utensils that have come into contact with raw chicken meat.
Now that you know the rules on feeding kitchen scrap to chickens, you can make sure you are doing it safely and legally.
Do Chickens Need to Eat Meat for Protein?
We all know meat is a good source of protein but we have just discussed that chickens shouldn’t eat meat due to bacteria and diseases. Now a question comes into mind, do chickens need to eat meat for protein then?
The answer is no, as long as they are getting a balanced diet that consists of grains, seeds, and insects. Chickens are able to convert these foods into the protein they need to stay healthy and strong.
You should only ever feed your chickens meat if it is cooked and safe for humans to eat, as there is a risk of bacteria and disease transmission. If you do choose to feed them meat, it should only be given in small quantities as part of a balanced diet.
Do Chickens Eat Each Other?
A lot of people may not be aware of the fact that chickens will eat almost everything you feed them. There are hundreds of people out there in different countries who feed their chickens chicken bones.
The reason why they do this is that it provides the chickens with extra calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for their health. However, this practice is not without its risks, as there is a potential for disease transmission.
In fact, feeding chickens any kind of meat is not a good practice as it is cannibalism and can lead to the spread of disease. Furthermore, chickens who are fed chicken meat start picking each other’s feathers and skin which results in torn skin and damaged feathers.
This reduces the quality of poultry which is a complete loss. So this is one thing that most poultry owners should keep in mind.
Do chickens eat their own babies?
Yes, sometimes chickens eat their own babies. This mostly occurs due to the mismanagement and ignorance of the farmer. If a chicken is raised in an environment where it doesn’t have enough food or water, it may start to eat its own babies in order to survive.
This is known as poultry cannibalism and there are studies conducted on it. When a bird is stressed it begins picking at its feathers and skin, which can lead to cannibalism. Once the blood is visible, the other birds in the flock will start to attack and eat the wounded bird. This is known as tonic immobility.
To prevent this from happening, farmers need to provide their chickens with enough food and water, and create a stress-free environment. If you are keeping chickens as pets, you should also take care to not handle them too much, as this can also cause stress.
Do chickens eat their own eggshells?
It is not uncommon for chickens to eat their own eggshells. This is because eggshells are a good source of calcium, which is essential for chicken health. Chickens will usually eat the eggshells after they have laid them, but they can also peck at them while they are still in the nest.
If you find that your chickens are eating a lot of eggshells, it may be a sign that they are not getting enough calcium in their diet. You can correct this by giving them a calcium supplement, or by feeding them foods that are high in calcium, such as leafy greens.
Most chicken owners feed crushed eggshells back to their chickens. However, there are some farmers who don’t do this because they are worried about the risk of diseases.
So Is it Illegal to Feed Chickens Chicken? Well, we’ve already discussed this topic in detail. The answer is, it depends on where you live and what the laws are in your country.
Generally speaking, one should avoid feeding chickens chicken or any other kind of meat. The reason behind this is simply bacteria which causes different kinds of diseases. If you want to feed them proteins then there are other great sources of proteins such as worms, insects, and even cooked beans.
Apart from that, you may have heard some people feeding their chickens kitchen scrap, egg shells and even meat. Just because chickens will eat it without any issue doesn’t mean you should be doing it. It’s ultimately your responsibility to take care of your chicken and provide them with a balanced diet.
If you are unsure about the laws in your country, it is always best to check with your local authorities before you start feeding your chickens chicken meat. Thanks for reading!