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Cat food for chickens...yes or no?

6BuffRocks6BuffRocks Senior Member
edited January 2008 in Poultry Health and Welfare
It has come to my attention that cat food is sometimes fed to chickens becuase it has a high protein content.

Is it good to feed cat food to chickens..

or not?




  • JesseJesse Senior Member
    edited November 2007
    Yes, cat food is fine. They really seem to like it and it makes there feathures fofill.. and helps them in a moult. But i would try not to give it to them all the time.. it is fine once and a while and is ok everyday but it is healthyier on there normal food... but it dose not heart them in anymay and fattens them up for the cold winter.
  • 6BuffRocks6BuffRocks Senior Member
    edited November 2007
    Hi Jesse,

    Thanks, I cant get to grips with the cat food concept..

    Chicken eats cat food...

    Chicken proccesses cat food...

    Chicken lays eggs..

    Am I mad?????

    lol... Wendy.
  • taylntayln Junior Member
    edited November 2007
    I gave the canned cat food a try (per advise from sandy or Jesse last month )for a hen that needed some her feathers back..she got them back in no time at all ! Now with winter and this bitter cold I give them all (7) some warmed up cat food every week or so for some extra protien. They seem to love it now after they tried it the 1st time. I also make up some Good runny warmed up oatmeal for extra cold mornings once a week or so for thier 1st winter. Just tired some Grated apples in their mix (cat food ) yesterday. Our chickens have pellet layer feed and get to free range 2 acres for thier own Treats they can dig up. Ground is frozen now with winter so I been supplying them with Some treats besides thier standard pellet feed.

    Around our house..the Yorkie ( dog ) eats the cat food, chicken food, Fish food , squirell food and bird seed. basically anything but her own dog food if you dont watch her closely !.

    The Cats want to eat the dog food, the dogs pefer the cat food..We have to keep them all (dogs cats and chickens) away from the fish food ! ) and of course all the critters would perfer the people food anyway ! haha ! it's a never ending battle ! :)
  • philodicephilodice Member
    edited November 2007
    Hah! That is so true. My hens just love boiled chopped up eggs, and once my daughter gave one a chicken nugget. I don't allow that at all but she thought it was funny. :( I'm a vegetarian, other than the eggs and milk products.
  • SELENA18SELENA18 Senior Member
    edited November 2007
    Hey Wendy,

    If you are a bit thingy about feeding cat food to chickens, maybe just feed the Beef & Seafood varieties not chicken flavour.

    One of my chickens will "fight" the dog for chicken bone scraps.
    Just last week the chicken pulled the scrap from my dog and then the dog was chasing her around the yard to try and get it back (with no luck) it was hilarious to watch. Chicken 2 kilos - Dog 40 kilos :D

    In the chicken food chain of things they like best, it seems to be:
    1/ Meat & meat products - including chicken
    2/ Eggs - raw & cooked
    3/ Anything else that stands still long enough. haha

    Go Figure!

    I had all of my chooks go through a serious moult 6 months ago and even though they all came back fully feathered, no one was laying. After reading about the cat food myself, I tried it, and within 5 days most of them had started laying again. So it clearly does help.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do. It is not the end of the world if you chose not to feed your chickens catfood. There are plenty of other nutritious things you can give them.

  • lorigilllorigill Junior Member
    edited December 2007
    This is a new one on me!

    Now you come to mention it... whenever my chickens come into the house they make a beeline for the bowl of dry cat food in the kitchen and start to eat! I have a chicken who is now starting moult (why choose December?) and am going to try her on some meaty cat food. I researched caring for chickens before I got mine in March and had expected them to eat all "kitchen scraps". Sadly this is not so - my chickens clearly think they are above mere "scraps" and prefer boiled rice, pasta, sweetcorn, advocado and even mashed potato (very amusing watching the "bearded" ladies running around the garden)
  • sammisammi Senior Member
    edited December 2007
    avocado might not be a good choice.
    some say it is toxic to them.
    but it's possible this could mean the pit, leaves, bark of trees of the avocado is toxic to animals in general..
    better safe then sorry.

    here is a link to information about avocado:

    Avocado Toxicity
  • NellNell Member
    edited January 2008
    Hi I've been reading what everyone is saying about cat food, but how much do you feed one chicken and how do you feed them? all at once or do you feed them seperate? My chicken have lost their feathers on back near tail too!
  • chickenladykchickenladyk Member
    edited January 2008
    Personally, I would not feed cat food to my chickens, because I want the eggs and meat (and my chickens!) to be healthy. Processed pet foods are made of ingredients that are unfit for human consumption, and they therefore contain a lot of toxins that I wouldn't want to eat, even second hand.

    What chickens need during the moult or during illness is protein, and the reason people started feeding cat food is because it is so high in protein, and higher in protein than dog food is. It's quick and easy and very cheap (because it's made of things we'd never eat). But I don't think it's the best option.

    Chickens do need high-protein foods during the moult or during illness. However, I think we can do better for them, and for ourselves, with healthier and less toxic protein supplements. We prefer to mix raw eggs and raw milk in our chickens' mash during the moult. Sometimes we add organic, grass-fed ground beef or ground bison (raw). They also love chopped hard-boiled eggs (without the shells--we save the shells for our food processor and mix them in the next day's mash). Egg shells are very healthy for laying hens, for obvious reasons. Just be sure they can't identify them as egg shells--you don't want them to get the idea to start eating their own eggs! Once they start that, it's very hard to stop.

    Don't feed more of these protein foods than they can eat in 15 minutes or so. You don't want these protein foods to spoil or to attract vermin.
  • sammisammi Senior Member
    edited January 2008
    and there IS such a thing as too much protein...which can cause liver/gout problems.
  • chickenladykchickenladyk Member
    edited January 2008
    Thanks for adding that, Sammi. I neglected to mention that too much protein is not good. The extra protein needs to be a supplement and not overdone!
  • crazychickcrazychick Senior Member
    edited January 2008
    I agree - high protein is hard on the kidneys and should not be overdone. Catfood is find when the bird is moulting or sick, as mentioned, but shouldn't be a part of the everyday meal. Layer ration is around 16 or 17% protein and is forumulated for optimum egg production and health...

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