can i feed my chickens cat food

Cat food contains significantly more protein than chicken feed as well as less carbohydrates. Cat food also has a higher fat content than chicken feed so it’s not suitable for chickens as they don’t need all of those extra calories.

Can Chickens Eat Cat Food?

Chickens can eat cat food for short periods. However, feeding cat food to hens for long periods of time could be unhealthy for them.

Only about 2014–20% of a chicken’s diet needs to be protein, depending on the age, productivity, and season. Cats, on the other hand, require approximately one per cat depending on age. 5-2 times the protein needs of chickens.

For chickens, brief spikes in protein intake from cat food are acceptable. There are times of the year when hens’ needs for protein surge. It makes sense to give them cat food, which is very protein-rich, during these situations.

But letting your chickens eat cat food continually is unhealthy. A chicken’s body has a limited capacity to utilise protein. Therefore, any excess is either eliminated or turned into fat.

What Excess Protein Can Do to Chickens

Overweight chickens are unhealthy, but moderately fat chickens are acceptable. That aside, waste produced from protein can be toxic. The ammonia stench that proteinous wastes usually emit can harm hens’ health if they are exposed to it for an extended period of time. Some of these issues are eye irritation and respiratory distress.

Additionally, too much protein can damage a chicken’s kidney and liver.

However, eating a lot of protein will make you need to drink more water. Chickens are more likely to wet their bedding when they consume more water than usual.

Wet bedding will encourage the growth of bacteria that could be detrimental to hens.

Apart from that, when chickens eat too much protein, their urine will have a higher nitrogen content. Therefore, there is a greater likelihood of nitrogen compounds blistering the feet if chickens urine on their bedding.

When my chickens eat chicken feed (Costco brand), they lay soft eggs. The eggs were still runny and thin-shelled even when I added crushed oyster shells to it. When I ran out of chicken feed, I gave them dry cat food from Costco for a while, and they began laying excellent eggs without the need for oyster shells. So now I just give them cat food. Is there a problem with this?.


Can chickens eat cat or dog food?

Spoiler alert: it’s generally not a good idea to let your chickens eat dog food (as opposed to letting your chickens eat cat food), as it can lead to health problems down the road. This article may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

What is the best food for chickens?

Watermelon, strawberries, and blueberries make healthy snacks for chickens when fed in moderation. A few flock favorites include: Vegetables: Lettuce, beets, broccoli, carrots, kale, swiss chard, squash, pumpkins and cucumbers. Herbs: Lavender, mint, oregano, parsley, cilantro, thyme and basil.