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Can Chicken Eat Dog Food, Is it Safe?

Chickens are omnivores and tend to like to indulge in many different types of food. Just because your chickens want to do it doesn’t always mean that you should let them. So what about dog food? Can chickens eat dog food?

Yes, chickens can eat dog food. In fact, there are a number of nutrients in dog food that can be very beneficial to your chickens. Obviously, not all dog foods offer the same quality of nutrition. Looking at the ingredients can show you if your chickens would benefit from that particular brand.

Bowl of dog food and treats

Is it Safe for Chicken to Eat Dog Food? Should Your Chicken Have it?

Woman that looks worried

Feeding chickens dog food definitely isn’t dangerous to the health of your chickens, but like most foods, there are factors that you need to take into consideration. Chickens have very specific nutritional needs. They also should avoid fatty foods, as obese chickens risk illnesses and decreased egg production.

While dog food is not dangerous for your chickens to consume, don’t automatically assume that you can simply feed them that. Dog food lacks certain important nutritional aspects that make your chickens, and their egg production, healthy.

Preferably you want to select a dog food that is made up predominantly of meats, meat by-products, and grain. Oftentimes, too, you can find that there are added minerals and vitamins in the dog food’s ingredients.

What to Look Out For When Feeding Chicken With Dog Food

Man with a magnifying glass

When selecting a type of dog food to feed to your chickens, it is all about quality. You want to select a higher quality brand that has little to no overly processed additives. 

So what should you look out for when feeding your chickens dog food? One of the most important things is that you are not feeding your chickens too much dog food. While they can eat it, it is by no means a substitute for their own food. Look at it as a treat.

Chickens, of course, require different sets of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to thrive compared to those that are needed by dogs. Therefore, feeding them too much dog food in lieu of their own food, or healthy alternatives, puts your chickens in poor health and reduces your egg production.

One thing to look out for with your chickens’ behavior is if they are pecking excessively at each other. This is a sign that they are lacking in protein. Feeding them dog food may help this, or you may want to switch to a different source of protein such as shrimp.

Be sure to keep the amount of dog food that you are feeding your chickens limited. It is best used as an occasional treat, not something that they should be getting frequently.

Other than dog food, here’s a list of food you could consider for your chicken.

Can Chickens Eat Dog Treats?

Dog treats

Like dog food, dog treats are made from similar ingredients. Also, not all treats are the same nutritionally. When considering feeding your chickens with dog treats, your first step should be to look at what is in them.

As a general rule, chickens can eat dog treats, and if you are planning on giving them dog treats, the more gourmet the brand, the better. You can feed chickens dog treats very sparsely as treats usually have a higher fat and protein count than dog food.

Part of maintaining a healthy diet for your chickens is ensuring that they do not get too much fat. Fatty foods can cause stress and damage to your chickens’ livers, make them obese, and affect both their fertility and egg production.

Can Chickens Eat Dog Pellets?

Dog treats

Dog pellets can seem similar to some pellets like chicken feed. The crushy little bites can seem like a great treat that your chickens would enjoy. When considering feeding your chickens dog food pellets, there are some things that you need to look for.

Can chickens safely eat dog food pellets? You can safely feed your chickens dog food pellets, but keep in mind it should only be done as a treat. There is not enough nutrition in them for them to be of any value, like your chickens’ entire diet.

You can mix dog pellets into your chickens’ regular food, just remember not to over do it. This can be a great way to treat your chickens and keep their diet interesting. 

Can Chickens Eat Dog Canned Food?

Canned dog food

While you often think of harder foods for chickens so that they are able to peck at them, what about soft foods? Canned dog food can be an exciting and different treat for your chickens. 

So can chickens safely eat canned dog food? Yes, they can, and they enjoy it as well. I recommend that you spread a little around your chicken pen. This way, they can slowly consume it as a snack throughout the day.

Canned dog food can also come in handy if you have sick chickens in your hand. With the easy-to-digest consistency, it can be appealing to a chicken that hasn’t been eaten. Canned dog foods are often high in protein and nutrients. Again, always read the list of ingredients. The fewer additives and the more natural, the better.

Can Chickens Eat Baked Dog Food?

Bowl of dog food

Baked dog food, while it may sound similar to food pellets, is very different. Baked dog foods are either baked by you or made by companies that only use natural ingredients in the baking of their dog food. This means that if you were to feed it to your chickens there could be some big benefits.

Can chickens eat baked dog food? Yes, baked dog food is a higher quality food. As opposed to dog food pellets, your chickens are more likely to get nutritional value from eating them. It still should be fed as a treat or a snack, as these foods are often heavy on protein and fat to fuel dogs.

You can scatter baked dog food around for your chickens or you can mix small bits of it into their regular chicken feed. It will not harm your chickens, and they will find it a nice little treat.

Can Chickens Eat Dehydrated Dog Food?

Bowl of dog food

Dehydrated dog food is often one of the types of dog food that is more rich in nutrients, as it is designed to be a source that offers more natural protein. Chickens do benefit from a diet that is rich in variety, including the addition of protein. 

So can chickens eat dehydrated dog food? The answer is yes, but be wary, because with a higher protein and fat count, you risk ending up with overweight chickens. Dehydrated dog food should be fed to your chickens as a treat. 

To make it a more balanced food, you can mix small amounts of the dehydrated dog food in with your chickens’ regular feed. Or alternatively, you can mix it in with other treats that offer nutrients, such as vegetables or seeds. 

Can Chickens Eat Dog Food?

Chickens can eat dog food and it will not hurt them. What it comes down to is the importance of moderation. Dog food is by no means a substitute for your chickens’ regular diet. Always remember that when it comes to chickens, they need a diet that is rich in variety.