Yes, chickens can eat cat food, but you should not make it their regular diet. Cat food gives an added boost of energy, fulfilling their dietary requirements from time to time. Cat food is a rich source of high protein, so you can feed it to your hens, especially when laying eggs, molting, and keeping them warm during the winters.
Like I said earlier, cat food should be an occasional treat and not become a regular feed. Chickens don’t need a very high protein food regularly, so feeding them every day may prove to be potentially harmful.
I will take more in detail about when and how to feed cat food to your chickens along with their benefits, so keep reading to find these details.
What’s Inside Dried Cat Food?
You can find cat food in two varieties- dry and wet cat food. So which one’s better for your chicken? What’s inside dry cat food? Dry cat food has higher amounts of carbohydrates and protein than wet cat food.
Dry cat food is made with an extrusion process under high heat and pressure. In such a process, the meat is first grounded, cooked in high heat, and then converted into a powdered form. Then makers add additional supplements like vitamins, fat, etc., which may get destroyed during the heating process.
Can chickens eat dry cat food? Yes, they can. According to some experts, dry cat food has higher protein than wet cat food. So if you’re feeding chickens cat food for additional protein, dry cat food is a better option than the wet variety.
Besides, dry cat food is easier to store, and they are cheaper than wet food. The specially formulated dry food has nutrients that chickens require in their dietary supplements.
Can Chickens Eat Cat Food Regularly?
No, chickens can’t eat cat food regularly. Cat’s food has excess protein, and chickens don’t require such high protein content in their main diet. A stable chickens diet should have 90% of regular chicken feed, and 10% of it should have treats, table scraps, and scratch grains.
So cat food should be just a treat and not a chicken feed. Also, you should give cat food specifically to molting chickens, egg laying chickens, and to protect them from winter chills. The protein boost in cat food helps with egg production and to recover from feather loss which chickens experience during molt.
High protein foods like kitten food help with the regrowth of new feathers. In such times, you can increase the amount of extra protein in regular chicken food. Ideally, you can include four tablespoons of cat food in the chicken’s diet to boost the feather recovery.
Do Chickens Like Canned Cat Food?
Chickens are not fussy about food, so they generally eat all sorts of food. So yes, chickens like canned cat food. Canned food is the wet variety, so chickens eat wet cat food just like they eat dry ones.
Is Cat Food A Good Source Of Protein For Chickens?
Yes, cat food is a good source of protein for chickens. Apart from protein, cat food has other nutrients which are beneficial for a healthy bird. Since cats require more protein in their diet, their food contains at least 30% to 40% protein which is higher than what chickens would need.
Therefore, while feeding chickens cat food, make sure you’re careful with the portion and how often you are giving it to your birds.
Other Food Types That Are Healthy And Nutritious for Your Birds
Apart from cat food, here is a list of other food items that are healthy, nutritious and chickens love to feed on-
- Most fruits
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Garden peas
Food Items You Should Never Add To Your Chicken’s Diet
Here is another list of food that you should prevent feeding your poultry-
- Coffee grounds
- Moldy food
- Avocado peels and skin
- Raw beans