Since chickens are omnivores and like meat, I was wondering if anyone has ever given a freshly killed squirrel to their chickens. I have an abundance of squirrels that need thinned out and am thinking about trying it. Just seems like an easy way to add something to their diet this time of year when the bugs are few and far between. Has anyone tried it, or know of possible pros and cons of doing so?
Feeding squirrels to your chickens
The pros are that they are omnivores and operate on the ”do lunch or be lunch” principle. If it doesn’t eat them they will eat it. Even if it would eat them if it were alive they will eat it if it is dead. It’s good protein for them. Meat provides essential nutrients to a balanced diet that they don’t get from grains.
Some potential cons. Depending on how big your flock is they may not be able to strip the carcass. You may need to dispose of the partially eaten carcass. Well actually you will. How are you going to do that?
If you leave the carcass there it may attract predators. I’ve had crows fly into the run to eat the carcass. I’m surprised I haven’t seen vultures in there. Raccoons, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, possums, many things could be attracted to that.
The carcass can attract flies, the big green ones. If you leave it there long enough for the maggots to hatch, the chickens will get a feast from them, but the carcass will start stinking by then. The meat isn’t really fresh then either, it’s actually rotting, so you don’t want to leave it out there very long.
It takes some management but it’s good protein.
Thanks for the info. I've got plenty of carcass disposal space well away from my chickens. I think I may put the air rifle to use and give it a try to see how they do. Going to be expanding the flock this spring so it would be a cheap way to supplement feed as well. I like to give them variety when I can.
Mine catch and eat snakes, mice, frogs, earthworms, grubs, grasshoppers, June bugs, basically anything that moves. I’m not worried about bacteria or anything like that.
I did not feed a squirrel on purpose. They managed to catch and consume one though.
Mine will catch and eat mice and like Ridgerunner said pretty much anything that does not eat them first.
Side note.... do NOT hit your head and fall down in the run. Chances of getting out alive are slim.