Can I feed raw fish to chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by snaffle, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. snaffle

    snaffle Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2009
    A friend of ours cleaned out his freezer. Can I feed raw fish to my chickens?
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Yes, as long as it is not freezer burned or in some other condition where You would not eat it. I would also de-bone it just as you would for a cat or small dog. [​IMG]
  3. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014
    Why would it matter if it's freezer burned?
  4. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Well, while not unsafe, it degrades the quality and taste of the meat. IMHO, if the food you are going to feed to your birds is not something you would eat, you should not feed it to your birds. As you have probably seen, there are many people who ask if they can feed moldy produce or other things that are potentially harmful to the birds or, people who only feed scraps and things that they deem as compost "unfit for human consumption" and wonder why their birds don't produce desired results. Chickens prefer fresh food just as humans do. Why perpetuate the idea that chickens can eat crappy food and lead healthy lives.
    This is just me advocating good chicken health. I agree with cutting off the freezer burned parts and feeding/eating what is edible to reduce food waste where possible.That is a noble ambition overall.
    Better to ere on the side of caution with the delicate digestive system of birds than to deal with health problems later.
    Again, just MHO!! So, everyone is free to take it or leave it! [​IMG]
  5. Dens Hens

    Dens Hens New Egg

    Mar 2, 2015
    I am a fisherman, and use minnows for bait. I have been feeding my hen`s leftover minnows. They love them, an I`ve seen no ill effect.
  6. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2007
    emmet MI
    Absolutely! Fresh fish, live or freshly dead like minnows and feeder gold fish are excellent and fun treats for chickens! [​IMG]
  7. RezChamp

    RezChamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    From a philosophical and perhaps for some a much too humble point of view..... Chickens aren't really as stupid as we egocentric humans wish to believe. Unfortunately for our human ego chickens have their own hard-wired culture still in them. They haven't died out in their much longer chicken/Earthly history or killed their environment as we have in our much shorter human/Earthly history.

    As for spoiled food and chickens...I think we need to know the original chicken did not specialize in any particular source of nourishment. They were and still are an opportunist to the max when it comes to food.
    I used to harvest deer, elk and other animals....a lot! I provided a good life for my fam and a lot of other people. As did many of my friends. It became a tradition that the harvest make it's way to my home grounds for processing. Chickens, like many(if not all) other birds, don't have much of a sense of taste although their sense of smell apparently is astounding. My chickens would make their way to the discarded "whatever" and chow down on a whole host of what we humans consider "EEEEWWWW GGRRROOOOOSSE!!!!!!. I eventually moved this "discard" across the ditch then even across the wetland/meadow. I decided against having "discard" anywhere close to my home because the chickens started getting picked off by all kinds of predators, avian and terrestrial, as they found their way across a 1/3 mile of unfenced practical wilderness to the smell of feast which included EEEEEWWWWW! maggots.
    All this eeww factor seemed to have no ill effect on the eggs or the flesh of my birds. If anything it appeared to inflect a lot of "un-EEWW" flavor/s, some beautifully subtle.
    And of course because of the swamp/wetlands next to my place there are a lot of frogs, snakes, Stickleback, all kinds of bugs and nymphs of such, snails , etc.etc..

    My Pampa and Nana used to feed their chickens raw fish and raw rabbit. Not as a staple....LOL. It didn't affect the taste of the eggs or the roasted or fried or boiled for soup or stew chicken meat either. Well....maybe a bit of a taste if we "overfed".
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2015
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I would just chop it up small so they can swallow it.
    If it doesn't smell to high heaven, it's good.
    Jungle fowl never cooked their food.
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    [​IMG] Had to laugh at not feeding it to them if it were freezer burned! It's chickens, folks....they will eat just about anything. As to how to feed it...I'll give you a little example of how I fed them fresh trout this spring. I tossed it out in the yard and they ignored it for a couple of days while it rotted and gathered flies in the hot sun. THEN and only then, they consumed the maggots, fought over the skin like it was the last piece of food on Earth, consumed every single scrap of the fish~including the bones~and then consumed all the grass underneath the rotting carcass that had any of the juice from the whole rotting mess...they were practically licking the ground. If they had preferred them fresh, they would eat them while fresh....they obviously didn't.

    Like many animals and scavenger birds, they prefer to eat some of the more difficult to eat proteins after they have broken down, fermented and grown soft enough to ingest easily~this is not "crappy food", but food that is more easily digested for an animal with no teeth to grind fresh meat and a inability to digest some proteins unless they are fermented a bit. At that point I don't think freezer burn is going to matter much. [​IMG] Not only do chickens not have a "delicate digestive system" but they can eat things you'd never believe would fit into their crops. I've seen hens swallow 10 in. snakes in a couple of gulps...and this happens frequently, not just every once in awhile. No delicate digestive systems on this land.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2015

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