Cat food for chickens?


10 Years
Jun 11, 2009
Mesa, Az
So I have been feeding my chickens a 21% protein dog food that I soak till it is soft enough for them to eat. My problem is that I want a 30% or more protein dog food, but it is $50 for a 40lb bag. I wasn't sure if I can give them cat food, I think I remember I can give them certain kinds. I can't remember what to watch out for when getting cat food..

Can you guys please help me out.. Thnx..
I've read on here in the past that people have given cat food to their chickens when they are molting or recovering from illness or injury and could use a protein boost. Just curious, why do you want to give your chickens so much protein? The grower feed should have a lot of protein, and it's nutritionally balanced for chickens.
I am trying to keep my birds in condition for show & was told to give them high protein especially during the winter months.. Am I wrong??
What would you suggest for a feed for show chickens? Any thoughts would be awesome.. Thnx
Sadly, I don't feed or show my chickens. They are just hatchery birds for my own breakfast and amusement. Try posting over in the "Breeds, Genetics, and Showing" forum and you'll get professional help pretty darn quick! I CAN tell you that my chickens are quite fond of canned cat food though.... I really have to watch my fingers when I put that dish down and then back away real fast.... Good luck!
I don't feed any exhibition chickens, but my exhibition ducks get a 20% poultry food, oyster shell, greens, flax seed, and a very very tiny little sprinkle of dry cat food.

20% protein is plenty of protein. The flax seed is oil producing and I give it for oil on the feathers. My ducks feel armor plated, their feathers are so hard and well oiled. The cat food is NOT for extra protein; it is used as a source of animal protein.

Perhaps show chickens need extra protein while they are growing a new crop of feathers, but even for growing feathers 20% should be plenty of protein. If your birds can not grow feathers with 20% protein, perhaps you should add some genetics for better feathering.

I'm feeding an expensive dry cat food right now because it was on sale for a very good price. Normally, I buy the cheap brand that is made of fish meal and a lot of grain. I want the ducks to have fish and the grain is fine for them (not great for cats, though). If you don't want the chickens eating fish, then you can buy cheap dry cat food made from meat meal.

I suggest that you only feed cat food, or dog food, as a small part of the diet. More like a daily treat than a meal.

I don't know why you want an enormous amount of protein, but you can buy turkey/ game bird feed that is 28% protein. I use it for the first week with ducklings and I use it to start Cornish Cross chicks. It's made for poultry, so should be balanced nutrition.

For good feathering on show chickens, I suspect it is more important to limit the time they spend in the sun and to keep dirt off of their feathers. Also house them so that other birds don't peck their feathers.
mine love canned cat food too.I use to buy the layer mash,add garlic powder,some good oil canola or sunflower etc,flax seeds,oats anything really add some cat food stir in some water till like mash potatoes thickness and they loved it but in the winter it will freeze if not eaten right away
Hi, I give mine canned cat food frequently in the winter. I have started a mealworm farm, but it is still young yet. I get cat food at Grocery Outlet and I mix it with rice for their morning treat. They get their usual crumble as well. Good luck!
Be careful of too much cat food there are things in it that are not healthy for birds.....It carries a lot of salt and that is not helpful. Hope this was helpful and have a blessed day. Nancy
I feed my chickens some cat food, cat treats work to with showmanship, but because my chickens are show chickens i feed 10% of a special mix (like calf manna and cat food+oyster shell, sunflower seeds) it makes black chickens feathers way more vibrant and rich. Calf Manna and Kitten Food works with my chickens and they love it too.

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