cat food for chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gailmaison, Feb 6, 2014.

  1. gailmaison

    gailmaison Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 4, 2013
    Is there any reason one shouldn't feed dry cat food to chickens ? Not as the regular diet, but a handful thrown around for the occasional treat.. You can pick up some pretty inexpensive large bags of cat food at places like Menards. I would never feed that cheap stuff to my cats, but as the occasional treat to the hens ....any problem ??
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hello & welcome!
    I use cat kibble for extra protein in the winter and around molting time. I mix it with a little warm water to make it soggy. A treat now and then is just fine, too much protein can cause kidney problems in humans (not sure about chix).
    I don't buy the stuff with color additive tho'. I did that once and almost had a heart attack when the chickens had bright green poop! Sue
  3. Shalom Farm

    Shalom Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2013
    I feed kibble as a treat or a little extra when my hens molt. I just give what I feed my cat (Blue Buffalo-grain free). They love it! They will knock you over for it and run off, each defending their bit of kibble.

    As boskelli1571 said though, stay away from the dyes. Personally, I stay away from fish and fowl flavors/ingredients because it gives a bit of an off flavor in eggs, if accidentally over fed to hens.

    A lot of top breeders actually give cat/dog food to their roosters when they are sick or getting ready for show. Not a whole lot, but some to boost protein.
  4. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    I give my girls a handful once in a while (maybe four times per month) as a treat, and it doesn't seem to do them any harm. This summer I was having a terrible problem with hawks, and my girls spent most of the day in the front of the barn so that they could at least be out of the coop, but they were still safe from the hawks. I have three outdoor cats, and I leave food out for them 24/7, and when my chickens were in the barn they would eat all of the cat food. It never caused any problems, and they looked and acted very healthy to me.

    Some people say no, or only give it to them when they're molting, but from experience I think that it should be okay to give to them as a treat once in a while. Just dont give it to them all the time. Then it could cause problems.

  5. Serenity Sav

    Serenity Sav Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2014
    Bonny Doon, California
    I feed cat food softened in water to mine as a treat; they love it.
    My cats know this too, and now they assume anything I feed the chickens, is cat food as well. When I give my chickens chopped veggies or fruits, the cats always eat some because they are *convinced* it must be something yummy.
  6. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 2, 2012
    My cats do the same thing! [​IMG]
  7. chad-o

    chad-o Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2013
    I see nothing wrong with feeding them cat food just read the ingredients. Maybe not as a steady diet but as a treat, why not.

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