Feeding Dry Cat food to Adult Chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Carolro55, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Carolro55

    Carolro55 New Egg

    Jul 10, 2012
    My Golden Lakenvelder hen survived the winter eating the dry cat food I put out for my 5 outdoor cats. Until I built a coop and added other chickens to my flock. Is it okay to feed hens dry cat food occasionally? What are your thoughts on this? I basically feed them layer pellets, some worms from my worm bin (red wigglers for compost tea) and sometimes freeze dried mealy worms mixed with oats (Chicken Treats in a package from Coastal Farm Supply).
  2. jallny

    jallny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2012
    no, no, no!! cat food is very dangerous to chickens!! the substances in cat food can result in death to chicken!
  3. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2007
    New England
    I have experienced chicken friends who feed cat food, in small amounts to their hens, in specific situations, for example, for an added boost during the molt.They've been doing it for many years with no ill effects. I don't because most cat food is made with material of questionable quality and I have better options for my hens. It seems to me that cat food is far more expensive that chicken feed and I can't imagine why you'd want to let your cats share with the chickens. It's good that you have your flock on laying hen pellets now. Don't go overboard on the "treats." Chickens need 16% of their intake to be protein. Worms and meal worms are around 50%. Chickens are greedy and lazy. It's important for them to move around and eat a little bit all day. Feeding rich treats fills them up and in excess will contribute to kidney disease and failure. I have more about feeding a backyard flock here: http://hencam.com/faq/what-to-feed-your-chickens/
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    For years I had to hide the cat food, because the hens would chase the cats off their food. I still occasionally give my new chickens a little catfood. I would agree that a steady diet of it is not a great idea. But a little as an occasional treat shouldn't be a problem.


    btw- chickens are VERY good at winning the "Hide & Go Seek" game with catfood.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  5. devora

    devora Chillin' With My Peeps

    One of my Leghorns sneaks on the porch every day to get a bite of dry cat food. When she sees me she flees like a thief b/c she knows she's not supposed to do this.

    God, I love that bird.
  6. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 12, 2012
    It's fine to feed your chickens kitten food. The pellets are smaller, and have the correct amount of protein chickens need to eat. Chickens evolved around creeks, and caught little minnows and other fish. That's where they got their protein. These days feed companies are putting in soy material in their feed.

    I have been feeding my chickens kitten food for 3 years now (I use Purina ONE) and their feather strength has improved an extreme amount. If you feed sunflower seeds, kitten food, scratch, Calf Manna, and your regular chicken food, you have one healthy bird.

    I've even been doing better at shows. Yellow scratch grains make my Jersey Giants feet more yellow, Calf Manna helps reduce stress, sunflower seeds improves their ability to have water run right off their feathers and kitten food keeps the feathers strong.

    I only put 10% of the special mix in with the regular food, too much is not good for them.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  7. RaeRae2

    RaeRae2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 28, 2011
    My chickens have been cleaning out the cat food bowls for years. The hen in my avatar is 7 years old and eats cat food every day and has since she was hatched practically. When I was growing up, the chickens always came up to the house and ate the cat and dog food out of the bowls we put out. I never heard of it being harmful for a chicken???? [​IMG]
  8. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    You can feed all the supplements OR you can just get a better chicken food. I personally get tired of trying to "make" regular commercial feed better. I always go back to local mash with Fertrell minerals & fish meal. I miss feeding pellets, but the birds thrive. JMHO
  9. brenda36

    brenda36 New Egg

    May 2, 2012
    How much of each do you mix of the cat food sunflower seeds and calf manna
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    My barn cat gets good cat food in meals; it's never just out there for the wildlife. I won't feed my chickens chicken parts or chicken meal, which is in most cat foods. Cats need very high protein and fat diets, nothing like chicken feed, either in analysis or cost per pound. Mary

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