Why Do Chickens Eat Styrofoam?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mymilliefleur, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

    Nov 4, 2014
    East Tennessee.
    I've always wondered, what is it about Styrofoam that chickens crave? My chickens LOVE any Styrofoam, or foam insulation they can get their beaks on. Anyone know why they like it so much?
  2. N F C

    N F C snowing & blowing

    Dec 12, 2013
    The first time I found out chickens love Styrofoam was when I worked at a gift shop in Key West. On days we unloaded boxes of merchandise, chickens would come from everywhere to get pieces of it. I've even heard of chickens pecking at Styrofoam life rings and other floatables.

    They do love it but it certainly isn't healthy for them to eat it. Styrofoam is made of a plastic (polystyrene), is not biodegradable and is viewed by the EPA as a possible carcinogenic.

    Styrofoam is a good reminder that chickens (like people) don't always eat what they should.
  3. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I do not know the answer, but I do know that they prize styrofoam, perhaps above all else. I have had to lock it up and or throw it away if I can not use it up, quickly. They can and do ruin the sheets to the point of them having no value. I have not seen any ill effects from this fetish, but it can not be good for them. There is no nutrition in it, I suppose it would be the ultimate 'filler.'

    It must somehow feel good to their beaks, or satisfy some premortal craving, from the dawn of either the chicken or the egg. Perhaps it was styrofoam that came first…

    Best to you and your birds,

  4. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

    Nov 4, 2014
    East Tennessee.
    Thanks. My chickens love foam too. I think it has to do with the texture, and possibly the taste. Since it's plasticy they can't really digest it, so I'm guessing most of it goes through them.
  5. wagoncab

    wagoncab Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Mine are eating it too. It's driving me crazy!

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