Can Chickens Eat Chicken Salad? Feeding Chicken to Chickens



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Well, my cousin Bobby brought his new chickens Margaret and Elsie with him since his kids were beggin’ to show them off after beggin’ for chickens all summer.

Those city kids thought chickens were pocket pets or somethin’! Anyways, Bobby let the chickens roam out back while we were eatin’ since they can’t sit still long.

Well, wouldn’t ya know it, one of them chickens started wanderin’ in through the back door.

Before ya knew it, it was marchin’ right up to the table like it owned the place!

We all froze, forks halfway to our mouths, as that darn chicken Margaret hopped up and plunged its beak straight into Grandma’s prized chicken salad!

Pulled out a big ol’ mouthful and started gnawin’ away like it was the tastiest Thanksgiving side it had ever had! I mean we were all just stunned, couldn’t believe our eyes.

Then your grandma busted out laughin’ and said “Well, I’ll be – guess that chicken’s got good taste!” and we all joined in cuz it was just too silly.

That got me thinkin’ though, could chickens really eat chicken salad? Is that like cannibalism for chickens or somethin’? I had to get to the bottom of it!

Now lemme tell ya, I did some serious research after that to see if chickens eatin’ chicken salad was even okay or if we needed to have ol’ Margaret checked out by some chicken psychiatrist!

First things first, chickens are omnivores just like bears – they’ll eat just about anything.

In the wild, they’ll sometimes go after bugs, worms, snails or even each others eggs when they’re feelin’ peckish.

Some places chickens might even scavenge after roadkill or fight each other over territorial disputes. So they ain’t exactly vegetarians! But the main thing is, chickens are build for digestin’ both plants and meat/protein.

Their crops can break down flesh just fine as long as it’s cooked all the way through. And store-bought chicken salad is always fully cooked chicken, so no worries there about salmonella or anything like that.

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Plus all them spices and seasonings in Grandma’s salad add flavor and nutrients without addin’ too much fat or sodium.


Eggs are also a natural part of a chickens diet too since they lay em! So nutrition-wise, an occasional bite of chicken salad could actually provide good protein, vitamins and minerals for Fido the Farmhouse Chicken.

The mayo is high in fat but too much of anythin’s not good, even ice cream! Moderation is key, just like with people chow.

But that got me thinkin’ even deeper – sure, one little taste may be A-OK for chickens now and then. But is chicken salad really somethin’ they should be eatin’ all the time?

After all, chickens out on the farm don’t exactly have deli sections or refrigerators stocked with Tupperware. Their natural grub is stuff like grain, bugs, greens and maybe a slimy slug or two if they’re feelin’ adventurous.

While chicken salad sure does sound tasty if you’re a chicken (I mean, who wouldn’t want seconds of Grandma’s famous recipe?), it’s probably not the most nutritious or balanced meal for them compared to a diet of whole grains, veggies, calcium for strong bones and Protein for feather growth.

Store-bought chicken salad is also way higher in fats and sodium than what chickens would find in nature.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some salty, fatty foods too – but in moderation! Too much and it ain’t good for your health or your waistline, chicken or person.

So while one little sample of chicken salad as a special Thanksgiving treat is A-OK, it probably shouldn’t become a daily part of Farmer Brown’s feed schedule if ya know what I mean.

Variety is best for gettin’ all the vitamins, minerals, protein and other good-for-ya stuff.

How to Make Homemade Chicken Salad Your Chickens Will Love


Now I know store-bought can be convenient, but nothin’ beats the taste of homemade! If you really want to treat your chickens right, whip up a batch of classic chicken salad using ingredients you know they’ll gobble right up.

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Start with 2 pounds of cooked and cubed chicken breast – your chickens lay eggs with protein too so they’ll appreciate some in their salad. Dice up 1/2 a cup each of carrot and celery for crunch and vitamins.

2 hard boiled eggs, chopped, adds more protein and flavor. A quarter cup of plain non-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt adds creamy texture without extra fat.

Season to taste with 1⁄4 tsp each of dried thyme, parsley and pepper. Mix it all up gently so the ingredients are coated but not mushy. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days for your chickens to enjoy!

Making it a Treat, Not a Daily Meal


As fun as theme chicken salads sound, it’s important not to overdo the human food with your chickens. Homemade occasional batches are fine as a special snack or supplement to their regular diet of feed, veggies and protein.

But you don’t want store-bought or human recipes replacing their nutritionally balanced feed on a daily basis.

Instead, save chicken salad for special occasions only, like holidays, their hatch days or when you want to show them some extra love. A few tablespoons per chicken once a week or less is plenty.

Their bodies are meant to get the majority of nutrients from a varied diet of whole grains, seeds and natural foraging.

Too much processed or fatty foods like chicken salad more than occasionally could lead to weight gain or nutritional deficiencies over time.

So use your best judgment and moderation. A little homemade chicken salad here and there is a real treat for your cluckers that won’t mess with their health!

Storing & Serving Homemade Chicken Salad to Chickens

Once you’ve whipped up a tasty chicken salad batch, it’s important to store and serve it properly to maximize freshness, safety and enjoyment for your feathery friends.

Place cooled homemade chicken salad in an airtight container, ideally glass or plastic, and keep refrigerated for up to 5 days. On serving day, take it straight from the fridge to avoid bacteria growth in the “danger zone” between 40-140°F.

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Use clean bowls or plates and toss a few tablespoons worth into each coop or enclosure. Don’t leave it sitting out for more than an hour. Your chickens will likely gobble it up fast, but remove any leftovers right away.

Hand feeding can work great too for smaller flocks so each chicken gets a chance to enjoy the special treat. With safe storage and proper small portions at a time, you can feel good about sharing your homemade chicken delights with the cluckers!

Feeding Chicken Salad to Baby Chicks and Pullets

New baby chicks and growing pullets have very different nutritional needs than adult laying hens. Their little bodies are working overtime to develop bones, feathers and vital organs correctly.

While an occasional supervised taste of plain, basic chicken salad likely won’t harm young chickens, it’s best to avoid feeding them human foods regularly and instead focus on a diet designed for growth and development.

Stick to commercial chick starter feed as their staple diet during the first 6 months at minimum. Supplement with hard boiled eggs, watercress or mealworms for extra protein if desired.

Once pullets reach adulthood at 5-6 months, they can handle the occasional small sample of plain chicken salad as a special treat in moderation along with their layer feed.

But avoid rich, creamy or spicy varieties which could upset their tummies at this delicate growth stage. Let your little ones fully develop naturally on their formulated feed before introducing fun human foods.

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