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Can You Feed Chicken to Chickens? – An Ethical Debate

I saw the question of ‘can chickens eat chicken’ recently and spent time researching the question to find out if it’s ethical or even legal to do so, and here’s what I found out:

Feeding chicken to chickens is technically possible, as they are omnivores. However, it raises ethical concerns and risks of disease transmission, especially if the meat is raw or from an unknown source. Many backyard poultry keepers avoid this practice due to the potential for spreading diseases like avian influenza and the moral implications.

Read on to find out more about the potential problems of feeding chicken to chickens, along with ethical and legal aspects to consider.

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Why Consider Feeding Chicken to Chickens?

Before we get into this, I want to clarify that I don’t feed chicken meat to my chickens and have never considered it. But I do want to look at both sides of the question to understand why it’s even something that’s considered.

I did some research into the potential benefits of feeding chicken to chickens, and I found out the following:

There is no beneficial reason why chickens need to be fed chicken because they can get all of the protein and other nutrients they need from a good complete chicken feed and other healthy treats.

This means that even though it might be illegal or unethical, it’s really unnecessary to feed chicken to chickens because there are so many other alternatives without resorting to cannibalism.

Although I get that chickens don’t know if they’re eating chicken or not, but the ethical question needs to be asked because, after all, we don’t find it acceptable to feed humans a bowl of human.

Is it Illegal to Feed Chicken to Chickens?

When it comes to feeding an animal to the same animal, some countries have regulations and rules, but it’s not illegal in many cases.

It’s a good idea to find out local livestock feeding rules where you live to find out what you can and can’t legally feed your flock because there are some surprising rules you might not be aware of.

There are specific rules because there have been outbreaks of disease in the past, caused by cross-contamination through feeding animals animal products.

Famously, the ‘mad cow disease’ outbreak happened when animals were fed with infected meat products, which then passed on into the human food chain.

This article was first published on May 5, 2021 by Pentagon-Pets.

Rules on Feeding Kitchen Scraps to Chickens

It is illegal to feed chickens kitchen scraps or any food prepared in a kitchen where meat is prepared in the UK.

This is a huge debate topic between chicken keepers in the UK because naturally, people want to feed scraps to their flock.

While not everyone might agree with these rules, they were imposed to prevent the cross-contamination of diseases that have the potential of entering the human food chain, as they have in the past.

These rules apply to both backyard chicken keepers of any flock size and commercial chicken farms. Anyone who owns more than 50 chickens also needs to register their flock officially so checks can be made.

This means that if you want to feed your birds treats such as fresh vegetables, and you’re in the UK, the food needs to either come straight from the garden or a shop.

chickens pecking at cucumber

Do Chickens Need to Eat Meat for Protein?

Some chicken keepers worry that their chickens aren’t getting enough protein to keep them healthy; however, if you’re feeding your flock a good complete chicken feed, they should be getting all the nutrients they need.

Chickens who are free-range or are kept outside will get additional protein from living creatures such as worms, insects, and snails which they find and eat as they graze.

Providing your chickens are getting a complete feed, there is no need to feed them with meat other than what they find naturally.

If you’re not sure if your feed is complete then it’s worth checking the pack or checking with the supplier to be certain.

Do Chickens Eat Each Other?

Many people don’t know that chickens are cannibals, so whether or not you think it’s ethical to feed chickens chicken, they will happily eat and enjoy chicken meat without a thought.

Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on May 5, 2021.

Chickens also like the taste of blood, and if another chicken has an injury that is bleeding, they will pack at it, which can make the injury worse and actually lead to the death of an injured bird.

While this situation is not something that happens every day, it does happen, so it’s a good idea to keep some purple anti-peck/healing spray that stops the other birds from seeing the blood.

You can get healing and anti-peck spray below from amazon.

You Might Also Like

I hope this post has helped you to find out more about chickens eating chicken; you might also like the following articles too:

Are chickens meat-eating carnivores?

What not to feed chickens – the ultimate guide

Is it Ok For Chickens to Eat Worms?

Feeding Chickens Cucumber (The Full Facts)

Do Chickens Know What Not to Eat?

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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on May 5, 2021.

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