Can chickens eat cooked chickens?

A wonderful benefit of raising your chickens is that they are not too picky when it comes to food. Chickens are omnivorous and can eat most human food. You could finish your meal and feed the chickens leftovers and they would be fine.

But, chickens can’t eat every food that humans can eat, so people may wonder if they can feed the chickens chicken meat. Can chickens eat cooked chickens? They can, but only in moderation.

Can chickens eat cooked chickens?

The implication of feeding chicken meat to chickens has crossed most people’s minds at least once. But once you think it through, as long as the chickens are fresh or cooked, chicken meat is a great treat for your flock.

There isn’t anything morally wrong or unhealthy to feed the chickens chicken meat. Chicken meat, cooked or fresh, is very nutritious and contains some essential nutrients for a certain function in a chickens’ body.

Chicken meat’s health benefits to chickens

cooked chickens

Cooked chicken meat

The high amount of protein

Depending on what part of the chicken you use to feed your flock, chicken meat can have a great amount of protein, specifically 38g per 140g of cooked chicken.

If you opt for the chicken breast, the amount is higher at 37g per 120g.

Protein is a crucial nutrient for lots of animals, not just for chickens. It helps form and protect chickens’ vital body parts, regulate, repair, makes the immune system stronger, and balance body fluids.

It also contributes to the muscle growth of your chickens. This explains why there is so much protein in chicken meat in the first place. Your flock could experience tissue shrinkage or fluid retention if the protein amount isn’t enough.

Further reading: Can chickens eat uncooked split peas?

Decent amount of nutrients

Cooked chicken meat contains a decent amount of nutrients. They include Vitamin A, calcium, iron, and high amounts of minerals like sodium at 89mg per 120g and 307mg per 120g cooked chicken breast.

In those vitamins and minerals, there is calcium that helps with bone health and bone development. At a moderate amount, calcium can help prevent osteoporosis in chickens.

Calcium is also important for laying hens since it helps form the eggshells. A lack of calcium can result in brittle eggshells. Calcium helps with hormone secretion, nerve transmission, muscle function, and vascular function as well.

Although there is a high amount of protein and some nutrients in chicken meat, you should only feed it at the right amount since chicken meat also contains high amounts of substances that are not good for your flock.

Unhealthy substances


Cooked chicken meat contains up to 123mg per 140g. Cholesterol can increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Cholesterol can build up over time inside the blood veins and limit the blood flow.

When blood flow is blocked from getting to the heart, it can cause angina or heart attack.


The amount of fat in cooked chickens is 19g per 140g. A high amount of fat can lead to obesity in chickens.

Do chickens eat chickens in nature?

In a flock, if a chicken dies or the chickens are hungry enough, a chicken can eat another chicken. They don’t see the dead chickens as a member of the flock and will proceed to eat them no problem.

This is why you should check your flock often to be sure that no chicken dies without warning, even though it is a rare occurrence.

Try to check and look out for the chickens that are being pecked or harmed by surrounding chickens. The wounds from pecking over time can potentially lead to death if possible.

When you have identified the chickens with puncture wounds or missing feathers, try to separate them and look after them until they heal completely. Then you can put the chickens back to the flocks if it is safe.

What kind of chicken meat shouldn’t you serve to your chickens?

Chickens meat is protein-rich

Chickens meat is protein-rich

Cooked chicken is the way to go if you want to feed your flock chicken meat. Here is what you shouldn’t serve your chickens:

Rotten chickens

You have to avoid feeding your flock rotten chicken meat. It could contain mold or bacteria that are bad for your chickens’ health, especially sick or baby chickens.

Processed chickens

They include chicken nuggets, chickens in pre-packaged meals, and more. Oftentimes, those products contain little to no chicken and lack nutrients.

Also, they may contain preservatives or additives and are often high in salt, all of which is bad for your chickens.

Fried chickens

The frying process adds more fat to the chickens, which is unhealthy for your chickens. Also, there is a chance that fried chickens are high in salt just like some processed chickens.

Raw chickens

Raw chickens are unsafe for chickens as well as humans and most animals. They may contain salmonella, which can cause bad digestive problems. Cooking the raw chickens eliminates the chance that salmonella can hurt your flock.

How much chicken should chickens eat?

You should keep the amount of chicken meat at the right rate and make sure your flock gets healthy food in their main feed.

While chicken meat has a high amount of protein, don’t use it as the sole ingredient in the chickens’ daily feed. The chicken meat should only be fed as a treat, and limit that treat to about 10 to 15% of the chickens’ daily feed.


Can chickens eat cooked chickens? You can feed our flock-cooked chickens just fine, but only as a treat, and try not to feed them too much.

Cooked chicken meat contains a high amount of protein and decent amounts of some nutrients. However, it also has lots of fat and cholesterol.

Cooked chickens are the way to go if you want to serve chicken meat to your flock. You should stay away from rotten chickens, processed chickens, fried chickens, and raw chickens.


Image credits – Photo by The Brewers, Denis Agati on Unsplash