Can chickens eat prawns?

Prawn is a crustacean with bones and 10 legs. They can be found both in saltwater and freshwater environments worldwide. Prawns tend to live near the ocean floor to facilitate finding food and avoiding predators. In terms of characteristics, prawns are large in size with large legs with claws on three pairs and branched gills.

Commercial Prawns of the suborder Dendrobranchiata is a common name used especially in the United Kingdom and Ireland to refer to prawn species of commercial significance in the fisheries industries.

Can chickens eat prawns?

Yes, chickens can eat prawns. Prawns are known as a nutrition source really good for chickens. It provides protein, Iot, vitamins, and some essential minerals such as canxi, magie, zinc,… to support the development and metabolism of chickens.

Prawns for the chickens
Prawns for the chickens

What are the ingredients in the body’s prawns?

In general, prawns are low in calories but rich in nutrients. This type of seafood is mainly made up of protein and water. On average, the nutrition of 100g of cooked prawns, energy: 99 calories, fat: 0.3 grams, carbs: 0.2 grams, cholesterol: 189 milligrams, Sodium: 111 milligrams, Protein: 24 grams. In which, prawns also contain some vitamins and minerals such as Iodine, Vitamin B12, Phosphorus, Copper, Potassium, Iron, Manganese.

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What are the uses of prawns for chickens?


The antioxidants in prawns are very healthy, helping to protect against inflammation by preventing free radicals from damaging the cells of the chicken. Many studies show that the antioxidant astaxanthin in prawns prevents wrinkle formation and reduces sun damage, thereby slowing down the aging process in chickens. This substance also plays a role in strengthening the arteries, helping the bones, muscles, heart, and digestive system of chickens to work properly. In addition, astaxanthin also helps prevent memory loss and neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s), as well as increases good HDL cholesterol levels.

Contains disease-preventing substances

The nutritional value of prawns is also appreciated as an abundant source of:

Iodine: An important mineral, necessary for the addition of salt to help the chicken’s metabolism to be efficient.

Selenium: This is a mineral that reduces inflammation and promotes heart health, and there is even research showing that this mineral prevents certain diseases in chickens.

Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids: Provides many health benefits.

Maintain body weight – avoid weight gain

Low in carbs and calories but full of nutrients,  prawns is an ideal choice for your broiler flock to maintain high broiler performance but without health problems. However, you also need to pay attention to the processing method. If you fry  prawns with a lot of fat, this food will somewhat have the opposite effect on the chicken’s body

Methods to prepare prawns for chickens

Preliminary treatment

Regardless of the processing method, you must first soak the prawns in cold water to wash them. One person uses saltwater. Pull the prawn’s legs and use your thumb to separate the shells from the flesh. You can then easily remove the head and tail (optional).

Many people also remove the black thread running along the back of the prawns, this is actually the digestive tract containing the stomach and colon of the prawns. The simple way is to use a small knife to split the prawn’s back to reveal the black thread, use the sharp end of a knife or toothpick to pull it out. After the preparation is complete, wash the prawns and drain the water.


Chicken can eat prawns in many different cooking styles such as boiled, grilled, steamed, or fried. However, you need to make sure the prawns are fully cooked. The sign that the prawns are cooked is when they curl up almost like the letter “C”, from gray to pink-orange.


Chicken can eat prawns in many different cooking styles
Chicken can eat cooked prawns (source)


Some notices when select prawns for chickens

On the other hand, if you can’t buy fresh, live prawns, you can use frozen prawns sold in supermarkets, provided that it is processed as soon as possible. Food experts advise against refreezing prawns after thawing. The softness and flavor of frozen prawns will definitely be affected more or less than fresh prawns, which will make the chicken unable to fully absorb the nutrients.

When buying live prawns, you need to pay attention to choose firm ones. The peel should be translucent and gray-green, rose-brown, or light pink. Black edges or black spots on the case usually indicate poor quality. In addition, both raw and cooked prawns should have a mild or sea-like odor. Do not use prawns if you smell an unusual smell, especially a strong odor such as ammonia or a strong fishy odor. This is often an indication of bacterial growth, the prawns may be spoiled and unsafe for chickens to eat.

Normally, prawns are usually 2.5 – 7.5 cm long, but there are many other types of prawns that range in size from small to giant. Prawns inhabit both warm and cold waters around the world. About 90% of the prawns you eat comes from people’s ponds, the remaining 10% is brought back by fishermen from the sea. Some people are often concerned about the quality of farmed prawns, specifically contaminated water or antibiotic residues. Therefore, it is important to buy prawns from a reputable supplier with clear provenance.


So, can chickens eat prawns? The answer is yes. Prawns are a healthy food that should be added to a chicken’s diet. The nutritional value of  Prawns has many health benefits as it is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and protein, which promotes the health of skeletal muscles and the digestive system. Although  Prawns has high cholesterol, it does not have a negative impact on health, and even helps reduce triglyceride and bad cholesterol levels.