Can Chickens Eat Turkey? [Explained]

After a festival, there are usually a lot of leftover turkeys. We understand if you want to feed those to your chickens rather than spoiling them. 

So, now the question is can chickens eat turkey?

Yes, chickens can eat turkey. It is not only safe for them to eat but also beneficial for them. But you have to follow a few processes first to make it edible for chickens. Otherwise, it might cause food poisoning to them.

Want to know the full process to make it edible and safe for chickens? Then keep on reading the article.

Can Chickens Eat Turkey? Is It Safe for Them?

Can Chickens Eat Turkey

You might be wondering; why a chicken will ever want to eat a turkey. Because they are almost practically the same species.

But you will be surprised to know that they are food opportunists; also known as omnivores. Chickens will eat everything and anything that is offered to them. So, even if it is a leftover turkey, your chickens will eat it.

But now the question is: Is it safe for them to eat?

Well, as long as the turkey is properly cooked, it’s safe for the chickens to eat. Because it contains the necessary materials that will make the chicken healthy. 

For example, turkey meat contains high protein and low fat. In addition, it is also providing them with the necessary vitamins. These include vitamin B12, B6, and B3.

Turkey contains almost 29 grams/100 grams of protein of body weight. It not only fastens the growth of the muscle. But also improves its immunity system from within. 

Besides, it helps them have a much smoother molting process. Also, it improves the quality of the egg as well as in its production of it.

Turkey contains a lot more vitamins and minerals compared to other red meat. They help the meat to become soft and tender.

Turkey also provides calcium. Calcium not only helps them in laying the eggs. But also ensures that the eggs are healthy.

Also, there’s one more important thing to remember. Chickens can’t eat every type or part of turkey meat. Because some types will lead to them having food poisoning.

Thus, you have to be careful regarding this matter. 

What Parts And Types of Turkey Meat Can Chickens Eat?

As we already explained, it is safe for chickens to eat turkey. But it doesn’t mean that you should give them a full turkey to eat.

So, which parts should we serve them? The answer is quite simple as it sounds.

Turkey meat is very soft and tender compared to their bones. The bones are too hard for the chickens to bite. 

The bones can also get stuck in their throat and damage their internal organs. Thus, it is better to remove the bones before giving the turkey to them.

Furthermore, it does not have any necessary nutrition for them.

Now, the skin of the turkey contains a lot of beta carotene. This helps the chicken to maintain its stress as low as possible.

It is safe to give them a cooked one rather than a raw one. Because raw, uncooked, or processed meat contains salt, fats, and preservatives too. 

To sum it up, chickens can eat most part of the turkey. But they can’t eat bones and raw turkey meat.

How to Feed Chicken Turkey Meat Properly?

How to Feed Chicken Turkey Meat Properly

Chickens cannot eat turkey on their own. Feeding them in a proper manner will ensure no wastage.

We have to follow a few steps when feeding chickens. They are:

  • You have to take all kinds of bones out first.
  • Then you have to cut and chop the meat into small pieces.
  • After that, put all those in a bowl rather than throwing them on the floor for them to eat.
  • The meat will very easily spoil in touch with any grain. That is why you have to serve them separately. 

Now, you’ve learned how to feed turkey to them. But knowing these wouldn’t be enough. You have to be careful and consider a few things before feeding them.

4 Things to Consider When Serving Turkey to Chickens

There are a few things to be considered before serving turkey to chickens. These are-

  • It is not mandatory to give them meat on a daily basis.
  • Furthermore, serving them raw meat is a bad idea. As it will cause food poisoning and other deadly diseases.
  • You have to give them cooked turkeys. As they contain the essential nutrition for the chickens.
  • You should give them turkey in a small quantity. As excess protein is bad for their digestive system. 

If we keep these things in mind. We won’t face any problems as well as the chickens will be in a good shape.

Alternatives of Turkey for Chickens!

As we’ve already answered, chickens can eat turkey. This might create another question, what other meat types can they eat? The answer is given below-.


It might seem like cannibalism to you. But in reality, chickens also eat cooked chicken. As they contain very low fat. 

But still, we have to be careful with the bones. You need to chop them into small pieces and remove the bones. Before serving them to eat.


Ham is safe for the chickens to eat. Before giving your chickens ham to eat. You have to consider that; ham contains a high level of fat and salt. This makes it bad for their health to give them more than a few pieces a day.


Beef can also be eaten by chickens. But as it contains high calories, we have to serve them at a very low amount. Otherwise, it might lead to them having diseases.


Lamb is also safe for chickens to eat. Compared to beef, lamb has a much lower calorie. Though we shouldn’t feed them more. As it also causes food poisoning if overfed. 


Last but not the least, pork can also be eaten as an alternative to turkey. But we should only serve them properly cooked pork. 

As the bones are bigger than the turkey. It is better to keep the meat on them. Chickens love to peck into the meat from the bones.

All of these have almost similar kinds of protein and vitamin levels. So, pick which meat you want to feed your chicken! 


Which foods are not safe for chickens?

We know chickens will eat anything you give to them. But we also have to keep in mind that, some foods are not safe for them. Such as chocolate, moldy foods, raw meat, and uncooked beans and vegetables.

What is poisonous to chickens?

Solanine act as a toxin to chickens. It can be found in any type of caffeine product like coffee, tea, and green vegetables like eggplant, and flowers.

What leftovers can chickens eat?

Chickens can eat most of the leftovers. E.g. bread, corn, grains, meat, fruits, and some beans. But we have to keep in mind to give them at a moderate level.


Hope that now you have a clearer idea about can chickens eat turkey.

It can eat doesn’t mean that it should. We have to consider the process and parts of the turkey that needs to be served. Then the turkey will be completely safe for chickens to eat.

We hope we could help you. Good Luck!

Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan
Ryan Dugan

Ryan Dugan is a dedicated pet care professional who offers top-notch services for a variety of pet species. He has a soft spot for my own feline companion, Sophie. He is passionate about animals He shares his knowledge and experience on his blog to help other pet owners understand and care for their own beloved companions. Whether you need a pet-sitting service or advice on pet care, He is the go-to expert.

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