Can chickens drink beer? Is it bad for them? By this, I mean is it any more harmful than it is for us …
These aren’t as crazy questions as you may think. I mean, first of all, you’re here reading this.
Second of all, I’ve found out that a lot of backyard chicken owners share a beer with their flock from time-to-time!
If you fancy sharing a cold one with your chickens next time you’re in the mood, here’s everything you need to know:
Is Alcohol Dangerous for Chickens?
You may be aware that alcohol is very toxic to some animals. Cats, in particular, can’t handle their drink.
Just a few sips of a spirit can cause alcohol poisoning for a cat and can be fatal.
The same can’t be said for chickens, thankfully.
I’ve spoken with numerous owners who have given their chickens alcohol and watched a few videos of chooks enjoying themselves a little too much with no ill-effects.
This isn’t to say it’s not dangerous though. Obviously alcohol isn’t good for us, chickens, or anything else. Despite how enjoyable and fun it is to drink!
(Disclaimer – always drink responsibly, I’m not advocating anything less than sensible behavior for you and your pets here).
So, in a nutshell, a small amount here and there is fine. In fact, chickens absolutely love beer. Just keep it to a sensible sip because they do get drunk and will feel the effects if they drink too much.
Can Chickens Get Drunk?
Chickens can get drunk, yes!
I’ve not personally given a chicken enough alcohol to get drunk to see the effects first hand. And, not surprisingly I can’t find any studies on the topic.
I have read numerous accounts from other owners on forums that have either given their chickens enough beer to get them drunk (or they stole the beer apparently).
Seeing as body weight plays a big factor in how quickly someone gets drunk (you’ve used that excuse too I bet, right?), it’ll come as no surprise that a little chicky doesn’t need much to get tipsy.
As for how they behave… well, just like a drunk person would if they were a chicken.
They make more noise, run around and bump into things, some people say their hens get more violent. So, all the classic drunk things.
Again, although this might sound funny, I’m not advising you to give your flock any beer.
Related – Can chickens drink milk?
Chickens can drink beer, yes. Some, or should I say most chickens love the taste and will happily help you finish a drink off.
Putting drunk talk to one side, there are some serious and practical reasons for asking these questions.
Some birds and this includes chickens will eat berries that may contain alcohol, such as fermenting grapes. It’s important to know that it’s not toxic or dangerous for them.
It would have to be a pretty unique situation for you to actually share a drink with your flock on anything more than a rare occasion.
Image credits – Header image by Michelle Tresemer, in-body image by Wil Stewart on Unsplash