Chickens love table scraps and it’s always tempting to offer them anything we have leftover. It’s always good to check that the food you’re giving them is 100% safe though.
Can chickens eat sausage? The answer is dependent on what type of sausage. But generally speaking, sausage and other meats are fine as long as they’re cooked properly and free of seasoning and additives.
What's in Sausages?
There are almost endless types of sausage in the world. Most countries seem to have their own national favorite, but there are some staple ingredients that make a “sausage" a sausage.
- Ground meat - Usually pork, but sausage can be made from any meat.
- Salt, spice, and flavorings
- Grains, breadcrumbs, and some similar “filler” foods
- The skin is typically made from collagen and cellulose
In most countries, a sausage is required to have a certain percentage of meat to be legally classified as a sausage.
The amount of meat can vary from anywhere between 30%-100% in a sausage. This is the first thing you should check when determining how much sausage is filler and seasoning.
Can Chickens Eat Sausage?
Generally speaking, cooked meats are fine for chickens. Raw meat, on the other hand, is not.
So, as long as the sausage has been properly cooked, it should be fine for your chickens to eat.
This does come with a small caveat, however. As I mentioned above, there are loads of different types of sausage.
When I’m talking about sausages in this article I’m mainly talking about regular meat sausages with few flavorings.
You need to be careful when giving them sausages that are heavy on the seasoning. For example, sausages containing a lot of garlic or onion can affect the taste of their eggs.
Or, a sausage that’s very salty isn’t ideal for them. Chickens should not eat salty foods. A little here and there isn’t going to harm them, but salty foods cause increased thirst and some long-term health issues.
Is Sausage Good for Chickens?
Chickens are omnivores, so they would eat meat if left to fend for themselves.
Admittedly, this would mostly come from bugs, mealworms, etc. But they do require a good deal of high protein from their diets.
As I already pointed out, as long as the sausage you’re given them is properly cooked and high in meat content, it’s good for chickens, yes.
Here's a video of some chickens going pretty crazy for what looks like a frankfurter if you needed some evidence that they love sausage:
Some Foods That Are Toxic to Chickens
This isn’t a complete list - always check before giving your flock something for the first time - but here are some foods that are a lot more toxic to chooks than you probably thought:
Green Potatoes and Tomatoes - If you had some spuds or tomatoes that were not ripe enough, you may have been tempted to give them to your flock instead.
When tomatoes, potatoes, and some other vegetables in the nightshade family are green, they contain a toxin called solanine that is potentially very toxic to chickens.
Related content - Here’s how to make sure potato skins are safe.
Coffee and Chocolate - There are a couple of things this duo have in common; the first is that most of us love both of them, and the second is that they both contain caffeine and theobromine.
Two compounds that are toxic and harmful to chickens. So, no sharing of coffee grounds/ granules or chocolate.
Fatty/Greasy Foods - This is probably an obvious one, but greasy foods high in fats, salt, sugars, etc are not good for chickens.
Raw Beans - These are like silent killers. Did you know that raw beans actually contain a very harmful toxin called phytohaemagglutinin?
It’s quite the word, so don’t be alarmed if you haven’t.
This toxin is very dangerous to chicks. It’s neutralized when beans are boiled for more than 10 minutes though if you want to feed your chickens beans that are safe.
Avocado Skin and Pit - This is becoming a well-known problem for pet owners. The skin and the large seed inside avocados are toxic to chickens, as well as other household pets like cats and dogs.
Some Other Foods Chickens Love
If you need some ideas of what to share with your flock, here are some food that are safe, they’ll love, and you probably have around your home: (All of which have been verified by the ASPCA)
Cooked Foods - There is a long list of cooked foods that you can share if you prepare too much. Some of the least expensive and easiest foods are brown rice, pasta, and beans. You can also give them a little bread too.
Grains - Chickens love most grains. Try giving them some oats, barley, wheat, and so on.
Herbs - Herbs are great because they offer some unique healing properties. They’re easy to sprinkle into their feed, you can grow your own, and they’re inexpensive.
Chickens can eat sausage yes. As long as it’s a high meat percentage sausage that’s not too heavy on the spices, additives, and other filler that some sausages have.
Keep it simple, make sure it’s well cooked, and you’ll have a very happy flock!
What are sausages really made of? - GoodFood.com.au
Salt intoxication in chickens - PoultryDVM