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Can Chickens Eat Salmon & Tuna? (All You Need to Know)

Chickens will eat almost anything. One of their quirks is letting chicken owners cut on feeding costs. However, this does not mean that you can feed your chicken any food. Today we see if salmon and tuna are appropriate for chickens.

Can chickens eat salmon?

Chickens love to eat salmon. It is a fantastic source of protein for chickens. The right amount of salmon will help in bone formation. In addition, it aids in healthy egg production and immunity. However, you should not make salmon the only source of nutrients for your chicken.

Salmons are a high protein source for your chickens. It also provides chickens with Omega 3 fatty acids. Salmons should only be fed as a treat because feeding too much protein will harm chickens.

There are various parts of a salmon your chickens can eat. They are discussed below.

Salmon skin:

Chickens will have no problem eating salmon skin and scales. Chickens can eat salmon skin as long as it is fresh. Do not feed chickens rotten fish skin.

Salmon eggs:

Yes, it is safe for chickens to eat salmon eggs. However, your chickens may be picky eaters and ignore salmon eggs if better alternatives are available.

Salmon roe:

Yes, chickens can eat salmon roe. Eating salmon roe is like eating salmon meat; it has similar nutrients.

Salmon oil:

Salmon oil has endless blessings. It cures fatal diseases and keeps your chickens in shape. Salmon oil also helps in healthy oil production.

Salmon patties:

You should not feed chickens salmon patties because the additives and spices will hurt their tummy.

Smoked salmon:

Chickens can eat salmon, both cooked and raw. So, smoked salmon would not be a problem for your backyard friends.

Can chickens have cooked salmon?

Yes, there is no problem with chickens eating cooked salmon. Chickens love both cooked and raw salmon. However, you should make sure not to add too many additives when cooking salmon for chicken.

We humans can add spices for our delicate taste buds, but chickens cannot eat the additives we cook salmons with. Avoid seasoning salmon for chickens. Preservatives that contain vinegar and too much salt are a NO for chickens.

Traditional culinary spices can be used in minimum quantities while cooking salmon for your flock. Simply boil, bake, or grill the salmon. The rule is to keep it simple.

4 reasons you can feed salmon to chicken

Here are some reasons why you can feed salmon to your chicken.

Good protein source

Chickens need protein for their crucial biological functions. They need it during molting seasons and high-stress periods. 

Rich in nutrients

Vitamin B6, B12, unsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals are found in salmon, playing a crucial role in chickens’ health formation. This reduces the chances of heart diseases in chickens.


Salmon aids in the healthy growth and immunity of chickens. In addition, it also gives a firm shape to chickens’ bones.

Better eggs

Lastly, the main reason to feed your chickens salmon is to get better eggs.

How often can chicken eat salmon?

At most, chickens should be fed salmon only twice a week. Or when you feel chickens need the extra protein. Anything more than the required amount will harm chickens. Chickens should be fed as a treat, not a regular meal.

Even though salmon has high nutritional value, too much of it is not recommended. Salmon is rich in protein which will damage chickens’ internal organs. Kidney damage is a common consequence of too much protein.

Chicken has no way to store the excess protein. The excess ammonia will give off a bad smell.

Can chickens eat tuna?

Yes, chickens can eat tuna. Tuna contains crucial nutrients like proteins and vitamins that are beneficial for your flock. However, too much tuna could be lethal for your chickens. Some tuna contains mercury which can make your chicken sick. If fed in moderation, tunas are a wonderful food source.

Chickens can eat a variety of tuna items. Here are some ways chickens can eat tuna.

Tuna salad:

Tuna salad is the best combination of food you could give to your flock. Chickens eat vegetables and often fight for an extra bite of tuna salad.

Tuna in oil:

Tuna in oil is suitable for us to consume, but it will harm your chicken if fed in large quantities. Too much oil is bad for them.

Tuna mayo:

Chickens can eat mayonnaise. So, there would be no problem with feeding your flock tuna mayo.

Raw tuna:

Chickens love to eat raw tuna. Fresh tuna from the water is always a good meal for chickens. However, do not feed your chickens rotten tuna.

One thing to keep in mind, tunas may contain mercury, so they should be fed in moderation.

Tuna pasta:

Yes, chickens can eat tuna pasta. Just make sure you do not add too many additives. Chickens cannot eat too much dairy.

Tuna scraps:

Chickens will eat almost anything. They are not picky eaters. Tuna scraps are delicious for them as long as it is fresh. Rotten tuna scraps will make them ill. 

Can I feed chickens canned tuna fish?

Yes, you can feed your chickens canned tuna fish. Canned tuna fish is a better option than raw tuna fish in some cases. Raw tuna fish often contain mercury which is bad for your chickens.

You should also keep your eye on which type of canned tuna you feed your chickens. Tuna in oil is bad for chickens. Feeding tuna in canned water would be better as it does not contain any oil or salt.

Skipjack and light tunas contain less mercury than albacore or bigeye tuna. Consider other low mercury varieties while feeding your flock.

How does feeding your chickens tuna affect eggs?

Tuna is rich in minerals and vitamins. One of the crucial elements is Vitamin D. It helps your chicken absorb calcium from the food source. Healthy bone production and overall development all depend on vitamin D consumption.

Shortage of Vitamin D will reduce egg production. Calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin D are all required to lay eggs. These nutrients are available in tuna fish.

So, feeding your chickens, tuna fish in moderation will ensure healthy egg production. However, too much tuna will harm your chickens.

Some say that feeding too many fish makes eggs taste fishy. If that is the case, cut back on their fish consumption.

How often can chicken eat tuna?

You should only feed your chickens, tuna fish once a week. Tuna contains a good amount of protein and other nutrients that will harm your chickens if fed in high amounts.

Most people mix up tuna with a regular meal. Tuna should only be fed occasionally or as treats once a week. As tuna has mercury, which is lethal for chickens, you should take further precautions not to overfeed it.

Chickens love to eat tuna fish, and one can of tuna fish per week is fine for them.

What kind of fish can chickens eat? Best fish to offer chickens

Chickens love to eat a variety of fish. Here is a list of the best fishes you can feed your chickens.


It is the best fish you could give to your flock. Tuna has crucial elements that help in growth and egg production. Canned tuna is widely popular as poultry feed.


Halibut is also a good alternative to tuna. Consider picking fresh halibuts for your chickens.


Cod has a low level of fats so that you can give it to your chickens without any issues.


Canned sardines are great alternatives to tuna. However, you should feed it in moderation.

How to feed fish to chickens? Can chickens eat fish bones?

Feeding fish to chickens is an easy task. You can feed your chickens both raw and cooked fish. Simply rinse the fresh raw fish and spread it on the ground. For cooked fish, make sure you do not add too many additives.

Smaller fishes have weaker bones, so it is recommended as raw. Tuna and sardines should be canned in water. Avoid any oil or brine as preservatives. 

Chickens can eat fish bones as long as it is tiny in size. Larger fish bones will cause serious complications. Always mash the bones before you serve them. To avoid any chances of disaster, completely remove the bones from the fish.

Final Thoughts

Chickens love to eat fish, be it cooked or raw. As their owner, you should occasionally provide fresh, nontoxic fish to your flock. The nutrients complement your flocks’ diet and provide you with healthier, improved eggs. Consult a veterinarian if you see any irregularities in their behavior.