Can Chickens Eat Shrimp

Although chickens are not picky eaters, providing them with a happy and healthy existence is still necessary. Chickens have distinct nutritional requirements from humans, and they require a completely different nutritional balance to stay healthy.

Chickens are omnivorous creatures, which means they can consume both plants and meat. This covers a wide range of foods, including insects, bread, eggs, and many types of leftovers. As you can see, raising chickens in your backyard is an excellent way to recycle.

In our guide, you can learn much more about can you eat shrimp tails before your chickens? By the end, you’ll know what menu can chickens eat and the health benefits they get from most seafood.

What it boils down to is that you’ll get the answers to whether chickens eat shrimp shells and chickens eat shrimp tails, or does it harm them? (Read Can Pigs Eat Tomatoes)

chickens eating

Can You Feed Chickens Cooked Shrimp?

Fresh shrimp is a low-calorie food that’s high in vitamins, protein, minerals, and good fats. It’s not only good for humans, but shrimp nutrients can be a tasty treat for your feathered friends.

One shrimp has a fat content of less than 5% and a protein content of over 80%. A chicken diet needs to be well-balanced to ensure that their bodies gain the vitamins and nutrients they require.

Vitamin deficits when feeding chickens can cause a variety of health issues. When served in moderation, hens can eat cooked shrimp. Most chickens can eat most seafood. 

You can prepare raw shrimps in a variety of ways, and they are a tasty dish packed with Omega-3 no matter how you’ve cooked shrimps, be it fried shrimps, dried shrimps, or another way. 

Backyard chickens can eat many foods, and taste have over 300 taste buds, and not fussed whether they have dried shrimps or cooked shrimps, or even raw shrimps to peck at.

Here you can find out what parts of shrimps chicken eat.

Is it possible for chickens to eat shrimp shells? We discard the shells when preparing shrimp, so rather than wasting them, you can ask, can birds eat shrimp shells.

What we consider rubbish can often be beneficial, and shrimp shells are no different. Shrimps pack lots of calcium in their shells and more nutrients to help chickens when laying eggs.

Just crush the shrimp shells and toss them in your chicken’s feed. Your chicken’s egg production may not increase, yet you’ll have better quality shells on your chicken’s eggs.

Just make sure you don’t accidentally toss in any raw shrimp, as this can cause them to be sickly even if your chickens love the taste of raw. (Read Do Chickens Lay Eggs Without A Rooster)

Generally speaking, if chickens can eat the shrimp shells and other seafood shells, can they eat shrimp tails?

Is it possible for your hens to eat shrimp tails? Luckily, there isn’t much difference between shrimp tails, as they are closely related to the seafood shells.  

Chickens can eat any part of a shrimp without worry.

Prawns are often eaten as much as shrimps, so can chicken eat prawns? Again, and while they’re different, they are still a healthy seafood option for your chickens to eat.

feeding shrimp to chicken

Here’s how to feed chickens shrimp

Chickens aren’t picky about where they get their food or other treats, which should surprise no one who raises them. Your chickens will happily take whole shrimp, whether they are fresh, cooked, or dried.

Chickens are great foragers who know how to scavenge for food in the wild. So pulling apart a shrimp and eating the juicy, fleshy piece is no trouble for them. Generally, they’ll eat anything you feed them, including tails, shells, and legs.

If possible, avoid uncooked shrimp, as will anyone eating raw seafood. There can be harmful parasites.

What Foods Are Poisonous to Chickens?

A confusing and debated issue in chicken keeping is what not to feed your chickens.

Some people feed chickens everything and leave it up to the chickens to eat what the chickens require. Other chicken owners know the chicken’s diet needs more thought.

We fall halfway in the center when it comes to deciding what chickens should not consume.

There are hundreds of foods that you can feed your chickens and some that you want to avoid. There are at least 33 foods chickens shouldn’t eat. Some foods on this list may not outright kill your chickens but have caused internal issues and are best avoided altogether.

From the Garden:

It may be tempting to offer your chickens every piece of food that comes out of your garden, but take a breather.

There are a few items in the garden that chickens just despise. Chickens are poisoned by the leaves of plants of the nightshade family.

Potatoes with green skin can make your chickens sick and even kill them, and they’re not good for you either!

Many types of uncooked beans will kill your birds. Be sure to do your best to keep chickens out of the garden and avoid giving them the items on this list.


  • Green Potatoes and Potato Leaves
  • Tomato Leaves or tomato plant with flowers
  • Onions
  • Rhubarb and Rhubarb Leaves


It’s OK to feed your chickens most foods in moderation. We also wrote a page on 100 things to feed your hens, including several kitchen items.

Warning: Keep out of the coop the following items. Some of these foods are deadly to hens, so don’t feed them to your hens.

When feeding poultry from the kitchen, always ask yourself, “Is this junk food?” Foods heavy in sugar, salt, or fat are not suitable for your hens.

  • Anything with caffeine or alcohol
  • Salty and sugary foods (Pastries, Baked Goods, chips and candies, or chocolate)
  • Avocado
  • Butter
  • Citrus fruits
  • Fried Foods
  • Frozen foods like Ice Cream
  • Rotten Food
  • Seeds and pits from fruit
  • Uncooked beans or pasta


Here’s where things get a little tricky when raising chickens. You likely have plenty of wild and cultivated plants growing around your home. If you have free-range chickens, they can try to eat those plants.

  • Azalea, ferns and holly
  • Foxglove and Nightshades
  • Lobelia and Lupine
  • Mushrooms
  • Rhododendron
  • Oak Leaves and Acorns

When feeding your chickens, always consider, “is this a nice, healthy food for people to eat?” If it is, you can feed it to your chickens, with some exceptions. (Read Chicken Wire Trellis For Cucumbers)


Can Chickens Eat Shrimp?

  • Shrimp is high in minerals, protein, and healthy fats. It’s good for us, and eating shrimp is suitable for our feathered friends. Most hens can devour raw shrimp, shells, and tails.
  • Don’t feed hens uncooked, rotten, or moldy fish. A lethal parasite in raw fish can kill hens.
  • Moldy food can sicken or kill your chickens.
  • Eating shrimp that is fresh can work out costly. However, chickens eat dried shrimp, and these are easier to handle for little beaks in smaller baby chickens.
  • Dried shrimp also works well and can be bought in bulk with fiber added to the dried shrimp.
  • Salt poisoning can occur in hens, therefore avoid salty human foods. While cooked shrimp is safe for chickens, make sure you don’t add Bay Seasoning, garlic, or salt, or other seasonings as these might not be safe for poultry on other foods and uneaten portions.
  • It’s safe to feed chickens leftover boiled shrimp with butter. But butter causes obesity and other health concerns in chickens.

Here’s how to feed shrimp to chickens:

  • Eating raw or cooked shrimp is simple; just toss the shrimp on the ground, and they’ll eat the tails and shells of the seafood.
  • Keeping your chicken’s healthy benefits everyone. It leads to better eggs, more meat, and less waste.
  • A healthy diet and a tidy coop help keep your flock in better overall health, and they live longer.
  • Don’t force shrimp on your hens. Not all chickens enjoy eating the same foods.
  • Besides the chicken’s essential diet of grains, fruits, and vegetables, shrimp is a delightful and healthy, excellent treat, and natural source of goodness.
  • Be sure to clean anywhere your chicken feed as leftover shells can attract rats and other rodents.
  • You’ll find shrimp healthy, yet it is good to vary the diet with some leafy greens. Chickens eat what you give them, so mix it up a little.

Can Chickens Eat Shrimp (2)

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