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Can Chickens Eat Goat Feed

Many poultry farmers search for less expensive options for high-priced chicken feeds. If you keep multiple animals, you may ask, can goats live with chickens, and can they eat each other’s food?

So, are goat feeds suitable for chickens? What distinguishes the feeds for chickens and goats?

Goat feed is fine for chickens to eat, but it shouldn’t be their primary source of nutrition. Chickens need a diet that is nutritionally appropriate for their species to stay healthy.

In our guide, you can learn more about whether can chickens safely eat goat feed and does it offer all chickens require. By the end, you’ll find out, can chickens and goats live together on the same food, and if chickens can eat goat food, can goats eat chicken feed? (Read Can Chickens Eat Turnip Greens)

Can Chickens Eat Goat Feed

Health Benefits Of Chickens Eating Goat Feed?

The quick answer is that, as long as it’s done in moderation, chickens can eat goat feed without problems! To retain good health and consistently lay robust, delicious eggs, chickens must meet several dietary requirements.

A high-quality commercial chicken feed can quickly meet a chicken’s nutritional needs. Ideally, they should also be supplemented with bugs, seeds, plant material, and other things they find while they scratch around.

The following essential minerals and nutrients differ significantly between chickens and goats:


For the best egg production and to lay strong eggs, laying hens need to consume about 4 grams of calcium daily, and a standard layer feed contains about 4% calcium.

Conversely, goats require less calcium in their diet than hens do to avoid parturient paresis and stay healthy health.


For a hen to remain healthy, protein is also essential. A hen’s feathers are formed from protein, which is also essential for a hen to stay healthy and lay eggs as efficiently as possible.

A starting feed contains 20-22% protein, whereas a chicken layer feed typically contains 16%. Goats usually require 7-8% protein in their food to maintain good health. As you can see, the nutritional composition of goat and chickens feed is highly varied, as are the requirements of each animal.

chicken eat goat feeds

Can Chickens Eat Goat Feed?

There are two reasons you and many other chicken owners are curious if your chickens eat goat feed. If you have observed your chickens eating some, you may be wondering if you can supplement with goats food for a few days until you can acquire more chicken feed.

You’re out of luck, as goats’ and chickens’ feeds differ. With a goat pellet feed, chickens find these too large to eat. Additionally, goat feed pellets should be avoided when feasible because they might negatively impact a chicken’s digestive tract.

There are, however, a lot of goat feeds that are primarily made of hay or grains. Your chickens won’t have trouble choosing grains, muesli, cereals, and hay. However, goat pellets contain limestone and oyster shells that help with egg laying.

Therefore, if the goat feed is a grain mix, chickens can consume it, but only in modest doses or as an occasional meal rather than as a replacement for their regular diet. Although chickens may eat hay and goat feed containing grains like barley, rye, wheat, and corn, it just lacks the essential nutrients that laying hens need to stay healthy.

A chicken needs between 16 and 18% protein in its daily diet to produce eggs, support any molting cycles, and stay warm during the winter. Goat feeds typically contain between 12 and 14% protein. (Read Can Chickens Have Broccoli)

Therefore, even though you can feed your chickens goat feed, you shouldn’t do so frequently because it doesn’t provide all a chicken needs to be happy and healthy. This is generally accepted for a wide variety of other animal feeds, including all stock feed and game bird feed.

While feeding goat feed to yard chickens has some advantages, there are also some potential risks.

Suppose chickens overeat goat feed or other animals’ feed. In that case, they may experience health issues, so it’s essential to monitor their consumption and seek advice from a veterinarian if you have any worries.

What is Goat Feed?

A type of animal feed designed exclusively for goats is called goat feed. Typical ingredients include a mixture of goat-essential nutrients and hay grains. Most agricultural supply stores sell goat feed, which is offered in both grain and pellet form.

Benefits of Goat Feed for Chickens

Goat feed for chickens has a variety of advantages. Goats are browsers, which means goats eat leaves, twigs, and other plants over grasses. This diet produces goat milk that contains more protein and fat than cow’s milk. Additionally, goat milk has less lactose than cow milk, making it simpler to digest.

Because of their omnivorous nature, free-range chickens will eat a wide variety of foods, including grasses, insects, and small mammals. However, plants should make up the majority of their diet.

A chicken’s diet of its own food, such as regular chicken feed, contains a limited amount of grains, mainly required for energy. Greens, fruits, and vegetables should make up most of a chicken’s diet.

For chickens, goat feed is a great source of plant-based proteins, essential vitamins, and minerals. Goat feed can help chickens develop strong bones and muscles, produce healthy feathers, and lay eggs.

Additionally, by giving chickens prebiotic fibers that encourage the growth of healthy gut bacteria, goat feed can help chickens’ digestive systems. (Read Can Baby Chicks Eat Rice)

How Much Goat Feed Should Chickens Consume?

Goat feed is vastly different from chicken feed and that of other animals, so don’t feed large amounts to chickens; feed for goats meets the goats’ nutritional needs. However, a little goat feed can supplement a chicken’s diet.

How much goat feed chickens eat depends on the feed type, age, and health of the chicken. Younger chickens, molting or unwell, need more protein and other nutrients than healthy adults. It’s safe to feed chickens with 10% goat feed.

Signs of Goat Feed Allergy in Chickens

Chickens can eat goat feed, right? Goats and chickens are agricultural animals, so presumably, their feed is interchangeable, right? Feeding chickens and goats the wrong feed might cause health concerns.

Chickens can develop allergies from eating a goats food. This allergy causes breathing problems, diarrhea, and thirst. If your birds exhibit symptoms after eating goat feed, take it to the vet immediately.

Goat Feed Alternatives

Chickens can be fed alternatives besides eating goat food. Chicken feed, Fish meal, corn, and wheat are alternatives. Before changing a chicken’s food, consult a veterinarian or poultry expert that it meets their nutritional needs and contains all the animal proteins.

FAQs: Goat, Chicken Feed, and More

Can Chickens Eat Goat Pellets?

Never feed chickens goat pellets, as they have minerals that can affect your chickens’ digestion and digestive system. You can see they harm other animals like sheep, cows, and more.

Can Chickens Live On Goat Feed?

No, the chicken can’t live on goat feed alone as they need a balanced diet, and you would need to supplement your bird with something else.

Young chicks need more protein to grow and depending on one feed alone deprives chicks eating of vital nutrients. (Read What Is Deer Corn)

chicken treats

Other Treats To Feed Chickens

It is good to have healthy treats to serve your chickens.

Here are some treats you can feed chickens occasionally.

  • Cooked rice: Chickens can eat cooked rice, although they should never eat raw rice.
  • Corn: Chickens can eat fresh and dried corn as it is full of carbohydrates, providing enough energy for the day.
  • Kale: Out of all healthy vegetables, kale comes out on top.
  • Pumpkin: Cut pumpkin into small chunks, so it’s easier to digest.
  • Watermelon: Watermelon makes another great treat you can serve young chicks and adults to maintain their well-being. Just remove all the seeds first.

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