Can Chickens Eat Salmon Skin?

salmon skin

Chickens CAN eat salmon skin. Actually, it’s pretty healthy for them.

Many people enjoy salmon for dinner and leave nothing but the salmon skin on their plates at the end.

If you were a chicken, you wouldn’t do that.

The salmon skin is just as tasty as the fish itself to chickens. And it comes packed with nutrients.

So, if you have some extra salmon skin lying around, don’t hesitate to toss it into the chicken coop.

Why Should Chickens Eat Salmon Skin?

Salmon skin is really healthy for both chickens and people. 

First off:

The skin of the salmon has more omega-3 fatty acids than any other part of the salmon, according to Healthline’s Kathryn Watson

Omega-3 fatty acids come with all kinds of health benefits. Improved heart health, better mental health, reduced inflammation and more have been tied to omega-3s in humans.

But what about in chickens? 

As it turns out, omega-3 appears to have benefits for chickens, too.

A literature review — meaning a study of a bunch of studies on the topic — found that omega-3 fatty acids could improve the following in chickens:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism
  • Bone production
  • Meat quality
  • Fertility

And salmon skin is packed with omega-3s.

A Word of Caution

Fish tend to pick up pollutants they are exposed to in their watery environments. 

That’s why many people prefer wild-caught salmon or salmon from the Pacific Ocean, which is thought to have less contamination.

Salmon skin can carry those environmental pollutants. These pollutants can be harmful to health over the long term.

So, if you feed salmon skin to your chickens, keep that in mind. 

One way to reduce pollutants in salmon skin for chickens:

Get it wild caught and from the Pacific Ocean if at all possible.

How to Prepare Salmon Skin for Chickens

It’s perfectly safe for chickens to eat raw salmon and salmon skin. However, you might want to cook the skin in particular.


Because the skin is pretty rubbery when it’s raw. That makes it hard for chickens to eat.

In most cases, of course, you’re probably giving leftover (cooked) salmon skin to your chickens. So, you don’t have to worry about that so much.

However, do make sure you haven’t used too much oil in the cooking process. The fat content of oil is pretty high. 

It’s OK for your chickens to have some cooking oil. Just make sure it’s in moderation.

Learn more about what chickens can eat.

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