It’s a good question, and the answer is yes: Chickens can eat sausage.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind if you plan to feed sausage to your flock.
Here’s what you need to know:
Is Sausage Good for Chickens?
Chickens CAN eat sausage — it’s not toxic or anything. But is it actually a good food for them to eat?
Yes and no.
First off: Sausage provides solid protein.
Chickens are omnivores. That means they eat plants and animals. Sausage falls firmly into the “animal” category.
But really, when you’re talking about protein sources for chickens, you’re usually talking about bugs, mealworms and commercial feed.
Sausage isn’t something chickens would encounter if they were running free in the wild.
It doesn’t mean you can’t feed sausage to your chickens. Just keep in mind that it’s not the ideal food source.
Raw vs. Cooked Sausage for Chickens
What if you’ve got a bunch of sausage that’s past the expiration date in your fridge? Can you toss it to the chickens?
Not yet. First, you have to cook it.
Because raw pork (the primary ingredient in most sausage) can carry bacteria and parasites.
These critters are harmful to humans. And they can hurt chickens, too.
So, before you throw raw sausage into the yard, take a minute to cook it up.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. (They’re chickens, after all!)
Watch the Salt and Sugar
A word of caution about feeding sausage to chickens:
Take a look at the nutrition facts. In particular, check the salt (sodium) and sugar content.
A little salt isn’t a big deal for chickens. But sausage can be PACKED with sodium.
That can cause some serious health problems.
It’s a similar situation for sugar. Too much sugar isn’t good for anyone — chickens included.
Will Sausage Affect the Flavor of Your Chickens’ Eggs?
By itself, pork sausage with few additives isn’t likely to change how chickens’ eggs taste.
But if you’re giving your chickens sausage that contains a lot of garlic and other strong flavors, you might notice a difference.
(It probably won’t taste like garlic, for the record. It will just be different — maybe a little off-putting.)
Even if the sausage has some strong spices, you’d have to give your flock quite a bit of it to actually notice a difference, though.
Can Baby Chicks Eat Sausage?
Baby chicks’ digestive systems are much more sensitive than the digestive systems of adult roosters and hens. Chicks need a simple diet with a nutrient-packed starter feed.
They really don’t need sausage. (Or anything processed, really.)
Sausage can cause digestive issues for chicks. It can also impede their physical development if it’s taking the place of other vital nutrition for a growing chick.
So, save the sausage for the older chickens. They’ll certainly enjoy it.
Everything (Including Sausage) in Moderation
Chickens can eat sausage. But it can pose some potential problems (covered above).
The solution to these problems? Moderation.
Chickens prefer a diverse diet. Sausage can be a part of that diet. Just make sure it’s a really small part of it — not the main course.