Can Chickens Eat Butter?


You are well aware that chickens will eat almost anything you give them. What if you give them butter, are they allowed to consume this or not?

Running a farm and taking care of poultry can be exhausting at times. Although the list of choices you can feed your hens and roosters is long and various, that doesn’t exclude some items that can be dangerous to their health. For example, can chickens eat butter? 

You should definitely think twice before you fill your chicken’s food bowl with this ingredient, and we are here to tell you why. So stay with us and learn more about your chicken’s diet.

Can Chickens Eat Butter? No Butter For Them

Before you decide to pack the rest of your unnecessary kitchen groceries in one big container and give them to your chickens, we are here to warn you in time!

If you think butter is a good food choice for your chickens, you are wrong.

Do not allow your chickens to eat butter, especially not large amounts of this food.

Why not?

Butter is too high in fat. It contains almost 80% of fat, and this can be detrimental to your chicken’s health.

Fats are nutrients that have the purpose of providing energy for our bodies. However, the levels of fat vary. While some ingredients are packed with levels of fat, others contain very little. 

This is why we should be careful when consuming this nutrient, for example. It doesn’t mean that we should stop consuming it or feeding it to others – we should just pay attention to the amount. 

You can look at butter as an entire fatty portion of milk products that have been isolated.

To bring this matter closer and reasonable to you, take a look at this table:

Calories120
Water16%
Protein0.12 gr
Carbs0.01 gr
Sugar0.01 gr
Fiber0gr
Fat11.52 gr

From the table above, you can see that butter contains hardly any nutrients that are recommended for your chicken, but it contains an abnormal amount of fat

Let’s focus a bit more on the fat levels a can of butter contains.

Saturated7.29 gr
Monosaturated2.99 gr
Polyunsatured0.43 gr
Trans0.47. gr 

Among the fats mentioned above, saturated fat is the least harmful and can be consumed moderately. You can find saturated fats in ingredients such as:

  • Pork, beef, lamb. See Also: Can Chickens Eat Beef Fat?
  • Dark chicken meat 
  • Dairy foods (milk, margarine, butter, cheese, sour cream)
  • Tropical oils (coconut, palm, or cocoa oil)
  • Lard

Next are the monounsaturated fats – these fats are not harmful in smaller amounts, but they can cause cardiovascular problems when consumed in large quantities. They are present in:

  • Nuts (almonds, cashew)
  • Vegetable oils
  • Peanut butter and almond butter
  • Avocado

Polyunsaturated fats are also referred to as “essential fats” because your body needs them more than other types. These fats can be found in:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Canola oil
  • Roasted soybeans or soy nut butter

A carefully calculated amount of butter caries some essential vitamins like

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D 
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin K12

The Dangers Of Too Much Butter

Food that is rich in fats (all kinds) like butter will easily cause side effects and lead to disease in animals. For example, if we take chickens, these small animals need a small number of fats to make their health deteriorate in no time.

Chickens are prone to nutritional disorders.

Metabolic diseases (nutritional disorders) occur due to insufficient diet plans. Not consuming enough or consuming too much of some ingredients can affect, for example, egg production. This is something that not only affects your chicken but you as well. 

But let’s put some concrete names on the dangers of too many fats in your chicken’s organism.

First, there is the danger of fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome (FLHS).

This is a disease that primarily affects hens and jeopardizes egg production. This happens because the estrogen levels increase, and this harms the liver. 

With a disease like this, most chickens are just found clinically dead at the spot. Unfortunately, in most cases, there is no time for proper diagnosis. 

One thing you should do is pay attention to the farm history or the owner from who you are purchasing your chickens. If the farm you are visiting has a history of FLHS, you should definitely reconsider your choices.

Do your research, and avoid any unnecessary damage to your farm. 

Another disease connected to nutrition is heatstroke.

If your chickens have been exposed to excessive amounts of fat and hot weather is right around the corner, you are looking at a possible heatstroke. But how are fats and heat connected?

Well, if your chicken has surpassed the weight limits, keeping up will be hard. For example, fat chickens will have trouble breathing when it’s hot outside, moving and hiding from the sun, etc.

This can easily lead to collapse, seizures, a deficit in egg production, and even death.

Lastly, we have heart failure, of course. 

This is almost an inevitable outcome if you decide to go overboard with fat intake. You will notice that your chicken is in trouble if you find it showing weakness signs, temporary unconsciousness. The worst-case scenario would be seeing it dead on the spot.

Heart failures in the chicken are most commonly the result of excessive amounts of strong food that these animals can’t quite digest. 

The bottom line behind these diseases is that you should be extra careful when it comes to feeding your chickens. All of the disorders mentioned are, in most cases, fatal because there are too many chickens in your backyard for you to keep track of. 

Diet Control

The best way to prevent dangerous diseases like heart failure, heatstroke, or FLHS is to pay attention to your chickens’ dietary plan and provide them with safe ingredients. 

Here are the 4 crucial steps you should take to keep your chickens’ health in good shape:

Monitoring weight:– Although you are probably dealing with a huge number of chickens at your harm, you should still monitor their weight. These are animals that gain weight very quickly.
– Even if they don’t seem like their “fat,” you should still a certain number of them on the measuring scale.
Balanced diet:– Paying attention to what you feed your hens and rooster is crucial because 90% of health disorders come from insufficient diet plans.
– If you are uncertain what to give your chickens, consult with a vet or a professional who is already in the poultry business. This includes choosing the right commercial food.
Limiting treats:– Chickens love treats, and they are good for their health, but that doesn’t mean that they should exceed the nutritional requirements.
– If you feed your chickens too many treats, especially in a short period, they are in grave danger of heart failure. 
Exercise:– Exercise is an essential factor in burning calories, even for animals. Piling up food in the organism is very dangerous.
– With chickens being active animals, please don’t keep them locked up in the chicken hoop. It would be best if you let them run around your backyard as much as possible. 

CAUTION: Careful with winter feeding!

Many farmers automatically associate winter with increased nutrition. Unfortunately, this doesn’t often end up being a good idea. Fattening up your hens with too much food during the winter will give you an opposite-effect.

Don’t give your chickens strong foods like butter, especially during the winter. Adding nutrients that are high in fat will increase the risk of heart failure. 

Other Kitchen Food To Avoid

Sadly, butter is just one of the kitchen supplies that are dangerous for your chicken. So, if you have some unneeded kitchen nutrients, here are the ones that you should rather throw away than give to your chickens:

Anything That Contains Caffeine Or Alcohol

Don’t be negligent enough to give some ingredients that contain caffeine or alcohol in them to your chickens. This will automatically cause a stroke. 

This is just a huge NO.

Anything That Contains Large Amounts Of Sugar

Usually, people have a problem with how to throw away leftovers from birthday cakes, cookies, pancakes, ice cream, etc. One thing you should never consider doing is giving it to your chicken.

One slice of cake can be detrimental to them, especially the young chicks. 

Any Type Of Junk Food

Just like alcohol, giving junk food (hamburgers, pretzels, sodas) to your chickens is just unacceptable. This food is already filled with too many carbohydrates and sugars that make it already bad for your health.

Uncooked Pasta Or Beans

Any kind of uncooked food is terrible for your chicken. Uncooked pasta and beans happen to be the most dangerous because of their composition. Feeding uncooked noodles to your chicken can cause instant food poisoning.

Uncooked beans can cause both poisoning and choking which leads to death.

Choose Wisely

The best way to avoid health issues from feeding your chicken food from your kitchen would be to opt for a safer version of food – buying commercial food

So, if you decide to head down to the fodder shop, look for these labels. 

  1. “Scratch and Peck Feed” – this food is recommended for all three stages (from young chicks to old roosters). 
  2. “Manna Pro” – this brand has been on the market for a long time, and its reputation remains almost impeccable. This brand is packed with protein levels your chickens need.
  3. “Hiland Naturals” – if you are looking for something 100% natural, this product advocates non-GMO feed for chickens. (non-medicated)
  4. “Kalmbach Feeds” – this is a relatively new and unique type of chicken feed rich in amino acids and calcium. 
  5. “Kaytee Chicken Starter Grower Crumble” – Kaytee remains one of the famous chicken brands out there, and this concrete product is a must-have for baby chicks.

Sometimes, sticking to store-bought food that has calculated amounts of nutrients means saving your chickens’ health. 

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