Do Chickens Eat Dog Poop?

As disgusting as it might sound, chickens love eating dog poop. It’s perfectly normal for chickens to eat animal poop, including dog poop. Chickens usually eat dog poop for one reason- to get nutritional value from the poop.

Chickens eating dog poop doesn’t suggest your birds haven’t had proper nutrition in their everyday diets. Instead, it implies that your chickens want to get additional nutritional value from the dog poop, considering that dog poop contains undigested minerals and nutrients. However, dog poop can be hazardous to chickens.

Why do Chickens Eat Dog Poop?

Chickens will eat dog poop not necessarily because they are starving but for different reasons. If your birds are eating dog poop, it would be best to figure out why they are eating dog poop. These are some of the possible reasons your chickens are eating dog poop.

To Get Additional Nutritional Value

Chickens will peck at dog poop to get the extra nutritional value they can’t derive from their usual diet. For example, dog poop may contain plenty of protein since most dog feeds are rich in protein that passes out from a dog’s digestive system without being digested. Chickens will peck at dog poop to obtain such protein.

Dog Poop May Be an Alternative Food Source

Chickens can get some food particles they love from dog poop. Your birds will be keen to peck at the dog poop if they find some beneficial food particles in the poop. For instance, dog poop may contain undigested grains and parasitic worms. Although dog poop is stinky, your chickens won’t hesitate to peck at it if they find some of their favorite food particles in the poop.

Chickens Can Peck at Dog Poop to Improve Their Digestive System

Chickens aren’t ruminants like cows and goats. They have organs called crops that store food temporarily once a chicken consumes food. The PH imbalances in a chicken crop can make the food in the crop sour, subjecting the bird to digestive problems.

Chickens can eat dog poop to get some beneficial microorganisms from the poop. These microorganisms can help your chickens digest food particles without experiencing digestive issues. Therefore, chickens will occasionally peck at dog poop to introduce some beneficial microorganisms to their crops.

It Can Be as a Result of a Long-term Habit

Chickens that eat dog poop will form a habit of eating dog poop. The same way chickens that eat their eggs become habitual egg eaters over time. Once your chickens taste dog poop or get beneficial food particles from the poop, it would be hard for the birds to cease eating dog poop even if they have plenty of food at their disposal.

Can Chickens Get Sick From Eating Dog Poop?

Yes, your chickens risk getting sick from eating dog poop. If your chickens are pecking at dog poop, they will surely pick lots of parasitic worms. Most of these parasitic worms suck on your chickens’ blood, weakening them in the long run. Furthermore, parasitic worms also carry myriads of bacterial diseases, which can spread swiftly in your flock.

Dog poop may harm your chickens because it contains bacteria, such as salmonella. This bacteria adversely affects chickens’ overall health. Salmonella can also affect your chickens’ egg production. This bacteria can also find its way into the chicken eggs, placing egg consumers at risk of having the bacteria after consuming affected eggs.

Chickens can get sick directly from eating dog poop. Dog poop usually harbors E.Coli, a contagious bacterial poultry disease that spreads swiftly among birds. Your birds might die within days after eating dog poop with this bacteria. Overly, dog poop can make your chickens sick, especially if the poop has deadly worms, parasites, and diseases.

Can Chickens Die from Eating Dog Poop?

Dog poop isn’t toxic; therefore, your chickens won’t die from eating dog poop. After all, dog poop contains food particles, nutrients, and microorganisms that benefit chickens. The only problem with chickens eating dog poop is that dog poop isn’t entirely safe for chickens. Your chickens could die from eating dog poop if the poop has deadly worms and other parasites that could bring diseases to your chickens.

If your chickens eat dog poop with salmonella, they are likely to die not because of eating dog poop, but because of the effects this harmful bacteria will have on your chickens. Therefore, the best way to ensure your chickens don’t die from eating dog poop is by ensuring the birds don’t have access to dog poop. After all, you will never know what is in the dog poop, and the best way to keep your birds safe is by ensuring they don’t consume dog poop.

Should You Let Free Range Chickens Eat Dog Poop?

Free-range chickens are more likely to eat dog poop because they will spot some dog poop while roaming your yard. Although dog poop may be beneficial for your free-range chickens because it will give them the nutrients they aren’t getting from their diet. You shouldn’t let your free-range chickens eat dog poop because the poop could cause lots of health problems for your chickens.

How to Stop Chickens from Eating Dog Poop?

Chickens will likely eat dog poop the moment they spot the poop in your yard. This is what you need to do to stop your chickens from eating dog poop.

  • Remove the dog poop from your yard immediately before your chickens spot the poop.
  • Have a barrier that separates your chickens from your dogs to limit the possibility of your chickens coming into contact with dog poop.
  • Ensure the chickens have a proper diet to prevent the possibility of the birds eating dog poop due to nutritional deficiency.
  • Ensure your dogs don’t defecate all over the yard by training them how to poop at a designated point. Training your dogs will reduce the chances of your chickens spotting and eating dog poop in your yard.


Chickens eat dog poop and other animals poop because of different reasons. Your primary job as the chicken owner is to strive to understand why your birds are eating chicken poop. Since your chickens stand a high risk of getting sick from eating dog poop, it’s best to ensure your birds don’t eat dog poop, notwithstanding why they love eating dog poop.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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