Can Chickens Eat Minnows?

Chickens are omnivorous in nature and this makes them capable of eating fish, bugs and flies. 

If you have an abundance of minnows from fishing adventures, you might be wondering if you can serve some to the chickens as a treat.

In this blog post, you are going to discover if it is good to serve minnows to the chickens as a treat or not. 

Can chickens eat minnows? Minnows are good for chickens. You can serve minnows to the chickens as a treat. Chickens can eat both fresh and dead minnows. 

If you have lots of minnows after a fishing session, you can allow your chickens to have a field day and clear the baits. 

Are minnows safe for chickens?

Minnows are safe for the chickens. Minnows do not contain Mercury just like tuna. So you should never hesitate to serve minnows to the chickens as a treat.

You need to do some research about the new treats which you want for the chickens and other pets you have in your care. 

You can ask other pet owners about the new treat you want to serve chickens. You need to know if there is any toxic substance in the treat you want to serve the pets. 

To be very honest with you, I have not served minnows to the chickens in the past. But I made some searches so as to give the right information over here. 

A member of the back yard chickens said he usually serves the minnows he catches from his neighbors pond. He claimed that the chickens do not fall sick since the time he has been feeding minnows to the chickens. 

Another one said that he serves three minnows to his backyard chickens and they seem to like the fish. 

With all these, there is no reason why you should not have minnows to the chickens as a treat.

You only see your chickens to always have something that will enrich their body system. 

You can’t just throw anything at them just because they are capable of eating most things. 

You should never treat your chickens as a garbage cleaner. You can easily harm the chickens if you don’t look after whatever you give them as a treat. 

How do I introduce minnows to my chickens?

If you usually serve fish to the chickens before, introducing minnows to the chickens should be as smooth as a breeze. 

Photo by Matt Jerome Connor from

You need to go slow at first when you are introducing a treat to the chickens. if it happens that the chicken is except the treating you can then gradually increase the amount you serve. 

You can sort the chickens a little amount of minnows and watch how they are going to react towards the treat you serve them.

It is obvious that the chickens are omnivores, so they should be able to eat the fish. 

The chickens might likely reject the fish at the first serving but you need to be very patient with them as they may later come back and finish everything up in the feeder. 

How do you feed chicken minnows?

Serving minnows to the chickens is straightforward and it does not require special techniques to go about it. 

Once you have minnows ready after fishing, you can hang them with the use of a fruit hanger and let the chickens have some fun. 

They will fly and have some pecks on the fish you hang until they are satisfied. You can then put the fish in the feeder if they are not showing any response when you hang the fish. 

How often do I feed my chickens with minnows?

Some people usually go overboard when they discover that their chickens are capable of eating certain treats they have in abundance at home. 

They will start serving the treats to the chickens regularly until it has been exhausted. This is a bad practice and you can have the well-being of your chickens as a result. 

Minnows should not be served more than three times in a month even if you have them in abundance from the fishing session. 

You can simply look for some other ways of making use of the fish instead of over feeding them to the chickens as a treat. 

Can chicks eat minnows?

I will not advise you to start serving minnows to the chicks. The reason is that they are yet to develop a vibrant digestive system to break down all the essential nutrients found in the fish. 

Can Chickens eat dried minnows?

Chickens should be able to eat dried minnows. You can try dried minnows out on your chickens to see if they are going to accept or reject them.

It will be very good if you can just grind the dried minnows into smaller pieces before you serve them to the chickens. This might increase the chance of acceptance of dried fish by the chickens. You can even add them to the feed you serve the chickens. 

Other treats you can serve the chickens

These are some other healthy treats which you can serve the chickens in order to expand the source of nutrients for the pets. 


Carrots are good for the chickens as a treat. Carrots are a good source of vitamin A for the chickens. Try to slice carrots into smaller pieces before you serve them to the chickens. 


Bread is one of the healthy treats which you can serve to the chickens. Chickens are capable of eating wheat bread but you should not serve the chocolate type. 


Cabbage is one of the healthy vegetables you can serve the chickens. Cabbage is a good source of antioxidants for the chickens. 


Pumpkin is a good treat for the chickens. The chickens really like pumpkins. Just make sure you break the pumpkin into smaller pieces for the chickens to consume easily. 

Treats that are poisonous to the chickens

These are some of the toxic treats you should not serve the chickens. 


You should not serve avocados to the chickens because their skin and their seed contain toxic substances that cause stomach upset in chickens. 


Chocolate is a good treat for the chickens as they contain a toxic Thamamine. 


Chickens can eat minnows. You can serve minnows to the chickens as a treat next time you go fishing. You can also serve dried minnows to the chickens. You can grind the dried minnows and serve the chickens before you serve them.