10 of the Most Creative Sources of Protein for Chickens

For chicken raisers and handlers, they all want their egg layers and meat birds in best conditions. Also, they want them to live healthily and happily. Then, eat the highest quality of protein for chickens. But, what are you supposed to do? How will you give your flock the right nutrition?

Do not panic. We are about to give you the list of the best sources of protein for chickens aside from chicken feeds. It may sound odd to some, but we assure you that your chickens will love eating them. Plus, these foods will help you save loads of money when buying chicken feeds.


Protein Sources for Chickens

Here is the list of foods rich in protein you can offer to your flock:

Meal Worms


Did you know that you can culture meal worms? You can even culture lots of bugs in your dryer or washer. It is such a small investment with a continuous supply of protein foods for your chickens. Once you made your mealworm clan, then they will be very affordable to maintain. Also, they are low maintenance. All you need is to check them a few days and provide them with new foods. Mealworms are also available at pet shops or, you can purchase them online.

Black Soldier Fly Larva

The truth is that your chickens love to consume fly larva or maggots. Just like meal worms, you can also grow these larvae in your home. But, the setup will be somewhat more complicated. Also, they have this migration instinct that will signal them to climb the ramp. Then, they will go down to a collection container.

You should also take note that they eat more than meal worms, so you need to feed them now and then. But, these maggots eat all types of food and even food leftovers. Also, they want to live in manure. They can also make the manure into compost.


You can also raise worms. However, it is best if you go outdoors and collect them. But, you need to remember that you can only find them in mineral-rich soil. What you need to do is to obtain a bucket and shovel. Then, you need to get the worms right after the rain or at dawn. You can just walk straight up and get them from the uppermost part of the ground. Moreover, you can ask your kids to pick the worms.

You can preserve them during the cold seasons when the bugs are scarce. Then, you may opt to roast or dehydrate them. Next, you have to store them in your fridge or a container. But, you need to label the container, so your kids won’t get confused and eat the worms.



You may feed your chickens with small fishes. However, you need to make sure that it is legal in your state. In fact, some chicken raisers caught troubles because they got fishes that are too small for the legal size. So, to be safe, you may have to catch Perch, Bluegill, and Crappie. They do not have a size limit. Also, those types of fishes are ideal for your chicken.

Animal Meat

So, what kinds of animals do we need for our flocks? The meat that you eat can also be the source of protein for your chickens. You have to be aware that you can skin and open small animals. You may remove their intestines and give them to the flock. But, for large animals, you may cut the meat into tiny bits and feed them to the chickens. You may cover the chunks in the freezer paper. Then, freeze them later on. Also, do not ever forget to put labels on the meat container.



You do not need to use the bones. All you have to do is to obtain the meat surrounding the bones. Your chicken wants to eat on the little portions of meat, especially the ones that are hard to reach. They like the bones, including the ribs and the spine.

Do you hunt animals? You can take leftover meat and bones that your chickens want to consume. In your local market, perhaps you can buy their remaining bones for a small price. Some butchers may even give them to you for free. When you roast a turkey or a chicken, you may finish every meat, but you have to save the bones for your chicken when you’re done.

Offal or Organ Meats

If you do not want these extra animal bodies for your lunch or dinner, then you have to give them to your flocks. If ever you have tried butchering animals, you may have done everything just to keep the intestines together. There are so many reasons why you need them intact, but the most valid reason is that they stink. You do not want to see a flock of chickens eating cow intestines in your yard, right?

Also, this applies to the gallbladder of the butchered animals. You do not have to give them these parts if they are big animals. But, I am not telling you that you can’t. It will still depend on personal preference. So, what parts of the animals are you going to feed the flocks? You can give them kidneys, heart, lungs, spleen, liver, and testicles.

Small Morsels


Are you trying to remove the rats in your house? When you catch them, you can feed them to the chickens. You can also feed them with moles, frogs, snakes, gophers, rabbits, and squirrels. All these are excellent sources of protein too. Also, when your chickens hunt animals in the wild, they can eat them.

Moreover, you need to remember that chickens are also dumb sometimes. But, they become wise when it comes to getting what to eat and what not. In fact, some raisers and handlers can check them out and leave behind things they do not want to eat. Also, you will learn what they want to eat and what not quickly by raising them. Every chicken is different. But mostly, they love toads, mice, and other morsels.

Dehydrated Eggs

In poultry, it is either scarcity or abundance, especially in egg production. But, if you have excess eggs, you can save them for your hen later on. Dehydrating the eggs is a perfect way to preserve them. Plus, it is convenient for you to put them to your feeds. Do not ever think that giving them eggs will motivate them to eat their eggs. When dehydrated, they turn into pieces and crumbles. So, they will have a hard time pinpointing what they are eating.

To create a dehydrated egg, you just need to scramble the egg and fry it up slowly. Then, let it cool for a moment. Put the scrambled egg in a dehydrator at least 10 to 12 hours. Then, put the dried eggs to a food processor or a blender to turn into bits. Place them in your freezer, or you can feed them to your chickens directly after preparation.

Food Scrap Seeds


Honeydew melons and cantaloupe have concentrated seeds on the inside. Also, you may also think of tomato seeds after a caning process. Then, you can use jalapenos or bell peppers too. Do not ever throw pumpkin seeds because they are also rich in protein. When you find seeds at home, you may do some research if they are ideal for your chicken food. Other seeds may cause harm to your flocks.


So, there you have it! The top 10 best sources of protein for your chickens. Do not ever panic if you see your chickens eating leftover foods or eating animal organs and small morsels. They can eat those odd sources of protein. What you have to make sure is that you add enough protein to their diet.

Katie Barnes

I’m Katie, a homesteader, I love everything that has to do with simple living. This is my personal blog sharing everything about homesteading, DIY tips and very clearly tutorial for everyone who love improving their house.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
Assi Gilskey - June 1, 2020

Hi Katie,
Very good input and very good source I can use for the chickens i am planning to get in a year from now. I will save our link and come back to it when i need to refresh my knowledge about the protein source for the chickens.

Thank you again and please continue your information input.

Thank you,
Assi Gilskey
[email protected]


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