There had been countless reports of folks experiencing chickens eating dog poop.
Want to know what’s even weirder?
Dogs lapping up the chicken turds as quickly as they hit the ground. As expected, the scenario is rather disgusting but there seems to be no adverse effect on either one of them.
We’d discuss the reasons why chickens and ducks eat dog poop, the benefits, the bad sides and lots more.
Chickens Eating Dog Poop; A normal Act?
The relationship between backyard chickens and dog poop is a strange one. It’s not the usual fun though you have towards your chicken but it occurs anyway.
It’s a normal behavior for chickens to explore poop for tasty bits to eat. While there are bad sides to this as some things can be passed from dog to bird, and vice versa, they are much more likely to catch thse things from birds in the wild.
If you really cannot stand the mere thought of this happening, your only option may be to keep them in their coop full time. Just make sure your coop has lots of space for them to live and play in.
Is it Safe for Chickens to Eat Dog Poop?
My dogs also consume horse and chicken poop. They do this and I consider it a normal behavior. However, if they must feed on these things, you should be careful of what might be passing through.
An internet pet lover shared her experience of how she fed Rabon to horses to control flies. What does this do? It stops maggot development. She didn’t think dogs would be so zrazy to eat horse poop (but they did anyway) and guess what? Her two dogs lost a litter of dogs.
When she examined the label closely, there was a warning there telling users not to feed to pregnant mares, but mentioned nothing about other animals. Once she stopped feeding the products, there were no more problems with her dogs pregnancies..
So, if you are dosing your dogs for flea/ticks or heartworms, you might want to research if those medications could be problematic.
Dogs are known to consume cat poop and goat poop too. We discourage it, but they’re always ready to dive for it!
Another farm keeper shares her experience: Her chickens eat cattle poop… they actually take advantages of it as it lands. As far as your dogs are healthy, you shouldn’t worry about this weird act.
It’s the first step in natural decomposition. Birds spread out the poop looking for maggots, bugs, etc…, and they may also discover veggies, grains, and other nits of food that might have passed through.
Bad Side Of Your Hens/Rooster Eating Dog Food
- One bad side to this is that your dog can catch salmonella from consuming dog poop. Dog treats and food can easily contain salmonella in it (hence the huge number of dog food recalls for salmonella contamination).
It goes straight into the dog poo. That means that you’d risk getting salmonella each time you ate a 2-minute egg. This might bother you, unless you have been doing this for years and never had a problem or if your dogs don’t eat factory food or were “raw” eaters.
Maybe it’s a normal behavior, but to be safety wise, if you’d be giving out eggs from yiour backyard chickens that were eating dog poop, it would be nice to tell the receiver that the chickens providing the eggs are dog poop eaters. This is to ensure safety…. Especially if little kids or folks with compromised immune systems are going to consume the eggs.
- If the dogs has worms….. will the chickens contact and harbor these worms? Yes, not all worms gotten from chickens will be able to live in a chicken, but what if one survives and lives in your chicken. There is a chance your chicken will pass it on to you.
Also, imagine if the dog’s poop contains traces of heartworm medicine. The chickens eat it, don’t you think it could get to the eggs? Yes, I mean the worming medicine.
Having said that I don’t think that your chooks having worms would in any way affect the eggs, but to maximize safety, you might want to worm the chooks, the children, the dog and yourself (dog worms are zoonotic and can be transferred to humans, I am sure you must have heard this).
- Another big problem is that you don’t know what other people feed their dogs, or what chemicals (vaccinations, tick/flea treatment, vaccinations) they treat them with and how they might affect your chickens.
For instance, I have heard of stories where dogs become very sick after eating poo from recently wormed horses or sheep)
Is it safe for Dogs to Eat Chicken Poop
Cats and Dogs are not often hosts of the genus of coccidian parasites. It’s generally found in the intestinal tracts of birds such as ducks and geese, who may suffer diarrhea and even death if the infection worsens.
A friend’s duck had an avian parasite. How did this happen> She ate goose droppings when we looked away. Fortunate enough for her this type of Eimeria isn’t effective to cats or dogs. Because of this, it is known as a false parasite, or pseudoparasite.
It passes through the intestines and doesn’t require any form of treatment. Other animals that carry Eimeria that isn’t infective to pets include deer and rabbits.
Now, chickens eating dog poop is not safe for them. Neither is eating poop safe for your dog. This habit known as coprophagy, derives from the Greek words “copros,” meaning feces, and “phagein,” meaning “to eat.”
Dogs and other birds who snack on poop are at the risk of Campylobacter or Salmonella bacteria, both of which can cause diarrhea in dogs. On rare occasions, they might suffer serious diarrhea, but most dogs with healthy immune systems aren’t affected.
Do Ducks Eat Dog Poop!
Ducks at times can scoop up poop in their mouth and chow down (especially when it comes from siblings or other birds)
Most times, they wait till it gets dried out and hard, then pick them up and eat them like some yummy biscuits.
The reason for this is that they fill their stomach with beneficial digestive bacteria that is found in the feces. This type of behavior is not only restricted to ducks only, as foals (horses) do this too when they are younger.
In the case of an horse, they feed on the dam’s manure for this purpose. We don’t try to stop them or try to prevent them because its mother nature’s way of preparing them for starting to consume solid food.
Looking at it from this perspective, it could be that ducklings do that if they have their mother present but won’t try to shy away from eating whatever is available. Like the horse, this will help prepare them for digesting bigger pieces of food.
Another possible explanation could be that: Because ducklings tend to peck at anything trha us small and looks like a bug or a speck, they might peck on a poo cookie (a dried poo); and think it’s a bug or speck. Don’t blame them; they are just following their instinct for hunting bugs.
Now that you know the benefits and cons of chickens eating dog poop. What do you think, would you stand by and watch them have their fill or interfere? Let us know below!