Can Chickens Drink Milk & Eat Cheese?


Can chickens drink milk and eat cheese? You bet they can! 

Chickens are omnivorous creatures and love to munch on a variety of foods. While they mostly eat grains, fruits, and vegetables, they also enjoy dairy products like milk and cheese.

In fact, many farmers give their chickens access to fresh milk so that they can drink it themselves. And if you’re ever lucky enough to have a fresh egg straight from a hen’s nest, you may see that the yolk is orange-yellow instead of the usual pale yellow. That’s because the hen has been eating lots of dairy products!

So next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up some milk and cheese and give your chickens a treat! They’ll thank you for it.

milk can be served to chickens

Is Milk All Right For A Chicken’s Health?

OK, the intro is not the whole truth. Chickens are actually unable to digest milk. This is because they lack the enzyme needed to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk. As a result, if a chicken drinks milk, it will likely experience an upset stomach and diarrhea.

So if you give milk to a chicken, make it a small amount so that the chicken will remain healthy. This is similar to some people who are lactose intolerant; they like milk products but can only have a little, or else they feel unwell. 

Yes, chickens are like humans in that regard. Humans, too, like foods that are not entirely good for them. 

Is Goat’s Milk Better For Chickens Than Cow’s Milk?

Surprisingly, goat’s milk is not necessarily better for chickens than cow’s milk. Both types of milk contain important nutrients like protein and calcium, but it seems there isn’t a marked difference between the two in terms of which one is considered healthier.

That being said, people who have given their chickens goat’s milk report that they noticed an improvement in their eggs’ yolk color. This is likely due to the beta-carotene content of goat’s milk.

So while chickens may not prefer one type of milk over the other, most agree that unpasteurized goat’s milk has the edge over cow’s milk.

What Foods Will Outright Harm A Chicken?

Chickens are curious creatures and will pretty much eat anything they can get their beaks on. However, just because they will eat something doesn’t mean it’s good for them. In fact, a number of common foods can be poisonous to chickens.

Avocados, for example, contain a substance called persin that can be deadly to these birds. Green potatoes and tomatoes contain solanine, a toxic compound that can cause gastrointestinal distress. Raw beans contain lectins, which can interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which can be harmful to chickens. In addition, salty foods can cause dehydration, while sugary treats can lead to obesity and diabetes.

So before you share your next meal with your feathered friend, make sure you know which foods are safe for them to eat.

In Summary

So there you have it – chickens can drink milk and eat cheese! Of course, moderation is key when feeding your feathered friends any dairy product.

Still, as long as you stick to giving them small to moderate serving sizes, they should be just fine. And if you’re ever unsure about whether or not a food is safe for your chickens, always consult with a qualified poultry expert first.

Photo by Nikolai Chernichenko on Unsplash