Can Chickens Eat Pork Rinds? (Get The Facts!)

Chickens are omnivores and they eat just about anything. However, as concerned and caring chicken keepers, we have to ensure that the food our birds eat is safe for them. After all, many foods can be harmful to our chickens. 

But are pork rinds one of them? Can chickens eat pork rinds? What will happen if they do? How to feed pork rinds safely to chickens?

Let us find out.

Can Chickens Eat Pork Rinds? (The Quick Answer)

Yes, chickens can eat pork rinds or chicharrones in moderation. Pork rinds are made by roasting, baking, or frying pig skin. They are packed with proteins, B vitamins, and minerals. Pork rinds contain oleic acid, the same healthy fat found in olive oil. Baked pork rinds are also known to contain less saturated fat compared to beef and lamb fat. Moreover, they are lower in carbohydrate content compared to potato rinds.

What Are Pork Rinds? Do Chickens Like Pork Rinds?

Pork rinds, or chicharrones, are a high-protein, low-carb snack made from the skin of a pig. People often include pork rinds as part of a ketogenic diet. Pork rinds are readily available at gas station convenience stores, grocery stores, and online food stores. You can get them plain or in a variety of flavors.

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Chickens love pork rinds because they are airy and crispy and have a light, salty taste. It is a whole-food snack that your birds will love pecking at.

What Are The Health Benefits of Pork Rinds for Chickens?

As mentioned above, pork rinds are a snack made using deep-fried, baked, or roasted pig skin. They can be eaten plain but they are also available in a variety of flavors. Here are some of the health benefits of feeding pork rinds to your chickens:

Nutrient Content

According to experts, 6-7 pieces of pork rinds have the following nutritional value:

  • 80 calories
  • Proteins – 9 g
  • Fat – 5 g
  • Carbohydrates – 0 g
  • Sugar – 0g
  • Sodium – 270 mg
  • Cholesterol – 20 mg

As can be seen, pork rinds are extremely nutrient-dense. They can provide your chickens with proteins, healthy fats, and B- vitamins and minerals. Pork rinds also contain collagen, which can support your birds’ joints and skin health.

Healthy Fats like Oleic Acid

Pork rinds contain oleic acid, the same fat as olive oil. It can benefit your chickens by providing omega-essential fatty acids. These healthy fats are necessary for healthy feathers. Oleic acid can also be anti-inflammatory.

Lower in Saturated Fats and Carbohydrates

As the nutritional chart above shows, pork rinds contain lower amounts of saturated fats than other animal skin snacks. They also have zero added sugar and contain nearly zero carbohydrates. This makes them a healthier snack than potato or tortilla chips and potato rinds.

Health Consequences of Feeding Too Many Pork Rinds to Chickens

Although pork rinds are healthier than other snacks, you must practice moderation when feeding them to your chickens. Here are some probable health issues that could arise if your chickens eat too many pork rinds:

Obesity

Pork rinds are quite calorific. As seen from the chart above, just six rinds will provide your birds with nearly 80 calories. Also, commercially prepared pork rinds are high in salt, sugar, flavorings, etc. They are also usually deep-fried. These ultra-highly processed foods, in excess, could result in obesity in your chickens.

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Excess Sodium

A serving of 6-8 pork rinds contains almost 270 milligrams of sodium. High salt diets can cause the following issues in chickens:

  • Salt poisoning or salt toxicity – excess salt in a chicken’s diet can result in salt poisoning. Symptoms of salt poisoning include diarrhea, dehydration, excessive thirst, excessive urination, weakness, and death.
  • In laying eggs, high salt diets can cause eggshell defects and even shell-less eggs.

Nutritional Deficiencies and Imbalances

Remember that over-consumption of pork rinds can result in an imbalanced diet for your birds. Your chickens need a balanced diet with grains, vegetables, fruits, etc., along with commercial chicken feed. 

Eating too many pork rinds will unnecessarily fill up your birds. This could result in less foraging and a reluctance to eat other foods. This, in turn, can cause deficiencies in your pets and, subsequently, health issues.

How Do You Feed Pork Rinds Safely to Chickens?

Here are two things to keep in mind when feeding pork rinds to chickens and avoiding the above health consequences:

Choose The Brand Wisely or Feed Homemade Rinds

Look for pork rind brands that do not contain any artificial flavors, sugars, colors, etc. These ingredients harm your birds and could result in health issues. Select pork rind brands that are lower in sodium.

Better still, you can make the rinds at home in an oven, air fryer, or dehydrator. This way, you can control the ingredients and make sure that your birds get healthy rinds without any artificial additives.

Practice Moderation

Always provide pork rinds as a treat to your birds, not their main meals. It is important to restrict your chickens’ sodium and calorie intake.

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Feed a Balanced Diet

Chickens need a balanced diet with commercial chicken feed, grains, animal meat scraps, veggies, and fruit. You can feed a couple of pork rinds to each bird as a snack along with the main meals. This is important to ensure your hens’ health and well-being.

Can Chickens Eat Pork?

Yes, chickens can eat pork, as they need to eat meat as part of their balanced diet. Meats like pork, beef, chicken, etc. provide chickens with vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fatty acids.

Pork is especially great for your birds, as it provides them with healthy, essential fatty acids, vitamins like B12 and B6, selenium, and zinc.

Avoid feeding raw pork to chickens, as it could carry a risk of salmonella and other harmful bacteria.

Can You Give Fat To Chickens?

Yes, experts recommend mixing healthy animal and vegetable fats and oils with chicken feed. You can mix the following fats in moderation with your pets’ commercial feed:

  • Tallow
  • Poultry lard
  • Yellow-grease
  • Blended animal fat
  • Seeds
  • Meat

Fats provide your chickens with energy. They are especially important in the winter months, as they help your birds stay warm. They also provide your birds with vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Fats also help improve the physical appearance of the chicken feed and reduce dust formation. They help the feed remain lubricated and provide linoleic acid, which is an important essential fatty acid for your hens.

What Food Scraps Should Chickens Not Eat?

Avoid feeding the following food scraps to chickens:

  • Raw Green Peels- Raw peels of potatoes and citrus fruits can be hard to digest and could result in health issues in chickens.
  • Raw eggs and meat – these could contain bacteria and increase the risk of salmonella poisoning
  • Uncooked rice and beans – these are hard to digest and can even be fatal to your birds.
  • Moldy food, like moldy bread, could kill your chickens by causing serious infections.

In Conclusion – Can Chickens Eat Pork Rinds?

Yes, chickens can eat pork rinds, as they can provide healthy fats, proteins, and B vitamins to your birds. However, remember that moderation is the key, and too much of anything can result in health problems for your chickens.

Choose a brand of pork rinds that is low in sodium. You can also feed homemade pork rinds as treats to your chickens and as part of a balanced diet.

Can Chickens Eat Pork Rinds

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