Can Chickens Eat Cheese?

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Chickens can eat cheese and they will enjoy many varieties served as-is. However, you should never feed them American Cheese, Cheese Puffs or Wet Cheeses. 

Many farms raise goats, cows, and chickens. Both cows and goats provide milk and that milk can be turned into many delicious products including cheese.

Can your backyard chickens enjoy a bit of cheese now and again?

In this article, we will explore the health benefits of cheese, and uncover which types of cheese are safe to feed your chickens, as well as the hidden dangers of this beloved food group.

Chickens Can Eat Cheese

Cheese can be fed to chickens as long as it is fed in minimal amounts and only offered occasionally.

Feeding chickens cheese can disrupt their digestive system due to the lactose it contains. The fat content of cheese can also be hard on a chicken’s stomach which is why portion control is key.

Many types of cheese have added salt and seasonings that are not good for your chicken to have, which is another reason why cheese should not be fed to your chickens in large quantities.

In general, too much fatty food is bad for your chickens and can lead to obesity and other health problems. Also, cheese should always be cut into small pieces because it can be difficult for your chickens to swallow.

What Types of Cheese are Safe for Chickens to Eat?

Only certain types of cheese are safe for chickens to have.

Cheese that is safe for chickens includes:

  • Goat Cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Blue Cheese
  • Gouda Cheese
  • Cheese Curds
  • Cottage Cheese (in very limited amounts)
  • Moldy Cheese (contains penicillin and is safe for chickens to eat)
See Also:  Can Chickens Eat Spinach?

On the other hand, here are cheeses that you should NOT feed your chickens:

  • American Cheese – Heavily processed and full of seasoning and preservatives.
  • Cheese Puffs – These are heavily processed and not nutritious for chickens
  • Wet CheesesIncludes things like ricotta cheese. Chickens have trouble processing too much wet food, so these aren’t the best choice.
prepackaged cheese crossed out
These types of processed cheeses are the worst kind for your chickens

It is important to keep in mind that even if you can feed your chickens a particular type of cheese, the amount of cheese you offer is important and chickens should not be eating large amounts of any kind of cheese.

Is Cheese Healthy for Chickens?

Cheese contains both a large amount of fat and a lot of protein. The protein in cheese is casein and casein helps chickens with egg production.

If fed in moderate amounts, the health benefits of cheese are plentiful for chickens. Cheese naturally has antibacterial properties and is a good source of vitamins, enzymes, and minerals as a dairy product.

Cheese contains:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Phosphorus
  • Probiotics
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin b12

These supplemental nutrients can have a positive impact on your chicken’s health if fed in small amounts as part of your chicken’s diet. Dairy products like cheese help bone health, the immune system, and keeping blood pressure regulated in your chicken’s body.


A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

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