Can Rats Eat Chicken & Turkey? [What About The Bones?]

Have you ever been in the process of devouring a delicious piece of chicken or turkey and wondered if you can share some of it with your pet rat? If you’re here, then you’ve probably been in a situation like that and are asking yourself: Can rats eat chicken?

Most people know that rats are omnivorous, meaning that they can eat meat and plant-based foods, but that doesn’t mean that every kind of meat or every plant is safe for them to eat. It’s for exactly that reason that it’s so important that you do your research before feeding something to your rat.

can rats eat chicken or turkey

In today’s post, I’m going to go over everything you need to know before you feed chicken, turkey, or other poultry to your pet rat. If you’re looking for a quick answer, here you go: Yes, rats can eat chicken and turkey, but it should not be a large part of their diet. Chicken is quite low in fat so it’s one of the better meats for your rat to eat. Also, rats quite enjoy chewing on the bones. It’s a great way to grind down their teeth.

But wait, that’s not all there’s to be said about rats eating poultry. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about feeding chicken or turkey to your pet rat safely.

Can rats have chicken and turkey?

Yes, rats can have both chicken and turkey. Rats are omnivorous animals so they can benefit from plant-based foods as well as meats. However, while they can eat these birds and often really enjoy eating them, it should really not be a large part of their diet.

In nature, rats are scavengers and only eat meats such as chicken or turkey sporadically. Giving it to your rat too often can lead to rapid weight gain because it’s much higher in calories than the other foods they typically eat.

Are chicken and turkey good for rats to eat?

In moderation, chicken and turkey are great for rats. They’re an excellent source of protein while also being lower in fat and calories than other kinds of meat. For instance, ground beef is another kind of meat that rats can eat but it contains almost 3 times as much fat as a chicken breast!

Especially the breast is a good option because it’s the leanest cut of the whole bird – it’s lower in both calories and fat than other cuts such as the thighs or wings while containing a boatload of protein.

However, rats can eat all parts of the chicken, so don’t worry if you only have thighs or wings available!

Can rats have chicken bones?

can rats have chicken bones

Yep, they definitely can have chicken bones! In my opinion, the best, and most interesting way to feed chicken to your rat is actually by giving them some chicken bones with a little bit of meat still attached to them. That way, they have to put some effort into getting the meat off the bone which makes the eating experience more enjoyable for them. It’s also quite an interesting thing to watch!

In addition, since rats have teeth that grow all throughout their life, they need to grind them down. Chicken bones are a great way for them to grind down their teeth because they’re very hard.

Do rats like to eat chicken and turkey?

Absolutely. Most rats are huge fans of eating poultry like chicken and turkey and can’t get enough of it.

Of course, not all rats are the same and it’s very possible that your rat is not interested in eating chicken or turkey. If that’s the case, don’t force it on them – there are plenty of other foods that they can enjoy!

If you’re in need of some ideas for what to feed your rat, check out my rat nutrition guide where I go over the most popular foods that are safe for rats to eat. It also contains a list of the foods that rats can absolutely not eat and that are toxic to them, so I highly recommend checking it out sometime.

Can rats eat raw chicken?

No! You should never feed raw meat to your rat. Raw meat contains a lot of bacteria that are not good for your rat to ingest. Always make sure to cook chicken or turkey all the way through before feeding it to your pet rat.

The healthiest way to feed chicken to your rat is by boiling it or putting it in the oven because then there’s no added oil or flavorings.

How often can I give chicken to my rat?

Poultry such as chicken and turkey should only be given to rats sporadically – about once to twice a week as a special treat is more than enough.

I know that your rat is probably a huge fan of this food, but it’s our responsibility to keep our pets healthy and if we feed chicken to our pet rats too often it can make them gain weight quite rapidly which can lead to other health issues.


Can rats eat fried chicken?

Giving your rat a tiny, tiny, piece of fried chicken won’t kill him, but it’s definitely not healthy. Fried chicken is very high in fat, something that rats do not need a lot of in their diet.

For that reason, I do not recommend giving your rat any fried chicken.

Can rats eat chicken nuggets?

The same answer kind of applies here – a very small piece of a chicken nugget will not kill your rat but it’s best to avoid it. It’s simply too high in fat and grease.

Can rats eat chicken liver?

Yep! Organ meats are actually one of the healthiest meats you can give to your rat. They’re chock-full of nutrients that your rat will benefit from. Make sure that they’re cooked all the way through, then they’re safe to feed.

ThePetFaq Team