Can Gerbils Eat Chicken? [Benefits and Risks Explained]

Hey, gerbils lovers!


We love them because they are delicious as well as highly nutritious for us; however, this is not the same for gerbils. Gerbils are omnivorous animals, and they can eat a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, seeds, and some meat like mealworms, flies, and crickets is good for them.

So can gerbils eat chicken?

Yes, gerbils can eat chicken in tiny bites as long as it’s cooked and has no added salt, seasoning, or spices. The best way to feed chicken to gerbils is to boil or steam them.

Read to know more

Can Gerbils Eat Chicken?


It depends!

Gerbils are omnivorous animals and can eat various foods, including fruits, vegetables, seeds, and some types of protein sources. However, it is not recommended to feed gerbils chicken as a regular part of their diet. 

Chicken, as well as other meats, can be high in fat and protein, which can be difficult for gerbils to digest and may lead to health problems. 

Also, chicken is mostly prepared with a high amount of oil, salt, and a whole lot of spices which is not suitable for gerbils. And some of them are even toxic and can be lethal.

Therefore, you should avoid feeding highly fatty meat and stick with their regular diet of hay, seeds, grain, and a small amount of fruits or vegetables. Also, specially formulated gerbil mix should be given occasionally to ensure your gerbils’ overall growth.

Do Gerbils Eat Meat?

Gerbils typically eat a diet of seeds, fruits, vegetables, and small amounts of insects and other small animals. They can also be fed small amounts of lean meats such as boiled chicken or boiled lean beef as an occasional treat. However, feeding gerbil meat is not recommended as a regular part of their diet. 

The reason is simple: gerbils’ digestive system is used to have a plant-based diet of seeds, grains, fruits, and vegetables, and digesting meat can be difficult for gerbils. 

Thus, they do not eat meat; however, chicken, for example, can be given to your gerbils as an occasional treat if they like the taste of it.

Raw or Cooked Chicken: Which is Best For Your Gerbils?

raw vs cooked chicken

Cooked chicken is generally a safer option for feeding gerbils than raw chicken. Raw chicken can potentially contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can make gerbils sick if consumed. Cooking the chicken thoroughly at a high temperature will kill these bacteria, making it safe to feed to gerbils.

Additionally, cooked chicken is also easier for gerbils to digest, making it less likely to cause stomach upset or other digestive issues.

It’s always important to ensure that any chicken you feed to your gerbils is cooked fully, lean, and boneless and only given as an occasional treat. Keep in mind gerbils do not need chicken to survive; they are omnivores meaning they need a diet of hay, grains, fruit, and veggies.

Potential Benefits of Chicken to Gerbils

Chicken is popularly consumed for its protein content; however, they also offer a variety of other nutrients for us, but are they equally beneficial for gerbils too?

No, gerbils are not meat eaters, meaning they do not process and digest the way carnivore animals do. Still, a few potential benefits can come from feeding small amounts of cooked, lean chicken to gerbils.

  • Protein: Chicken is a good protein source, an essential nutrient for gerbils, and helps them maintain healthy muscles and tissues.
  • Vitamin B: Chicken is a good source of vitamin B, which helps gerbils maintain healthy skin, eyes, and a strong nervous system.
  • Iron: Chicken contains iron, which is important for maintaining healthy blood and oxygenation.

Note – while the chicken is highly nutritious and offers a variety of nutrients, gerbils do not need it to complete their daily nutritional requirement. Thus, provide chicken as an occasional treat and never overdo it; it can potentially harm your pet.

And lastly, it’s always good to consult a veterinarian if you are unsure about a particular food; they can suggest the best food for your gerbils.

Potential Risks of Feeding Chicken to Gerbils

Chicken is not a gerbil food; however, a tiny bite of cooked, lean chicken can be given to gerbils as an occasional treat, but there are some risks to consider

Here are some potential risks of feeding chicken to gerbils:

  • Harmful bacteria – Raw chicken can potentially contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can make gerbils sick if consumed. To prevent this, consider feeding boiled or steamed chicken.
  • High on fat – Chicken is high in fat, which can be difficult for gerbils to digest and may lead to health problems such as obesity and digestive issues. 
  • Allergies – Some gerbils may be allergic to chicken or other types of meat. Feeding chicken can trigger allergic reactions such as itching, sneezing, and difficulty breathing.

Please note that gerbils are omnivores, and they do not really need chicken or any other meat source to fulfill their regular nutritional needs, so you can simply avoid it, and they will happily live on a diet of hay, grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Also, I highly recommend consulting with a veterinarian before changing your gerbil’s diet.

How Do You Prepare and Feed Chicken To Your Gerbils?

It’s simple!

If you wish to feed chicken to your gerbils, ensure they are cleaned and cooked properly before serving it to your pet. Boiling or steaming is the best option with no added salt, spices, or seasonings.

Cooking not only softens the meat but also makes it easier to digest.

Here are some tips:

  • Firstly, take some good quality chicken and remove bones or skin from it if it has any, as these can be choking hazards for your pet. 
  • Avoid fatty parts of the chicken and go for lean and high protein pieces like chicken breast.
  • To kill harmful bacteria, chop the chicken into small sizes and boil it in water at a temperature of 165°F (74°C). Or you can simply bake it without any oil.
  • Start by offering a small amount of chicken to your gerbils and gradually increase the amount over time. It’s also important to monitor your gerbils’ health and adjust the amount of chicken fed accordingly.

It’s important to remember that chicken should be fed occasionally as a treat and not a regular part of the diet. Always consult with a veterinarian before making any changes to your gerbil’s diet.

Can Gerbils Eat Fried Chicken?

No, it is not recommended for gerbils to have fried chicken at all. They are the worse if you ever think of feeding chicken to your pet. 

Fried chicken is high in fat and salt, which is dangerous for your gerbils. It can lead to severe health complications like obesity and other health issues. 

Also, deep frying makes chicken highly caloric, making it hard for gerbils to digest the meat since they mostly eat a plant-based diet that is obviously low on calories.

So, if you want to feed chicken or any other meat, ensure it’s lean and cooked, and avoid feeding fried or oily food to your gerbils.

Can Gerbils Eat Chicken Nuggets?

Chicken nugget is a type of fried food, and they are extremely high in fat and salt and are often breaded or battered, which is not suitable for your gerbils.

They have a tiny and sensitive digestive system and cannot handle this much salt or fat; feeding fried chicken or chicken nuggets will make your gerbils sick.

Thus, treating your gerbils with something healthy like hay, seeds, fruits, and veggies is best. 

What about Chicken Bones?

Never feed or let your gerbils nibble on bones!

Chicken bones are highly dangerous as they can be a choking hazard and cause blockage or damage to the digestive system. 

Also, splintered bones can cause internal injury. 

So, you should strictly avoid giving any bones to your gerbils.

Alternative To Chicken For Your Gerbils

Chicken is ok for gerbils as an occasional treat, but this is not the only food they can have. In fact, they can eat a variety of food to enhance their taste as well as be beneficial to their health. 

Here are some alternative sources of protein for gerbils:

  • Boiled eggs: Boiled eggs are a good source of protein and can be given to gerbils as an occasional treat.
  • Cooked lean meats: Lean meats such as turkey, beef, or fish can be given to gerbils in small amounts. Make sure you remove the bones.
  • Insects: insects such as mealworms or crickets are also a good choice.
  • Tofu: These plant-based protein sources can be given to gerbils in small amounts.
  • Legumes: Legumes like peas, lentils, or soybeans are also good protein sources and can be fed to gerbils.

It’s important to note that gerbils should be fed only a portion of these alternative protein sources, and they should only be given as an occasional treat rather than a regular part of their diet. If you have doubts about any food, consider consulting a vet.

Final Thoughts

To sum up, gerbils can eat small amounts of cooked, lean chicken as an occasional treat; you should never overdo it as it can be harmful to your gerbils.

You should provide a balanced diet to your gerbils, including hay, seeds, grain, and occasional fruits and vegetables. It is the most suitable diet for gerbils, providing all the necessary nutrients they need to thrive.

If you feed chicken to your gerbils, it’s important to prepare it properly by cooking it thoroughly and removing bones and skin. 

Start by offering a small amount of chicken to your gerbils and gradually increase the amount over time. It’s also important to monitor your gerbils’ health, and if any adverse effect is seen, immediately stop feeding and consider expert advice.

Other Useful Articles:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *