Someone commented on this website: "An animal is allowed to eat non-kosher food and does not become non-kosher from doing so."

Is this accurate

edit: kosher fish often consume non-kosher creatures, so by that logic a chicken eating nothing but pork can still be kosher (?)

Note that the analogy of fish eating worms is used as part of the answer at Why does the use of horse manure as fertilizer not make produce non-kosher?

  • Could you post the link where you saw that comment? It may be helpful for other people to see the context.
    – Scimonster
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 7:51
  • 2
    A chicken on a pork only diet may be prohibited. See YD 60:1
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 13:47
  • sefaria.org/…
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 0:14
  • Can chickens even eat pork? I’m pretty sure all animals that are kosher are herbivores (not to say that being a herbivore is a requirement to be kosher, or that all herbivores are).
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 2:12

2 Answers 2


Why does the use of horse manure as fertilizer not make produce non-kosher? uses the analogy of fish eating worms as an example. Similarly, kosher birds normally eat worms and do not become non-kosher from doing so. That would be a better analogy, as chickens are normally not fed pork as part of their diet.


Leviticus 11:3–8 and Deuteronomy 14:3

Of all listed kosher land and air animals, as a rule rather than the exception, none consume other animals. In regards to birds in particular,

Deuteronomy 14:12–18

All predatory birds are not kosher. The kosher ones do not eat other animals. Is it specified, that kosher birds abstain from meat, no, but is the distinction between herbivore and carnivore birds clear, yes. Lastly, regarding unclean meat,

Exodus 22:31

Unclean meat goes to the dogs, which are not kosher. I realize the correlation isn't exact (the meat could theoretically go to a chicken), but it is written for the meat to go to a non-kosher creature, a dog.

Edit: the torn meat exo 22:31 refers to would be of an otherwise kosher animal, not of a non-kosher creature (which would be understood without exo 22:31 specifying it). What is left unclear by this passage is what if the torn meat was not kosher to begin with, could the dog still eat it? Or is it subtly implied that while an improperly torn animal can be fed to a dog, a non kosher animal shouldn't be fed even to a dog...

These factors led me to consider that man is responsible over what his animals eat. Therefore, when feeding a chicken only pork, by the will of man, it seems that the qualities which make the chicken kosher are intentionally reduced/altered.

I would therefore say that a chicken on a pork only diet cannot be kosher. Potentially, any non kosher food intentionally fed to an otherwise kosher creature would disqualify it. Would you eat such a chicken?

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