Chicken is a major food source for humans, hence it is important to understand the mechanisms involved in nutrient absorption in chicken. In the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), the microbiota plays a central role in enhancing nutrient absorption and strengthening the immune system, thereby affecting both growth and health of chicken. There is little information on the diversity and functions of chicken GIT microbiota, its impact on the host, and the interactions between the microbiota and host. Here, we review the recent metagenomic strategies to analyze the chicken GIT microbiota composition and its functions related to improving metabolism and health. We summarize methodology of metagenomics in order to obtain bacterial taxonomy and functional inferences of the GIT microbiota and suggest a set of indicator genes for monitoring and manipulating the microbiota to promote host health in future.