Alternative meats?

ChaoSS

Songster
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
322
46
103
Ok, so as I wait for my chickens to arrive (should be delivered the 12th of next month) I'm trying to think of alternative sources for meat for them. I hear people talking about feeding roadkill and the like to their chickens, but I'd be concerned about the possibility of diseases.


So, here are my ideas, let me know which of these are reasonable, and which are just chicken brained. (har har, har har.)



Dog poop. Not that they would eat the poo itself, but I have a big ol pile in my backyard, composting, and I rather imagine that there are a good number of bugs making it their home. If I rake it out a little, can I put a chicken tractor partially over some of it? Do I need to worry about diseases from the dogs? Worms? (my dogs aren't showing signs of worms, but you never know). Do chickens tend to try to eat poo and get sick?


Other birds. If I pop a crow or other bird trying to wipe out my garden, can I skin it and chuck it in with the chickens? Is there a risk of disease transmission that wouldn't be there with birds flying overhead and possible pooping in the run? I'd imagine there are a number of diseases that can pass between different types of birds, not sure what kind of risk there is there.


Feral cats. If I get a feral cat in my trap, or get one going after the chickens or rabbits, is there any reason I can't let the chickens eat it? I've heard of issues with the meat from carnivorous animals, specifically with various parasites that can be in their meat. Is this an issue?


Are any of these things safer if I boil the meat first? I'm sure I could chuck something into a stock pot on a camp stove outside for a little while if need be.



Oh, and also I've started throwing some leftovers that aren't going to get eaten in some bags in the freezer, can I just dump a frozen lump of food out for them and let them eat it as it thaws? Also, since most of this is going to be for Cornish X's I ordered, when can they start eating meat?
 
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foreverlearning

Songster
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
2,421
326
198
Grit needs to be provided if they are going to eat meat. I would boil the meat to prevent many things from transferring to the chickens. If dogs have worms the chickens can get them from the compost pile, keep an eye on it. Chickens love proper compost piles (something other then just poop like leaves or bedding and stirred). I wouldn't feed them you wouldn't eat yourself if you had to. Such as roadkill...if it is bloated, covered in maggots, and stinks you wouldn't eat it for fear of getting sick but if it was fresh and you had to you would eat it. I freeze things all the time and throw it outside frozen, it is a great treat and a great way to cool them down in the summer. For the winter you want to warm it up first because you don't want to reduce their internal temperature too much.
 

ChaoSS

Songster
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
322
46
103
Grit needs to be provided if they are going to eat meat. I would boil the meat to prevent many things from transferring to the chickens. If dogs have worms the chickens can get them from the compost pile, keep an eye on it. Chickens love proper compost piles (something other then just poop like leaves or bedding and stirred). I wouldn't feed them you wouldn't eat yourself if you had to. Such as roadkill...if it is bloated, covered in maggots, and stinks you wouldn't eat it for fear of getting sick but if it was fresh and you had to you would eat it. I freeze things all the time and throw it outside frozen, it is a great treat and a great way to cool them down in the summer. For the winter you want to warm it up first because you don't want to reduce their internal temperature too much.
Grit will be provided. Is there an age where meat is ok or is it ok from day one?
 

foreverlearning

Songster
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
2,421
326
198
I usually wait until 2 weeks of age for any treats because you need them to have as much of the nutrients from the feed as possible for growth. After 2 weeks I just throw treats out there and have a bowl of grit in the coop for them. I don't measure the amount of treats they get and I have a really healthy flock (free range) but they say treats should be no more then 10% of their diet.
 

ChocolateMouse

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 29, 2013
3,061
7,677
447
Cleveland OH
Id worry about birds passing on diseases, but cooking should prevent that. I raise rabbits and my chooks get the feet and skulls and organs and stuff. They love it!
 

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