Bones to Chickens After Bone Broth?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mobius, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know this is going to sound weird[​IMG]. Thanks for your tolerance! [​IMG]

    I roasted a locally pastured turkey (not mine) for Christmas and froze the carcass after removing most of the meat.

    Today, I am making one of my favorite things with the carcass: Bone Broth. This will be frozen. I have done this for a number of years with holiday turkeys. Low simmer for 24 hours. I freeze the broth and make stews and soups all winter. Love doing that.

    I also love to use up EVERYTHING I can. The better I can get at this process, the better I feel, e.g. composting, vermiculture, feeding chickens, dogs, etc.

    As most of you probably know, bone broth results in fairly soft bones.

    Here is my question: Can I feed these turkey bones to the chickens? (Not all at once mind you). I would rather not throw them (the bones, I mean, not the chickens, lol) in the garbage if I don't have to. And they can't be composted.

    PS Happy to share recipe if desired...
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Bee Kissed is the one to ask about this. I would assume that once the broth is made, there is little left, but really can't answer that. I can tell you that I hate to send any thing of nutrient value to the dump. I toss mine in the wood stove, figuring that there will be increased calcium from those burnt bones when they go onto the garden.
  3. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nice answer, @lazy gardener ...glad we seem to be of similar mind about waste. I have reduced my trash by about two-thirds, I estimate...the fire suggestion is a good thought!

    I was reading a bit about this issue, seems some people reuse the bones over and over for stock (called "remouillage" in French), but I am not quite ready to go there...the first stock is always the best in any case, regardless, is what is said. Mine is cooling now preparatory to straining. In a 20 quart stockpot!

    @Beekissed , back to you as always for a recommendation/thoughts?
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  4. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Amazingly I actually found that after straining everything and removing veg for chickens, there was quite a bit of meat left behind. I am not as good a butcher/turkey carver as I would like to think![​IMG]

    Between veg and meat there was about a quart and a half! THAT will go to the chickens and the small dogs.[​IMG]

    Bones still in question, there are a lot of little ones of course.
  5. Red-Stars-in-RI

    Red-Stars-in-RI Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2014
    Rhode Island
    When I make stock with leftover chicken carcass, I use the crock pot and typically let it go for about 12 hours.

    After I've strained it and let it cool, I chuck all that's left...bones, meat, veggies, etc. into the chicken run.

    I've never had any health issues with the ladies, and have never seen any bones in the chicken I assume they all get consumed or scratched up enough that they compost into nothing fairly quickly.

    Hope that helps!
  6. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow that helps a LOT! thank you! Gotta love it!

    Can I say: garbage in, less garbage out? umm. Yeah.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  7. Bantambird

    Bantambird Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 6, 2013
    If they are able to consume the bones, make sure they get plenty of grit. Myself, I'm afraid of my dog getting into the bones. Poultry bones splinter in the gut and can get stuck in the colon on the way out in dogs, but I think that chickens digest things better than dogs in some ways. If the bones do get stuck, I can tell you it can be daunting to get them out. Mind you, I just used to follow my mother on emergency veterinarian calls, and birds may not have this problem at all, but if your dog gets them, they may splinter in the large intestine. Burning for calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the garden might be good too. I also pick out the veggies for my birds, and I save meat for enchiladas.
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    I've never been able to successfully soften turkey or chicken bones to the degree they can be easily ground or crushed, let alone eaten by the chickens as is. I've even tried to cook them softer after all the stock making by putting them into my canner and pressure canning them. Still didn't work. I was trying to get them soft enough to at least put through my meat grinder so as to use them in dog and chicken meals later on, but to no avail.

    So, I resorted to doing what I usually do with them...give them to the dogs. Been feeding both cooked and uncooked poultry bones to dogs for nigh on 40 yrs now, on and off, and never had any problems with it. Maybe problems arise when giving them to small dogs or older dogs with bad teeth, but my dogs eat them without any problems. Actually, it's more like they inhale them without bothering to chew them much than actually eating them. [​IMG]

    Maybe you could feed them to chickens if you put them in a big ol' feed sack and pounded the ever living calcium out of 'em with a mallot or sledge hammer, breaking them into tiny pieces, but since I'm not willing to go that far when I can recycle them in the dogs, I've never tried it.

    Guys, if you ever want me for a post, that @ thingamajiggy doesn't really work for my computer, nor does the notifications from this site...don't know why, but I've selected them in my preferences without much result. [​IMG]
    2 people like this.
  9. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2016
    I think there have been good answers to the OP's query. I have no experience with giving poultry carcasses to my bunch. I did however give them the used beef marrow bones I recently used for beef stock. They loved those!

    For chicken stock, I mostly end up using the carcasses from rotisserie chickens after we strip them--just place in the freezer until I have a pitiful to boil.
  10. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think there have been good answers too, and thank you all very much. I will think on it!

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