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can i feed my fresh kitchen scraps? (not aged compost)

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by goskeet, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. goskeet

    goskeet In the Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    we have been dumping all our kitchen scarps in the coop yard for months (no meat or dairy). we figure they are gettting tons of good nourishment. they seem to love it, picking through this variable stuff every day.

    but then we had a couple hens die recently. i do not know if there is a connection. we stopped dumping the scraps in case there is. it is not the compost pile, but the fresh compost makings.
    -all manner of veggie and fruit scraps,
    -old crackers and flour,
    -maybe some rice and beans from the dinner plate with some avocado and cherry pits ......

    my concern was that it is sometimes a day or two in the compost bowl before it goes out, and it can be rather ripe by the time the gals get to it. but i figure they are wise to such things and will know what they can't eat.

    if others can confirm that you feed your chickens similar kitchen scraps, and your hens are fine, i would be appreciative, so we can go back to feeding them our scraps. they love it, and they are bummed we are not out there every day with this bowl of treats!

    thanks, skeet
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Don't feed them raw potato or potato skins.
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I give my chickens scraps without any prolems.

    You have to remember some foods are toxic to your chickens.

    raw potato and peels (you can feed it cooked)
    raw beans and peas (you can feed it cooked)

    I see you said you have fed your chickens avacado - Can you place the death of your chicken to coincide with consuming avacados?

    Many animals can't eat cherries either - like my goats and sheep - so I keep all of those types of things out of the animal buckets at all times. Too much fruit is reported to interfere with egg laying too.

    In general, they can have pretty much most anything else of your kitchen scraps - remember they do love meat and as omnivores need meat proteins. Dairy can be very good for them - like cheese, yogurt, buttermilk etc and raw milk, not pasturized milk, no enzymes to aid the processing of digestion to benefit their health.
  4. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:We feed ours table scapes and they are super healthy .

    Rice with and without beans
    oatmeal ( cooked and cooled )
    Grits ( cooked and cooled )
    ANYTHING leftover that is cooked goes to them.

    Might be the heat and deydration , BUT not what you are feeding them
  5. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    I know that people n this board have very strong feelings about potatoes or rhubarb or avocados - but chickens live all over the world and eat all of those things in different places. Irish chickens most definitely eat potatoes and so do mine. Mexican chickens most definitely eat beans, cooked or raw, and so do mine. I'm sure that somewhere they eat avocados too - care to speak up, Californians? If avocados grew on trees here in New England like they did when I lived out west I might feel differently, but the only reason I wouldnt feed one here is that they are expensive and I want them all to myself!.

    Meanwhile, in most parts of the world chickens live on mud, gleanings, rotten ends and whatever they can scrounge. While here we all obsess about the details. Sometimes I feel that we are all a bit precious about this essentially homespun endeavour - I include myself here.

    The little dinosaurs care not what they eat. Assuming they have a water source and something to scratch, just figure that their anthem is "I Will Survive."

    Then flash the lights and sing along.
  6. goskeet

    goskeet In the Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    chickie baby.

    i catch your drift. i agree, i have traveled a lot and seen chickens surviving on roadside trash scraps in hot ass africa, no less barnyard this and that in colorado. i figured this has got to be a no brainer that my chickens will thrive on our oragnic nuvo california leftovers. but maybe they are getting too much of a good thing? we do eat avos by the fruit bowl full, for instance, and maybe they are just getting so much avo and watermelon that they don't bother with their pellet...?

    thanks to you all for your replies. i hope we may get a few more here yet!


    "but chickens live all over the world and eat all of those things in different places. Irish chickens most definitely eat potatoes and so do mine. "
  7. dangerouschicken

    dangerouschicken Will Barter For Coffee

    May 6, 2007
    Columbia Gorge, OR
    I wouldn't do rhubarb, only because the leaves are toxic to humans, as well. I don't feed them raw potato skins, raw beans or peas, or onions/garlic either. The latter because it makes the eggs taste funky!

    I just like to be safe with the other stuff, but let me tell you, they LOVE meat and dairy. Don't let them miss out on that! [​IMG]
  8. KellyGwen

    KellyGwen Songster

    Apr 28, 2008
    Lake Luzerne, NY
    Do any of you get Backyard Poultry Magazine? Did you see the story about Vermont Compost Co? They have a big flock of laying hens that free range on their compost heaps. They don't feed them ANYTHING and let them find ALL of their food in the heaps! They lay TONS of eggs and are super healthy! They say they have even raised chicks free-range with a "compost mentor" and haven't given them starter! I guess with a compost heap they would get a HUGE variety of foods and bugs, more than we could ever hope to offer out of our homes... But still, I thought that was pretty neat!

    Here's another article I found about it...

    Edited to add..

    Here's their site...
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  9. patienceprudencecharity

    patienceprudencecharity In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2008
    Butler County, Ohio
    I think basic veggies and grains are okay, keeping in mind the comments above about unsafe stuff. The problem is that you have to remove any uneaten stuff at the end of the day so it doesn't spoil. I don't think you should put out day old kitchen scraps, though, Vegetables and fruits start to spoil and can become toxic due to the bacteria. Grains and breads quickly grow toxic molds. The other thing to be cautious about is salt in cooked foods. Excessive salt is very toxic to chickens.

    Of course, never feed them kitchen meat scraps. The risk of contamination and illness to you and your chickens is too great. (That's why feeding kitchen scraps is illegal in the United Kingdom).

    I found the Vermont Compost story bizarre. I don't think they documented the fate of all the chickens, and I don't think they care about them the same way a pet owner would, so I think a pet owner's standards should be vastly different! There are a few writers who are really "out there" at Backyard Poultry-- even though I like the magazine I find the author of that article to be a little flakey.

    THe Vermont Compost story reminds me of someone saying they smoke 3 packs a day and don't have cancer, so you should, too! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2008
  10. tvtaber

    tvtaber Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    I concur with the idea of bringing the stuff out every day and picking up whatever is not eaten. Just as we would not eat anything smelly or moldy, so should the chickens not be exposed to it. However, I just know what they will eat and will leave behind at this point and only take out what will disappear. Dry bread (not moldy or sour smelling), most veggies, cheese and meat scraps (cooked), dairy whatever, and table scaps if I know they will like them and they do no contain chicken (ew) all go to the hens. If I'm not sure if they like something I'll stand by and see, then remove it if they are not interested. Also, if there is a ton of something (such as apple peals from a full bushel) I'll either put most of it in the compost or save it in the fridge for another time. I try not to gice them more than they'll eat before they go in for the night.

    I've had one hen drop dead for no reason, too. It looked like she landed on her head leaving the roost and broke ehr neck, but that seems pretty fantastic. The best thing I can say if if you have livestock, you'll have deadstock, and won;t always know the reason.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008

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