Compost as chicken feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tshelley, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. tshelley

    tshelley Hatching

    Aug 16, 2008
    Ithaca NY, USA
    Dear Friends--I am new to this forum. I read in a recent issue of Backyard Poultry that there is a way to raise chickens on compost. The chicken eat the bugs, fungus and other items in the compost and have a great time. The article sates that you can raise chickens on compost without feeding any of the traditional grain products of any kind. One firm in particular, Vermont Compost Company is referred to in the article. On their Web site it doesn't say much about the process. Can anyone please send me references to feeding chickens and raising them on compost? Journal articles, government agency reports and other "respectable" sources are desired. Or any source that you think is legitimate. I am a master composter and have a farmer friend who would like to try this way to raise chickens for eggs. Thanks. Tom
  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Hi Tom,
    I've not heard of raising chickens on the bugs of compost only - I would think they would be missing out on some nutrients.
    My chickens do free-range and eat bugs all day long, but they do still eat their chicken feed, less in summer when bugs are plenty, in winter they eat a lot more when their is snow, and very very few bugs to eat.

  3. flakey chick

    flakey chick Songster

    May 3, 2007
    I read that article and seemed to think they did supplement with feed they grew themselves rather than purchased from a mill. I can't find that issue right now to check though. I think the guy they interviewed said whereas most people thought of supplementing feed with forage, he recomended limiting feed to encourage better foraging, but acknowledged that they deed need some feed.
  4. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    I also read the article and found it very interesting. If you continue to read further into the article you will find reference to different ways to supplement feed on a smaller scale. Very informative and worth the read.
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I would be concerned about the possibility of botulism from rotting food. Did the article mention that?
  6. tvtaber

    tvtaber Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    Would there be botulism in well managed compost? I think they can certainly live on compost and the bugs associated with it, but without at least supplimenting with feed of some sort you would get some scrawny chickens and less eggs than more traditionally raised birds. The savings in time with this method may pay off in the long run, though. Why don't you get a research grant and launch a small scale study on the subject (seriously, I'm not being sarcastic...).
  7. Jashdon

    Jashdon Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    Snohomish, WA
    Has anyone ever had botulism even in a neglected compost pile? I've never heard of botulism in a compost pile...

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