Dumpster diving?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by wishful, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. wishful

    wishful In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2010
    Tacoma, WA
    I remember seeing a segment of some show years ago (yeah, I know, terribly vague, but I can't remember when this was or what the show was...) about someone who had chickens and would go dumpster diving at grocery stores to get vegetables and fruit for the chickens. I remember at the time I thought it was strange but now that I'm more aware of the wasteful food system and environmental destruction and so on (and old enough to have more thoughts on the matter than "ew. sounds weird and gross.") it seems like a good idea.

    So I was just wondering if anyone does that? Do you get any chicken treats/food from dumpsters, or just feed them your own vegetable trimmings and such? Or do you buy vegetables and fruit specifically for them?

    Just curious to see how people go about feeding their chickens, beyond the 50 lb bags of food from the feed store. [​IMG]

  2. Eggs4Sale

    Eggs4Sale Songster

    Jun 29, 2009
    Having touched a dumpster, I can only say [​IMG]

    Dumpsters are filthy, smelly, nasty things. And I'm not interested in catching what that guy had by pulling his half-eaten food out of the trash.
  3. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Unfortuantely I'm not able to do that here. The major supermarkets and WallyWorld turn their used cooking over to the city to make biodesil for the school buses. (this county has no buses that run on gas) What foods are past do are either given to the farms at the prison and high school for their live stock programs.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  4. Hoosiermomma

    Hoosiermomma Songster

    Jun 6, 2009
    S.E Ind
    Why would you have to dumpster dive? Couldn't you just go in and talk to the store mgr about getting the produce that's going to be thrown away? [​IMG]
  5. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

    Apr 7, 2009
    I had a friend that had a deli/coffee shop and everyday at close I would go pick up the days waste. He would put ALL the sandwich trimmings in a separate trash for me and it would have anything and everything you could possibly ever want or not want on a sandwich. Bread, meat, cheese, sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles you name it, if it fell off in the making process it would get raked into the bag for the girls.

    Okay so having said this, I do realize that you most likely don't have a friend that owns a restaurant or whatever but if you have any small "mom and pop" restaurants or delis or even grocery stores in your area then you can most likely go in and graciously explain to the owner what your needs are. They most likely will be more than happy to set aside whatever for you to pick up. The major chains such as walmart, kroger, fry's, fred meyer, safeways and many others will not entertain the ideas because some places have laws that these major stores have to adhere to whether they like it or not.

    I would suggest to stay out of the dumpsters not only because they are icky but because you really can get some pretty serious diseases if you come in contact with the wrong thing. Yep, I have done it and yep I have gotten cut on glass while in the process which resulted in a hospital stay due to a massive infection. I got lucky and didn't end up with something that a few meds couldn't take care of. Never again!!!

  6. Fanny

    Fanny In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    Manitoba, Canada
    I would definitely do this. As is, my chickens do get kitchen scraps, leftover rice, the odd bread crust - they love it. Some of it they don't eat, but generally they go for the scrap bowl before they go to the regular feeder.

    I have dumpster dived before, and have been amazed by the quality and quantity of food thrown away. Part of why I keep chickens is for sustainability, and if I can feed them healthy food that would otherwise be headed to the landfill (or even the compost bin) and reduce my feed costs - well it makes sense to me.

    CNN had a good news story on dumpster diving:
  7. Fanny

    Fanny In the Brooder

    Jun 22, 2009
    Manitoba, Canada
    On the speaking to store managers note - I have gotten buckets and buckets of vegetable waste from a "juice bar" type place before. All of the pulp that they throw out. This was for a composting project, but I imagine it would make decent chicken treats.
  8. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oakland, CA
    Actual dumpsters, no- but we've got really large compost bins that are the size of trash dumpsters in the office building that I work at (the restaurants/cafes in the area all use it.) that I've pulled things out of before.

    Huge bags of lettuce left over from salad bars, day old bagels.

    It's all bagged and dry. No messy food scraps that you have to wade through.

    I couldn't do the whole jumping in a big trash can thing though, too many germs and smells.
  9. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    Jan 11, 2010
    Often when I visit the grocery store I ask for some vegie scraps. They have a lot of people who like the outer leaves of lettuce and other off cuts from the produce and box it all up for anyone who wants to take it. I usually miss out as there are so many people who take advantage of the free animal treats. I wouldnt actually go through a bin myself, you never know what items of danger could be in there. I also sometimes find my neighbours leave bags of scraps at my front door.

    There is a lady up the road from me who is unemployed and feeds all the local stray cats. She has often been seen raiding the bins outside the local pizza place late at night. Its rather sad. Not only about her spending what little money she has on the cats leaving her the need to eat the food others throw away- but she doesnt realise that feeding feral cats just allows the problem feline poulation to esculate.

  10. redrooster22

    redrooster22 Hatching

    Dec 8, 2009
    Someone on this site wrote that chickens love yogurt and how good it was for their digestive system. I had some birds go down with no explanation and thought I would give it a try. They love the stuff and I'll be darn, I haven't had one die since then. Is there a correlation? Can't tell for sure since I am no expert; however, we give them a treat once a week. We tested sour cream and ricotta cheese just to see how they would react. You would think they died and went to heaven.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by