Feeding Chickens for Free

Paula321

Songster
Oct 28, 2019
106
155
116
Lake Wales, Florida (Central Florida)
So, had an exercise in "free protein" today. I'm in Rhode Island, and it's one week before Christmas. When it warmed up to 37 degrees this morning and there was a break in the sleet, I headed out to the chicken run.

I've been in the process of migrating the contents of the 14' x 7' composter I built last October into the four hay bale composters I built this fall. I've got probably 2/3 of it migrated.

I took a pick ax to some of what's left in the pile today to break it up so that it'll be easier to move over the next few days.

The amount of worms I uncovered in a half dozen whacks of the pick-ax was downright absurd. The flock was going to town, but they couldn't eat all the worms.

A crazy worm feast. In Rhode Island. In mid-late December. :p
What a dream you provided your chickens right when they thought they weren’t going to get a bunch of worms. Free food and it is high quality food at that! Making little pockets of fertility takes work at first but now it might be self sustaining.
 

Paula321

Songster
Oct 28, 2019
106
155
116
Lake Wales, Florida (Central Florida)
View attachment 2908910 I built a 4th hay bale compost unit this week.

I pick up 15-20 5 gallon buckets of food scraps from a local food pantry twice a week. The chickens eat their fill and the rest composts. The chickens help turn the compost and eat lots of worms and other critters too.

I still supplement with layer pellet, but they eat a lot less of it then they did.
I can’t wait to see how this works. Let me know if I need to run and get some!!
 

neo71665

Crowing
Mar 22, 2020
2,515
5,829
346
Arkansas
All of you are inspiring. I hadn't heard of Edibleacres but it is on my list now. My goal this year is less commercial feed and more organic living for the girls. I love the hay bales for compost, never would I have thought of it. For those with that, do you get mice/rats? That is my own post fear here, yuck.

As somebody that grew up on a hay farm if mice and rats can get to the hay you will 100% have mice and rats.
 

Red-Stars-in-RI

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 24, 2014
1,382
3,312
316
Rhode Island
Earlier I posted a pic of the first hay bale composter. Here’s a shot across the top of all four.
 

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