Fish as main protein source

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Drover, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Drover

    Drover In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2011
    I live near a pond that is chock full of fish, mainly bluegills and I go fishing on a fairly regular basis. I was considering mixing my own feed, but found out that it would be more time consuming and possibly more expensive because of how expensive and hard to get the protein sources are around here ( I live in the boondocks!). I was wondering if it would be ok for my chickens if I mixed my own feed together all except for the protein source, and give them some fish every day. My main worry would be if they could get disease from the fish. I know you can feed your chickens fish, but is every day a good Idea? Would you recommend cleaning the fish or just giving it to them as it is? I would definitely freeze them for a couple weeks ( we have a big chest freezer) before feeding it to them, I do this with all wild game i get because it kills some of the common parasites and bacteria that may be living in the animal. Also, would the high level of Iron in fish be bad for the chickens? I just don't want to hurt my chickies. What are your thoughts? thanks! [​IMG]

    *Edited for spelling*
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011

  2. florida lee

    florida lee Songster

    Apr 6, 2011
    I don't believe the fish will hurt the chicks, however, if they are getting close to laying age I would worry about the taste of the eggs.
  3. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Songster

    Mar 8, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
  4. Drover

    Drover In the Brooder

    Mar 27, 2011
    do you think it would effect the taste of the meat in broilers?
  5. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Songster

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    Fish will affect the taste of meat and eggs. The higher percentage of fish protein, the fishier the chicken will taste.

    A friend lived in Papua Guinea near Indonesia for quite a few years. When he first arrived there, he was very tired hungry and a little local restaurant advertised fried chicken. What could go wrong with fried chicken, he said? Well, he didn't know that almost the ONLY source of protein that Indonesian chickens get is fish and seafood. The fried chicken was almost inedible because it was so fishy tasting.
  6. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Songster

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    My grandparents raised meat birds on catfish offal during a 1960's summer as commercial fishermen on the Mississippi River. The birds got as much fish as they cared to eat every day and reportedly gorged. They raised these meat birds to the older bigger roasting stage over the course of a full summer (LOTS of fish consumed).

    While my grandparents stated the meat TASTED like chicken, they remember the house SMELLED like catfish while they were roasting, and it put everyone off eating the chicken till the next day in a cold salad or sandwich.

    It is hard to imagine it would smell of fish but not taste of fish, I'm betting they are incorrectly remembering one part of the story or the other. Psychology could be playing tricks here.

    Fish meal is an ingredient in many chicken feeds. I would go ahead, but monitor and do not over-do it. It may take a couple of generations of Broilers to determine the max amount of fish that can be used.

    Fish and chicken biology is quite different and fish are a natural prey species of birds. I think there is little to no danger of disease or parasite transmission.

    Good Luck!

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