fish cheaper than mealworms

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have been looking into a cheap animal protein source as a supplement to layer pellets and scratch grains for winter. Fish such as common, grass, bighead and silver carps (a.k.a. Asian carps) are at top of list owing to local availability. I live next to Missouri River where all four carps are abundant. For fun I also have been setting aside some salmon steaks to see how the birds respond. They go after such with same zeal they go after meal worms. Initially I thought the salmon was going to be a great deal more expensive than mealworms but on the basis of crop fill / chicken happiness, the mealworms cost about ten times as much. The salmon I am using is the highend individually packaged stuff. The birds are particularly partial the skin. This will be used with future training sessions to offset some of the mealworm costs. Down side is it might attract more predators. Chickens appear able to smell the fish very well and will peck at anything the fish came into contact with.
     
  2. itom37

    itom37 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 10, 2011
    If you can benefit from those asian carp, I say go for it!
     
  3. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    Hmm, can't you raise your own mealworms? That should really bring down the price, rather than buying them all.
     
  4. baadkyfarmers

    baadkyfarmers Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2011
    Crestwood
    I just orderd 3000 mealworms from uncle jims for $25, took a set of drawers from walmart cut the bottom out of the top one and put wire screen in the bottom. The mealworms eat layer crumbles and get their water from carrots. The worms turn into a beetle, put the beetles in the top drawer and they lay up to 100 eggs per bug. when the eggs hatch the baby mealworms fall through into the drawer below.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x5lEN2jqc4&feature=related
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am familiar with meal worm culture. My use can easily go through a couple hundred large meal worms in just a few minutes. Space otherwise suitable for mealworm culture is already tied up for use as fish room and incubator / brooder room. Finally, the mealworm fatty acid profile may not be optimal but I suspect the fatty acid profile of the fish will be hard to beat. Try handling a slab of fish meat and see how much easier it is than handling a handfull or cupfull of mealworms.
     
  6. Ksane

    Ksane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 21, 2011
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    Excellent idea to feed fish, I love it. What a great source of protein and omega 3. I'll be getting some fish tomorrow, I just know my chickens will love it, thank you for the tip!
     
  7. baadkyfarmers

    baadkyfarmers Out Of The Brooder

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    Crestwood
    ok after reading all about feeding fish to chickens I have only one question. Where do I get fish meal? Is canned salmon bad? and what about mercury?
     
  8. OwensMom

    OwensMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi centrarchid, My question has ti do with egg flavor. i've read that the eggs can have an "off" taste from a regular diet of fish. What do you think? I suppose that if you feed various proteins and include fish once or twice a week, that might be ok.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Mercury and organic pollutants tend to bioaccumulat. Generally they not a problem with fishes that feed lower on food chain although with predators that feed on other predators (tuna in marine setting and flathead catfish in freshwater) you can run into much higher levels of such impurites.

    Quote:Egg flavor will be affected. Not a major concern since such foods will be restricted to brood stock and eggs collected will be for hatching rather than consumptive purposes. To reduce stress associated with changes in diet, my preference is to apply small amounts of fish every day rather than larger amounts every now and then.
     

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