How much turkey can the chickens eat?

saysfaa

Songster
Jul 1, 2017
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I make bone broth from the turkey carcasses, nothing added to it except the turkey and water. We don't eat much of what I strain out of that. The chickens are ecstatic about it. I would rather not have to freeze it (very limited freezer space) and don't want it to get too old. How fast can I feed it to them without harming them?

Both a one time thing (the turkey already roasted) and over a couple of months (we usually make several turkeys over a few weeks time but maybe not so many this year or we may get a freezer soon) and I have only a few chickens.

I'm not worried about the temporary changes in the consistency of their poop. The turkeys are from the grocery store, so the salt added before I get them is a limiting factor? So far, I've sorted all the bone fragments out because it is dangerous to feed cooked bones to dogs because they splinter. I suspect it isn't dangerous for chickens because they swallow them whole - right?

My chickens normally get chicken food plus a few bites each of fresh food each day... usually greens or fruit, occasionally insects or lean meat.
 

3KillerBs

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12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
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How many chickens do you have?

I have a large flock so I just put the picked over carcass and scraps into a dish, set it in the run, and let them do what they want.

I often mix large volumes of meat scraps with scratch to balance out the day.

They will pick the bones clean but don't eat them. You can let them become one with the litter in a deep litter system or rake them out after the chickens are done.
 

3KillerBs

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so normal pellets/crumbles? or is that just left out all day. I am wondering why scratch over feed. Thx

I always keep my feeders full of their normal all-flock 24/7/365.

Since meat scraps are primarily protein I balance that with the carbs of the scratch. It's not necessary, but I consider it a well-rounded treat that way. :D
 

Crazy Maizie

Crowing
Jul 3, 2020
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Usually when I make bone broth, the bones are quite soft and the chickens potentially could eat them. The bones in my broth are so soft you can mash them with your fingers. But, I'm not sure it would bother the chickens. There are different views on feeding dogs bone broth bones as well. I strain mine as much as possible, but I'm sure they have gotten some particles of bone.
As for how much is too much? They might eat more turkey than their feed, but it's not a long term thing, so it probably won't matter in the long run.
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
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Hmmm, lets think this thru.

Turkey is a complete protein. You aren't risking an amino acid imbalance.

Old time recipes used to call for 20% "meat scraps", so you can pretty confidently go at least that high. Particularly as the rendering process has already separated out most of the fat, removing that concern. Chickens will pick thru the bones, good source of both calcium and digestible phosphorus - little different from offering free choice oyster shell - and the sharp splinters of cooked bone (dangerous for dogs and cats) are both far less dangerous to chickens due to radically different digestion (the stone filled crop) and because the long simmer used to make stock has already softened considerably the bone structure.

Your final mix, after straining, is likely as much bone as meat, perhaps more.

Flock of five birds, I'd go up to 1/2# per day.

Just thinking it thru, nothing but my own BS to guide the way.

Happy Turkey Day to you and your flock!
 

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