Post butchering - Feeding offal back to flock

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Aust1227, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. Aust1227

    Aust1227 Out Of The Brooder

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    Greetings.

    I am in the "total useage" camp of farming and poultry. I would prefer not to waste anything! (after all, that is why I am doing this, and not relying on big box stores and factory farms)

    I have read lots of posts on people feeding the offal and entrails back to the flock. What is the safest way to do so?

    My plan was to not allow the slaughtered birds access to food for 12 hours in order to clear the system.

    During butchering save all the entrails / offal. Post butchering to boil it, then strain it off and make a slurry that I would mix in with their regular food.. Are there any health concerns, or safety concerns with this plan? Are their any parts that should be ELIMINATED before we feed it back?

    Additionally I will let the flock pick at the carcasses and bones once I am done boiling those off for stock.

    I apologize in advance to those members that are offended by the nature of this post.
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    If you're going to feed their entrails back to them, boiling properly should take care of all your concerns... So far as I am aware of at this point in time, anyway.

    Best wishes.
     
  3. gggeek

    gggeek Out Of The Brooder

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    Won't pretend to be an expert on this, but from my "common sense" perspective it would be logical to NOT feed chickens to chickens. To me, the better use is composting with wood chips. I look at sustainable farms like Polyface (Joel Salatin) and they compost instead of opting to feed it back to the flock. The compost nourishes the pasture which can nourish the chickens in a more natural cycle.
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    That's somewhat more natural for sure, and I also hesitate when it comes to enabling cannibalism, but far better to feed boiled chook back to them than for example buy heavily chemicalized soymeal or cottonseed, for two of the many examples of common protein alternatives.

    Each to their own, certainly lots of valid points for and against either perspective.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Personally, when I butcher I keep a bucket handy for certain things that will get fed back to the flock. When I finish butchering I take that bucket to the run and dump it out. I do limit the amount to what they can clean up before dark to not attract predators by the smell.

    I’m not sure what your concerns are as far as wanting to cook it. You can store it longer if it is cooked so maybe less waste?? That would certainly be legitimate. The cost-benefit analysis of cooking it so you can reuse it as feed is almost certainly positive. I bury the excess in my garden in the fall or in the orchard in other months so it gets recycled that way.

    I don’t worry about feeding it back to them raw. They eat each other’s poop any way, that’s how they develop flock immunities and share probiotics. I don’t really see any issues with them eating it raw. I split some of the guts when butchering to check for worms, haven’t seen any yet.

    I haven't seen any cannibalism.

    Maybe you have other concerns?
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    The issues with feeding it raw are that if there are any of a few serious diseases among the flock, (even in asymptomatic carriers), which can be transmitted via consumption of raw flesh, then you're taking the risk of infecting others, perhaps even causing deaths. Outbreaks have been attributed to cannibalism before.

    I've let mine eat raw offal from their flockmates too, but I keep them as healthy as I can and select for hardiness in birds that have already been bred for such traits for generations. I've never had problems either. But I am aware it's a risk you're taking when they can carry many transmissible diseases without showing any signs which can infect others through cannibalism.

    I've also had no cannibalism problems with birds trying to eat other live flockmates or anything like that, once you breed that mental aberration out it doesn't pop up again just because they found some guts on the ground and found they taste of chicken, lol.

    All that said I can't in good conscience recommend someone NOT boil the offal first because it is a pretty common risk and I don't know what their flock is carrying, or how healthy they are, or how strong their immune systems are.

    Best wishes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Aust1227

    Aust1227 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]



    I butchered a couple of roos last night. I boiled off the entrails, then processed them in the vitamix with some corn mixed in. The meat chickens pecked at it, but didn't love it.. But the turkeys LOVED IT..

    I have a few more containers in the fridge that I will feed them over the next few days.

    The whole process went well, and I feel good about using the whole bird. (the heads are in the heav-a-hurt trap!).. The feathers are being used in some head dresses/masks for a local charity. The carcass will be boiled down for stock.

    The only thing I will do differently next time is empty out the gizzard. The vitamix did not like the grit!!

    A
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  8. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Well, that's interesting about the chooks not liking it... Probably an overdose of something in there, possibly the vitamix put them off.

    Best wishes.
     
  9. Aust1227

    Aust1227 Out Of The Brooder

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    The vitamix is just a blender!! Baristas and Starbucks customers might prefer Blendtec, but I don't think my chicks care.. Lol..
     
  10. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Ah, lol, here it's the name of a vitamin mix!

    Why would someone call a blender a 'vitamix?' reminds me of the logo on one of the brands of chook food I've bought... "Where nature and nutrition intersect". But that's plain stupid, the nutrition was IN 'nature' in the first place, that's just attempting to glorify ordinary grain mix.

    [​IMG]

    Ok, well, no idea why your chooks refused it then. What type are they? Some more 'heavy duty' meat birds are pretty careful about their ratio of fats to proteins, they won't eat slightly imbalanced foods as it's more than their often weak livers can handle.

    Best wishes.
     

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