Questions about letting flock rummage through compost

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by QChickieMama, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. QChickieMama

    QChickieMama Songster

    Oct 1, 2011
    I read the recent compost article and thought it sounded logical, but once I dumped our kitchen compost container in the chicken pen, I have several questions.

    1. Egg shells. I compost these regularly. If I let the hens eat the shells, will they break and eat their own eggs?

    2. Paper towels & paper napkins. I also pop these in our compost. Can any harm come from sticking these into the chicken pen?

    3. What about coffee grounds?

    4. Anything else I have to be careful about? Or can I assume the chickens will discriminate safely?

  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Some do break the egg shell until it is fairly fine, if I give them any I just break it up so it is no longer egg like. I haven't taught them to eat eggs from that yet. I would hold the paper products out of the compost as they will absorb some of the juices and lead the chickens to eat them, and that would just be filling their crops with empty bulk. Wouldn't harm them just take up the space a more nutritious food should have. Coffee grounds and tea leaves they should just pick around.
    Why not to a two pail system with the chicken edibles in one and the non edibles in another?
  3. thekillers

    thekillers In the Brooder

    Jan 6, 2013
    I too was planning to start putting my kitchen compost right in the pen for the ladies to rummage through also. I don't put paper products in my compost but I'm not sure if there is anything spacific that I should worry about puitting in there?
  4. TennesseeChicken

    TennesseeChicken Songster

    Mar 26, 2011
    Ethridge, TN
    Our free-ranging hens absolutely decimated an aged leaf/manure pile and just a leaf pile I had going-there was nothing left! But I'm sure they had some good eats! LOL I think having it somewhat 'enclosed' is essential so you can control when they are in to mix it up. Am I wrong to think that chickens will basically know what is good for them and what is not? After all, there's probably lots of 'bad' weeds for them on the Farm, but they are free ranging and still alive! Just some food for thought...

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