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So, how much kitchen waste can they handle?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by HaikuHeritageFarm, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Anchorage, AK
    I work at a small cafe/coffee shop and we have a lot of kitchen waste from prepping for soups, salads and sandwiches. I can have as much of this as I want or need.

    Can I over-do it? Sometimes egg shells, sandwich meat, cheese and bread also end up in the organic waste bucket. None of that in moderation is harmful, correct?

    Since I have access to this plentiful and diversified fresh diet, I am also thinking about going to an all natural feed offering these kitchen scraps, oats, barley, wheat berries, and maybe a bit of beet pulp or a sprinkling of kelp for vitamins and minerals.

    Thoughts, comments?

  2. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    IDK... So far what my dogs don't get, the chickens get. When I have scraps, if there's not enough to divide between 9 dogs, it goes to the chickens... and this is pretty much daily. Tonight they're getting fish again...lol Yesterday it was leftover greens and mac n cheese....
  3. Organics North

    Organics North Songster

    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    Quote:Think it through.... Know the approximate nutritional values of the stuff you are giving them.. Sounds like you are on the right track.
    Watch out for too much salt in the sandwich meats. Bread is of low value, be sure they are getting something to balance it out. Egg shells dry and crush first.

  4. I throw it all over the fence. They either eat it, or leave it. Some days they get more leftovers than others. Mine are crazy for pizza crust and hot dogs.
  5. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    The problem with a diet like that (relying only on scraps) is nutritional balance. The usual recommendation is to limit sources of food other than chicken feed to 10-15 percent of the total diet. But this recommendation is based on what is optimal for egg laying.
  6. nonseq

    nonseq Songster

    Sep 16, 2009
    Central Ohio
    My chickens wait for me to come out with the scrap bucket every night. They're worse than the dogs with begging. LOL
  7. Matt-B

    Matt-B In the Brooder

    Jul 28, 2010
    West Lafayette
    I've been feeding mine kitchen scraps every night after dinner. Every now and then they get the bones from a chicken or other animal. They also free range all day without fences, so they should be getting lots of protien from their bugs. I do give a cup or two of layer feed if we don't have any scraps for them. I don't know how it will affect the eggs yet - we've only gotten the first one.

  8. Dreadlock chook mama

    Dreadlock chook mama Hatching

    Jul 31, 2010
    Mine have all day access to layers mash and then I give them some scraps every day, apple cores, banana the kids have left, stale bread soaked in water, corn from a can etc some days they get more than others although mine are off lay ATM I *think* the reason is moulting and the 1 egg [​IMG] im getting seems to be yummy enough xxx
  9. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Songster

    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    elmo is right. You need to be concerned about their nutritional balance. Chickens, like people, will eat high carbohydrate sugary foods like fruit and bread instead of layer feed. The extra calories turn into fat and can cause fatty liver disease which gives ascites (i.e. water belly) symptoms. I had a silver laced wyandotte that I almost killed with kindness by giving her too much starchy scraps. Now with hot weather around, they don't need the extra energy that carbohydrates give. I would limit their snacking on table scraps.
  10. Carolyn

    Carolyn Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    I don't have a chicken pen AND a compost pile they are one and the same. Everything except chicken pretty much ends up there. Some things they don't eat but they scratch around in it. I think your idea is great....you said cheese, salad trimmings etc. that are pretty wholesome and are organic! Sounds like a real bargain to me. Yes I would have layer feed available but I would expect your expense will go down dramatically. Raising chickens is not a scientific experiment for all of us...they have been surviving and thriving for years in yards and barnyards across the world. Some of the articles in Backyard Poultry are about doing just what you are talking about.

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