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Chicken & fish system

 
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Location: Madison, OH
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Hello all, a coworker of mine from the Philippines and I were talking about my new flock of chickens and he told me that back home many people have chickens over their fish tanks. He said that cat fish would be a good choice.

The fish apparently like the taste of chicken poop. I can’t imagine how murky the water would get with multiple nitrogen sources, but he insists that they have always done it this way and it works just fine.

Anyone have any thoughts of how this could be function stacked? Would a worm bed be better? Could shrimp be integrated? Cray fish? Any aquatic plants that might be beneficial?

Thanks!
 
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Hello!
I spent a while living and working in Southeast Asia and one of the sites (Thai-Mayanmar Border area) had a set up like this.

It was basically a smallish pond (which was pretty muddy already - just dug into the dirt and clay sealed) with a kind of bamboo cage construction over the top where the chickens were kept. All the chicken poo and spilt feed would fall through the bamboo slats into the pond.

From memory, it technically worked (the fish did eat the chicken poo) however it was abandoned as a project anyway because it was kinda gross. It was also right in the middle of the housing area and there were hundreds of kids running around who couldn’t be kept out of the ponds.

I don’t think the chickens had a great time in the bamboo cages above the water, and personally I wasn’t keen on eating the fish.....

I mean I’m fine eating plants from soil that eats poop, and I’m fine with eating animals that eat those plants too, so maybe I’m a hypocritical squeamish softy..... but there was no way I was gonna eat a fish that’s main diet was poo direct from the bum of a miserable looking chicken....

I also think that while a fish might eat chicken poo direct just fine, it might not exactly be their favourite. Like they might prefer a more diverse diet at least.

There might be some much better ways to set it up though?
 
Caitlin Mac Shim
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Thinking about it....

I reckon it could work better with ducks. Ducks love murky water, although they would also probably like to eat your fish unless the fish were too big.

I honestly reckon you’d have a much better system if you aimed for a functioning pond ecosystem that’s big enough to support ducks, fish and aquatic plants. It would probably require a bigger pond and less ducks though. But it would be a healthier balance of diverse life forms that all feed each other.

The more intense system was pretty full on and smelly from my recollection.
 
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Location: St. George, UT. Zone 8a Dry/arid. 8" of rain in a good year.
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Here's an example of using chickens over tilapia.  I don't know that the fish eat the manure, but they do fertilize the growing duckweed that the fish eat.

This is a short overview of the system.  
 
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