In "Pastured Poultry Profits" Salatin describes how he compostes chicken offal.
Bearing in mind that this is done seasonally, just a few times a year, is there a way that this byproduct of raising broilers could be used elsewise in a productive manner?
If the offal were fed to swine, for instance, how would one make sure the animals have sufficient food at other times of the year, without interfering in the other industries of the farm?
Could the offal be fed to catfish in large quanities, without spoiling the overall health of a pond, and without causing contamination? If so, how much is too much, as a rule of thumb? (My grandmother tells me that her family kept catfish in a water trough whe she was a kid and fed them exclusively on cow dung, though she doesn't remember precise details.)
Any ideas on this?
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There is no problem for pigs, like all of us, to eat seasonally. Chicken offal from a large harvest is a great part of the diet, even if it's just for a week twice a year. With enough inputs, we can let them fit the calendar naturally (chicken offal, corn, apples, zucchini, pumpkins, nuts, etc..) and then plan for the gaps through storage of surplus or bringing in some outside feed.
Most of our chicken scraps go into dog food - if there is a lot at one time, it just goes into the freezer in containers sized for 2-3 days..
I only harvest a few chickens at a time. Maybe 5 or 6 birds once a month. I put all the guts, feathers and heads in a maggot bucket. Essentially it's a 5 gallon bucket with a bunch of holes drilled in the bottom, which hangs a foot off the ground from a tree limb. I add a 6 inch layer of straw/hay in the bottom of the bucket then add the chicken leftovers, then another good layer of hay/straw. Flies show up within an hour, lay eggs and leave. The maggots hatch, eat the flesh and then, once full, crawl out of the holes at the bottom of the bucket where my layer chickens can enjoy them.