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Honey locust pods and chickens

 
pollinator
Posts: 1559
Location: Denver, CO
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I live in Denver, where there are lots of honey locust yard trees. Could I collect honey locust pods from neighborhoods in the fall, grind up the beans, and feed them to chickens? I would avoid any heavily contaminated areas.

If I could do this, I could maintain a flock of chickens without having to grow or buy so much feed for them. And I would be importing fertility at the same time.

Since I organize an urban farming group, this might be a good community project— if it is feasible.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3738
Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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Absolutely.
They contain 10.6 - 24.1% protein, 0.8 - 4.3% fat, 84.7% carbohydrate, 21.1% fibre, 4% ash, 280mg calcium and 320mg phosphorus per 100g.
If they are on pasture you may need to give very little, if any supplemental feed.

The only thing is if you dry them for storage or get them when they are dried you will have to grind or chop them into small enough pieces to let their crops finish the job.
 
Posts: 13
Location: Southern Maine, nudged by climate change into zone 6a
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What about soaking/fermenting the seeds?
 
Cj Sloane
pollinator
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Soaking should be OK but I don't think you want it to ferment and it will do so quickly.
 
Posts: 268
Location: Colo
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What is the best/easiest way to get the beans out of the pods?


I had a paper sack full of pods that I broke into last evening to get at the beans. I pretty much just worked at the pods with my fingers/hands until the beans came out. Not a time-saver, by any means. A couple of hours for a bowl-full of beans.

Watch out for the dust.
I don't know what sneezing powder is made from, but I suggest honey locust pod dust.
 
pollinator
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Location: Missouri Ozarks
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Are the pods dry? An easy well of shelling dry garden beans is to throw the pods into an old pillowcase, tie it up, and stomp on it. Breaks the pods and releases the beans. That may work with the locust, though I can't say for sure. You might also try laying them across a stump and hacking at them with a hatchet. You probably don't need to free every single bean for the chickens to get at 'em.
 
Johnny Niamert
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I was working each pod individually, which wasn't at all efficient.
Then I kind of did what you described, but only in the paper bag and was working with my hands. I'd grab a handful and crush it, grab a handful and crush it..... This worked good, but made lots of dust for me to breathe in (even with a mask) and made my eyes really water and bloodshot.

I think working outside in a fairly breezy day may work best.

At this point, my main goal was saving seed to plant in spring.
I am planning on getting chickens this spring though, and hopefully in the distant future, their descendants will be enjoying beans from these seeds.
 
gardener
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Does anyone else have experience feeding honey locust pods to chickens? Does anyone have their chickens around the tree itself and allow to pods to fall and passively feed them?
 
gardener
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James Landreth wrote:Does anyone else have experience feeding honey locust pods to chickens? Does anyone have their chickens around the tree itself and allow to pods to fall and passively feed them?



I would expect that chickens would have considerable interest in the fresh pods as they fall, for the sweet pulp and the many many bugs that infest it. But I don't have first-hand experience.

The seeds, too, are often infested with bugs, which I can imagine the chickens being interested in.

But the seeds themselves?  Ground up, as proposed earlier in the thread, I suppose they might be fed with success.  But I did find an Australian study that tested many kinds of perennial tree seeds as chicken fodder and recorded which ones the chickens consumed avidly, reluctantly, or not at all.  Honey locust seeds were in the "not at all" category.
 
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