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Closing the loop on chicken offal?

 
Thomas Partridge
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Location: Zone 7a
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So we are planning to expand our poultry operation in the direction of pasture raised poultry meat (as discussed in another thread) and we are also trying to get away from composting, so the question arose of how to dispose of the unused chicken offal. We don't want to feed it raw to the cats and dogs nor do we want to cook it. We also do not wish to feed it back to the chickens and since the chickens and ducks eat together in our system (and we don't want to change that) they are also not an option. That leaves as far as I can tell fish, pigs, and other poultry that are kept separately. The latter is one that I am particularly interested in because it would require significantly less infrastructure.

Would pigeons or quail benefit from a relatively steady supply of chicken/duck offal? Obviously they couldn't be fed only offal and be healthy but would they benefit from it and would it reduce my overall feed expense for them?
 
Su Ba
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I know that you said that you didn't want to cook the offal, but it's an easy thing to do. I use one of those big turkey oil-cooker set ups that I bought at Ace Hardware real cheap at Thanksgiving time. I think I paid $39. It includes a giant pot big enough for a jumbo turkey, the stand, and the propane regulator & hose. It is setup to use an inline timer which i sometimes bypass depending upon what I'm cooking. All you need to add is a bottle of propane and you're set to cook.

Offal doesn't need much cooking to make it safe to feed back to the hens. In fact, the hens would eat it raw......and they do when one dies in the pen and I overlook the body. Those hens will eat the dead one all up, except for big bones and big feathers, real opportunistic cannibals. But I feel that it's safer to cook the chicken offal before feeding it back. I simply heat water to boiling, add offal, bring things back to a boil, turn off and allow it to cool. Then feed. All the slaughter waste goes into the cook pot, including heads, feet, feathers, and anything else. The hens will eat just all of it.

I don't see where this is a dangerous practice, considering it is heat treated before feeding.

My ducks (muscovies) eat the same thing that I feed the hens. They appear to do fine on it.
 
Thomas Partridge
Posts: 130
Location: Zone 7a
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I should clarify, the reason I will not feed the offal to the chickens/ducks is spiritual. I was not concerned about transmitting pathogens.
 
Bella Simple
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Do you have neighbours with dogs/cats who would be interested in the scraps? If you give them offal freely, you might even find your neighbours start giving you something freely in return. I gave my neighbour a rooster, and now he regularly feeds my chickens his veggie garden scraps.
 
Thomas Partridge
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We do have neighbors but like us they do not want to feed their cats and dogs raw offal and we do not wish to cook it.

We are probably going to have to compost it since we do not wish to feed the offal to the cats, dogs, ducks, or chickens and we do not want to expand beyond poultry at this time. We were just hoping their was a type of caged poultry that could benefit from offal but I suppose there is not .
 
William James
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Location: Northern Italy
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Would putting it in a pile (or several small piles) and putting soil over it be in the realm of possibilities?

I'm sure the worms would be ecstatic. Maybe some wild animal as well.
William
 
Olga Booker
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Location: Pyrenees Mountains, South of France
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This is what we do here.

Chicken liver paté, gizzard salads (a firm favourite in South West France), BBQ hearts (a bit tougher than liver but delicious), the rest in the river for trouts and crayfish or buried in trenches to feed the soil. You can freeze the hearts, livers and gizzards until needed.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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