Could one just go to a conventional, as in not organic because organic can be scarce, grocery store or restaurant and get free food scrapes then pile them up for the chickens and produce free eggs that way? Is it that easy?
It's one of those "it depends" answers, which most people don't like...
It can be done, but management CAN be difficult and expectations/market demands CAN be difficult to meet.
Some "food purists" won't buy eggs if the chickens are not fed an "Organic" feed.
Some vegans who do eat eggs won't buy eggs if the chickens are fed meat, meat scraps or cooked leftovers that contain meat.
Other people who are "toxicity minded" shy away because of the potential of chemicals passing from the waste food into the eggs.
Comming up with a waste - food to chicken feed conversion is almost impossible to get perfect, so figuring out how much waste food to get for X number of chickens is problematic at best.
Too much waste food can attract scavengers and predators, too little and the chickens will need supplimental feeding.
Finding an economical way to store excess waste food another potential problem.
I have seen videos where compost piles with waste food in them were made, then chickens were let in every few days to turn the piles, eat the waste food and the associated bugs that have been attracted to the waste food. It SEEMED to work well.
I believe it CAN be done, depending on management, resources, time, environment, dedication, economics, ordinancez and probably another two dozen or so factors I haven't thought too much about.
When TPTB take away a persons LEGAL ability to produce for themselves, then I will be a criminal and you will get to support me
I don't think that many people will be put off, but you will have to take care not to feed too much bread. The second thing is storing bread is a pain (mould rats). Storing the food leftovers is a pain too. I would probably feed a little bit of grain but you can see. It is very unlikely that the restaurant scraps contains a lot of meat, but meat is good for chooks. I think you should take care though that you don't pick up leftovers from fast food restaurants or your chooks will get sick and your eggs will taste crap.
Another thing to consider is that if you are picking up the leftovers it has to be a sure thing otherwise the food source will dry up. So you will have to figure out who is picking up when you are sick or unable to come? What will you do with your leftovers?
I'm surprised that no one has chipped in with links to this so far.
There are quite a few videos of this operation. He has two primary products, compost and eggs. It is a rather industrialised large scale system, but aspects could be adapted for smaller scales. As with many things, there are good economies of scale in action here. He processes large volumes of waste and has a customer base for both his compost and eggs. Many communities would benefit from a local operation like this, on a scale that benefits the whole local area.
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.
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