Hi everyone! We just started our new poultry flock with 20 laying hens, 20 broilers and 4 ducks . I used to work at a restaurant in town and have been taking all of their veggie scraps for the past year and I am starting to wonder if taking the meats scraps for chickenfeed could be a good thing as well.
I have read many different accounts online saying it is both good and bad so I am looking here to see if anyone has any insight. I would have access to Chicken, Pork, and Beef scraps... but probably won't feed my chickens... chicken.
Chooks will be overjoyed with any meat you give them . I've seen them tuck into one of there ex-flockmate's remains that mistakenly ended up in their dinner. Not a problem for me, or them either, as far as I know. What are you comfortable feeding your chooks, and therefore yourself? Do you know where the meat comes from? I avoid industrial pork and chicken and I presume if you're in the USA, any meat that's not labelled 'grass fed' is CAFO. We don't have CAFOs here and if I've got anything to do with it, we never will! It's a bit of an ethical, philosophical, health quandry... Use what would otherwise be wasted? I imagine all but the most expensive organic chook feed has many more negative impacts than what you're suggesting,and even then you have to take all sorts of other factors into account like industrial manufacture and transport. I think I've nearly talked myself into it! Aside from the remaining potential for ethical, philosophical, health issues...
I saw one of my girls catch and eat a Gardner snake last summer, and if I toss an injured mouse in there (after taking it away from my evil housecat) they chase it down and eat it. They have been getting my kitchen meat/fat craps for almost a year now and seem to love it
Chickens, like humans, are omnivores. In nature, their protein comes from bugs, slugs, and other thugs. Protein is the costliest part of a chicken's diet. If you have a free source of protein, by all means utilize it. (If they are protein-deprived, they will resort to cannibalism to get it!)
We feed meat all the time to our chickens. In the summer most of their diet is insects on pasture but in the winter those get a bit scarce with the glaciers and cold so we replace that part of the chickens diet with meat from our pigs - we butcher every week.
I worked in a restaurant until a couple years ago. I would salvage whatever I could from the place, usually took home a couple of buckets of scraps. One day the chef was cutting New York strips. This cut of meat comes in with a thick layer of fat which is trimmed off. I snatched it up, took it home, cut it into small pieces the hens could handle. Gave them a fine treat every day for a couple of weeks.
If the birds eat a high percentage of meats and fats, their droppings will be less firm.
Seed the Mind, Harvest Ideas.
After a successful fishing trip (be the catch finned or shelled) I usually give the chickens the parts we do not consume ourselves. To be on the safe side I simmer it a bit in a little water on an outside stove to kill any possible parasites or bacteria first. I also grind up shrimp and crawfish hulls to make eating them and thier contents easier (hard shells from clams and oysters are made into supliments). My only concern about giving meat scraps from a restaurant would be any possible bacterial contamination and if I were doing it a little heat would be applied before I feed it to my chickens or anything else. I do feed my chickens all sorts of kitchen trimmings and leftovers (that are not eaten by us for lunch or even rehashed for the folowing night's meal) we produce including small pieces of meat although for the most part my dog gets any meat trimmings created during prep cooked especially for her. I know I could feed raw but she does occasionally lick me when excited with that mouth