So this yea I really took a fall into the homesteading pond and started raising my own meat sources and despite my distaste for chicken I bought 12 Freedom rangers, now I know why get chickens if you dont like chicken? Well I really cut back on chicken after helping my brother with butchering we do about 300 chickens on a saturday morning but what bothers me is when we have to butch the cornish and while i have seen healthy so to speak cornish cross the ones we would get to butcher from the chicken houses like prude and tyson build were well lets just say I almost dropped chicken from my diet. So freedom rangers seemed like a great new breed for me to try and raise my own food at the same time. I moved them into a 100' circle pen in the meadow with netting over top and raised them to the recommend age and man chicken is back on the menu with a vengeance. I sadly only had 12 though and plan on stepping my game up next year seeing as my sister also wouldnt mind a few in the freezer and I just truly enjoy raising animals. I am actually hatching some new chicks due today for my egg laying flock. Sorry about this paper back book here but now to the question at hand.
Fish for feed? I love to fish for fun and food and while i love me some perch i also just enjoy catching sunnies and really anything and was thinking i get alot of river chubs, fall fish, suckers and sun fish and while i know i can fillet sun fish if i were to keep them would this be a good source of food for my chickens? Now i seen alot about feeding fish to them and how it can result in some what fishy eggs so maybe not for my egg laying chickens but when im raise my next batch of freedom rangers would it be worth keeping fish to add to their diet along with the feed i am already feeding them? Just to help cut back on the total amount of feed in the long run? I would plan on feeding them cut up fish when they are big enough until maybe a week before they are ready for butch. I wonder if a week would be enough to make sure they dont taste fishy or is that even a thing? I am just looking for a way to cut the cost of their feed down a little an since im already out on the water catching fish i figured this could be a good way. Also if anyone has any info on this what would be the best way? Cut the fish up into chunks or run it through a hand grinder into a burger type mush and just feed them a scoop of that along with their store feed? Any help is awesome.
This was discussed recently using fish scraps. I think the consensus was to use the fish to breed maggots, the chickens eat the maggots. This can be as easy as hanging a fish above them, the maggots will fall out.
I've fed chickens fish in limited fashion. So limited there was no way it would effect taste. Like a couple minnows that died in my cow trough. Or fish scales (very small from speckled trout). I have no first hand about quantities.
I hope there are more responses.
I have thought that fowl or swine could be fattened on invasive carp, then finished the way old timers would finish bottom feeding fish, possums, snail, raccoons, turtles,etc, by penning them and feeding "clean" food like cracked corn, for a week, and then slaughtering.
That is what i was wondering I know with snapping turtles and crawdads we put them in fresh water to let them clean out their systems and i dont see why feeding fish as part of their diet would hurt i mean from cleaning chicken gizzards ive seen everthingfrom nails to glass in the gizzard they will eat anything, I am just wondering about how i should i think i might chunk up the fish and freeze it then just grind it up before serving it to them along with their regular feed this would kill any parasites living in the fish. I mean i am putting them inthe meadow they are already finding fresh greens and bugs to eat.
If you want to effect the taste of an animal by the food it is eating you need to feed that "flavor" to the animal for at least 3 months, it takes that long for the flavonoids to permeate the animal being fed.
This is known throughout the hog raising world and the most expensive hams on the planet (Iberico) come from hogs that eat acorns for the last four months of their life.
As for feeding fish to fowl, Ducks that eat fish, taste like fish. That means that the fish oil carried flavonoids permeate the ducks meat.
The same would happen to chickens so while you could do this you would probably want to think ahead so you changed their diet at least 3 months prior to butchering time.
To my taste buds, free ranged chickens taste the best, they have such a varied diet they end up tasting like the chickens I remember from my grandparents farm.
The diet of grasses, bugs, past prime figs and vegetable and fruit left overs, along with the hog feed they get when I give my hogs their supplement feed (they too are free ranging grazers)
We currently have great tasting eggs with deep orange yolks and I am sure the meat from the ones we cull will be flavorful.