Kitchen Scraps You Can Feed Your Flock
Let’s take a Meyer Moment to talk about Kitchen Scraps.
As the warmer season continues, you’ll often find yourself with an abundance of fresh produce, from your garden, local farmers market, or grocery store. Instead of tossing your leftover scraps or taking them to the compost bin, consider treating your poultry!
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Hey everyone! Welcome back to The Coop with Meyer Hatchery – where we talk all things poultry in hopes of inspiring crazy chicken keepers and educating future flock owners. Each week we like to take a Meyer Moment to cover relevant happenings.
Let’s take a Meyer Moment to talk about kitchen scraps. As the warmer season continues, you’ll often find yourself with an abundance of fresh produce, from your garden, local farmers market, or grocery store. Instead of tossing your leftover scraps or taking them to the compost bin, consider treating your poultry!
Let’s start with a few things to avoid, such as Avocado pits and skins, which contain a toxin called persin. As a precaution stay clear of all fruit pits, citrus peels, and apple seeds as well.
Also, avoid sugars and salts commonly found in chocolate and processed food. Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, which may be a sweet treat for you but are toxic to birds.
Lastly, no spoiled or rotten foods. The bacteria and mold growing on these items can be harmful to your flock.
So what kitchen scraps CAN your flock eat? Most cooked or raw fruits and vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, lettuce, kale, pumpkins, apples, berries, corn, melon, squash, and tomatoes just to name a few. When you slice off the ends, scoop out the pulp, or have large quantities going soft, before you can preserve them all, toss them to your chickens!
How about leftover eggshells? Drying the shells and grinding them can be a great alternative to oyster shells, providing a calcium boost for your chickens!
You can also provide your flock bread, oatmeal, and cooked grains. Use caution with these items as they fill up your flock fast, but provide little nutritional value. If fed in excess, bread can also harm waterfowl growth. Moldy bread should never be fed, as mold can be fatal to your flock.
Lastly, chickens are omnivores, meaning not only do they love vegetables, but meat as well. It’s important that the meat is cooked, do not feed your flock raw meat. My co-host, Kendra provides leftover cooked bits of meat from her crockpot roasts or the discards of meat and veggies from making broth.
Your flock will not only enjoy your kitchen scraps as a tasty treat but also as a boredom buster. Split pumpkins, a hanging cabbage or treat basket, and veggie garland, can help keep your flock entertained in the colder months or if they are contained to a coop or run. We’ve linked a great blog post below, with some boredom buster ideas to install in your coop.
Like with all treats, kitchen scraps should be provided in moderation to ensure your chickens are getting balanced nutrition from their feed, and not just filling up on treats!
Now head to the kitchen and discover new seasonal favorites you and your flock can enjoy. And that’s your weekly Moment with Meyer.
Enjoy the rest of your week and as always thank you for listening!
Hosts & Guests
Kendra + Jeff
From Meyer Hatchery
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