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Re: Scraps or no scraps, which is best?

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:48 pm
by tygrysek75
Can you catch few and send my way?I would love to have them in my garden,plenty places to hide for them.

Re: Scraps or no scraps, which is best?

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:19 pm
by Chuck
Stapfam wrote:On the subject of MEAT and DAIRY. They will come to no harm if it is given to them- but like everything else in moderation. I have seen Mice killed and eaten by chickens and I knew of a Dairy farmer that gave all his "Contaminated" milk to the pigs and Chickens in their bran mix. As part of a well founded diet- then some protein in the form of Meat and Dairy will do no harm.

Saying that- It does go against the grain to give it to Fowl and is not something that I would do. And if you have seen how quickly a Chicken can be cannibalised once the chooks have got a taste for Raw meat- it is something i would be wary of doing.
I read on a forum (information off the internet I think) that milk should never be fed to chickens as they are lactose intolerant. HOWEVER - by that time I had been feeding my hens all my leftover goats mik (sometimes gallons a day) mixed with bran and meal for around ten years as did many fellow goatkeepers. I'd do a 'porridge' round every late morning. Not only did the hens live, they thrived and laid well on it too. They still had their basic diet of pellets. A commercial rearer in Somerset still uses whey from a cheese factory to mix and feed his hens with and this was common years ago.
Milk has traditionally been fed to other livestock without restriction but it is now more regulated.
Feeding meat either raw or partially cooked is not dangerous to chickens but is a potential way of spreading infection between species and that is why it is regulated. Nearly every foot and mouth outbreak has emanated from pig swill (leftover food from catering outlets) which had not been heated to a high enough temperature to kill the pathogens. Bear in mind that meat is imported from all over the world. That is why it is now regulated that kitchen waste should not be fed to chickens. It is the meat content or contamination that's the problem.
Having been around farms and being on the fringe of agriculture, virtually all my life, I nearly blow a gasket every time I see a mention of people feeding raw meat to their 'pets'. It just isn't necessary and sob stories like 'it was the only thing she would eat' just don't cut it with me !.

Re: Scraps or no scraps, which is best?

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 12:21 pm
by hepina
I am strongly against feeding chickens with raw meat...

...but... growing up at the smallholding where all food leftovers were either composted or fed to animals (and we all survived without harm) I really don't understand why chickens can't have kitchen waste.

My logic is (and it doesn't mean I do it) - if you are worried about salmonella or other disease, shouldn't you get it at the same time as your chickens if you scrape the leftovers from your dinner table to their bowls? I would say if my cooking is good enough for me and my family why shouldn't it be for my animals?

Just a thought...

Re: Scraps or no scraps, which is best?

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:56 pm
by Marigold
I was simply outlining what, to the best of my knowledge, are the current legal DEFRA regulations for feeding livestock, including poultry. Obviously these have been developed in the light of hard lessons after the foot and mouth outbreaks a few years ago, and I think everyone would support the ban on feeding livestock with mixed waste from commercial outlets. What we all do in the privacy of our own homes is not yet fully spied on by Big Brother, so what you feed your hens is up to you, and if it's good enough for your family, it's not likely to do them any harm in the sense of causing actual illness. However, bear in mind that hens' nutritional needs are different from ours, and are fully met if you feed good-quality layers pellets and can give some access to grass or feed fresh green food.. If you add more than very small amounts of 'human' food, especially cooked food which may be high in salt, sugar and fat, it will unbalance their diet, they will get fat, this will result in a drop in egg production and may even cause medical problems if the fat is laid down round their ovaries. As Chuck has said, yes hens were traditionally fed on scraps and little else, but those days have gone and now they have better alternative feedstuffs. Th average household today has far more scraps available per hen than used to be the case, and so we need to be very sparing in feeding these.

Re: Scraps or no scraps, which is best?

Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 3:37 pm
by chrismahon
I think you are right about far more scraps nowadays Marigold. Presume you mean cooked scraps. I can honestly say we don't have any waste at all. We do cook a bit more spagetti or Yorkshire pudding deliberately for the hens as a treat. Uncooked peelings go onto the compost heap. There is no waste meat. Any bones are picked clean by me. Reality is food is too cheap and people can afford to waste it.

Re: Scraps or no scraps, which is best?

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:23 am
by Stapfam
I am a keen gardener and before chickens- all kitchen waste used to go into the compost bin or the dog. I have a 2 gallon bucket by the back door and this used to be emptied at least once a week. Since chickens- I doubt that this is emptied more than once a month and is mainly uncooked peelings- Fruit skins and decaying food that could not be given to the chickens and eggshells.. The compost heap is suffering but the chickens love it. We don't use a great deal of salt in cooking and the small amount they would get will not be a problem in a balanced diet.

What gets me though is that they go through the same amount of Pellets every day- no matter how much extra they get in the way of scraps.

Re: Scraps or no scraps, which is best?

Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:30 am
by Chuck
[quote="Stapfam"

What gets me though is that they go through the same amount of Pellets every day- no matter how much extra they get in the way of scraps.[/quote]

This is interesting as while this doesn't always happen, it does show the potential to put on weight if offered too much fattening food or too much extra protein. If when these foods are fed, they would eat less of their pellets, it would balance out better.

Re: Scraps or no scraps, which is best?

Posted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:15 am
by dianefairhall
I've been reading this with interest 7 years later, but having read the DEFRA rules my interpretation is that they only ban animal derived products. So I can give my hens lettuce, but not lettuce leftovers scraped from my plate after a ham salad. Else otherwise how can I give my hens fresh greens?