There’s some controversy on the forum boards of Backyard Chickens, re: feeding food scraps to chickens. The old timers tend to feel that this is the way it’s been done for centuries, and Grandma’s chickens did just fine, thank you very much. The new breed of urban/suburban organic/locavore crowd say, nutritionally-balanced feed only, or you’ll compromise the health of your flock and reduce your egg output.
While I’m sure that a steady diet of pizza crusts wouldn’t be the best of things, surely my leftover brown rice and peas is not going to have anything but a positive effect on my chickens’ health. And, it makes them happy, to boot. I save on feed costs, we put out less garbage…it’s a win/win.
A while ago, I convinced The Man to change his milk consumption and that of our girls (I’m a soy milk girl) to organic milk. Organic milk is roughly twice the price of non-organic milk, as I’m sure you know, and one really hates to see it wasted. Our girls do what kids do and don’t finish the milk at the bottom of their cereal bowls, and I was sick of watching it go down the sink.
So, I asked myself one morning, “I wonder if the chickens would like this?”. What could be better for making yummy eggs than a hit of organic milk?! So, I put some out for them in a plastic container and waited to see what would happen. What happened was hilarious pandemonium, with milk running down Coraline’s wattles, and dripped all over the hens’ backs as others shook their heads. Good stuff.
(Please note the run-off on Coraline’s wattles.)
Again, I bemoan the lack of video on this blog, as this really needs to be seen in motion, and with the accompanying soundtrack.
So, our milk doesn’t get wasted, the girls get healthy food that rounds out their diets as well as pleases their palates, and I get a good laugh. I call that a success story.
I can’t pretend, however, that the remnants of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the milk does anything beneficial for the health of the chickens. That’s just for fun.
Tuck in, girls.