do you feed scraps to your chickens?

(37 Posts)
Consils Tue 11-Dec-12 09:06:54

Can I give them fish and chips or would they be too salty?

GreatCongas Tue 11-Dec-12 09:10:52

It's illegal so we never ever lies feed ours any scraps

TunipTheVegedude Tue 11-Dec-12 09:17:05

I might give them the fish but not the chips. Mine have never liked potatoes in any form and I can't believe that pure starch is much good for them anyway.

LemonBreeland Tue 11-Dec-12 09:19:02

Mine get pasta a lot when the kids don't eat it. Probably wouldn't do fish and chips though.

only veg trimmings, although as conga says it is illegal. (think its to do with meat scraps and sellings eggs)

LemonBreeland Tue 11-Dec-12 09:37:21

What if you don't sell any eggs though? I never knew it was illegal.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 11-Dec-12 09:42:39

It is still illegal even if you don't sell eggs.
Can't remember the details but it's been discussed at length on other poultry keeping forums.
Mine hardly get scraps because they free range all the time and I want to make sure they get enough 'proper' food in their diet but I don't stress too much about the letter of the law. It would be against the law to give them leftover pasta but legal to cook them their own, but that would be crazy.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 11-Dec-12 09:43:14

when I say 'proper' food I mean food designed for chickens, not human food, obv.

LemonBreeland Tue 11-Dec-12 11:05:03

Interesting Tunip. I knew what you meant by proper food. smile

Mine sadly can't free range any more due to next doors evil chicken murdering dog. They didn't really get scraps when they did. I do make them their own porridge though. My kisds wouldn't really like peas and things in their porridge.

TunipTheVegedude Tue 11-Dec-12 11:06:49

I have cooked mine porridge in the past, when the weather's been very cold, made with water instead of milk.

LemonBreeland Tue 11-Dec-12 11:12:07

Yes the chickens get water in their porridge here too.

Mindingalongtime Tue 11-Dec-12 12:23:07

You CAN feed chickens scraps as long as there is no meat:

Response from a letter to DEFRA:

Feeding hens

Thank you for your email of 7 February about feeding hens. I have been asked to reply.

There is no legislation on feeding pets with leftovers.
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes owners and keepers responsible for ensuring that the welfare needs of their animals are met. These include the need:
for a suitable environment (place to live) for a suitable diet to exhibit normal behaviour patterns to be housed with, or apart from, other animals (if applicable) to be protected from pain, injury, suffering and disease Our guidance on animal welfare requires that no animal is treated other than what is stated


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only.

Consils Tue 11-Dec-12 18:25:05

I thought that giving them scraps was illegal but wondered how many of you fed them anyway. Thanks smile

Mindingalongtime Thu 13-Dec-12 16:31:27

This was actually on Radio London yesterday too, and confirmed as long as scraps have not come anywhere near meet, it is fine to give them to the chickens.

Mine had fried rice and porridge today! They adore pasta and chips too, I cook extra pasta for them!

Mindingalongtime Thu 13-Dec-12 16:32:13

(sp) meat

Megandavids Fri 14-Dec-12 14:08:20

I feed mine all the left over food from the veg garden they are great at getting rid of all pests like slugs as well just make sure when you let them in the veg patch you have already picked all the good stuff smile

Pixel Sat 15-Dec-12 16:16:07

I do give mine scraps, it's the same food my kids are leaving eating so I think it should be good enough for chickens! Perhaps I'd better take the meat out though, I was only giving it to them because I'd read on here that people give their chooks left over cat food etc and someone mentioned that their's adore ham. Surely part of the point of having chooks is to cut down on waste and do a bit of recycling.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 15-Dec-12 16:36:51

Only vegi scraps, and pasta, rice, etc. No meat or fish.

Don't they reckon that mad cow disease and possibly foot and mouth was caused by cows eating meat, and then pigs eating meat?

I know when I was younger our miking cows we had, their cow feed contained chicken in the actual cattle feed as there used to be feathers in it! That's all been banned now.

Pixel Sun 16-Dec-12 20:07:55

Ah well they've only had meat a few times anyway so not hard to cut out. The cat gets any leftover fish!

louisdog Wed 19-Dec-12 22:27:21

I give ours leftover chips and jacket spuds etc sometimes and they seem to really love it!

Chickens are supposed to be vegetarian? Must tell mine to stop eating worms, dead mice and frogs then or DEFRA will come and get them grin

BettySuarez Wed 19-Dec-12 22:36:02

Ours have marmite on toast most mornings and they love grated cheese and fruit cake crumbs

Virgil Wed 19-Dec-12 22:39:17

Ours get anything that is left over. We don't sell the eggs.

They will eat anything apart from potato and strawberries. They are particularly partial to banana and leftover spag Bol.

bubblepop Fri 21-Dec-12 22:38:33

mine love any cooked veg , esp broccoli they go mad for it! They also love tomatoes and grapes. dH makes them porridge oats with warm water on a very cold evening and that goes down well, never give them any meator fish though.

Our chicken are not vegetarian either - lots of worms, insects and I have witnessed them eating whole mice!

They get all leftovers that the cats and dog don't like, but seem to draw the line at jelly and meragnes (sp).

Surely the 'pure starch' in chips is no worse than eating grain or boiled potato peelings - ours get all peelings boiled up when I am cooking something anyway.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Tue 25-Dec-12 20:47:29

they're allowed to eat meat they've caught themselves! that's their natural diet.

it's just other meat they're not allowed.

priscilla101 Tue 25-Dec-12 20:53:39

I read that chickens weren't supposed to eat potato at all confused.

I think the kitchen scraps actually comes from the Environmental Protection Act that deals with lawful removal of waste, so not sure why DEFRA would quote animal welfare regs....

nickelbabylyinginamanger Wed 26-Dec-12 11:07:06

they can eat cooked potato. it's because people think about giving them peelings which they can't have.

aardvarkdreams Mon 14-Jan-13 16:45:48

I give mine pork, lamb, beef, turkey, chicken, fish - anything really, and they love it. Not much meat because we do not waste much, but the scraps. It is fine for a home producer - you ate the meat so it must be OK for you, and OK for you recycled in chicken eggs. The whole BSE (mad cow) problem was institutionally feeding animals to animals, spread across vast numbers of feed bags.

This is an end user situation.

My problem is too many eggs. I just bought an ice cream maker and will begin pickling eggs for salads. I asked my doctor about eating lots of eggs and he said it was fine.

LittleB Tue 15-Jan-13 12:51:30

I also give mine scraps, but not meat, i also read avoid peppers and mushrooms, and not too much garlic/onion or it will taint the eggs. Mine get porridge on cold days too (made with oats, a few pellets, poultry spice and some grit and hot water) They love stuff from the allotment too- Kale is a favourite! I read that you shouldn't give them anything thats been in a kitchen - bit hard as I live in a terrace so even their pellets come through the kitchen, I just ignore that, but we do sell a few eggs - only to work colleagues though. Give them away to family too. Things I make when I've got a surplus are the usual quiche, scrambled egg, omlettes etc, but meringues are great and freeze well and we really like kedgeree too!

Pixel Tue 15-Jan-13 16:57:41

And besides, chickens aren't naturally vegetarians, whereas cows are. They aren't designed to eat meat so why was it put in their feed? I've never understood why anyone thought that was a good idea. I mean, scientifically it's been shown to be a Bad Idea, but even morally it's a bit icky.

On the subject of scraps, my grandad had a smallholding many years ago, and he used to go round in his trap with a big bin for people to put their kitchen scraps in. It would then be boiled up and made into pig swill. Of course DEFRA has stopped any of that malarky but it was all boiled, I can't see what the harm was, and we are always being told to keep scraps out of landfill. Seems like the ultimate recycling to me!

WhatKindofFool Sat 26-Jan-13 21:49:19

Yes, I give them anything they will Hoover up. Yes, that includes left over meat. Don't send the cops though!

phlebas Sat 26-Jan-13 21:54:25

yup mine get loads of scraps - pasta, sweetcorn, shreddies are their favourites. Their winter treat is porridge, poultry spice & a dollop of canned salmon <only when it snows though>

bogwoppitinatree Sun 27-Jan-13 11:16:37

In a home environment, I wouldn't worry about feeding any scraps, even if there is the odd bit of meat/fish in there. Chickens are omnivores and can eat pretty much anything.
In a commercial environment or anywhere where the meat/eggs will be sold it is illegal to feed them anything which may have come into contact with meat, fish or dairy so anything which has even been in a kitchen is out of the picture or may have contacted any food substances along the way is out. Very strict, but my home chucks have pretty much anything (alhtough we don't eat much meat, I do give them the odd bone to pick at and plenty of meal worms smile)

DoItToJulia Sun 27-Jan-13 11:22:57

BSE was cased by cows being fed other cows, specifically their spinal columns, not just any meat.

Catering waste cannot be fed to commercial animals, unless it is authorised. Domestic scraps to domestic animals is fine as I understand the law.

sieglinde Sun 27-Jan-13 11:23:47

well, mine get homecooked mince for Xmas dinner, and leftover cat or dog food. They love it. They also like drippings form roast meat. Don't tell DEFRA. I otoh never give them fish as I don;t want fishy eggs.

Liu38 Fri 08-Feb-13 17:50:02

We always give our chiks all left overs. They love it. And no complaints from them. The only thing with it, your eggs can have specific taste after eating strong flavored food, such as fish.

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