Saturday, November 3, 2012

Free Feed: Cooking for chickens

Confession time....my chickens are spoiled. Yes, it's true. I really pamper them, in fact....I cook for my chickens. No no,.....I don't cook my chickens, silly! I cook them breakfast! Usually it's what I call scrambled poopy eggs. Bear with me here....its not quite as gross as it sounds! I have a few hens that like to hang out in the nest boxes longer then they should. I also have a few banty's that like to sleep in the nest boxes. It's only makes sense that sometimes a bit of chicken poo winds up in the nest boxes. I clean them out in the mornings, but if someone already laid an egg by the time I get there....yuck! That one goes straight to the 'poopy egg basket'. Now, I know that many people just scrape or wipe off the eggs and use them, and for eating that is usually fine. However, I have a fear of introducing bacteria into my incubators. It could ruin a whole hatch if an egg would spoil and explode during incubation. There's a reason they're called stink bombs! Since I incubate most of our eggs, this leaves me with an often full 'poopy egg basket'. 

I started feeding them back to the chickens. It's simple really. I wash the eggs first in mild soap and water. I heat up the skillet, get some oil out of the deep fryer (they don't seem to mind and it makes some space for new oil next time I fry) and start cracking eggs. I fry them up just like regular scrambled eggs, then let them cool and toss to the chooks! If you are so inclined, the next step would be to rinse the egg shells and either let them dry or dry them in the oven (set on low). Crush up the shells and offer them to the chickens in a small dish just as you would oyster shell. 


During the summer when the garden is at full speed, we often have extra produce like zucchini or tomatoes. I chunk up any bruised or bug bitten veggies and add them in with the eggs before serving. The chickens and guineas love it and it makes me feel a whole lot better about the diets of the ones that can't free range! Plus, it is an awesome use for food that normally would just go in the compost pile. Well, I guess it's still going to the compost pile....just taking a trip through a chicken first. Ewww!

Have a great morning!
~L 

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