Thursday, March 31, 2011

Waste Not

One of the things I enjoy about raising chickens and goats is their role as instant-composters.  We have a small compost pile, but I use it only for moldy food and manure.  Almost all of our food waste is used to supplement our animal feed.  Though we try to eat what we grow and buy from local sources, there are definitely some exceptions that we make, like bananas and avocados.  So, in addtion to any leftover greens, our goats LOVE to eat our banana and avocado peels, along with tamale husks.  The chickens eat all grain-based leftovers, cheese, potatoes, legumes and cooked veggies.  We give them leftover cooked eggs and crushed eggshells, and if I ever drop an egg in the coop, they rush over to devour it because it is full of nutrition.

As for any meat scraps, the dogs and cats are happy to take care of those.  Whenever I cook a chicken (purchased from Barnyard Gardens in Shelton, WA I usually use the white meat as a main dish the first night, the dark meat incorporated into a dish the second night, then I boil the rest to make broth and peel every bit of the yucky meat from the bones as treats for our indoor pets.

When we tend the garden, we toss the weeds over the fence to the goats and chickens to munch on.  By the time they finish processing all of this waste, it is well on it's way to nutrient-rich compost.  We cut down on feed costs, the animals enjoy a yummier, more nutritious diet, and we don't send any of it to the dump.

No comments:

Post a Comment