Practically Green: Backyard hens offer fun way to go green

by Ivory Soap on 05/17/2011

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One chicken eats about 7 pounds of food waste a month, according to the book “City Chicks: Keeping Micro-flocks of Laying Hens as Garden Helpers, Compost Makers, Bio-recyclers and Local Food Suppliers,” by Patricia Foreman.

I can vouch for that. I have eight chickens. We haven’t thrown away much food waste in two years. Not only does that greatly reduce trash-can odor, but it also knocks a hole in our carbon footprint.

“What if a city had 2,000 households with three hens (or more) each? That could translate to 252 tons of food waste diverted from landfills each year,” says Foreman.

Read the full article HERE.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Debra Bucklen May 18, 2011 at 6:35 am

So what kind of food waste do you give your chickens? We have 6 adolescent hens that have just been free ranging for 2 weeks.

Ivory Soap May 19, 2011 at 9:01 am

Everything except chicken. Leftovers, peelings, anything the kids don’t finish, spoiled-ish stuff, and truthfully you can feed them chicken. But, if just grosses us out. Anything that could be considered a food item at any level is food to a chicken. Just don’t do homemade playdoh. A friend did that once and the salt killed her chickens.

JavaLady May 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I have 5 back yard chickens. They are two years old now. We love having them, and they give us FOOD in return for our care, feed, and nurturing. Unlike my teenagers, chickens LOVE to get left overs!! My dogs get very jealous when I head out to the chicken coop with my bucket of left overs since the chickens get those ”nibbles” and the doggies do not.

JavaLady May 19, 2011 at 10:08 pm

Hey, does any one know if it is “okay” or “safe” to feed chickens ants? Seriously, there is a big ole ant pile just outside the coop in my yard. I scooped up some today, and dumped them into the chicken coop. The chickens gobbled them up. Then I felt guilty, and started worrying that the ants might bite or poison the chickens. Any one got a clue?? I know chickens love to eat bugs for certain, especially big fat June Bugs.

Viki June 26, 2011 at 10:14 pm

I want chickens and if they eat the ants in my yard I would be just so happy! One day I WILL have chickens.

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