Chickens: the ultimate recyclers

Alternatively titled: Reasons you should keep a chook or ten

Chickens eat your scraps.Β  All of them. They don’t care what it is. Just don’t give them avocado or the other things on this list. There will be no such thing as throwing away food if you have half a dozen chickens in your backyard.


They turn your scraps into nitrogen-rich fertiliser. It’s pretty potent poo so I’d recommend putting it into your compost to break down rather than straight onto your garden. If you’re using paper or straw for bedding you can put that into your compost at the same time.

Chooks will weed your garden for you. Let them out into the garden and pull up a chair. Enjoy a quiet afternoon in the sun with one eye on the hens to make sure they don’t eat anything you don’t want them to (that is anything you want to end up on your plate). Your feathered friends will scratch at the topsoil, loosening it and removing (eating) the weeds, saving you the time and energy of doing it yourself. They may even deposit some of that lovely fertiliser directly onto your garden for you πŸ˜‰


Sunshine weeding the garden

All of that eating and sunshine will give you lots of delicious eggs! Of course this saves you loads of money because freerange eggs are expensive. So technically your scraps and weeds just turned into money. You’ve also eliminated any ethical issues with eating eggs because you KNOW your hens are happy and healthy.


Different breeds of chicken lay different sized and coloured eggs. Farm a rainbow

Even the shells aren’t waste! Crush them and use them. You can put them on the garden around your seedlings to keep slugs and snails away from your plants. Better yet, feed them back to your chickens as shell grit. The shells are hard because of the calcium in them. Feeding the shells back to the chickens ensures they are getting enough calcium in their diet to KEEP laying eggs with strong shells. The rough texture of the shells also helps to break up the food in their crop because they don’t have teeth to do the job. This is also why chickens eat rocks…not because they are crazy birds.


See how helpful these birds are! They also make lovely pets. Chicken antics can keep me occupied for an unreasonable amount of time *blush* and they are easy enough for kids to look after.

Do you have other ideas for employing chickens for waste reduction in your household?


4 thoughts on “Chickens: the ultimate recyclers

  1. We have an open compost bin, so I can’t keep our chickens out of it! I have found that they don’t eat things that are bad for them– i.e., dried or raw beans from the garden or green skinned potatoes (or any raw potatoes). But they also don’t like broccoli! They do, however, love broccoli foliage. As I’ve pulled the plants I’ve set them in their run and they eat all the leaves off! As far as weeding, they will stand and eat tomatoes right off the vine, and love to take dirt baths where I’ve just put new seed! Fencing is my friend. I love your photos and that link is great.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Chickens: the ultimate recyclers | Forage and Forge | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

    • Oh how exciting! We are in Brisbane and the poor chookies aren’t a big fan of the heat, but at least it’s not as dry as Dubbo. I look forward to seeing some pics of your coop and chickens next year 😊


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