Monday, March 19, 2012

Extreme Chicken Smoothies

Ok, I'll admit it.  I do not compost my kitchen scraps.

What kind of eco-friendly, homesteading type of person doesn't compost their kitchen scraps????

Now before Tom falls over from the mere thought of losing all that potential worm-food, let me say that it does not go in the garbage.  It just doesn't go into making compost for the gardens.  And although I'd just love to have more items to add to the compost heap as that pile is one of only two main ways we obtain dirt around here (click here to see the other way), those kitchen trimmings never make it to the pile.

We have chickens.  And chickens need to eat.  And chicken feed prices are continuing their upward climb.  Although the chickens get to free range the entire day and gobble up all sorts of free greens, bugs and the occasional mouse, they still need additional feed.  They get store bought grains / scratch, but I try to supplement those pricey bags of feed with food from our kitchen waste.

I'm sure that just like we have, any of you that own chickens have the obligatory "Chicken Bucket" on your counter top or under the sink.  But when I first started my chicken bucket, I left out the citrus and banana peels, melon rinds and other items too chunky for the chooks
 to pick at or eat.  I even left out the eggshells because I was afraid that they would take to the ever-dreaded habit of eating their eggs.  

Then I re-discovered one of the awesome capabilities of my blender;  blending stuff!  Duh!

All those tough banana or citrus peels?  Cut it into a few pieces then toss into the blender.  Melon rinds?  Pop 'em in!  Hard cores from the cabbages?  A couple chops with the knife and in with the rest of the stuff.  I've even made smoothies (for the chickens!) using acorns and pressure cooked leftovers from making chicken soup, bones and all!

I start out with liquids first, like whey, old milk or even just water.  Then all those chunks go in and the chickens end up with a nutritious Extreme Chicken Smoothie for lunch!  One recent chicken blender concoction consisted of syrup from canned peaches and pears, orange peels, banana peels, yogurt (found in a cup under the table.....wonder how old that was??), some old chocolate syrup and a bunch of goat cheese that got lost in the back of the fridge.  The blender made quick work of those normally tough peels and I have to admit that the smell was quite delightful.  

Today's Chicken Smoothie Du Jour:
Eggshells, butternut squash, banana peels and orange peels.

The compost heap will have to be content with just the wasted animal bedding, leaves and occasional grass clippings because if it's food, it's going to end up becoming a smoothie for the chickens.


  1. Our scraps go to the chickens, goats and the compost. However, if we raise a pig, they'll be going to that too.

  2. Lucky lucky birds! We throw our scraps out whole and the turkeys eat the big chunkc and chicks do little chunks and it all works out well

  3. Yum! We never get anything to the compost either because those chickens are ravenous! I never thought of blending things up though....good idea!

  4. That looks so yummy! Bet it smells good too...(oh barf)

  5. This made me laugh remembering how we teased my mom that she was the only person in the world who would blend her garbage. In winter she'd freeze it in milk cartons until the ground thawed enough to bury it in her garden, and she had a spare freezer in the basement for this very purpose.

  6. LOL..I have done this too... and like (I think it was) Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm said--..."It all winds up compost eventually!!)

  7. Kristina, I can't imagine how much kitchen waste we'd have piled up if we didn't have the animals or a compost heap. Can you imagine how much goes into landfills??

    Donna, so the turkeys take care of the bigger pieces? Good teamwork between the birds! For the longest time I'd have melon rinds or banana peels just sitting around the barnyard because the chickens wouldn't eat them. Now I know that if I don't want to use the blender, I'll just have to get a turkey!

    Mama Tea, I like blending it up because of the aforementioned "Peelings Problem" we'd have. They'd just be littering the chicken yard. And this way, EVERYONE (the birds at least) get a little bit of EVERYTHING instead of one chicken just yanking the best piece out of the feed pail and eating it by herself.

    Tami, actually it doesn't normally smell too bad, but I usually try to keep rancid stuff out of there. You should see how pretty it is when I blend up some red cabbage!

    Charade, now THAT's one dedicated Composting Lady!

  8. Akannie, well, maybe everything but those plastic grocery bags!! :)

  9. I am so relieved. I was picturing a smoothie made with chicken and leftover mashed potatoes or something, and I admit the thought was somewhat less than appetizing!

  10. I'm with EcoCatLady! I read that title and gasped - CR has finally lost her marbles! Poor Paul and Rhiannon! I am not letting the chickens read this post, however. While I might be tempted to pop popcorn for my hens every once in a great while, I will NOT be making them smoothies. They are on their own - I feel that having them tackle the big pieces builds character. That's my line and I'm sticking to it.

  11. You could try feeding the banana peels to the goats, most really like them! :) When I put out winter squash for the chickens, I just chunk it up and they eat every bit, even the rind. Not so much with the melons though. Good idea to blend it for them! :)

  12. EcoCatLady, yeah I guess that could easily be construed as such. But I don't think I'd mind it, especially if you put some gravy in there!

    Susan, ok, ok! I should have said Smoothies FOR Chickens. Jeeze....everybody takes everything sooooo literal! Have a nice one anyhow! :)

    Candy, we go through a LOT of bananas here so the goats get their share of banana peels and they do fight over 'em.

  13. I thought banana peels were bad for chickens??? Good idea otherwise!

  14. Just found your great blog, and I'm a new follower ~ so nice to meet you!
    Anne ♥♥

  15. My friend's chickens here LOVE whole melon rinds! They go nuts at her summer picnic every year as all the kids are instructed to fling their melon rinds into the chicken yard, they are so fun to watch with them. I can't wait to have a chicken bucket of my own :)

  16. CR,
    I did not fall over, much! Yes the Worms get all my and Terri's kitchen scraps, but that's becuse we still do not have our Chicks yet! Ace was going to have them last Monday (NOPE!) and then they were going to have them today (NOPE AGAIN!).
    And now they say tomorrow (I'm not holding my breath!).
    So until I get the Chicks and they get old enough to get the scraps, The Worms will continue to get them all!

    1. Maybe you can just tell the chickens they aren't getting all the scraps because you're giving the other half to the worms to fatten them up for them??