The unwitting cannibal: Keeping chicken salad out of the hens’ scrap bucket

We have an ongoing discussion at our house about just what makes it into the chickens’ scrap bucket.

Aside from their standard fare of Omega-III flax seed and grit, they dine eagerly on wilted greens, sliced carrots, rice, cantaloupe (in season, of course) and cucumber peelings. Until a few weeks ago, we would toss tortilla chips and past-prime bread in the scrap bucket. (We have just learned, though, that this is what might be contributing to the sour crop malady referred to in an earlier post.)

The controversy is this: Should chickens should be offered supplemental scraps that actually contain chicken or eggs? This scruple has been debated so often, our oldest daughter, Mackenzie, penned a 55-word piece of fiction expressing her stance when she was 16. (In truth, she was in desperate need of a topic for a high school English assignment.)

Not Only in New Guinea

I step into the chicken coop.
Nine pairs of beady chicken eyes turn to me expectantly.
They race to the trough as soon as last night’s dinner is emptied and begin pecking furiously.
Black beans, churros and arroz con pollo.
They don’t know, my father reassures.
I insist it’s trickery of the worst kind.

So I turn to you, the mildly curious. What are your thoughts on the matter?


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