Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 120 – Waste not – not even a moldy watermelon

This is what happens when you throw the end bit of watermelon gone bad into the chicken pen:

This used to be a watermelon

They finish every little bite and leave nothing, not a speck or a crumb behind.

Impressive no?

Chickens are amazing eaters. Besides eating every single bug, tick, and worm they can find (for which I and our dogs are very grateful), they’ll eat virtually anything we (literally) throw their way. Think about it, with the kind of production they do (an egg every other day) they need an awful lot of nutrients and calories on a daily basis. Stale bread, mushy vegetables, flowers gone dry in the vase – our backyard chicken pen starts looking much like the garbage pile of which Cynthia Sylvia Stout’s Dad hollers because she won’t take it out:

“Coffee grounds, potato peelings,
Brown bananas, rotten peas,
Chunks of sour cottage cheese.
It filled the can, it covered the floor,
It cracked the window and blocked the door
With bacon rinds and chicken bones,
Drippy ends of ice cream cones,
Prune pits, peach pits, orange peel,
Gloppy glumps of cold oatmeal,
Pizza crusts and withered greens,
Soggy beans and tangerines,
Crusts of black burned buttered toast,
Gristly bits of beefy roasts. . .
The garbage rolled on down the hall,
It raised the roof, it broke the wall. . .
Greasy napkins, cookie crumbs,
Globs of gooey bubble gum,
Cellophane from green baloney,
Rubbery blubbery macaroni,
Peanut butter, caked and dry,
Curdled milk and crusts of pie,
Moldy melons, dried-up mustard,
Eggshells mixed with lemon custard,
Cold french fried and rancid meat,
Yellow lumps of Cream of Wheat.”

Shel Silverstein, 1974

Nothing goes to waste when you have chickens. Except for the meat and egg shells, our birds get everything else. They are the ultimate recyclers of food, taking all that yucky, messy, Dad-yelling refuse and giving us in exchange prepacked protein-rich eggs which we then use in recipes starting the cycle all over again.


Filed under Backyard Chickens, Food Savings, Project Chickens before the Eggs, The Chicken Challenge

2 responses to “Project Chickens before the Eggs – Lesson 120 – Waste not – not even a moldy watermelon

  1. We have had a problem with rolie-polies in our garden Solution! Eat a melon. Stick the rind in the garden overnight. In the morning, pick up the rind, now covered in rolie-polies, and chuck it in the chicken coop. (I do like rolie-polies in general, but I like my basil without holes better).

    • wethomas

      What a great and elegant solution! If we had enough rain around here to worry about garden plants I would try that, in the mean time, I’ll keep sweeping the dust off our porch and will write that down as a suggestion for next summer. Now if I could only train our birds to eat yellow jackets. 🙂


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