This is what happens when you throw the end bit of watermelon gone bad into the chicken pen:
They finish every little bite and leave nothing, not a speck or a crumb behind.
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.