We have an increased number of hungry mouths to feed at Folly Farms as of late which includes dogs, chickens, pigs, and goats. In order to keep all of our residents happy and healthy, and eliminate any food waste, we have reversed the farm-to-table dynamic and are practicing table-to-farm feeding as well. Since we started re-purposing food that would have otherwise ended up in the trash, we have seen a dramatic drop in the amount of trash we have to haul to the dump each week. Not only that, but our recycling bin has consistently been filling up before our trash!
Ruminants (Sheep, goats, deer, etc.)-
I have seen a lot of people that give their goats salad scraps of lettuce, carrots, apples, etc. or treat them with nuts and raisins. We do not currently give our goats any table scraps. After the loss of our bottle baby and other digestive problems in our herd, we try to keep their delicate digestive systems as normalized as possible. Ironically, our goats’ favorite scrap treat are the weeds that we pull and throw over the fence to them. I guess the old adage that “the grass is always greener” holds true for goats, too.
Foods your goats should definitely avoid include; avocado, chocolate, kale, spoiled foods, nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant), any meat scrap or byproduct, and rhubarb leaves.
Our chickens love scraps and enjoy eating any kind of lettuce or cabbage, melons and fruit, stale bread, old pumpkins, corn, broccoli, and carrots.
Foods to avoid giving your chickens include; meat scraps, raw potato peels, avocado, spoiled foods, coffee grinds, chocolate, or any greasy food.
Our pigs are our real MVPs of food disposal. Since their introduction to our homestead, our other animal’s access to kitchen scraps has diminished greatly. Instead, all of our scraps make it into a bowl on our counter that gets taken out to the pigs daily. They get the most joy from our table scraps, leftovers from restaurants, abandoned food after cleaning out the work fridge, you get the picture. If you ever need a smile, pour some milk into your pigs bowl. Their delighted squeals and and greedy grunting are sure to make you grin.
Even pigs have foods to avoid. Those include; raw meat scraps or by products, coffee grounds, and onions.
Although table scrap feeding cuts down on our food waste and is a special treat for our animals, it is not a significant part of their diet. They all have specialized feeds that are designed to meet their nutritional needs for each stage of life.