|one gallon of broken pecans|
These are salvaged pecans. I had them in the freezer along with four other gallons for two years, took them out last winter and took them to a food bank to be shared with others. They still tasted really fresh. Of course, I stored them whole. Somehow, these were left behind. They taste okay, not prime, not really fresh. So, they became chicken food.
I gave exbf a shallow box, a hammer, pecans and instructions. Just break these up enough for the hens to pick out the pecans. I figured that two blows to each pecan would result in the hens being able to pick out the meat. He spent a long time on these and thoroughly! crushed some pecans. A few were still whole. I can crack the last six pecans. Hens will probably eat the crushed shells as grit.
At any rate, they liked the breakfast I gave them all mixed up in a casserole--several cups of rice and grits, half can of tuna, 3/4 cup of pecans, 1/2 cup of sprouts and reconstituted powdered milk. Hopefully the sprouts get covered in tuna and also are eaten! The pecans were not mixed up, just dumped over the top. I gave them almost a cup of broken/crushed pecans each day, over their other food.
It is amazing how clean the hens can get broken pecans that still have tiny pieces of meat. I suppose a pointy beak and a keen eye, up close, coupled with a love of pecans helps. Every day I am amazed at their talents.
By the way, I was told by pecan producers who are also farmers that pecan shells put into compost makes for very fertile soil. Of course, they don't compost completely at first. But, imagine how fertile this chicken pen is--composted leaves, pecans, and poop. LOL
Do your hens love pecans? Do you make sure to throw the shells in your compost? Even if you don't compost, just throw out the shells to the earth, anywhere. Spread thinly enough, they are not an eyesore.