I have heard that cattle can eat chicken droppings. I sweep chicken manure every day and throw it away yet I have cows. Can I really feed this smelly stuff to the cows?
Yes, poultry dropping can be a cheap source of nutrients for livestock. Proteins are among the most expensive ingredients of animal feed and so a bit of recycling is welcome. Cattle and other ruminants can digest what birds cannot.
Dropping from broiler and layers maybe suitable for processing as cattle feed. Kienyenji chicken droppings are not.
However, proper preparation of poultry litter is advised in order to kill pathogens such as salmonella, mycotoxins and cocciodiosis. Dead birds or parts must also be removed to avoid infecting cattle with botulism.
The pathogens can be killed by ensiling, stacking, heating, and or sifting in the sun,
- Feeding poultry litter to pregnant cows my lead to milk fever. To reduce risk, don’t feed poultry litter to gestating cows in their last month.
- Poultry litter is rich in copper. This can accumulate in the liver to toxic levels resulting in clinical. For this reason poultry litter should not be fed to sheep because of their susceptibility to copper poisoning.
- Do not feed livestock on poultry litter whose origin you don’t know.
- Vaccinate all animals against botulism.
- store all feed in a dry place above the ground