|Grandson Ryan, ice fishing for perch.|
With feed prices climbing higher and higher for the chickens and ducks I have been actively trying to figure out how I will feed my little flock off the land. I can grow grain, and forage berries etc., but protein becomes the issue. Without enough protein they won't be laying eggs. In the summer when they are foraging for themselves it's not a problem, worms/bugs = protein. Winter is harder. Organic soybeans work -- I will soak them overnight and then cook them up for them (along with anything else I'm clearing out of the freezer or refrig that day). I will get extra eggs the next day, but soybeans I really try to use sparingly. They can be allergenic, and around my grandbabies I'm cautious. If the chickens are eating soy, the eggs could be a problem.
That brings me back to the perch. When Rick cleans the perch, the females will be full of eggs. One of these days I'm going to try the Fish Egg Patties recipe I found -- super nutrition :-), but right now I will cook those eggs and the heads and skeleton of the perch until the bones are super soft, and feed it to the chickens. Free protein! They will go crazy for it. I love watching happy chickens :-)