Aquaponic Gardening

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Advice on feeding extra tilapia fingerlings to chickens?

I have two batches of fingerlings + 4 more fish getting ready to deliver any day now and no place to grow out thousands of tilapia. I read somewhere that chickens love tilapia fry as a treat. Anyone else out there have any advice? I'm thinking of just giving them to the chickens live to see what happens.

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No idea, but what we use to do was "chum" any extra, dead or unwanted fish.  Some said it was cruel but we would grind them and place them in a fermentation tank for a week and use it on gardens as fertilizer.  Of course some of the fish weighed 6 to 10 lbs.  I don't even know if chickens eat fish....

Why not offer them to members who are interested.  Give them away and let whoever is interested pay the shipping.  

 I wonder if fish in the chickens' diet could affect the taste of eggs.

Yes, chickens eat fish!

I give mine the offal from when the kids go fishing (no AP yet ) They scarf it up!!!

They've also eaten some live goldfish that "escaped" when I drained my stock tank -- funniest thing ever, watching the chickens play chase to get the hen that had the fish!

tilapia fry that are less than 1" long are easy for the chickens to eat.  They do especially well eating the pumpkin seed size fish.  I've never noticed any off taste in the eggs from feeding fish to my chickens and ducks.

thanks for the responses everyone! the chickens love them!

Off taste ccurs ONLY if they eat it consistantly. Fed my hens canned cat food one winter (only way for barn cat to get any -- they'd chase her off otherwise) and the eggs started tasting slightly fishy -- but this was after about two to three weeks of continuous fish flavored cat food.
 
TCLynx said:

tilapia fry that are less than 1" long are easy for the chickens to eat.  They do especially well eating the pumpkin seed size fish.  I've never noticed any off taste in the eggs from feeding fish to my chickens and ducks.

In that case feeding tilapia to the chickens constantly probably wouldn't really give fishy eggs seeing as tilapia are so mild, especially when eating a steady diet of pellet feed that is mostly corn and soy.

I've heard you want to stay away from corn and soy feeds TCL.  That is if you want whatever fish your feeding to provide the omega 3 fats that are healthy instead of the omega 6 fats that most meat contains.  I know these feeds are so much cheaper than the "organic feeds".  Any thoughts on this topic?

 

Glad the chicks liked the fish Roe sie!



TCLynx said:

In that case feeding tilapia to the chickens constantly probably wouldn't really give fishy eggs seeing as tilapia are so mild, especially when eating a steady diet of pellet feed that is mostly corn and soy.

Tilapia are already low on the omega's, they are a gateway fish. A good fish for those who don't like to eat fish but not for those looking for a major source of omega's

Well keep in mind to get the right omegas, you have to feed the fish something that will give them the right omegas.  If you are feeding omnivore fish mostly corn/soy diet their omega levels will be poor.  If you feed cows on a mostly corn/soy diet theirs will be poor too.  If you feed the fish a more natural diet you will get better omega levels but that can be really hard to do in an aquaponics system.  Cows on the other hand can eat grass and they will become healthier for us to eat but that only works if you have the land to raise the cows on.

Feeding the tilapia to your chickens won't be any worse than feeding the corn based  commercial feeds to your chickens.  Try to provide lots of green forage and let them dig for bugs and stuff and that should help some.

I'd like to get away from the mostly gmo corn/soy based commercial fish feeds (and other animal feeds) but I can't really afford $5 a pound plus shipping for the feed to grow out $1 worth of fish when I still have to pay for the electricity and all my other bills.  There are whole groups on developing your own fish feed here.

Has anyone tried growing duckweed before for the fish to eat? Or water hyacinth (where legal)? Both of those plants grow fairly fast and I hear some fish love to eat hyacinth roots. That might help cut the cost of buying feed and you can grow both plants in your sump tank if you have one. Just submerge a frame with a window screen in it to keep the plants from going in to your pump.

The water hyacinth can also be fed to chickens/ducks/guineas and it grows so fast you might have to compost a lot of it.

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