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Feeding Foods Scraps to Chickens & Pigs

After donating edible food for people to eat, feeding animals such as chickens or pigs is the next best recommended use for food scraps. A local chicken or pig farmer may be interested in taking your food scraps, or you can feed your own chickens or pigs.

Feeding chickens

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture does not currently have restrictions or guidelines for feeding food scraps to chickens. According to the Composting Association of Vermont, feeding food scraps to chickens is most effective when the portion of scraps the chickens don't eat are composted. The remaining food scraps will need to be combined with dry, carbon-rich materials, called "browns," such as straw, dry leaves, and woodchips just like in any other compost system.

Feeding pigs

Federal and State law strictly regulates what may be fed to pigs, and what steps must be taken to ensure that pigs are not fed any meat-related foods nor foods that may have been exposed to areas, equipment or tools that have been in contact with meat. We do not recommend feeding post-consumer food scraps to pigs, as it is practically impossible to ensure none of the materials have been in contact with meat or fish, including organs, bones, and juices, raw or cooked. According to the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, these regulations do not apply to feeding personal food scraps to pigs that are for personal consumption.