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Well, we finally FINALLY got our 3 little weaners. They seem to be adjusting nicely and are a change of scenery for Auggie dog (from CHKN-TV to PGLT-TV...)

It so happens that last night's leftovers include chicken bones: can I feed them to the pigs? I know one should never feed them to the dogs because they'll shatter or split and pierce or cut up the dog inside (so I understand it). What about pigs?
 
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as far as I have personally witnessed chicken bones are not a problem. My dog and pigs often get them and have done so for years without problems. As far as I can tell that is a myth (urban legend) about it being a problem. I dont know how to do polls, but it would be an interesting one to see if anyone has any ACTUAL experience with this being a problem, not just heresay
 

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When a hog kills a chicken they will eat Bones, feathers, guts, eyeballs, beak and all. I have seen hogs and dogs eat chicken bones all my life, but for what little you stand to gain by feeding them to your pigs, I would not take the risk.
 

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They'll eat them but there is a chance they could splinter and puncture the stomach or intestinal linings. It happens, not everytime, but often enough that one should be cautious about feeding bones to any animal. With my snakes, it is still a danger and they eat the whole prey- can't debone them.
 

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as far as I have personally witnessed chicken bones are not a problem. My dog and pigs often get them and have done so for years without problems. As far as I can tell that is a myth (urban legend) about it being a problem. I dont know how to do polls, but it would be an interesting one to see if anyone has any ACTUAL experience with this being a problem, not just heresay
I do not feed chicken bones to my dogs or pigs but I feed chickens to my snakes. In the reptile world, it is not so uncommon to hear about a chicken bone penetrating the intestinal wall and the snake dying or having complications. Standard advice to all keepers is not to handle a snake within 24 hours of eating, when the bones are still relatively sharp. I have had good friends who are dedicated snake keepers lose snakes to intestinal perforations. Relating it back to the mamalian world, it is one of the sour points against raw whole food advocates. This is not an urban legend. It is more of a gamble, so far you and your animals have been lucky. Brings to mind how often people have told me an animal of theirs died and they had no necropsy done so it remained a mystery to them. It could have been anything. I would bet that, at least some of those times, there was a bone involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Chicken bones are a pain -- you can't compost 'em, you can't feed 'em to dogs, problematic to feed 'em to pigs -- just what can you do with 'em?

We're going to butcher a dozen chickens next weekend (planning on it anyway), what of the waste parts can I feed to the pigs?
 

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They will love the guts. They would only make a mess of the feathers. The dogs will eat the heads. Do you burn trash? We put chicken bones in with the househould waste paper and they burn. The feathers will also burn if they ever dry out. Kinda smelly too.
 

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Boil the heck out of them. You get chicken stock, and the bones get chalky. Chances are the animals won't like them, but the bones won't kill them. It's the protein in the bones that keeps them strong so they can do the damage. Turn the protein into soup and you don't have a problem any longer.
 

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I think that Don is on the right track, after boiling them for stock why not gring them with a hand mill and feed bone meal to the hogs???
 

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Myth! My dogs get chicken bones all the time (over 40 years of dogs) No problems. Yes, give them to the pigs no problem there either. Chickens, snakes that killed the chicken, or whatever is thrown in the pen will be eaten without problem....
 

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A natural vet I know said chicken bones are only a potential problem if they are cooked. He said there was a study done that showed that raw bones are digested easily by dogs (they used some kind of imaging so they could actually watch the bones,) but cooked bones were not.
One of my friends' dogs died from a splintered (cooked) bone.
 

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I feed raw and haven't had a problem, if cooked I cook until the bones are soft, and if we buy fried chicken I compost the bones, any that show up in the finished compost are toosed back into the next batch to finish rotting away.
 

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my uncle who died 20+ years ago told me there was no problem feeding bones (chicken) to dogs, my personal experience for the last 10 years is he was right
 

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Upon thinking about it, I've decided to err on the side of caution, as far as feeding the pigs chicken bones goes. It would be stupid to take a chance on piercing their gut just for a convenient way to recycle of a bit of garbage. Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn't. Too much investment in a porker for the benefits of a chicken bone's nutrition.
 

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For dodgey waste like cooked chicken bones I have dug waste pits in my garden. I put the waste in plus layers of dirt, manure and what ever else that will breakdown easlyl. When full I top it up with soil and move onto a new pit. Worms love it. If you have dogs you will need a deep pit with lots of soil on-top of the waste to stop them digging.
Cheers Netti
 

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I'm with Don. I boil the chicken bones until they're soft (onions, carrots, and spices) for broth. Then, put everything into a colander. I pick out the meat and put it in the broth and freeze it for soup later. Then put the scraps through a grinder a couple of times. My dogs LOVE it! There is no shred of bone longer than about one-quarter inch, and it's pretty soft, so I don't worry about injuries. Maybe ignorance is bliss, but it makes sense to me.
 

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YES,my cousins each lost a dog, to chicken bones. I don't give chicken bones or any bones to any of my animals.not a good thing to do. you can give them to cats, but I don't have cats.
 

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Hi all,

What to do with all bones can be prolematic if you are an ardent homesteader. For those who have a wood burning stove (I use a Pioneer Maid cookstove) I simply put all bones left over after a meal into the firebox and reduce them to ash. This produces a calcium enrichment to the ash which I then use in the garden as a P & K source.

After I slaughter, I usually clean the bones by making stock out of what is left. Rice cooked up with bear stock or chicken stock, or ANY stock is much better than when made with water. After the stock is done and the bones fished out of the pot, they go into the firebox. Of course with a lot of bones a few get added at a time so not to overwhelm the fire and stove. Never had any problem with odor inside the house from doing this.

bearkiller
 

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I don't feed bones to my dogs either. Gave some pork bones to one dog and he threw up bits of bone and blood for two days. NEVER AGAIN.

I really like all the good suggestions though. May start grinding up bones for the dogs. Or burning them for the extra "punch" to the ashes.
 
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