Chicken feet in Permaculture

Permaculture teaches us that there is no such thing as waste. In our attempt at living more simply, more ethically, and more sustainably, we’ve been raising several batches of Sussex chickens, a heritage dual-purpose breed good for eggs and meat (and aesthetics too… those chooks are stunning in the lush green background of our paddocks!)

We’ve recently dispatched and processed a small batch for  our family consumption and nothing in those chooks was ever considered a waste.

  • Of course, the carcass yields on average a 1.5kg of slow-grown, ethically raised, pasture fed, happy meat.
  • Their dropping fertilise the paddocks, in situ.
  • The feathers and guts go into the compost with a large handful of comfrey leaves and a bucket of wood chips.
  • The liver, well, we eat it, cooked with garlic and butter! Yummo!
  • The gizzard is emptied, cleaned and cooked for our dog.
  • The heart and lungs are fabulous dog treats for the day (he actually helps round the chooks up if they took a fancy to explore over their fence!)

Now until not long, I was composting the feet, but recently, I came across a recipe to turn those funny looking feet into a OH-MY-GOODNESS delectable chicken stock!

First, I clean the feet of dirt with an old toothbrush and cut toe nails off with poultry secateurs. I then blanch them for 10 minutes and while still warm, I peel scales and skin off. Off it goes into a stock pot to slow-cook for a couple of hours, along with onions, celery sticks, daikon, carrots and spices of your choice. I admit that the process is a bit fiddly but I have never tasted chicken stock so good.

There is no such thing as waste.


“Life cycles, recycles, upcycles, and gives life again”

See you at one of our courses to learn more about designing your permaculture animals systems or simply to hang out in our beautiful little valley!

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