The complementarity of ruminants and poultry is, thank goodness, becoming more generally known, but what of the complementarity between pigs and chickens?  The way nutrients move back and forth between them makes a Virginia reel look like a cakewalk.  The chickens’ breakfast squash provides them with seeds and flesh rich in vitamin B and protein, not to mention that it’s a natural de-wormer, and when the birds are done with it the rind, and whatever flesh the chickens didn’t eat, goes into the pig pen.  Likewise, when the pig trough needs cleaning out, the scrapings go over the fence into the barnyard, and the chickens, ducks, geese and guineas have an unexpected snack.  Chicken bones, when long boiling has rendered out a rich broth for the humans, are crunchy hors-doeuvres in the pig pen; pig organs, ground, frozen and cut into appropriate-size chunks, provide animal protein in the hen diet when winter cuts off the birds’ supply of bugs and worms.  Pig bedding composts into beautiful black earth full of pink, wriggly worms, delightful to chickens; chicken guts, heads and feet, if not used in the people food, cook up to a lovely pig-pottage.  And the list goes on.chicken-4