Originally Posted by PADeutzguy
I've read a lot on here that it's best to just go with the bagged feed for consistency and minerals. I'm in the odd field of raising heritage grains for bakeries and whiskey distillers, so I have a lot of different grain available that many don't.
I have red corn, bloody butcher, blue, Hopi Blue, white corn, yellow, all open pollinated, plus small grains like spelt and emmer, both fore runners of today's wheat, much easier to digest for humans. Plus wheat, rye, millet, some flax.
My kids fed the chics whole grain blue corn at 3-4 weeks, no issues, I was worried about that. I put out grain as scratch for them, I assume they are eating it all, I don't see it (they have a large run).
Chickens 50-60 years ago I doubt had these mixes, they ate what was around the barnyard.
I send the grains out for nutritional analysis and we are usually near the top of the charts on minerals, even down to cobalt, selenium, etc, so I think our grain is above average as chicken feed.
Can they eat whole corn? Neighbors birds do, but they are adults. I can crack it in our flour mill, plus I have all the bran that thing spits out.
Buff Orphingtons, Barred Rocks and Dominique.
first of all ... from the San Diego county High Desert. The feed issue is a highly discussed one. Corn isn't really considered a good forage food. And yes it does need to be cracked in order for the chickens to be able to extract nutritional value from it. but its like feeding candy.... very rich and high in sugars.
Take a walk about here and read some of the threads on mxing your own feed... There are several. You have to remember that chickens are omnivores... and in the wild will dine on animal protien readily.
If you read the lables on many commercial feeds they will include fish meal for protien. I am taking a break right now but I raise Guinea Fowl. I supplemented their standard ration of flock raise with Catfish pellets... because I could not free range them. This was recommended to me by a person who was raising birds for Zoos...
here is a rather long thread on the subject
The fellow that wrote the following article is a Scientist
this was an in depth discussion about feed
Bagged feed has more in it than trace minerals.... Its formulated for protien content as well as minerals to replenish shells
Here is a discussion on Fermenting feed and yes ANY feed can be fermented even whole grains. this one happens to be about feeding meat birds but Fermented feed can be fed to all poultry.
Another good food addition for them is Black oil Sunflower seeds High protien good oil content for healthy feathers. Not as a whole ration but a supplement...
So There is a lot to read and i suspect you havent even scratched the surface....
There is a scientist here who hasnt posted in a very long time.... Resolution is his user id. in your wanderings about if you come across one of his articles even if its not a subject you are digging for take the time to read it. Hes the one that formulated a feed called Ultra Kibble... as well as "Farmers Helper" He also works with zoos and I belive hes on a research project documenting the DNA of Peacocks.
the following link showes the content of the feed
it is comparable to Mazuri which is a game bird feed used by Zoos. and happens to be made by Purena My feed store carries Mazuri feeds so I ordered a bag to see if it made a difference I supplemented at a ratio of 1 to five of bagged flock raiser.
The only reason I am going through all this is to give you sources to understand the nutrition involved in feeding chickens. Please understand my passion is research. A diet that is good for humans is not necessarily good for poultry.