Originally Posted by Reyvaughn
I did a search and everyone seems to have different ideas on what you should feed.
Lets break it down this way...
Of the list, I'd like to use:
Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Oats, Linseed, Alfalfa, Beet Pulp and BOSS
Unless, the soybeans are a no no...
If I use soybeans, how much fish meal do I need?
And... What vitamins?
The mill has these things to add in, but I need to know what to add.
If I can get kelp (I doubt it), what nutrition does it hold?
Basically, what I am asking is what should I use and why. I want to know the dynamics of the feed I am mixing.
Most of the mixes call for millings, wheat bran, rice bran, ect. I can't get those. That's why I am asking here for someone who may know how I should go about mixing what I can get.
Oh, and I saw milk replacer and dry milk added into a few mixes. I keep reading how you shouldn't give chickens milk products. I have bags upon bags of dry milk I can use if it's a good thing to add. So many mixed reviews though...
The other reason I want to mix my own feed is because since I have neighbors that refuse to keep their mutts off my property, my chickens will never get to free range again. I am trying to improve their quality of food because just looking at this feed mill stuff makes me want to gag. It's fine and dusty and I can't imagine it's that great for the birds. Plus, they waste a lot because they don't eat the fine stuff.
My egg yolks were that lovely bright orange when they free ranged, now they are the same color as the store eggs.
Even though this post is long already, It would be difficult to add every grain I use and why so this is my sorta short answer....Lol
There are so many different "recipes" to feed your chickens. Each area of the country has different feed grains available. So this determines the Ingredients in your personal feed recipe.
keep it simple I tend to make things difficult for myself.
Why use these grains because they are available. Yes, some are better than others.....like ones that are Not by products of our food chain (soy beans, wheat bran, rice bran etc.) where every bit of goodness is removed, or altered before feeding it to our chickens. Soy beans have to be roasted in order to use it as a feed. There are things in it that inhibit nutrients from being used by our chickens.
Each Whole live grain you use will bring some thing different to your feed as in protein, vitamins and trace minerals. I feel that using a variety of grains will produce a more rounded recipe for my chickens.
Commercial feed producers have one thing on their minds and that is to produce feed as cheaply as possible to be competitive. in the market.
So...corn is cheap and it is their main ingredient.
I am using this as guide
Feed Composition (%) for Chicken Feed
||Chicks 0-8 weeks
||Grower 8-18 weeks
|Calcium and Phosphorus
|Vitamin – Mineral, Kelp, etc.
This is my grain list for my feed recipe and what I am doing with my chickens.
I posted this on another thread.
I am not an expert in feeding chickens whole grains, The commercial feed just isn't good enough for me or my chickens.
This IS my first year feeding whole grains to my flock. I have 4 roo's and 36 pullets. They are now 9 weeks old.
I have only lost one as she was genetically disabled and was not going to live anyway.
This is working for me....This might not work for you. But if this is the way you want to go....Then Do it! I was terrified I was going to kill my chickens. Well. I haven't yet anyway.
Their feathers just shine in iridescent colors, Their eyes are bright and so are their attitudes. They are not too fat and not too skinny. They forage all day long when they are out.
(They are in the coop for a few more days learning where their new home is).
I have a lot to learn and I know with every passing day I am learning something new. So .....take my advise with a grain of salt.
I also try to live by "prevention is the best medicine. I do give ACV from day one also.
Do a lot of research about feeding your chickens whole grain so you will understand what you need to do for them and what they need.
If you are planning on feeding your girls whole grains....Start them off very slow like over 3-4 weeks.
Their Gizzard will need some time to develop the strength to grind the grain along with the correct size grit.
These first 3 are the same site....And is from a book that the chickenfeed Website quoted..... so......Everything is quoted accurately from the book, unless it is in square brackets "[ ]" in which case it is an entry by the ChickenFeed website. I also feel this "book" is a bit out dated. But the Info is great. It will show you how to calculate your protein for your recipe.
This next one is a great site. This is from Harvey Ussery. He also feeds his chickens whole grains and is a very respected person in the chicken community.
These are the ingredients I am using at the moment. When My chicks were little I had to grind there food since the whole grains were too big for them to eat.
Now at 9 weeks old They are eating almost everything whole except the corn and the Peas (mine are whole seed) Some do eat the whole corn as I throw some in to see where they are at with the size of the grain and it has been eaten. so I am real close to All whole seeds/grain.
Wheat, Corn, Soy Beans (I do not like using these as they are processed not alive), Oats, Sunflower chips (until old enough to eat whole) Peas, Millet (Mixture), Alfalfa, Vitamins (only until I add the Kelp free choice, But not sure at this point, Might leave it in there), Sea Salt. I also Have not found a good meat source yet so I am adding in 1-2 times a week, Some sorta of meat/fish. (I am wanting to raise fish for this).
I weigh everything out into 1 five gallon bucket (I mix 25# at a time) I will be throwing it into my cement mixer to mix it once they reach 50#. Right now, I mix by hand. Mine too has some powder at the end but not much.
This is my list and It changes protein as They grow. Right now they are at the 18% grower stage.
If you do not like a grain I have in my list do some research and find a grain that is comparable with the grain you want to replace. I know I am wanting to use something other than soy beans but I need to find a grain to replace it locally. I do know my peas would work for that but I really want to have a variety of grains in their feed which is always better.
I also Sprouted oats in my basement (didn't take much to do and no light required) for their winter greens. That worked very well. I also gave them my kitchen, bread, Etc.... scraps. soon I will be giving garden scrap and growing some root crops I can store over winter for their winter greens as well.
I am glad you are trying to do better for your girls. If you are wanting to talk just pm me. Good Luck