Advice for Mixing My Own Chicken Feed-Discussion very welcome!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by farmergirl26, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. farmergirl26

    farmergirl26 In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2014
    Dear friends,
    I have been buying organic Modesto Milling chicken feed. It's about $.56 per pound, but it varies. Unfortunately, my hens eggs are pretty thin and not very yellow.

    As for the shells, I give them oyster shells, but they do not like them. As for the eggs, they do have a run on the dirt, and are let out a few hours a week, so I think they get bugs that way. However, neither of the above is satisfactory.

    I read online that pellets may be less nutritious than grains, and therefore chickens eat more in order to get what they need-do you buy in to that?

    I have much time, but would prefer not to spend much money. So, by fermenting and growing fodder, worms, and marigolds, I was thinking I could be a cheapskate in terms of grains. :)

    I really know hardly a thing about this, but have done some research. This is the extent of what I do know.

    Here are the ingredients I would like to use:
    Oats-$.48 per pound, 16% protein
    Kamut, flax seed, and sunflower seed mix- $.55, 14%
    Corn- $.68, 9%
    Red wheat-$.55, 11%
    So, what do you think the proportions should be? Also, I don't know how much protein these would be if soaked...

    -Worms: 28% protein
    -Oyster shells
    -Sunflower seeds: 17%

    Do you think I would need these in addition?
    -Brewers yeast: 39% protein
    Kelp meal: ?% protein

    I would so appreciate your advice, even if you don't know much! I haven't been able to find methodologies, just recipes. I'd like to develop my own to save $, even if the soaking, worms, etc. took more time.

    Thanks a million!

  2. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I am getting so that I don't like to reply to posts of this type, but it would seem I do so anyway. I have been down the path you are wanting to go down and have very similar feelings, that I could make up a better feed than I would or could buy. And like you I schemed and dreamed of exotic seeds and other additives to make a super feed, for less.

    I did not work for me. Not that it won't for you, and you should try it and see for yourself by all means. The problem I bumped into is that I did not have what is called the 'base'. The 'base' has the trace minerals and supplements that have been found by the nutrition experts to be required by the chickens for proper long term health and healthy eggs. I have no way to replicate this mixture or formula. What I made amounted to no more than expensive scratch. Thats it. In looking back I am glad to have had the first hand experience this gave me. But my time and efforts would have been better spent.

    Fermenting is good by me. It does in my experience, give me more bang for the buck, feed for the dollar and is worth the time and effort. Fodder is good as well and any and all of this type of feed is just plain good. I would suggest that you find a layer feed, be that mash or pellets or crumbles, and make FF of it, and mix in some of the grains you wish to use that way. There are many ways to do what you wish to do, by incorporation your 'better' grains/feeds into and with a complete ration. Murray McMurray sells a 'base' for the home mixer to use if you want to go that route. You just grind and mix your own grains into it and you can make feed at home that would work, as best I know. I did not find out about this 'base' for sale until after I got over my self need to be a nutrition expert. I can see why my degree is not in that field.

    Your ingredients sound fine, and it would look like you have looked into this, and please don't let me talk you out of it. Sometimes one just needs to do and or try things, happens to me. I just thought I would share my experience in this type of effort. If Chris09 sees this or if you pm him, he might be of great use to you, he is the 'best' on BYC, by me, on feeds and feeding.

    Best to you and your birds,

  3. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Hi Maria,
    I don't buy that and this is why, chickens eat to meet a caloric need once that caloric need is met they tend to stop eating.
    In turn a chicken feed a high calorie diet tends to eat less than a chicken on a low calorie diet. Also a chicken that eats less needs to take in all of it nutrition in shorter amount of time compared to a chicken that eats more.

    You ingredients look ok but I would like to see a protein source (other than the worm) in your mix, maybe soybean and or another legume such as vetch peas, maple peas or canadian peas.
    Buy adding the bean/peas you can raise your protein up to a better level.

    If it was me I would go something like;
    Corn, bean/pea, wheat, oats, black oil sunflower seed

    You might think about using your mix to cut the cost of a pelleted feed.
    Also the worms, I don't know what type you were going to use but regular earthworms are around 12% protein and the kelp is 4% protein.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. farmergirl26

    farmergirl26 In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2014
    Hello everyone!
    Thank you so much for your help. I know it wasn't your purpose, but I've decided not to attempt this. I still can't find any methods for making your own, cheap recipe, and if it wouldn't be more nutritional anyway, I might as well not go to the trouble.

    I'm still planning on supplementing their feed with my own things, so maybe I'll keep you updated!

    I really appreciate your advice.


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