Alternative feed sources?

PeeperKeeper

Songster
11 Years
Jun 20, 2008
1,121
3
161
Henry County Kentucky
I already did a search on alternative food sources here on BYC.
What I'd like to hear from others is: Whatcan be added to the chickens regular bagged feed to supplement and offset feed costs?
I know garden and table scrape leftovers are good BUT, There are only 2 of us in this household and we usually eat the leftovers.

We used to strip Locust Tree leaves and dry them for the rabbits, but they are very high in protein.
What can be gathered and kept over winter to feed chickens that is already growing on the farm or in the woods?
 

LynneP

Songster
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
4,746
57
231
Centre Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada
You're in Kentucky so you could certainly plant winter rye, flax, clover, wheat and do you grow winter oats there? Sunflower heads or seed, stored pumpkin and squash. You can sprout lentils if you have a cheap source and offer cobs of dried cattle corn...especially for cold spells
 
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AnthonyT

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
81
3
31
Franklin, KY
Not much oat production here in KY, compared to other things. I think most oats are planted for deer food plots, at least in my area. Pumpkins, squash, beets, swedes, carrots can all be kept over winter easily and the chickens love them. Good energy feeds, but low in protein. Just be sure they are getting enough protein when feeding the veggie crops. After Halloween puimpkins can be had for the asking by the truck full!
 

PeeperKeeper

Songster
11 Years
Jun 20, 2008
1,121
3
161
Henry County Kentucky
We have winter crops of beets and turnips growing now. We tried sowing rye cover crop one year over garden area. The deer visited it so often that it was bare (rye eaten down to the crowns) and their hooves packed the dirt down so hard we almost didn't get it worked back up the following year!
We can't seem to get enough deer harvested out of the area to even make a dent in the population. I think they just keep migrating in from denser people populated areas and you can only eat so much deer meat in a year!

What about the seeds from Redbud and Locust trees?
P.S. Forgot about asking; Turkeys come out of the woods all the time to eat acorns. Would those be OK for chickens?
 
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AnthonyT

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
81
3
31
Franklin, KY
Acorns should be fine. Are you talking about black locust or honey locust? Black locust are toxic and can cause poising in livestock (at least ruminants), honey locust I know the seed pod pulp is edible (taste very sweet, deer like it!), don't know about the seeds. Not sure about redbud seeds but I have seen wild birds eating them. If you need some more deer harvested I am always looking to put a couple does in the freezer. Deer are basically our red meat supply and it is near impossible to get permission around here.
 

ridgrats

In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 12, 2008
52
0
39
Royston, GA
Check with your local grocer about getting the discards from the produce section. Chickens don't care if it's a little old, wilted, or has brown spots.
 

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