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alternative to commercial chicken feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sydney13, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    i was reading a book which mentioned a women who didn't feed her hens any commercial feed because she says it contains to much soy. instead she feeds them wheat sprouts which were soaked and also lets the hens forage. i was wondering if anyone has a opinion on this? is it true that commercial feed isn't great? and does anyone on here feed something other then commercial feed?
     
  2. Lotsapaints

    Lotsapaints Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    Paso Robles, CA
    Personally I don't care much for Nutrena or Purina feeds as they are expensive and I cringe when I look at the dates on them...I have 3 local feed mills who all make great fresh food without much soybean meal. I buy re cleaned oats, barley, wheat and BOSS and sprout that daily...I have 4-5 gallon buckets soaking right now. It has increased the size of my eggs and made for happy birds they still get free choice layer and the grow out pen has free choice grower but they no longer act hungry when I add food to the feeder.....I've only been doing this for almost 3 weeks and my birds were beautiful to start with I just was having problems in the grow out pen they were hungry all the time I even added game bird to their food 24% and it didn't seem to help now it takes them an hour to eat the sprouts not a feeding frenzy done in 20 minutes and the amount is the same....
     
  3. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Quote:i don't know of any feed mills near by so the best feed i can get is purina. what would you suggest i do: feed a mix of commercial and sprouts, don't use any commercial at all, or use all commercial?
     
  4. Lotsapaints

    Lotsapaints Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    Paso Robles, CA
    Can you get re cleaned grains? If so you could add them to your feeding regimen my birds love them barely sprouted and you can use feed tubs or just broadcast them in the run and let them scratch them up. I'm lucky and can get many feeds I've just been trying stuff to see what works for me. Organics North has posted a recipe for feed just type in sprouts and you'll find the thread. I live where there is no grass until after Thanksgiving and I felt my birds needed something better than just feed from the store but I didn't want them to get fat. Try stuff see what your birds like and see what you are willing to fix and go from there. There is no "right or wrong" only what works for you and your birds. I have fed show animals all my life always used what was available to me at a good price from someone local and it's usually higher quality than a major brand just because it's fresher..kinda like a garden that produce is always better than store bought. I don't mind weighing feed and trying things to see what works for me. I want people to see my birds and go WOW same way they do when they come to look at my horses and it always makes me happy to do it for less [​IMG]
     
  5. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,849
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    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    Here is a link to a recent thread.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=108482

    I make my own. For the most part you need to put forth quite an effort. I personally am strongly apposed to processed foods, GMO's and and Soy.

    So I vote with my pocket book.

    Their are "better to great" premixed feeds if you do not want to make your own.

    ON
     
  6. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    i don't want to go through all the effort of mixing my own feeds with a ton of ingredients but i also want to feed the good quality fresh foods. anyone have a link of premix feeds for sale? what about letting them forage all day and giving some re cleaned oats, barley, wheat and BOSS at bed time with no store bought feed? and what would the percent of each of those ingredients be in the mix?
     
  7. Lotsapaints

    Lotsapaints Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    Paso Robles, CA
    Somewhere you need protein..so I opted to keep the store bought food out they eat less of it and I sprout my grains that helps up the protein how much? Some maybe enough I can't get kelp or fish meal.. I can get alfalfa pellets I can get field peas but I haven't bought them I know from other people that my chickens will not eat field peas easily and I must buy a 50# bag to try it..if I had a cow here I would try it...it seems strange to soak alfalfa pellets I might get some hay delivered I know some people just throw it out for the chickens and turkeys right now all I have is oat hay chickens love that stuff....try your plan weigh your eggs before you start if the # of eggs goes down then the feed is not balanced right.....tweak it to fit you and have fun and let us know how it goes.
     
  8. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,849
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    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    I can not find find the thread but many like this one:
    http://www.countrysidenatural.com/product.php?productid=135&cat=0&page=1&featured

    I mix my own, and sprout equal parts BOSS, Oats, Hard Red Winter wheat. It is the bulk of my feed but incomplete in itself.

    Here is a list of where to get organic feeds:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=283192

    Maybe Chris09 will chime in with some suggestions on using racing pigeon grains.
    (Those can make a great feed too.)

    Good luck
    ON
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  9. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,849
    30
    171
    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    Quote:If all you are wanting to do is get away from Soy Based feeds then I would recommend a good soy free feed there are some good Co. out there.

    I like mixing in a good Pigeon Grain into my birds feed.
    You can get a All Grain Pigeon Feed at most good Feed Mills. All the All Grain Pigeon Feed that I have seen are a Soy Free feed, have a good variety of seeds and grains and are what I would call "Super Cleaned" meaning there is no dust once so ever.

    For example here are three type of all grain pigeon feeds. The 14% feed is what I use in my feed mix.

    • Racing Pigeon - 21.5% Protein - NO CORN
    Contains: Canada Peas, Maple Peas, Safflower, Austrian Peas, Whole Wheat, White Kafir, Red Milo, Vetch.
    Crude Protein (min) 21.5% Crude Fat (min) 4.0% Crude Fiber (max) 8.0%

    • Breeder/Conditioner - 16% Protein - NO CORN
    Contains: Canada Peas, Red Milo, White Kafir, Maple Peas, Oat Groats, Austrian Peas, Whole Wheat, Safflower Seed, White Millet, Red Millet, Canary Seed, Vetch, Buckwheat, Rice.
    Crude Protein (min) 16.0% Crude Fat (min) 3.5% Crude Fiber (max) 8.0%

    • Maintenance - 14% Protein - W/Corn
    Contains: Canada Peas, Milo, Whole Wheat, Small Yellow Corn, Safflower Seed, Maple Peas, Flax, Brown Rice, Vetch, Buckwheat,
    Oat Groats.
    Crude Protein (min) 14.0% Crude Fat (min) 2.0% Crude Fiber (max) 9.0%

    Now you could take anyone of the 3 pigeon grain mixes I posted and add some BOSS and fish meal to it and you would have a good feed mix.
    I would have a mixture of medium grit, mineral mix and maybe some Diamond Yeast Culture on the side for them..

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010

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