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Any ONE grain that is sufficient?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bfcerny, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. bfcerny

    bfcerny In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2010
    I live in Nebraska...so if that tells you anything...I have access to feedmills, grain bins, farmers, etc. Is there any ONE grain I could just go buy a ton of and be comfortable knowing they had what they needed? They do not free range often. We have multiple predators around. I could supplement with table scraps etc. but i just always see people on here with feed recipes saying a pound of this two pounds of that half a pouind of this a pound of these five things four pounds of that one pound of this. Too much crap to think about. Can't there be a more simple way?? I dont want store bought commercial feeds. Too much clumping and moisture issues. I also use DE ...FYI Can I buy a ton of rolled oats and call it good? A ton of BOSS? Corn?

  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    There is no single food that will give them all they need to thrive.
    Your best option would be to get the feed mill to make you up a blend and buy a ton of that
    Then your birds will be getting a balanced diet with the vitamins and minerals they need
  3. bfcerny

    bfcerny In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2010
    So when the settlers had chickens did they go around and collect 14 differnt kinds of grain after scientifically analyzing the mineral and nutrient content of each grain...or did they just throw them some corn? No to be a smart a$$ but is everyone reading WWWAAAYYY too much into their feeding based on the same concept of bottled water being worth $2 instead of turning on a faucet?
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    No, but in the Way Back they tossed bread crumbs, kitchen scraps, corn, or wheat or whatever they grew, the chickens ranged freely and got other grass grains, got spills from cow feed, and lots and lots of bugs (which are a good source of niacin, by the way), mice, etc. A VERY well rounded diet.
  5. lacasitarojafarm

    lacasitarojafarm Chirping

    Jun 23, 2010
    Skagit Valley, WA
    Did the "settlers" raise confined chickens or did they have hertiage chickens who are bred for that climate and get a chance to eat protein from worms and forage to supply them with what they needed? I don't know. I know that my husband had the same question when we began to raise our chickens. He's from Mexico and I am from Panama he wanted to know if the chicks need special feed what did our forebears do? Their chickens turned out fine right? My answer is yes, but if you want the *optimal* growth at the correct rate to prevent too much calcuim in the bones or too little growth or too much you feed the prescribed food in the prescribed amounts. We also supplement with scratch and table scraps. That's *optimal* and you have a better chance of not being eaten out of house and home or have skinny chickens (for meat) that are not laying well or consistently (for layers) or prolapse becaseu they are too fat. That's my answer. I don't have that many chickens though and I live in a rural area where I have easy access to feed stoers where I can get 100 lbs of feed for about $20. That's not that different from corn and less expsnive than some other grains. JMHO.
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:I hate to tell you this but the birds we have today are not even close to what the "settlers" had for chickens...
    Most of the settlers birds where Game type fowl and where a feed mixture of grains (mash) and left over meats.

  7. Organics North

    Organics North Songster

    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    You beat me too it..
    That was the post I was going to quote.
    I fully agree with what you said. The chickens then and what was expected of them is nothing like today.

    Growing up in the 70's we had almost wild bantam chickens that were never fed. They just ate what they could by the cows and pigs. When and if you found an egg it had a dark orange yolk.

    To the original poster. You might be able to get away with only two or three feed components if the birds are free range. (Maybe, wheat, with oats or corn. Maybe a little roasted soybean and BOSS or meat/fish scrap.) If confined I would stick to a commercial mix if you don't want the trouble of mixing your own. Confined birds need a complete ration. IMHO
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    You could just let them free range and not feed them at all.
    But don't expect to get many eggs, and don't expect them to be healthy.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:Exactly, you get out of them what you put into them. Some may free range and only give corn, but it depends what you want to get out. Two years of good productivity, go for it. Keeping them good for 5+ years with plans on putting them on a pet status to live out their natural lives of 7-14 years, might want to get a formulated feed to at least have as an option to eat.
  10. greathorse

    greathorse Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    I hope I am not hijacking the original post

    I have a mill very close to me that cleans and sorts grain for human consumption. He has a lot of screenings that he runs through a hammer mill which creates a very very finely ground feed. I am tempted to go get some as he now has it available at 9 dollars per hundred weight as opposed to about 30 dollars per hundred wt for layer feed. It is a mixture of wheat, corn, black beans and perhaps some barley. He tests each batch and it consistently tests at about 16% protein.

    I would love to use this feed but I am pretty sure I will need some sort of supplement pack. Any one know what I can use? I think it would be great if there is a supplement that can be fed free choice. I remember my father fed cattle for years with ground corn and a supplement free choice along side. Cattle seemed to regulate the use of the supplement as needed. I have asked a couple of feed store here but they seem baffled by the question

    Palatability may be an issue as the feed is nearly a powder after coming through the mill

    I sure like that 180 dollars a ton vs. 600 per ton that is for sure.

    Looking for some help here feed folks

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