Chicken feed ingredients

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Papachick76, Oct 9, 2015.

  1. Papachick76

    Papachick76 New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2015
    First of all I want to make it clear that I am completely greens when it comes to anything chicken. I have been trying to research to try and keep from asking any questions like this but there are so many different threads and posts about these things everywhere online that my head hurts from searching and trying to find answers. I want to mix my own feed and I have found people locally that seem to have GREAT deals on grain but all of the proper procedures may not be taken for me to make feed right out of the bag, literally.
    First of all, must soybeans and soybean meal be roasted for it to be healthy for chickens? I ask because in one place I see that roasting HAS to take place to keep amino acid inhibitors down but I know that one particular farm that I contaced does not roast their soybeans. I have a guy locally that sells soybeans for around $7.00 a 50lb bag but they aren't roasted and with a decent drive there is a farm that sells feed at unbelievably cheap prices with unroasted soybeans. I will say that he advertises his feed as being for all sorts of animals. Do any of you roast your own soybeans and if so how do you do it?
    Second, when you guys mix your own feed and wheat is involved are you using the whole wheat seed or are you using only the wheat berry? Once again the local guy that sells the soybeans sells whole wheat for $7.50 a 60lb bag.
    Third, when it comes to corn does it need to be cracked or can it stay whole? Before you answer I ask because I can get deer corn locally for around $6.00 a 50lb bag depending who I use and it's available pretty much all year round. In my experience deer corn has a larger kernel that standard ear corn or popcorn so this is why I ask.
    Fourth, can alfalfa hay or even alfalfa horse pellets from a mass retailer be ground and act as alfalfa meal in chicken feed. The guy with the wheat and soybeans can grind so I want to know if I can use these products in producing my own feed.
    I greatly appreciate the information that you guys can give me and once I get some experience I will most graciously help anyone that I can.
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    First, Lets welcome you here.[​IMG]


    Now for some questions and opinions.
    Why are you jumping in with both feet into making your own feed. You are in the beginning stages of chicken keeping, so I assume you are keeping a small flock. Just take the easy road at first and use the ready made feed. As you learn more, then advance as you want. Starter feed or allflock can be used for the life of your chickens. If your chickens start to lay eggs, then you have some choices. Stay with what you have and provide additional calcium in the form of oyster shells. Or ,,, Switch to layer feed @4% calcium. Even with layer feed, it is good to provide oyster shells free choice. It is a source of grit as well. Get a bag of scratch grains and treat your chickens.
    Mixing your own feed from the different grains and buying in large volume is an advanced stage for large operations. (many chickens)
    My opinion on corn for chickens is go only with the cracked corn. Whole large kernels can get stuck in chickens throats. Chickens are not that strong to bite kernels into smaller pieces. Cracked corn is also very reasonably priced. It is not intended to be a complete nutrition by it self. Most bags even have that written on them.
    Bottom line in my thinking is that you first learn to walk before you learn to run. You get the idea. Start small and then progress.

    WISHING YOU BEST. AND DON;T HESITATE TO ASK ANYTHING YOU DON'T KNOW.[​IMG]
     
  3. Papachick76

    Papachick76 New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2015
    Thanks for the reply. Starting out I probably will just buy store bought feed in the beginning.
    I'm not trying to make a huge amounts of the feed I'm just a hands on kind of guy. I know that buying it would be easier but it definately would not be cheaper if I have the proper ingredients.
    One other question I have is about the lime that is mixed in the feeds. Is that AG Lime or Hydrated lime?
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome! It's never less expensive to make a balanced ration at home in small batches, because of the cost of ingredients. Feed doesn't store well, because the vitamins loose potency over a few months; I feed within three months of manufacture (open dated on the bag). Modern birds need a good quality balanced ration to produce as they are bred to do; they aren't like farm birds from the 1880's at all. Buy the bags of feed, and feed some goodies as treats, and free range if possible. Mary
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    A balanced feed is not just a mix of grains and legumes. It won't be cheaper once you add the vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids.
     
  6. Papachick76

    Papachick76 New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2015
    I know that it takes more than just the grains and such to make a complete food. There are vitamin and mineral supplements. Luckily in my area there are a lot of people that sell these to the many full blown chicken farms in my area. I am new like I said and have a lot to learn but I have been talking to owners and researching as much as I can. I understand what everyone is saying about quantity and I don't want to have 300lbs of feed sitting in my building which is why I am talking to locals about going in on cost. When I do the math with ALL costs, including the additional nutrients, I can come out under $17.00 for 100lb. I don't know about where you live but here a bag of mass produced or mill bought feed is $14.00-$17.00 When I read the posts on here I feel like a lot of you don't give someone the benefit of the doubt. I haven't gotten a single word of incouragement from any of you.
     
  7. Papachick76

    Papachick76 New Egg

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    Sep 22, 2015
    I forgot to put that I have found the answers to my original questions.
     

  8. :welcome

    I'm sorry you haven't gotten any encouragement. :hugs I think it's great you're making your own feed! That's awesome you can make 100 pounds of feed for under $17.00. :clap I end up paying about $12.00 for 40 pounds of Nutrena NatureWise Layer feed, $15.00 for 50 pounds of Purina Layena, or $11.50 for 50 pounds of a locally made layer feed. I can only answer one of your questions, cracked corn is a better choice for chickens as it is smaller to eat and more easily broken down in the crop and digested. Good luck with your chicken adventure!
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree. Sorry about that. I know there are lots of doubters.

    I've just run the numbers many times when wanting to make my own feed. By the time I bought the ingredients it was much higher but I didn't have such cheap sources of primary ingredients.
    I also don't have a grinder or a means to analyze the nutrients of the finished product.
     
  10. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I at one time wanted to do as you do. I decided not to, mostly because of not being able to get the trace minerals and added vitamins. I believe I have an idea of what you are trying to do, and understand it as such. Chris09 is the local BYC feed master, you could perhaps pm him or other such and he might be able to assist you. There seems to be a lot more to know than one would think going in on such an operation.

    I do know that as soon as a seed is cracked, it starts to deteriorate. So cracked corn is always low on my feed list due to it is hard to know for how long it has been cracked. I don't know, but I suspect it is included in many scratch mixes, much like milo, as filler. Something that can be sold to you to get the bag weight up and the bag full… but basically just filler. Cracking your own corn would, I suppose, be best. I am still looking for a small grinder that I could try out small batches of grain.

    The national brands have all gone to plant protein, some of the local mills still use animal protein, I prefer this in my feed. The amino acids are easier for the birds to digest with animal infused protein, than the 'plant proteins.' I believe this change occurred shortly after the Mad Cow scare of sometime back. Marketing surveys led the national brands to change, not to a better product, but to one the customers would perhaps believe is better. They are after all in business to 'sell' and that is what they do.

    Where you have access to so many of the ingredients at hand, I would give it a try… but I would encourage you to pass it by Chris09, he is very good in matters such as this.

    Best to you and your birds,

    RJ
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
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