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I have actually planned out my feed extensivley in case of these current supply lines become hinderedWelcome to BYC.
You chickens would love the plantain leaves fresh as a supplement to a well-balanced commercial feed. Mine adore the stuff -- to the point that I have to protect it in my yard so as to have more for next year.
Where, in general, are you located? Unless you are in an area were good commercial feed is unavailable you won't save any money by growing your own and unless you have the knowledge and lab facilities to do a detailed nutritional analysis you'll run the risk of missing out on key nutritional elements.
@U_Stormcrow knows more about that than I do.
Would the addition of pill bugs provide them with adequate protein"The dosage is the Poison"
Safe? Yes, in reasonable quantity. I don't see how that's remotely going to provide your birds a balanced diet, nor is it likely to be cheaper than a commercial feed unless you are in some very remote area.
Chickens, like all animals, are a lot of protein. That protein is made from amino acids. There are lots of them, but chickens can make all of most of the amino acids they need. A few, however, they either can't make, or can't make in sufficient quantity. Those are called "limiting" amino acids - because without which in their diet, a chickens ability to build proteins, and ultimately survive, is limited.
For chickens, the list of limiting amino acids is pretty short - the biggies are methionine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan. If you get those thru the diet, chances are very good that you get the rest. How much crude protein you need is open to some debate, but the general recommend (in part because feed labels are so poor) is 18-20%, fat between 3 and 6 percent, fiber around 5% +/-.
Sorghum, unless you are growing some special strains, is around 12% crude protein, about 3% fat, and 6% fiber. Its short in both Lysine and Threonine (there's an engineered high lysine, higher protein variety, assume that's not what you've planted).
Millet is also quite low in Lysine and not great in Threonine, ranges from roughly 7-11% protein, 2-5% fat, and anywhere from 1-10% fiber, depending on variety.
Sunflower seeds are around 18, 19% protein, as much as 60% fat!!!, and around 12% fiber. They also happen to be low in Lysine, though they are otherwise pretty complete (depending on variety of seed.)
Turnip greens are essentially fat free, just 3% protein, and lots of fiber. They aren't great sources of Methionine, and are just so-so on Lysine. Good source of Threonine, however. I can't find good info on plantain leaves, though the "fruit", for lack of better term is a high fat, low protein source - so whatever amino acids it contains aren't present in quantity.
Oh I’m talking about this plantainIf I had to recommend? Add alfalfa (or meal), field peas, or soybeans to that mix, depending on what grows best in your climate. and/or lots of clover in the pasture.
(and I'm still learning. a bit more each day. TY for this exercise in poultry nutrition!)
Would you believe there isn't good nutritional information on "pill bugs", though they are apparently quite high in calcium? (the one piece of data I could find quickly). **IF** they are like shrimp, they are about 18% protein, 1.5% fat, and no fiber. and a complete protein, of course.Would the addition of pill bugs provide them with adequate protein
Oh I’m talking about this plantain
it was between plantain and dandelion , what major areas do you think I am missing ?
I’m a little bit confused on why it would be unbalanced, I know you clarified very well but it went over my head , can you simply the wording a bit ?Would you believe there isn't good nutritional information on "pill bugs", though they are apparently quite high in calcium? (the one piece of data I could find quickly). **IF** they are like shrimp, they are about 18% protein, 1.5% fat, and no fiber. and a complete protein, of course.
Same problem with dandelions. No good info.
and I think you need a chicken safe legume in quantity, as I recommended above. After that, best way to up the protein value is to dry these things, so they are more concentrated sources.